Identifying Individual Needs

3.    Identify the individual needs of the child and family:

  • Arrange for the child and family to visit the class to orient to them to the new environment.
    •  A visit to the new setting prior to the transition allows the family to consider the individual needs of their child relative to the new environment. Further, it can help the child and family participate in the transition process more confidently because they have a better understanding of the receiving classroom.
    •  The teacher can work with the family to help identify specific ways in which the new classroom can be modified to support the child’s engagement and adaptation by using an observation guide during the initial class visit.
  • Phase-in transition days plan for children.
    • A gradual transition into the new program allows the child to adjust to the new setting.  This gradual transition also allows the teacher to develop a relationship with the child during the transition.  This adjustment period creates an opportunity for the teacher to determine if the child has opportunities to engage with peers and the environment and to assess whether additional supports are needed.
  • An important aspect of this transition period is the opportunity to build and strengthen the teacher-child relationship by providing a welcoming environment.

Watch the video and identify ways in which the teacher provides a welcoming environment.

Video 2.4: Highlights of a classroom visit

A teacher welcomes a new student into her classroom by showing him and his mother around the classroom. She also reads a book to him with pictures of his new classmates and teachers. (running time: 2 min. 07 sec.)

Supplemental Materials

Tutorials on Handout 2.6: Child Observation Guide and Handout 2.7: Phase-In Transition Days are available below.