Saturday, September 10, 2011

What do you actually teach children that young?

I always dread when parents ask me this question.  The first thought is “If you are not sure why you enrolled your child, then you probably shouldn’t have done it”. It is so hard for parents to realize that children learn through play. I believe in developmentally appropriate practice so we do not have worksheets or television.

Everything I have in my class is set up in centers to allow for exploration, problem solving, and investigation. It is important to keep fresh, new items out for the children to be interested. They also need to know how and what the toy’s purpose is. I like to think of myself as a mediator and a moderator. I patrol the room and search for teachable moments or places that might need guidance.

Children in my room will hopefully grow more confident in socially situations. I like to help children learn to express their feelings and maneuver their way through uncomfortable situations. Most times, this is their first time away from their parents and they are extremely anxious. It is important for them to realize that their parents always come back.

Another goal for children in my class is for them to become more socially aware. It can be difficult to share or work in a group if it has never been required of you.

The children in my class start to learn to acknowledge and obey other adults. We meet several adults in our time at school, the music teacher, director, substitutes, youth minister, and other teachers.

Of course we will learn colors, shapes, basic math skills, new vocabulary, songs, learn how to walk in a line, cross the street, clean up after themselves, drink from cups, potty train, etc, but it is important to foster the whole child’s needs in order to truly teach them.

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