Posts

Teaching Early Learners About Thanksgiving

Image
This is the time of year when I walk into early childhood classrooms to find teachers frustrated that their young students are not paying attention to the Thanksgiving book they selected.It is also common to walk into classrooms and see 3 and 4 year olds dutifully gluing feathers on turkeys.Inevitably, when I ask students what they are doing, they say, “Gluing feathers” and when I ask what they are making, most children don’t know.Even if they do know that they have been asked to make a turkey, very few have an answer to the question, “Why are you making a turkey for Thanksgiving?” nor can they answer the question, “What is Thanksgiving?What is it about?”
I know that Thanksgiving crafts are somewhat unavoidable – parents love them and, let’s be honest, they expect them.As a parent, it is nice to have holiday crafts to save.After all, their children won’t be doing handprint turkeys and gluing feathers for much longer.
As early childhood educators, we have to walk a fine line between doin…

A Discussion of How Socialization Opportunities for Children Have Changed

Image

Validating Children's Emotions and Eliminating Time Out (Video Clip)

Image
Recorded at my presentation at the Child Care Connection Conference.
In each generation, we shift to do better for our children based on what we know now. We have to continue to do that as we learn more about how children think, learn and develop a sense of self.
For more videos, blog access and information about my presentations/trainings, go to www.HelpingKidsAchieve.com.



New Furniture is Nice But Interactions and Teaching Process Actually Matter

Image
Appearances are not everything and in this social media world, we sometimes forget and focus on the wrong things. We are so used to pictures and appearance everywhere that we forget that what we see isn’t necessarily substance. This is particularly troublesome in the world of early childhood education.
I have toured the most magnificent buildings and heard teachers yelling at young children. I have been shown the new furniture and winced at the meaningless projects been done on them.I have admired the very expensive playground equipment while witnessing teachers barking at children, talking to each other and missing teachable moments.I have also been in preschools in at-risk neighborhoods that had older puzzles, blocks, furniture and fading paint but seen very meaningful interactions and deep learning.
Recently, several articles have been in newspapers, magazines and in social media about the importance of classroom setting.Yes, settings need to be developmentally appropriate offering …