Thursday, November 10, 2011

Critical Literacies/ Already Ready

I thought that the critical literacies article was very interesting.  I was really thinking that the idea of have a cafe' for the children to practice the language would be a fun way to get them involved.  I think that too often we assume that children this young do not always have informed opinions.  We may assume that we, as teachers, know what is best for them without even asking them what they prefer.  I really liked that the children were encouraged to write a petition.  It is important that all children express their opinions and feel that they are being heard.

In the "already ready: article, I really liked the section on talking to students about the different parts and purposes of a book.  I think that many times young students may just look at picture and do not always understand what the rest of the book is about. In my head start room, the teacher always mentions who the author is and where the book was published.  I think that it is important that children are seeing these different sections in books. I also really liked the part where teachers would write down what the children said their pictures were. I appreciated that the teachers would write down, verbatim, what the student said.  It is great to expand on what the children are drawing or saying but we do not want to mix their words or influence what they say about a picture.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vivian Paley- NAEYC Convention

Many people have been quoting things that Vivian Paley said at the NAEYC Convention. Paley is the author of, "White Teacher." Some tweets have read, -" Timeout chair = Awkward method of education " #naeycAC #kinderchat and  "kindergarten children need to play...and they need to know there will be time for play" -Vivian Paley #naeycAC #kinderchat - Vivian Paley.

To cover the first tweet, I feel that the timeout chair is something that should not be used in the classroom.  I think that discipline is important in the classroom, but some parents may feel that this is very invasive. I think thta another method would be to take the child away from the bad situation. Also, you could take a "spin off" of the timeout chair and offer the child an area where they can be alone.

To cover the second tweet, I completely agree! Play is so important to me in my teching philosophy. I really want to end up teaching younger children. I know that it is so hard for these children to sit down in a chair all day. I think that if we keep the children actively engaged in play with learning, then they will be more successful in the classroom.

A is for Avatar

This article was very eye opening to the ideas of technology in the classroom.  Personally, I feel that technology in the classroom is wonderful.  I feel that children must know how to use word documents and conduct internet searches. I do not remember the last time that I was asked to do a project that did not require the use of technology. The thing that amazes me is that children know more about technology than we do. As we saw in a video (in one of our classes) a baby rubbed accross the front of a magazine because babies now are part of the "Ipad generation."  I think that we, as teachers, need to be aware that technology is rapidly changing.  I feel that children need to know the basics of education and the history of education, but we need to prepare them for the world that they will enter.  This world is surrounded by technology.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Castle in the Classroom

I have really enjoyed the continued reading in Castle over the past few weeks. I really have loved the way that lesson plans are done in this book.  The author shows that she plans units out far in advance.  The thing that I really like is that there is room for flexibility.  As we have all experienced, making lesson plans does not mean that the children will actually follow them to the "T."  This also does not mean that a lesson will last as long as we may have been originally hoping for it to last.  I have persoanlly experienced this with some of our assessment windows.  I have tried to make the actvity very engaging for the child that I am working with, but sometimes he will become disinterested before I had planned.  When this happens, I have tried to move to another activty and then maybe try and come back to this later on.  I think that it is good to follow the lead of the child in this case.  We want to make sure that children are not becoming bored wit what we have planned and then force them to continue!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Packs

I loved the idea of doing book packs! I think that this would be a wonderful way of getting children excited about reading again.  This is also something that parents can be involved in with their children.  I really like the idea of having activities that the children can do.  I think that this is a great way of using cimprehension methods. It is very fun when the children have something that they can do with the reading. This will keep them involved and focused on the task at hand.  This is also a way that parents can see what is going on and being discussed in the classroom!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Child's Interest

It is so important in the classroom to explore literature that the children are interested in. It will be much more productive in the classroom when students are allowed to pick books that they find interest in. As they get older they will most likely start using "level readers" and will start to lose the love for reading. While we have them when they are young, we need to make sure that we are starting that loving foundation for reading.  Again, we discussed more finger plays in the classroom. I think that it would be wonderful to find texts that the children love and then make a finger play as a class for that book. This is something that will get them more interested in the book. This will also help them to burn some energy because they will be able to get up and move around in the classroom.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finger Plays!

This week's class was so much fun! I really thought it was great that we did something creative like this. Finger plays will be a great learning strategy in the classroom. I did my finger play with a Raffi song. I had never heard the song before but I really enjoyed it. This weekend I got a chance to show my mom my finger play (she is a teacher) and she thought that it was a great idea. I think that we could really make something like this in our classrooms with children that were a little older. If we wanted to do it with younger children then they could pick out everything they wanted and then we as the teachers could glue everything on. 

