I recently wrote an article for EdWeek Teacher magazine. In it I suggest the teacher must be like the jazz drummer, able to set the beat for experimentation by little ones. Here is a summary below from Smart Brief Accomplished Teacher.
National Board Certified Teacher John M. Holland recommends that early-childhood teachers provide structure and routines to help manage their classrooms. He suggests establishing an attention-getter to address students during transitions, such as “look and listen.” Holland also recommends teachers model the behavior they expect from students, help students know when they should pay attention to the teacher, refer to themselves in the third person and establish a routine while also encouraging them to leave their comfort zones. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org)