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Copy of The Growing Patch: Preschool Program Design
Transcript of Copy of The Growing Patch: Preschool Program Design
At The Growing Patch, the staff values the diverse culture of the classroom. Basic social and cognitive activities among the 3-4 year old age groups will be implemented so no child feels left behind or left out.
The Growing Patch:
The Growing Patch believes that Social Development is an emergent skill for children. Teachers will work to develop the skills that will lead to proper communication with others, as well as the ability to establish and maintain relationships with others.
The Growing Patch understands that preschool children ages 3-4 is a very critical time in fine and gross motor skill development (Berk, 2012). Preschoolers love physical activities including running, jumping, dancing, and skipping. Some of the development milestones that are covered at The Growing Patch are rolling and bouncing a ball, holding a pencil, developing motor skills, and learning to climb.
One of the most important cognitive developments that happen at preschool age is the development of symbolic thought (Seefieldt & Wasik, 2006). Symbolic thought involves the ability to represent concrete objects, actions and events (Seefieldt & Wasik, 2006).
October 29, 2012
The mission of The Growing Patch is to provide a safe and supportive educational environment for diverse families of preschool children. The focus of the program is to meet the physical, social, cognitive and emotional needs of the children through an intellectually designed curriculum. The Growing Patch staff strives to encourage children to learn and grow through healthy exploration in play and socialization.
In The Growing Patch classrooms, teachers will take into account the needs of any students with special disabilities or needs whether that might be language issues (ELL or ESL) or emotional, mental or physical issues (Berk, 2012).
In The Growing Patch's classrooms, space is plentiful and inviting! Each area of the room is devoted to providing opportunities for learning through play and technology.
The Growing Patch recognizes that children three to four years old are able to display a wide range of emotions as well as learn to use appropriate classifications such as mad, sad, happy, or even just ‘okay’ to differentiate their moods or feelings (Berk, 2012). During these preschool years, the emotional states of children are very situation-specific; therefore, their moods change rapidly as they switch from one activity to another.
According to Seefieldt & Wasik “Three-year-olds and some young four-year-olds are considered pre-operational thinkers, which means that they rely solely on the concrete appearance of objects rather than ideas, they focus on only one relationship at a time, and they often see things from only one point of view—their own” (2006, para. 2).
Preschoolers think with their eyes, ears, hands and other sensorimotor equipment (Berk, 2012). This is why The Growing Patch classrooms and curriculum focuses on these concepts to help develop them in their cognitive growth.
he Multiple Intelligence Classroom: Matching Your Teaching Methods With How Students Learn. New Teachers Handbook. Retrieved from http://teachersnetwork.org/media/NTHchapterbenna.htm
Hillman, C. (1989). Creating a Learning Climate for the Early Childhood Years, Fastback Series
Retrieved October 21, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://quotes.dictionary.com/A_positive_learning_climate_in_a_school_for
Seefieldt, C. & Wasik, B., (2006). Cognitive Development in Preschoolers. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-development-preschoolers
An activity that a 3 year old will participate in at The Growing Patch will be an activity that requires the preschooler to create a pattern. Teachers will have them use different shaped sponges and have them paint the pattern in a certain order, such as square, square, circle triangle. They might use different color paints for each shape. Another project will be to listen to a story, follow the events and then cut and paste the pictures of the events in the order that it happened.
K-3 Cognitive Activity
An activity that a 4 year old will participate in at The Growing Patch will require the preschool to use Dramatic Play or make-believe play. Every quarter a section of the room will be set up as special play area such as a service center where the children can pretend to be mechanics and fix a car, cook in a kitchen or shop at a grocery store and pay with play money. Another fun activity is dressing up in costumes and role-playing.
K-4 Cognitive Activity
"A positive learning climate in a school for young children is a composite of many things. It is an attitude that respects children. It is a place where children receive guidance and encouragement from the responsible adults around them. It is an environment where children can experiment and try out new ideas without fear of failure. It is an atmosphere that builds children's self-confidence so they dare to take risks. It is an environment that nurtures a love of learning."
Carol Hillman, (1989)
20th Century Early Childhood Educator
Here at the Growing Patch, teachers stress the importance of clear communication, sharing, compromise, turn taking, and patience. Each of these skills will be displayed and their importance emphasized throughout the center (Berk, 2012). The center and its activities will aid students in the development of these skills.
