Sunday, November 9, 2008
Then, check out Melitsa's discussion about similar topics at her blog: http://play-activities.com/blog/
Additionally, has anyone seen Rae Pica's new site? Click here to check it out! She has had a wealth of really great interviews, including Kathy Hirsch-Pasek and one of my new favorite authors, Ginger Carlson (who by the way has two great blogs, one here).
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Holidays are important to children, but so is making every child feel respected and understood.
In a future post, I want to know what your thoughts are on this topic: Should we celebrate holidays in the schools? I'll also share my ideas on how to make every child and family feel welcome throughout the year by providing anti-bias curriculum activities. You might be surprised to know, many children and families can share their traditions with the class without making others feel left out.
1. What is the point of childhood?
She asked those of us this question in relation to the fact that many of us get caught up in the hurried, rushed world we live in and how many parents feel their child needs to achieve. She asks, is childhood simply a means to an end where it is simply a time for them to achieve what will eventually happen. Or, is childhood a essential time period where children should be allowed to learn with their senses, take note of the world around them and develop skills that will help build resilience and a strong foundation and become ready for the life they will lead?
2. Play should be 90% child and 10% toy.
This was a quote she shared from Joan Almon, of the Alliance for Childhood. Are we providing children with quality experiences that they can then lead on their own and take what they need from them or are we constantly leaning and focusing more on the educational values of toys and materials instead? Much of the toys today are closed-ended and do not allow children the opportunity to learn more than just rote concepts and fail to provide chidren with the stimulation they need, the opportunity to use their own minds to create, build and explore.
3. Is it the process or the product of childhood that is worth more?
Related to question one, Healy ended the presentation with this thought. The same thought that many quality educators and parents need to think about as they nurture their child's development. As far as educators are concerned, we need to provide children with experiences that may not necessarily have a "cute" end product, but a intentional process (one that is much more important than the product) and we also need to communicate how the process is much more than the product to parents. A cute cut-and-paste product looks good in a child's keepsake box, but its sad to think about how many other children have the same, indistinctive product in their keepsake boxes as well. Parents might actually enjoy knowing that while a quality experience may not have the "cookie cutter" look to it that may be aesthetically appealing, it may have a lot of meaning to their child because they used their creativity and skills to do it "all by themselves!"
Monday, October 20, 2008
If anyone lives near Chicago, this presentation should be excellant. Additionally, I look forward to their presentation with Lilian Katz in January.
More updates are on their way--Don't forget to vote Nov. 4!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
2) Child Beatings in Early Ed Classrooms
3) a recent Wall Street Journal article the Reason Foundation's Shika Dalmia and Lisa Snell argue that pre-k programs don't work or, worse, actually harm kids
...and the rebuttal from another blog: Protect Our Kids from Preschool Hype
4) Top 5 Reasons It's Okay for Kids to Take Risks
By educating, I mean spreading the word about the importance of early education, play, what quality programming means and developmentally appropriate practice. Helping parents understand the relationship between classroom activities and their impact on children's development will encourage parental involvement and also their engagement at home with their child.
Currently, I've had the opportunity to research several parenting blogs and many provide great ideas for activities to do with children but also integrate concepts like the arts, science and more.
Take a look at how these parents communicate with not only one another but also are actively participating in their child's development by providing awesome activities at home. For those of us without children, its good to keep insight....we aren't good teachers if we don't open ourselves up to learning something everyday!
The Artful Parent
5 Minutes for Special Needs
Unplug Your Kids
Not-Quite Crunchy Parent
Thinking Outside the Recipe and The Wondershop
Now, these are just a few of my favorites...I'm sure I share more later. Do you have any favorite blogs?
Friday, August 8, 2008
If you are looking for some quality home-grown, easy and developmentally appropriate activities(you know how much I love talking about this), check out her blog for great ideas and suggestions on how she facilitates the activities with her "little man." She also does a great job on sharing WHY the activity promotes development.
P.S. Her blog is also on my list, for future reference.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Check out the book...it's a keeper.
Monday, July 28, 2008
1.) I added a Blog List. I've been addicted to Google Reader to the point where I almost can't even keep up with all the chat going on about EC online. Please check out these blogs. You might also notice that there are a few parenting sites. These are very funny and just overall great sites that I use to keep in touch with the breeder bunch. I'm also hoping that once I have a few of my own, these sites are keeping me well prepared for what is ahead.
2.) Notice the calendar? I'm not really using it right now. However, it is up for a few days while I demonstrate its use at work.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Read this: Homework for Preschoolers?
I'm a firm believer that its a lack of teacher support and education that leads to preschool expulsion--its never the child's fault. Never. Read this: Kicked Out of Preschool?
The number of preschool expulsions and corporal punishment usage is a PLEA to our governments to increase professional development/education training for teachers AND create a efficient model of quality control that ensures quality in EC programs.
Friday, July 11, 2008
My reaction? What in the world is Waldorf?
However, after some investigation throughout the years I learned quite a bit about the curriculum. While I stress I have never taught in a Waldorf classroom, I must say there is quite a bit to like about the curriculum in terms of its commitment to individualized lesson planning, integration of nature throughout, and rejection of high-stakes testing, negative discipline and ignoring of a child's interests and feelings.
You might be saying to yourself---"yeah, but that's not going to work where I teach." I agree, public schools (where I worked an Integrated EC classroom), child care preschools, and other early childhood programs might not be able or ready to take on such an intense of a program like the one Waldorf education provides.
HOWEVER--We can take pieces from this model to improve what is there already!
Here's just a few things I took from the Waldorf curriculum:
- cooking activities that I planned based on some of the children's interests/ideas from conversations in the classroom (and yes, they did actually cook and cut vegetables)
- domestic tasks related to the upkeep of the classroom and classroom pets (yes, I had pets), including washing the dishes after we cooked
- art activities that children can imitate (weaving, "sewing" (we used plastic needles and yarn through plastic/nylon netting), painting with tempura, fingerpaints, watercolors, mud and water, etc.)
- gardening (we planted fall mums outside and pumpkins/squash the first week of class and by the first week of october had a great patch), we also did flowers in the spring
- meditating on seasons instead of holidays--I know this is an adjustment for some teachers and some parents, but I'm passionate about this topic.
**By the way, this doesn't mean you tell children "shhh" if they mention they sat on Santa's lap over the weekend (we talked about holidays when the children mentioned them all the time). But...it does mean instead of making cut and paste Christmas trees, we made evergreen smelly jars and hot cocoa with peppermint sticks.
Does anyone else know anything about Waldorf education they might want to share? Any ideas on how to incorporate some of the ideas from Waldorf classrooms into a public school or child care EC classroom?
Monday, March 10, 2008
With many wonderful interactive, hands-on opportunities to explore math, the DCM Math Connections neighborhood is the perfect way to nurture children's emerging and early math skills. Exhibits feature activities related to patterning, sorting/classification, shapes/colors, early addition/subtraction, fractions, symmetry, size, counting and one-on-one correspondence and more....
The DuPage Children's Museum website is: http://www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org/
What a great article. I am very pleased to see who was involved in the discussion.