Activity of the Day: Organic Planting with Mama and Papa!

Activity of the Day: Organic Planting with Mama and Papa!

Good evening and happy Wednesday =D Today, Paul had an enriching learning experience while planting with mama and papa.

  • Language Development:
    • He learned the following words: dirt, shovel, planting, seeds, oregano, parsley, chives, cilantro, thyme, organic, ants, worms, insects, holes, planting pot, dirty, crumbly, cold, windy, small, large, tiny, big, etc.
  • Sensory Development:
    • Paulie manipulated the dirt and gardening tools as we spoke about the attributes.
  • Motor Development:
    • Paulie used a scooper, hands, and fingers to scoop out the dirt from the dirt bag and put it in the planting pot.
    • He placed the seeds in the dirt with the pincer grip.
  • Cognitive Development:
    • He learned that we were scooping dirt in the pot and helped us with the task.
    • He learned that we were putting seeds in the holes in the dirt and helped us.

The learning activity will be ongoing because he will water the herbs everyday and watch them grow. We will talk about the necessities that plants need to survive (oxygen, water, and sunlight); as well as why plants need these necessities to survive. We we also talk about the parts of the herb plants.

Here are some pictures from today’s activity =D

 

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy day! =D

Activity of the Day: Sensory Play with Uncooked and Cooked Pasta

Activity of the Day: Sensory Play with Uncooked and Cooked Pasta

Good afternoon and happy Tuesday =D Paul is 13 months old, and he is such a little ray of sunshine =D I am so excited to start sharing some fun educational activities that I do with Paul to enhance all of the areas of his development. I love being an early childhood educator because I believe that foundational skills (and the lack of) are one of the contributing factors that determine academic success. There are many contributing factors that determine academic success, but I will save that for a very detailed and opinionated post. =D Today, we had fun learning while playing with and talking about pasta.

  • Sensory Development:
    • He was exploring the difference between hard, dry, uncooked pasta versus cooked, sticky, and squishy pasta.
    • He used different grips to pick up the dry pasta and the cooked pasta.
    • He manipulated the dry pasta and cooked pasta differently. With the uncooked pasta, he picked them up and put them in different bowls and boxes. With the cooked pasta, he picked them up and squished it by squeezing his hands and stuck the pasta to surfaces and waited for them to fall.
  • Language Development
    • A lot of language was introduced during this activity. Paul was playing with two bowls that had different amounts of pasta in it. We talked about heavy versus light. In versus out. On top versus under.
    • We talked about the attributes of the cooked and uncooked pasta. He was introduced to the words squishy, sticky, wet, dry, hard, soft, gooey, cooked, uncooked, raw, etc.
  • Fine Motor Development
    • Paul practiced using different grips to pick up and manipulate the cooked and uncooked pasta.
  • Cognitive Development
    • This activity strengthened Paul’s hand-eye coordination. He was placing the pasta in boxes, bowls, measuring cups, and spoons.

Here are some pictures!

 Thank you for reading! =D Comment to let me know if you tried this activity and to tell me how it went <3 I hope you have a happy day! =D

Teaching Paul the Foundational Skills Required for Literacy Achievement: Part One

Teaching Paul the Foundational Skills Required for Literacy Achievement: Part One

Good afternoon and happy Wednesday! When Paul turned 8 months old, he finally reached an age where he loved to read books. As an early childhood educator and a post-graduate student studying literacy, I want to ensure that I provide Paul with an early childhood education that will ensure that he obtains literacy achievement. These are the elements that I am currently teaching to foster his literacy achievement.

  1. Teaching Concepts About Print.
    • Every time I read to Paul, I:
      • show him how to hold the book properly.
      • I tell him that we are looking at the front cover of the book.
      • I point to the title and read it to him while ensuring that he is following along with my finger as I point to each word. This teaches him that I am reading words; and it teaches him that we read print from left to right.
      • I tell him who the author is, and what the author does. Then I show him the words on the front cover as well as throughout the book.
      • I tell him who the illustrator is and what an illustrator does; and then I point to the pictures on the front cover and throughout the book. I explain that the pictures always depict an illustration that matches the text.
      • As we read the book, I point to all the words as I read them and talk about the illustrations on the page.
      • I always ask Paul to turn the page, and when we reach the back cover; we talk about it and I explain that we have reached the end of the book.
  2. Teaching Letter and Sound Knowledge.
    • I am currently teaching Paul about the alphabet by helping him to identify letters; their shapes; and their sounds. We are currently working on the letter P.
  3. Teaching Vocabulary.
    • When Matt and I speak to Paul, we speak to him in full sentences and use simple and complex language. The more language he is exposed to, the more language he will acquire. The more he hears language being spoken to him and, later, the more he practices language; the better his understanding of semantics, syntax, and phonology will become.
  4. Teaching that there is a purpose for learning to read and write.
    • Paul sees Matt and I reading and writing. We always explain why we are reading; why we are writing; and why it is important to read and write.

There are many elements of literacy that need to be understood before acquiring literacy achievement. By showing Paul that we value language, reading and writing; that there is a purpose for learning how to read and write; and by teaching him the above skills from an early age; we are ensuring the he is learning the foundational skills required for literacy achievement.