The 3 year olds at the Growing Patch will practice their social development skills with interactive play and activities, while educators focus on sharing as a 3 year-old skill, children will play with a variety of toys and games focusing on working in a group with interactive feel. Make believe is starting to surface with children at age 3 and a tea party is a great way to bring make believe into the group.
Manners & Negotiation Skills
The tea party will bring children together at the table while allowing for communication on their day so far and the use of polite words like ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’. The sand table is another interactive play activity that brings the children together while requiring they share the toys available and patiently wait for their friend to be finished with a toy they may want.
The 4 year olds at The Growing Patch will practice their social development skills with cooperative play and activities. The 4 year-olds will be prompted to build a fire station out of large blocks and act out a scene of saving a cat, or stuffed animal, from a nearby house fire. This activity will prompt children to work together as a group to build and solve a problem.
Clear communication and teamwork is critical between builders and fire fighters! Cooperation by all will be necessary to save the stuffed animal.
Communication & Teamwork Skills
As children develop, there is an increasing internalization and regulation over their emotions as they learn to use language skills to express emotion. Children struggle with separating feelings from actions; this is why The Growing Patch is determined to aid children in the process of learning to strengthen verbal skills.
As children grow emotionally, they learn to delay gratification and control impulsivity (Berk, 2012). Teachers at this level at The Growing Patch will read to children age-appropriate books about feelings – both involving the recognition of emotions and actions that result because of them. During reading, teachers will stop at critical points and ask stimulating questions that encourage children to analyze motivations and appropriate actions.
K-3 Emotional Activity
Doing this not only fosters a sense of empathy with the characters in the books, it also encourages understanding of abstract concepts relating to emotions.
Here at The Growing Patch, teachers understand that 4 Year-olds are beginning to express their emotions more verbally than physically. Our educators will be using activities to show children the proper way to express those emotions. Using a puppet theater, children will watch educators act out a skit involving some emotional puppets. Each act will displace different emotions and how the puppets properly display those emotions to others. Children will then have the chance to act out the part of an emotional puppet while an educator acts as the other puppet.
K-4 Emotional Activity
Over time children will witness the good and bad ways to express their emotions while seeing the other puppets reaction to the good and bad actions.
K-3 Social Activity
K-4 Social Activity
K-3 Physical Activity
Teachers at The Growing Patch would use arts and crafts to help with fine motor skills of a 3 year old age group. Painting and drawing will be some of the activities that would be done to help strengthen their hands, coordination, and get them used to using them.
K-4 Physical Activity
Teachers at The Growing Patch would use a balance and coordination activity such as hopping on one foot, a circus tight rope on the ground, or incorporating races. Obstacle courses are another excellent activity to encourage physical activity and strengthen gross motor skills with the 4 year old age group as well to help with their coordination skills.
Dramatic Play = Real life Skills
Dramatic play provides many wonderful opportunities for children to practice symbolic thought (Seefieldt & Wasik, 2006). Children who participate in dramatic play and pretend play are really practicing social and emotional skills, as well as building physical and cognitive skills.
Reasoning & Thinking Skills
Children at this age possess concrete thinking skills so activities focusing on recognizing patterns, sorting, and categorizing are necessary to the development of thinking and reasoning skills.
Teachers and administration of The Growing Patch believe that technology enhances the cognitive and social learning experiences for children. In The Growing Patch classrooms, technology is represented by iPads and an Apple tv, a computer station, and a functional kid-size kitchen.
The teachers at The Growing Patch enjoy a functional kitchen for the classroom. With the flip of a switch, it can go from a supervised functional kitchen with electricity and running water to a safe, dramatic play kitchen.
Preschoolers respond to visual technology. . Additionally, they are in the beginning stages of developing hand-eye coordination, so operating just one device like a mouse is appropriate for their developing minds and hands.
iPads and an Apple TV are wonderful interactive devices to promote hand and eye coordination skills. Also, preschool children can further learning through fun by playing letter, word or counting games individually or collectively.
The staff at The Growing Patch provides a warm, nurturing environment that focuses on learning through interactive technology and dramatic play.
The teachers at The Growing Patch provide supportive, cooperative learning activities that address the emerging emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development skills in preschool children.
In conclusion, the staff at The Growing Patch is committed to providing opportunities for children to experiment, investigate, create, and discover the world around them through stimulated play.
