Why You Should Be Using Visual Procedure Cards
Let's take a moment to stop and think about all the routines you have to teach little ones when they are coming to school for the first time...
Coming to the carpet, sitting at the carpet, lining up, walking in the hall, using the restroom, washing hands, how to clean up, how to treat toys, how to pack up to go home.... and the list goes on! <<does this list make you as tired as it does me?
Many times, as adults, we think that some things (like flushing the toilet or hanging up our coats) are common sense. But, the reality is… young children haven’t been around long enough to learn what is common in our society. We have to TEACH them.
Our expectations may be very clear in our own heads. But, children aren't mind readers. Children have to be told and taught.
Don't want students running in the hall? You have to tell them and SHOW them what you do expect them to do... which in turn will decrease the chaos!!! <hallelujah!
Plus, when you teach children what you want to see, you will see less negative behaviors. Why? Simply because children know what you want them to do.
But, teaching these procedures and routines just verbally (you know, telling them over and over until you are red in the face) isn't going to cut it. You need visuals.
Young children can't yet read, but they can 'read' pictures. Plus, they love being independent. Children don't want our help when they don't need it (ever heard a two year old say "I do it!"?). But, hey- let them be independent. Let them read the picture cards of a procedure. Not only is it good for them, it saves you some sanity too!
And if those 'whys' above aren't enough to convince you that you should be using visual procedure cards, then maybe this 'why' is...
Put yourself in the shoes of a young child. You are leaving those that care for you and are coming into a space of the unknown. You don't know what the teacher expects, how to do things the right way or even when your caregiver is coming back!
The feeling of routine that is had by so many children at home is predictable. Predictability feels safe. Routines feel safe.
Ever have a child ask you "When can we eat?", "Is my mom coming soon?" or "When do we play outside?". Yep, that child needs routine and schedule to feel safe.
As we know from Maslow's hierarchy of needs- people need to feel safe before they can be successful.
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