Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I appreciated all the comments from my last entry about teaching children not subjects. I do sympathize with the constant pressure for teachers to follow the standards, as I think they should. Our challenge is to organize learning experiences that meet the needs of the children and support each skill. I am a firm believer in looking at the core curriculum and creating a 'road map of skills' in the order that supports development and learning. It is like having a GPS system for the year. Each week when I did my lesson planning I looked at my road map to see which skills needed support. Then I chose activities that suited the group of children I had at the moment. In the early childhood years, you can adapt almost any activity to provide support for a certain skill. This kind of planning kept me on track with the core curriculum and it also helped me choose developmentally appropriate activities for the children in my class. I also read my class. If the group (or individual children) was restless or bored, I adjusted the activity. The test scores were high because the interest level was kept high. Children do learn more when engaged in the learning experience.