This school year, we started something new! All Prepared School Psychologist members have access to our mini-courses where members can earn CEUs or certificates of completion for learning about specific topics. All of our courses are two hours or less (hence the “mini” in mini-courses).. “What Should I Worry About in Pre-K/TK?” was one of our more popular mini-courses released in September, and today, I want to recap some takeaways I believe you will find helpful and insightful. Let’s dive in!
The Importance of Complex Play in Preschool Children
Complex play includes imaginative scenarios, problem-solving, and cooperative interactions with peers. When school psychologists observe children engaging in complex play, they learn valuable information about the child’s ability to explore abstract concepts, learn cause-and-effect relationships, and develop critical thinking skills. Within these play scenarios, interpersonal dynamics also unfold, teaching lessons in negotiation, empathy, and teamwork. Jot down this information about the child and add it to your observation write-up. This can help parents and the IEP team understand the child’s development as a whole.
Incorporating these takeaways when observing and assessing a preschool student is an excellent start to understanding how young children develop and learn. By recognizing and encouraging things like complex play and advocating for children to receive quality education during their preschool years, doors open to a wealth of learning opportunities and development of all children.
Universal Pre-K Programs
California, West Virginia, Alabama, and Oklahoma are at the forefront of a movement to establish free, universal pre-K programs for all four-year-olds by 2025-2026. However, not all states have state-run preschool programs, and the scope and quality of existing programs vary widely. Additionally, achieving high-quality pre-K programs requires significant investment in teacher education, professional development, and class sizes, which can strain state budgets.
This information is essential for school psychologists to understand because quality preschool programs lay the foundation for a child’s academic, social, and emotional development. By providing early access to quality education, pre-K programs can help identify and address potential learning or behavioral challenges early on, leading to more effective interventions and improved outcomes later in the child’s educational journey.
Did you know that a new mini-course is released every Monday for our Prepared School Psych community members? (there may be exceptions during the holidays). As a Prepared School Psych member, you will have exclusive access to our mini-courses and the ability to earn CEUs or a certificate of completion. Our mini-course library already has topics about FBAs, tech tips for school psychs, emotional control, and, of course, preschool! Stay tuned because several more mini-courses are being released, all about counseling goals, 504s, preschool observations in community settings, response inhibition, and more! If you are already a member, head over to the site now to start your learning. If you are not yet a member, click the button below and get started today!