I was working with one of my student teachers recently and she expressed to me her exasperation with her cooperating site teacher. They currently have a child who is in foster care in their class. The little first grader has learned how to manipulate situations and refuses to cooperate with classroom rules. My student teacher is frustrated because when she follows through on classroom procedures with the girl, and she is required to receive the consequences of her actions, the site teacher pulls the girl aside and gives her candy! Ugh!
I know that the site teacher thinks she is being supportive and comforting to this little girl. The student teacher feels like she is forced into the "bad guy" role in the classroom.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
We are getting ready to say goodbye to our flowers for the season. In our area, flowers disappear with the first frost. Although a little early, we lost a few vines this past week, but we are still enjoying the flowers. However, I understand that we must enjoy them today because they will be gone tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
- Forming letters of the alphabet with wet sand or dough
- Allowing children to create parts of stories using sand and props
- Having children use a scoop to find sponge letters floating in water
- Using a magnet wand to find magnetic letters hidden in sand
- Using dough to create another ending for a story
- Using sand on a cookie sheet or tray to form alphabet letters with your finger
The list was quite extensive and included many activities for use in the sensory table or center. These types of workshops serve as a reminder about how critical it is to engage children and keep learning exciting.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Time continues to slip past us at an incredible rate. As we age, our perception is that time moves even faster. Before we realize it, we take the place of our parents and soon we will observe our children taking our place. When my aunt, the last of her generation, passed away last fall, my cousin turned to me and said, "Well, we're it now. WE are the oldest generation." When did that happened? When did I become the 'oldest' guy around? I watch my three children as parents worrying about their children moving into the teenage years. Wow! Part of me laments at being older while the other part of me is happy that I don't have to raise teenagers again!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The experience also reminded me how vulnerable and delicate our young children are when watching their parent or grandparent. When adults are good examples and at the same time challenge the child to think and create their own answers, a resilient child is created. I remember reading some of the research on Multiple Intelligences that was a theory offered by Howard Gardner. In one of his documents he mentioned how he didn't want his children to redo the same things that he had done. He wanted them to create new things and new ideas. Being a great example to children and encouraging them to develop thinking skills will help carry these children into a future we can't predict.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Being a classroom teacher is often a balancing act. Teachers are often bombarded with the latest curriculum or teaching strategy that will solve all of their problems. In my effort to create a developmentally appropriate (DAP) classroom, I evaluated Creative Curriculum, Reggio Amelia, HighScope, ECRS & ITRS, and RTI to name a few. As I have looked at all of these approaches, it is evident that there are enriching portions in each strategy. It can be confusing for an early childhood teacher to decide which is best. Although I believe the HighScope approach may be the most 'child-friendly', there are still strong facets in the other programs. As a classroom teacher, I always tried to use the best of everything I had available for teaching the children in my care. Research tells us that even the best teaching strategies don't work with every child. Because of this we should look for all of the positive content that we can find and add it to our treasure chest of knowledge. Like a balancing act, the trick is to stay on the beam. Even when our programs choose a set curriculum we should enrich it with materials and good ideas from all credible sources.