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Thank you for reading! I hope that you have a happy Wednesday! =D

Meet My Little Rays of Sunshine =D

 

 

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Good afternoon and happy Saturday! Welcome to my very happy classroom =D Pictured above is my classroom’s “Ray of Sunshine” wall, and all of those rays shining from the sun are my wonderful students. To create a safe space in the classroom for all students, it is important to teach the students what a community is, who is part of a community, and how to act in a community. Students need to be taught these skills and qualities, and through practice, these skills and qualities become a part of their daily life. By discussing the “Ray of Sunshine” wall on the first day of school, a sense of community was immediately established within my classroom. The wall says, “Let’s fill our classroom with rays of sunshine. We appreciate all of the acts of kindness that you do!” The sun started out with four rays of sunshine: Love, Respect, Empathy, and Kindness. Every time a teacher witnesses a student engaging in an interaction that is particularly respectful, kind, empathetic, or loving, the teacher announces to the class, for example, “Toddlers, we have a ray of sunshine. Student A fell down and Student B walked over and helped him stand up. That was so kind and thoughtful to help your friend stand up Student B. Excellent job Student B for being so kind and thoughtful!” The verbal praise is immediately followed by a long applause from the classroom community. Becoming a ray of sunshine encourages and strengthens both the student’s social emotional development and positive social interactions.

      Later in the day, I will prepare the student’s “Ray of Sunshine” card by writing the student’s positive actions on a red, yellow, orange or pink card and taping his picture on it. During group time later in the week, I will flip through the cards and say,”What do I have in my hands?” Students will ecstatically respond, “rays of sunshine!” I will then build up suspense by saying, “I wonder who the rays of sunshine are today” while continuing to flip through the cards. Then, I will flip one card over so they can see the picture. I will say, “Who is it?” and they always excitedly call out the student’s name. After they announce the name, I will repeat the student’s name and read his “ray of sunshine” card to the class. This is followed by a long applause and cheers from the classroom community. I love all of my students with all of my heart, and it is so rewarding to see them desire the intrinsic reward of feeling proud and amazing about themselves for engaging in a respectful, kind, empathetic, or loving interaction with another person.
What did you do today to become a ray of sunshine? =D

Hello There! =D

Good evening and happy Saturday! My name is Sandra, I am a teacher, and the purpose of this blog is to share personal educational and teaching experiences to help aspiring teachers, colleagues, parents and anyone else who is interested in and passionate about early childhood education. In this blog, I will share my current Philosophy of Education; personal experiences in my classroom; how I develop curriculum; my lesson plans; pictures of students work and progress; behavior management protocols that I use in my classroom; how my classroom is set up; a description of why each center is developmentally appropriate; the value of including parents in the classroom; how I incorporate topics of social justice in everyday activities; how I teach students math, science, literacy, etc; reflections on each topic; etc. I hope that you find this blog helpful and resourceful!

 

Philosophy of Education:
     Providing students with an enriching and encouraging educational experience is essential to their academic success. It is important that every student has the opportunity to receive an exceptional education. However, due to the standards of individual schools, many students are forced to attend an educational institution that does not provide the experiences that will allow them to succeed, much less excel. The purpose of Early Childhood Education is to provide each student with the necessities that will allow him to succeed. The most essential element that schools should provide are teachers that want to encourage and motivate their students’ to strive and excel in any endeavor they partake in. One of the great inspirations which led to my interest in pursuing a career in teaching was the low quality of my elementary and secondary school education. Coming from an urban area where education is often overlooked has provided me with both a realistic understanding of the classroom and the place of the teacher as well as the methods which work best in improving the relationship between teacher and student.
I genuinely believe that everyone has the potential to excel in school as long as the teacher creates a safe and encouraging environment where the students can take risks and build confidence in themselves. There is a large population of students that are often surrounded by negativity and need a support system, and unfortunately, many of these students come from disadvantaged and low income households. As a result, they come to school with no support from home and depend on school for that support. When they come to a school that fails to provide this support, students are often discouraged about the potential that lies within themselves which could then cause them to lack interest in school.

As a teacher of early childhood education, I believe there are key elements that need to be incorporated into the classroom to secure a safe, nurturing, positive, and enriching learning environment for students. First, I believe it is essential to establish a sense of community within the classroom the moment the students enter and teach the students exactly what it means to be a part of a community. We will discuss important topics such as acceptance of diversity, respect of each other’s beliefs and opinions, empathy, and what it means to be a part of a safe space. Morning meeting will be structured to talk about these topics and used as a time for students to discuss anything that they feel compelled to talk about, especially topics of social justice. Second, my curriculum will be designed to incorporate topics of social justice that are impacting my students in their everyday lives. It will be taught using examples that are meaningful, enjoyable, and relevant to the students in my classroom to encourage inquiry, focus and interest during whole and small group instruction. Third, each lesson will be differentiated to meet each student’s learning needs and I will use both informal and formal assessment after every lesson to check if students are mastering concepts. These are the strategies that I plan to use to create an enriching, safe, and encouraging classroom environment where students can build the confidence that they need to be successful in school.