Early Childhood Education With Luchie

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Child Growth and Development: Birth to 9 Months

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My grand daughter Karllisse has grown fast over the months. Look at her here the day she was born and on top where she turned six months. Come 17th December, she'll be turning exactly 9 months old. That is why her sitting up, reaching, and smiling are really sure pleasers.
We adults need to learn more about child growth and development so as to understand children the more. Psychologists and doctors have revealed thru their studies that a child’s progress can be accurately measured against milestones or significant points of development. Here are some milestones I want to share, not only to teachers, but to everyone who like children.

* The baby will surely stretch her hand to grasp the toy you place just out of her reach. So make it a habit to give a toy for her to reach out.
* The baby will look at your face intently once you sing lullabies or recite nursery rhymes.
* Gently move a small toy around your baby in a slow circular movement. You will notice then that she will follow the movement with her eyes.
* Always greet your baby with a big smile. When you smile, she will smile too as it is a response that she recognises you.
* When you put a small rattle in her hand and gently shake it back and forth a few times, the baby will continue to close her fingers around it for at least several seconds.

* She will try to sit up independently without support. For your child to be safe, prop her up with cushions.
* During your breaks of conversation, she will babble as if she’s involved with the conversation too.
* She can now hold a small toy in each hand though you still need to place them into her grasp.
* If you dropped a toy accidentally, she will look for it, especially if you ask, “Where’s your toy?”
* If placed face down, she’ll show signs of crawling most especially if she see a colourful toy just beyond her reach.

*Once you bring a ticking watch up to her ear, she’ll turn her head round to look for it.
*The baby will smile at her own reflection on the mirror and might even reach out to touch it.
*Give her a plastic cup and saucer or two small wooden blocks as she will try to play with these two objects together.
*If you place a sweet under a cup as she watches you, surely, she will lift the cup up straight away.

Friday, November 18, 2005

On Discipline


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So, when we give discipline to children, let us be sure that there are lots of love
*photo uploaded from Google Images

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Week -Long Activities in Language Arts

A. Introduction

Since most children have relevant experience with different types of clothing and most of them have their own closet at home, I decided to have this relevant experience as my topic for my whole week activities with them.

As we went along with our discussion and sharing of ideas, one of the children commented that she has her separate closet from her brother as her mother explained that she is a girl and her brother is a boy. I used that moment to motivate them to discriminate boy’s things and clothing from girls. I also then decided to let my children do two books, one for boys and one for girls.

To guide them to express their ideas into written and artistic forms, I asked them to bring pictures of things and clothing found in the closet. To make the activity more meaningful for them, I guided them in writing, selecting and pasting pictures that are related to their shared ideas about the closet. For me, when a child does anything with interest and enthusiasm is already an artistic expression.

This series of activity though simple and irrelevant to adults, is a worthwhile one for children. The fact that the children exhibited excitement and enjoyed the whole process is a learning experience in itself. The feeling of self worth they achieved made these activities a lifelong achievement for them. The notion that what they shared and talked can be expressed in written and artistic forms will inculcate in them a great desire to be future adults who are readers and writers who love the world around them.

B. Procedure

DAY 1 : Chorus Question Game: What have you found?

a. Seat children in a circle.
b. Provide a box patterned like a closet with dress, shirt, blouse, t-shirt, short, pyjama, and other clothing and things inside.
c. Pass to the first child and ask him to select an item from the box.
d. The other children in the group ask “What have you found?”
e. To which the first child replies” I found a…” and put it on.
f. The second child then takes the box and continues the game…

DAY 2: Discussion Proper
a. Seat the children in a rainbow formation.
b. Encourage the children to talk about the topic.
c. Ask open-ended questions.
d. Extend their vocabulary.
e. Record their ideas on the whiteboard explaining that these ideas are to
to be written on the pages of the book they will be going to make.
g. Read aloud as the ideas are written on the whiteboard.

DAY 3: Book Making
a. Let children do printing on the prepared book cover.
b. Select appropriate pictures.
c. Ask the children to paste the pictures on the pages of the book.
d. Ask children to write something about the pictures.
e. Let them draw and colour some illustrations.
f. Let them compile the pages together as in a book.

DAY 4: Reading Proper
a. Ask the first child to read aloud the first page of the children made book.
b. Ask the second child to read aloud the second page.
c. Continue with the rest of the children until all pages have been read aloud and all children have the chance to read aloud.
d. Encourage children to read all the pages of the book.

DAY 5: Storytelling: The Emperor’s New Clothes

A. Before Storytelling:
a. Show and explain how a real book looks like.
b. Discuss the book’s author and illustrator.
c. Explain that they will be hearing a folktale about an emperor and a child who tells the truth.
d. Introduce the children to the main characters and the setting.
e. Discuss the purpose why the children need to listen to the story.

B. During Storytelling:
a. Encourage children to react and comment on the story as they listen.
b. Elaborate the text used.
c. Ask questions occasionally to gauge the children’s comprehension of the story.
d. At certain points in the story, ask children to predict what might happen next.
e. Ask children to voice out their own interpretation of the story.

