Classroom Conversations

From greeting to goodbye, every part of the preschool day reinforces language skills.
Nov 28, 2012



Snacktime, storytime, playtime — all are crucial to your child's language development. Here's a look at how your child learns and uses language every day, at home and school.


Greeting time: getting to know one another
When you and your child arrive at school, the teacher will probably try to have a brief one-on-one conversation with her. This helps the teacher give your child a sense of belonging, which eases the transition into the school day.

Group time: learning to share
Teachers are prepared for some very interesting answers and comments. And because there may be more than one "right" answer, or no right answers at all, they accept all responses equally.

Activity time: solving problems
During learning center time, your child will participate in many kinds of problem-solving. As children interact with one another, they learn how to handle the social and emotional situations that arise every day at school.

Snacktime: developing social skills
The relaxed atmosphere of snacktime and meals offers children opportunities to listen to and talk with one another about playtime, food, families — whatever they're thinking about. Besides the essential self-help skills inherent in snacktime, children learn about the give-and-take of social conversation.

Storytime: learning to listen
Talking and listening are the essence of storytime. Storytime is also a good time to ask questions. Some kinds of questions — " Where did the bear live? What happened to him?" — check knowledge and comprehension. Other kinds — "If the bear lived in your neighborhood, what do you think would happen? How would this story be different if...?" — encourage abstract thinking.

Outdoor play: resolving conflicts
This change in venue is great for language skills. Dramatic play and conversations intensify as children engage in fantasies that can't be easily enacted indoors. This greater freedom can lead to conflicts, however, and children's conflict-resolution skills are often tested because of the group's high level of energy. Teachers help children communicate their needs to one another and guide them toward peaceful solutions.


The ways in which teachers communicate with children all day long directly affect how children communicate with one another. By listening and speaking with respect and compassion, teachers create a healthy environment and foster language growth.

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