This was an effective strategy because many children did come up to the teacher and sit on her lap. Some children even brought books or toys.
Another technique that I saw was giving specific feedback to students who practicing new skills. One older toddler was practicing using a Styrofoam cup in the place of a Sippy cup. The teacher congratulated him on picking his cup up with two hands, but reminded him to drink slower next time. The goal of this method was not only to encourage the child, but to let him know what he was doing right and what he was doing wrong. I believe this was an effective strategy, since the child slowed down and smiled at the teacher.
A teacher also showed admiration for a young toddler that had just started jumping. The child was taking great joy in jumping and the teacher commented "That looks like fun, you sure are getting good at jumping." I believe the goal of this method was to encourage the child to continue to develop his new skill. This was an effective strategy because the child jumped at other movement activities throughout the day.
I also noticed teachers regularly visit children who were playing individually and invite them to join in on activities or to join other children in centers. The teachers especially did this when they noticed children who looked bored or upset in quiet areas. The goal of this method was to encourage children to play with each other, without forcing them to. I believe this was effective because some of the children decided on their own to join other children at different centers.
I saw scaffolding used in the classroom as well. One teacher had been working with a young toddler on his climbing skills. She told me she had worked with him for several weeks on climbing the stairs to the hand washing sink and diapering table. I observed her guide the child to the climbing equipment on the playground when they went outside.