Another fun idea would be to have parents come in and do this activity with their children. It would be great to have parents come in and pick a song and then design a puppet with their children. I think that it is always important to incorporate the parents in our activties. Having parents in the classroom is very important to me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Story Hour

This past week we witnessed Story Hour at the local library. This is something that I have been a part of before, working with a daycare over the summer. It was great to see all of the resources that were available in the library. The class got to listen to stories and participate in discussions and sing-a-longs.  I really felt that the leaders were able to engage and keep the student's attention. The stories were vividly told and always had some type of media that went along with them. I really think that using multimedia in the classroom in so important. This use means that students will not have to be particiapting in the same thing over and over again. They were able to traditionally listen to a story, watch movie about a book, and draw illustrations to a book that was being presented.  The one thing I would see concern with would be the length. The story time was an hour long, and as the library assitant mentioned, this can be very long for some of the younger viewers. Over all I felt that this would be something exciting for children and could be a wonderful field trip that they could participate in, since children really need to be given a chance to get out of the classroom. I encourage all parents to look into this experience and also to seek out the resources that the children's section has to offer. It truly is a safe place where children can be actvitely engaged!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Language of a Child

Language is so interesting when it deals with children. Many parents can start to understand what children want even just by certain sounds and inflections that infants make. I personally work at a daycare and there are so many children there that I communicate with on a daily basis. When we take the children somewhere else and others try to communicate with them, the adults often need me to interpret what the child is trying to say.  I thought that Chapter 1 did a great job of displaying what children think language is in Figure 1.1.  This figure talked about simple words that children say and how they can convey a certain whole meaning.  As teachers it is really important to get to know all the children in your class on a deeper level.  Many, if not all, of these children have the language they do based off what they have heard from home.  When we know about their home lives, we will better understand what a child may be referring to. For instance, Nora may say, "Doggie" and mean the dog she sees near the playground; whereas Tyler may say, "Sammy" and also mean dog because he knows of a dog named Sammy.  I found these chapters to be very helpful in thinking about the language of a child and how they can mean so much by just saying one word or small phrase.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Print in the Classroom

This past week in class I felt that we were able to have great discussion on the use of print an on commonly recognized signs.  First I would like to point out that after having done theprint excercises in class I would have to strongly agree that children see "print" at any writing stage that they are in.  I think that even when it may look like scribbling to us, they have made sense of the idea of writing and know what they are wanting to convey.  I think it is very important at this critical stage to encourage them to keep practicing but to also praise them for the work that they have already accomplished.  I think that see the stages of print in their informal writing will be key in understanding where they are academically!

I also found the discussion on signing to be very informative and enjoyable! I think it is great that we are going to "test" our theories on signing and see what children in our field placement will recognize.  I think that this is also an important time to see that repetativeness is key in learning for children.  Many times these children recognize a sign because they have seen in multiple times. In order for us to be effective in the classroom we need to make sure that children have seen the material over and over so that they gain some sense of recognition! All in all I found this week's activties to be fun and informative!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Third Space

This past week we talked about third space.  This is something that should be very evident to all future educators.  With my article, Nicole was a younger sibling that had trouble communicating with her peers.  She found that she could best communicate when younger children started the class and she could take them under her wing.  The teachers saw that she would warm up and allowed Nicole to spend time with these children.

As educators we will runinto children that may seem a little more on the shy side.  They may not be the ones that are very opinionated but we need to make sure that their needs are met and that their voices are heard.  I found this excercise in class to be very helpful and informative.  I have never really thought about integrating a child's home life with their intended success in my classroom.  After doing this activity, I think that I will research more into each child's home life and try my best to utilize their experiences positively in my classroom.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Social Learning

I felt that the article from class was very eye opening.  I personally agreed with my portion of the article that talked about the importance of allowing children to make mistakes.  My group talked about children that are discussing crabs but are spelling it in multiple ways.  The teacher is behind them listening but not telling them that they are wrong. It is very important to allow students to learn from their mistakes.  I think that there is a lot to be said for students learning from their peers.  In this example one student was saying that the spelling wuold be " krrbao" and another is disagreeing. 

On a personal note, I work at Knee High Daycare and children are always using terms in "incorrect" ways or spelling words in an unlikely way.  As instructors we need to encourage children's learning and  also encourage them to learn on their own and not just be "told" the correct answer by the teacher.  I have found this quote to be very meaningful in our discussion and throughout my experience in this program.  I feel that it can be used in many educational instances; especially this case:
"True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their
— Nikos Kazantzakis