TACSEI stands for Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children. With TACSEI we use many different practices to improve and support social and emotional outcomes for young children in our classrooms. Picture visuals of all kinds have played a significant role in TACSEI interventions. No longer are children told only what is expected, but also by demonstrations and/or illustrations. Often children just need a reminder. When just a picture is shown of the expected behavior, the children gain self-control. An adult is not telling them to do something . . . the picture shows them. I use visuals continuously and staff uses the same visual pictures consistently. Visuals play a key part in the Solution Kit, which is a kit that displays illustrations of all the possible solutions to typical problems from sharing, taking turns, or getting a teacher. This kit has been essential with children in learning to find their own solutions to problems and doing so without the assistance of an adult coming up with the solution for them.
We teach the Solution Kit by role playing and practicing with the children in large and small groups demonstrating each solution one by one. Sunny the puppet has assisted in teaching the children to problem solve. The children have responded so strongly to this fun, loving puppet. The children truly think of her as an addition to the class. At first, I found it very hard to use a puppet, and not only was it awkward to hold, finding her voice and mannerisms was a challenge as well. The more I practiced, the easier it got. By the end of this past year I considered myself a master puppeteer. Even for myself, Sunny came alive! She may have had a bit of a southern accent, but the children really got a kick out of it. They learned from her how to be a better friend. Sunny not only practiced solutions to problems with them, she also told the children how certain situations made her feel and the children could relate to her, especially since she was in preschool too and going through many of the same kinds of things the children were experiencing in life. Sunny even talked to them about what Kindergarten is like. The children loved the conversation and became more excited about this new endeavor they all will face in the near future. I now enjoy using Sunny the puppet and have used her in many different social and emotional situations and lessons.
For more information about Sunny the Puppet or the Social Kit, please go to:
You can download a copy of the Solution Kit and other visuals to use at home!
Has your child talked about using the Solution Kit in school? If so, how has your child responded to Sunny the puppet?