We decided to make our own light table for the classroom. We have very handy dad/husbands who help us out around the classroom. We come up with the ideas and they find a way to create/build it for us.
We bought the light kit at Lowes. It comes with a remote and we can change the color of the lights. We bought accessories on Amazon for the light table. The Plexiglas was bought at the local Menards, and comes in various sizes.
We had a wooden table one of the husbands built four years ago and it has housed sand, crushed up water bottles(sand like texture) Blocks, play food and dinosaurs. Now it has transformed into a light table! We put the light table in one half of the wooden table and then left the other side open to place our light table accessories.
Is it really a behavioral disorder or, have we as a society just forgotten what normal childhood looks like?
The rates of Early Childhood diagnosis in behavioral disorders has substantially increased. But why? Whats happening to our children? or is it us? Are we looking to into things, are we forgetting as educators what it means to be a child?
I will tell you this, in all of my years teaching preschool. I have never given up on a child. At this point I like to say that my specialty is getting through to the children everyone else has given up on. I have lost other parents in my program because they are upset with me for not kicking out a child who hits, or throws tantrums, or who screams, or who does not get along with their child.
My job as a preschool teacher is to teach children the skills to work with their peers, understand their personal emotions and how to express them in the right way in any given situation. I have a background in child development, I know that children need positive guidance and help, and some children need more time than others when learning new social skills, or any skills for that matter.
We all grow at our own pace. So how does it help to kick a child out of my preschool because he pinches every time someone takes a toy from him? It doesn't help either child! What helps is me stepping in to offer guidance so both children learn how to better help the situation.
Children who get frustrated and bite shouldn't be kicked out, maybe they don't have the vocabulary yet to express how they are feeling. There are so many situations and so many more solutions to try before kicking a child out of care. Giving up is not the answer.
Do you feel the same way? I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic! What do you believe?
Since beginning in my career of ECE. I have always been concerned with my states lack of interest in the early years. I have often wondered why we once had an NAEYC affiliate but now we do not. I never took the time to stop and ask questions. My children were small, I was building my business, and still a college student getting my masters, there was always and excuse I gave myself. Now that I'm done with school. I feel more of a push to use my time advocating for some change.
I am thankful for the NAEYC's Hello community chat room. I was able to post a question last night about why Wyoming no longer has a chapter and I received two responses already, one from NAEYC, and the other from a former Wyoming NAEYC board member. I got some questions answered!
(If you have not used the Hello chat board on NAEYC's website. I highly recommend it!)
Now that I am in touch with a former board member, I am hoping to bring NAEYC back to the providers in Wyoming. Our state NEEDS this!
Tell me about your affiliate! do you have an affiliate in your state? Are you a member? How do meetings work? How do you support one another? Educate me!
I have been looking for a way to help my students learn about historical figures, different continents,etc. I've decided to create education posters! Our continent right now is Europe. Today with the children's help, we created a Europe poster. We printed maps, we printed out a picture of European flags, we found animals specific to Europe, we added facts about Europe and attached flashcards of European landmarks. The European landmarks cards are attached with poster tack so that they can be removed from the poster board and the backs of the cards can be read.
The kids enjoyed gathering information, coming up with ideas, they enjoyed the facts I read about Europe. It was their first research project! I learned that this was the best way for me to help them understand what I had been trying to teach them all along.
I plan to create more posters with them as the year goes on. The next poster is going to be on a historical figure. I was thinking, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Marie curie even! The list can go on forever! How do you teach these topics in your classroom?
Do you have sneaky Leprechauns that visit your classroom every year? WE do!
Every year the Leprechauns sneak in to leave a disaster for us to clean up. The crayons are dumped out, books on the floor, table turned over, chairs hanging from the ceiling (yes, HANGING from the ceiling!) and to top it off they leave gold glitter EVERYWHERE! (our vacuum HATES us!)
They also use our toilets and leave their foot prints on our toilet, and would you believe it they don't flush either and they have green pee!
The kids are delighted and mad all at the same time. They get to mad about the Leprechauns ruining there space. Most of them take it all in and then start cleaning up right away they are so bothered. Then we talk about it for a week afterwards.
Cleaning up after the Leprechauns takes some time, but the kids are always willing to help. They love to vaccum!
How do you explain the benefits of play to parents, community members or even politicians? Tell them this...
If someone were to walk into your classroom and see children playing, and ask you why they are playing, what would your answer be? Many of us who have been teaching for years on end, already have sh-peel for this, because we have been asked this question so many times!
When your profession is not young children you seem to not know how important play is or you have forgotten, even though you used to be a child, and you turned out the way you did because someone, be it a parent, grandparent, or teacher, let you PLAY!!
It is now the job of the early childhood educator to not only teach the child but also teach or remind the parent that play is part of their child education, it is the most important part. So what should you say? Try this....
Play and learning are not two different activities, they are one and the same.
The classroom environment, the teacher plans and activities are all designed with specific learning goals in mind. The child gets to feel like that are just playing a new game and exploring something new and the teacher gets to teach them new skills along the way.
Social skills are developed through play, this is a chance for teachers to help children learn the steps to work out their issues. When children play the learn to collaborate, they negotiate and learn to solve problems.
When children play, they learn to take on new roles, we see their attention spans lengthen and they become more confident when coexisting with their peers.
Even writing and reading skills are learned through play. When children re tell familiar stories to a friend or doll, or when they draw out a map for a treasure hunt, they are learning these skills that will help them succeed at becoming successful readers and writers!
If saying all this doesn't stop them in their tracks and change their thought on the importance of play, you can simply keep going. Tell them what you know about play and how it has shaped the children in your care. Give them examples of growth through play that you have seen with your own eyes, everyday!
This is something I keep seeing over and over again in my classroom. We get a student that is misunderstood, new to the preschool environment, still in the early stages of building their social skills. They do not yet understand how to properly express themselves or work through a situation, they may not be as advanced in their social skills as their other peers in the classroom. They hit someone, or push someone, or say something rude. Then all of a sudden this child has been labeled by the others as "mean" and they tell anyone who will listen to them that this child is mean and be careful do not play with them.
How do you handle this in your classroom? What do you say to the child and what do you say to the other children?
We devote time daily to address issues just like this with all of our students. We have social emotional discussion time, this usually is during a circle time. We ask questions like, "How would you feel if you came over and sat next to someone to play and they called you mean and walked away?" , "How would you feel if someone told you, that you were not their friend?" We ask questions and let those questions lead us on a discussion about friendships, and what it means to be a good friend, how a good friend should treat us, how to work out issues/conflict with a friend,etc. These times help us explain to our students that they need to give one another a chance. That they cannot just label someone, and ignore them. That they cannot just judge someone based on someone else's opinion. We talk about understand our peers are still learning a particular skill and they can help by doing,etc, We remind them they might have done the same thing. We TALK it out. We don't tell them what they need to do or say, but we help them talk through it and come up with their own conclusion through questions, and asking them how they would feel in the other persons shoes.
Tell me what you do in your classroom to help support positive friendships? To stop labeling and help children problem solve?