Tire Swing Ups and Downs

Delivery Method: 

Caleb observes his classmate riding on a tire swing and he wants to join in the fun. He sits on the back of the couch with his arm outstretched toward an available tire but it does not swing close enough for him to grasp. Caleb says, “I can’t,” and looks over his shoulder as if to request help from the camera person. The off camera teacher encourages Caleb to use more descriptive language by asking, “Well, what do you need?” Caleb makes an instrumental gesture by grasping with his hand in the air. Meanwhile, his peer, Alex, asks another teacher to hold his tire swing so he can climb up on the back of the couch. Notice that Alex pauses and looks over at Caleb as if to say, “Watch me do it,” before he grasps the swing and launches from the couch. When Alex asks the teacher to hold his tire swing for a second time, the teacher invites Caleb to participate by saying, “Would you like me to hold yours?” Caleb confidently says, “I got it”, as he grasps the bottom of the tire, and puts his feet inside. But notice how his tone of voice shifts as he says, “In the hand”, while gesturing in the air. Caleb recognizes that he has completed only part of the steps required to ride the tire swing. The teacher wants to help Caleb achieve his goal. Observe the three strategies that she uses to support him. First, she encourages Caleb to remember how he rode the swing on previous occasions by asking, “How did you do it before?” She then offers Caleb positive reinforcement by saying, “I think you can. I’ve seen you do it before”. Thirdly, she helps Caleb to better think about the problem by focusing his attention on the specifics. She asks, “How could you reach this (rope)? How can you make your hands closer to this?” This video includes a series of brief clips that were collected across several school days. As you watch, consider what you notice about how Caleb’s strategies change. For example, in the next segment, Caleb does not remain seated on the couch but instead, climbs down to join Alex and the two boys enjoy swinging together. In what other ways do you notice Caleb showing growth and development? Observe to see if you can find examples in the video where Caleb a) learns to take an active role in the pursuit of his goals, b) experiences shared joy, c) works to imitate his peer, d) celebrates his attainment of smaller steps or sub-goals, e) reflects upon both what he is able to do and not yet able to do, f) works to regulate his feeling of frustration, and g) demonstrates persistence as he continues making efforts to achieve his goal of climbing up on top of the tire swing. What do you think Caleb understands is required for him to get his body on top of the tire swing?

Length of stand-alone master video clip: 4 minutes 58 seconds

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Keywords: Twos, Children-Object, Spatial Relations, Communication, Imitation, Persistence, Problem-Solving