FOCUS with Starr Commonwealth's Chief Clinical Officer Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Noticing and 5 to 1 Interactions

Did you notice all of your students today?

There is tremendous power in noticing. When you strive to notice kids several times each day on a consistent basis, it will help you foster connections in your classroom and reinforce each student’s value.

There are many ways to notice children. Here are some examples.

  • Greet students by name when they enter your classroom.
  • Say good-bye, using students’ names, when they leave your classroom.
  • Acknowledge students when you observe kind gestures.
  • Use non-verbal noticing such as waving or nodding your head.
  • Praise students when you recognize that they are taking risks such as trying a difficult math problem or solving a problem.
  • Thank students for asking or answering questions.
  • Compliment students when they are helpful.
  • Tell students you are happy to see them after weekends or holiday breaks from school.

The goal for child-caring adults, educators and caregiver is to display a ratio of 5:1 positive interactions between themselves and children of all ages.

Learn more about 5:1 interactions in 10 Steps to Create a Trauma-Informed Resilient School

By Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer, provides oversight for all clinical operations and research at Starr Commonwealth. Dr. Soma provides trauma assessment and trauma informed, resilience focused intervention for youth utilizing evidence-based practices, including TLC’s SITCAP® model programs.

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.