Getting Infants and Toddlers Ready for School as They Reach for the Stars Themselves

Getting Infants and Toddlers Ready for School as They Reach for the Stars Themselves

My organization’s logo, shown here, encompasses what a child looks like who is “school-ready.” When a child can raise his hand to respond to a teacher’s request or question, it demonstrates one of the most perfect manifestations of well-developed language, emotional, social and sensory skills. The development of these skills begins the day a baby is born and should be solidly in place by the time a child is 3 years old. In the simple act of raising his hand in the classroom, the child in the logo for Operation Ready By 3 shows he is able to do the following:

1) Pay attention to hear his teacher’s words (auditory processing skill)
2) Control his body enough to pay attention (multi-sensory processing skill)
3) Suppress his preferred mode of processing (in the case of strong visual and kinesthetic, or movement, processors) to let his auditory processing “system” be focused and attentive (attention skill)
4) Understand and use the “hand-raising” rule in the classroom (memory skill)
5) Understand and operate on being polite and courteous to others (social skill)
6) Understand and operate on turn-taking skill (social skill)
7) Understand how his behavior affects the ability for others to pay attention and learn (social skill)
8) Realize how he has a positive feeling, or positive internal response, when he listens, pays attention and controls his behavior (emotional skill)
9) Understand how he can affect others’ feelings/internal states by following the “hand-raising” rule (emotional skill)
10) Understand the words the teacher has said well enough that he is prepared to answer (language skill)
11) Believe that he is an asset to the class and has confidence in what he has to say as something that adds value to the classroom experience (social-emotional skill)
12) Orient his body towards the teacher who is asking the question (sensory skill)
13) Listen to the teacher, look at the teacher and act/do accordingly by raising his hand (multi-sensory processing skill: auditory + visual + kinesthetic processing)
14) Use words in order to respond to the teacher’s request or question (language skill)
15) Remember what the question was that the teacher asked in order to formulate an appropriate/accurate response (verbal memory and language skill)

In a more “poetic” sense, the logo for Operation Ready By 3 shows a child reaching for the stars. We know how important it is to teach and encourage children to dream. We tell them they can be anything they want to be. They know it, too, by the age of 3 as evidenced when they tell us they want to be “a fireman-pilot-teacher-daddy” or “a ballerina-mommy-princess-doctor-astronaut.” The sky is the limit when you’re that small and the world is an exciting place to explore with that amazing infant-toddler, lantern-type attentional capacity and consciousness that is so ideal for learning (See my previous blog on 5/13 for more information on this: ).


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