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Rethinking Infant Curriculum

January 19, 2021

“Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.” Jess Lair

No two infants develop at the same pace. The ability to sit, crawl, and eventually, to walk, are all driven by an innate timetable.

Because of this, an infant curriculum cannot be some watered down version of preschool with prescribed lesson plans, but must be fluid and responsive to the needs of each individual child.

Focusing on the daily “contexts” in which learning occurs in the classroom—the play space, care routines, and interactions—instead of on a lesson plan, allows the infant teacher the freedom to create the optimal environment for the children in her care. Mary Jane Macguire-Fong explains how to thoughtfully plan each of these three areas to facilitate development. Read here.

Numeracy

Developing an Understanding for Numbers

January 12, 2021

“Listen! I can count! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10! Want me to go higher?”

While rattling off and performing this riddle thrills the proud parents, a child’s ability to recite this abstract sequence does not indicate a mastery of numeracy any more than reciting the alphabet would indicate the ability to read.

A foundation in mathematics comes from an understanding of mathematical concepts. Far more than simply counting, this includes sorting, comparing, patterning, and classifying. These are all skills which can be encouraged through play with everyday objects or materials.

“A child who fails to build this foundation,” writes Dr. Marcy Guddemi, “will struggle once rote memorization is no longer sufficient.” Read more.

At the Start of a New Year

January 5, 2021

No one could have predicted the curve ball that derailed everyone’s plans for 2020. Now, at the start of a new year, the future is still uncertain as we continue to adapt and respond on a daily basis to the volatile movement of a virus.

Fortunately, inspired educators can find learning in just about every circumstance—including the challenges of the last months. One of the biggest hurdles for many in early childhood was required mask wearing. How can we share our emotions, empathy, directions with the children in our care with a piece of cloth covering half our face?

Read Carol Garboden Murray’s surprising reflections and revelations here: The Expressive Art of Caring.

Glue Ornament

Translucent Christmas Ornaments

Posted by: Rhonda December 8, 2020

Swirling food color into wet glue is a classic Pinterest favorite. Here's a new and unique seasonal twist you'll want to try.

This project is great for any kids Pre-K or older. Adults will find it irresistible as well. Find out how to make them here.

Sensory Integration

In Defense of Active Learning

Posted by: Rhonda December 1, 2020

If you hadn’t ridden a bike in five years, would you still be able to do it? What if you hadn’t heard the capital of Peru for five years? What are the chances you would still be able to correctly recall it?

We retain 80 percent of what we experience physically or sensorially, but only 10 percent of what we just read. Shouldn’t that be defense enough for active learning? Read more from Rae Pica.