C. After Storytelling:
a. Review the story components.
b. Discuss how wonderful it is to have lots of books around.

C. Lessons Learnt As a Teacher

The whole process made me more convinced that learning is really a continuous process. My children’s understanding of the topic about the closet and other ideas that came out during our discussion are constructed in their minds. What they learn depends on what they already know, which is their prior knowledge based on their experiences. I came into conclusion that children do not come to school “empty handed”. They already have some knowledge, conceptions and schemes of the new topic I presented. With my role as a teacher to extend, expand and enrich their existing competencies, they were able to conclude that it is really true that boys clothing and things are different from girls. They were even quick to add that some clothing can be worn for a certain function or purpose. They were able to conclude that clothes are worn depending on the weather and time of the day too.

I have proven that children are naturally curious about objects and events around them. The box I used for our Chorus Question Game, which I designed like a closet, made my children more curious and enthusiastic. With my Capitalization on this element of curiosity, I am sure I was able to optimized learning in them. That mystery box brought excitement and joy in them that they were motivated to learn.

I have also proven that when children are challenged to think and solve problem that is achievable, the result is a sense of accomplishment and a good concept of self as a learner. When I asked each child to select an item in the box, he was challenged to think and say more about the item he selected. The facial expression and glow in their eyes proved that there was a sense of accomplishment when they were able to answer the question, what have you found? There was a sense of self worth when they were able to say some more about the item selected and were able to wear the item/clothing properly.

With my discussion with them, I learnt that what they talked about and shared grows out from their meaningful relationships and in their daily interactions with significant people in their lives. The fact that one of my child commented about her mother explaining about separate closet and clothing for her and her brother indicated that a child’s relationship with his parents is an index of the depth of his parent’s involvement with him. Those children who talk a lot and ask questions are those, whose parents have time to talk with them. Those children who are inhibited and shy are those, whose parents have little time to talk with them.

With this experience, I realized that as a teacher, it must be my purpose to partner myself with my children’s parents so I can also help enhance not only the children’s spoken skills but all aspects of their literary development. I must convince parents that with them around, they can also be models, like teachers, in providing the power and fun of reading and also writing. I must reiterate to them that there are many playful opportunities for children everyday to discover letter-sound associations and blending and segmenting of letters that create words. And it is up to the adult around them to make use of these activities and daily life experiences meaningful to the children.

How can we do these?” a question most of the parents may ask. There are many examples of course. One is by teaching the words to name things, people and actions. We must bear in mind that parents are the ones who teach the most important tool a human being has- language. In addition, parents introduce children to abstractions. Parents teach abstraction when they point out “two dogs”, “three pigs”, or “one mouse”. When parents point out the red bus or the yellow truck, they teach colour concepts. When they ask children to get the ball behind the chair or in front of the table, parents are teaching spatial relations. When they throw the ball up or down, or to Daddy or Mummy, they teach direction. Therefore, parents may not know it, but they are already teaching their children by just merely talking to them.

In conclusion, this process heightened my inner feeling of joy. With the belief that I can work hand in hand with parents for the children’s total development, and that I have an important role in imparting knowledge to them and is also instrumental in their psychosocial and language development, makes me more happy. Knowing that my children will be future leaders in the coming future, my gladness is immeasurable. And no one or any amount of money can take that JOY away from me.

D. What Children Got From The Process

What Children Got from the Process

From all the stimulating activities my children actively participated in, I can say that they learnt a lot not only in acquiring language skills but also social and emotional skills which can be their tools in facing the future ahead of them. I can declare that their learning have been a meaningful and effective one as they were actively involved in the learning process. Much more, their interest in the subject matter motivated them to talk and ask more and more.

Though learning is a process, and each child learn on his own pace, each child were able to share ideas and discussed it on his own way. Provided with teachable-moment technique during discussion, the children learned to be aware of their competency in language that enable them to share ideas, think and discriminate. As each one of them readily talked about their own closet and clothing and things in it, they learnt new vocabulary and improved their pronunciation too.

The children’s thinking ability was nurtured and cultivated too. They were able to discriminate things and clothing of boys from girls. They were able to reason out why such clothing is worn on such purpose and occasion.

The children also realized their own identity. They became more aware of themselves as either male or female. I can say that they are continuously learning how to fit in their roles. The fact that they were able to differentiate boys and girls belongings, made them aware how boys and girls differ and they will continue to be in the coming days.

Creativity was also nurtured in them. They were motivated to think creatively. As the opportunity to have their ideas expressed in written and artistic forms were provided coupled with their creativity being developed, I am sure it will grow and increase in them.

The children also learnt what teamwork is all about. They learnt to share crayons and pencils. They engaged in a fruitful and meaningful activity with a purpose- producing a product which is the books they are so proud about.

The children felt good about themselves. As they were able to make a book, though with guidance, this helps them build their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Because they are proud of their work, their desire in them to learn more and read more and more will stay in them for a very long time.