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