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.)

View Transcript


First I’d like to show you where his cubbies are, outside in the hallway. And then every day when mommy comes to get you she can read about all the wonderful things we’ve done for today and you’ll have a folder with any information. We keep all the folders up here.




So that you can get back. And inside he will have an art box.

Would you like to see your art box? Where you’ll keep all of those lovely drawings. Let’s go see your art box. I like it when you hold my hand. You got such soft hands. I made a book all about you and your new experiences. Would you like to come with me and read it? Yeah, let’s come and read it.

That’s Ms. Latesha standing over there. She’s going to be your other teacher.


Can you say hi to Ms. Latesha?


Wave to Ms. Latesha. Say hi Ms. Latesha.

This is Dominick’s new classroom. This is a picture of who? Is that you? Soon Dominick will have new friends to play with in his class room. There’s a picture of Kirsten, she’s going to be in your classroom next year. And this is Emily, Emily is going to be a new friend with you. And new teachers too. And that’s me, I’m Ms. Bani’ci’, and that’s Ms. Latesha and we’re so happy that you’re going to be in our room. What’re those kids doing? Is it story time? Do you like story time? I like story time too. So welcome Dominick, and that’s you playing in the sand. So would you like to take this book home so you can look at it and learn about your new friends? Mommy can read it to you.


What do you say Nico?


Thank you.


You’re welcome sweetie.