The Learning Tree is the main focus of the room, where children gather to sing, select jobs for the day, and learn together.
Children may select books to read, play games on the computer or work in dyadic groups of 2 or more with iPads with the Apple TV.
The Dramatic Play area of the classroom encourages children to develop symbolic thought processes. Through play, children are able to practice real life scenarios as well as role play.
The table area is a happening place! Here, students enjoy meals and snack while learning table manners and procedures. They also enjoy craft time, centers, and a mobile science unit.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence
Teachers who employ Gardner’s theory create an environment rich in opportunity for children to excel; learning styles vary so it only makes sense that children enjoy different approaches to learning more than others.
How do Multiple Intelligences affect an elementary teacher’s pedagogical style?
strive to motivate students
desire that students achieve success
long for students who can easily recall pertinent information
through multiple intelligence-based methods
Using a multi-sensory pedagogical style will only improve student comprehension and knowledge retention (Berk, 2012). Diversity in the average elementary classroom is ever-changing from year to year; this affects how teachers perceive the individuals and motivate them to succeed.
What does implementing strategies for Multiple Intelligences look like in an elementary classroom?
Examples of activities using linguistic intelligence include:
Verbal/Linguistic intelligence involves the use of written and oral language.
•Writing in a journal using prompts
•Reading poetry or writing poetry, stories, ideas, or thoughts
•Composing and acting out plays – both historic or current
•Creating analogies to explain concepts.
•Invite a speaker, then interview using creative questions
Examples of number activities include:
Mathematical intelligence involves the use of logical systems and cognitive reasoning.
Conduct research and experiments
Create crossword puzzles and games
Explore with manipulatives
Investigate math problems and find creative solutions
Learn to use organizers to categorize information
Examples of music activities include:
Rhythmic intelligence involves the creation of or listening to musical patterns.
Playing an instrument
Composing music and lyrics
Singing all types of songs
Exploring different styles and musical cultures
Creating a rhythmic solution for knowledge retention
Examples of movement activities include:
Body/Kinesthetic intelligence involves the use of body motion through focused play.
Body/ Kinesthetic Activities
•Role playing or dramatic play
•Going on field trips to appropriate sites
•Participating in learning centers
•Participating in outdoors games
•Playing charades with vocabulary words or definitions
Examples of spatial activities include:
Visual/Spatial intelligence involves the ability to conceptualize space appropriately.
•Drawing or painting a picture
•Making a 3-D model
•Creating colorful designs, shapes, and patterns
•Taking photographs or taping with a video camera
•Building a shadow box or diorama display
Examples of nature activities include:
Naturalist intelligence involves the ability to observe nature.
•Nature walks – and then classifying findings
•Forecasting and tracking the weather
•Observing and recording the sky, clouds, stars, and space
•Hiking in natural surroundings
•Caring for plants and animals
By providing elementary students with instructional opportunities in varied learning methods allows them to discover individual interests and unique talents during pre-school and elementary school years (Golubtchik, 2008).
Examples of personal activities:
Silent Sustained Reading
Intrapersonal intelligence involves the exploration and understanding of oneself, with the intent of improvement.
•Writing personal reactions to one’s surroundings
•Completing independent assignments
•Researching topics of personal interest
•Writing first-person accounts of events
Examples of social activities include:
Interpersonal intelligence involves understanding the nature and motivations of others.
•Working effectively in dyadic groups
•Sharing and interactive play/work
•Peer-to-peer & teacher-to-student communication
In the process of researching the inclusion of multiple intelligences in my future pedagogical style of teaching, I discovered the term ‘authentic classroom’; to me, this means an elementary classroom that is reflective of learning in the world around us. Rather than factoring multiple intelligences into my teaching style, I believe it is important that I base my teaching methods and strategies on them – just as we all learn in real world scenarios. Because each person has some capabilities in every area, I know that including M.I. strategies is the best way to provide students opportunity for mastering skills and gaining/retaining knowledge.
These activities can be used in increasing difficulty in Grades 1-6
Elementary students typically respond well to lessons using music, dance and rhythm.
It is critical for physical and mental health for children to engage in kinesthetic activities.
Children in grades 1-6 not only enjoy these types of activities, it helps them to gain a conceptual understanding of space and the world around them.
Children gain an increasing understanding of the natural world and their impact upon it.
Children in grades 1-6 do not tend to examine themselves or intrinsic motivations too closely, so building on these skills is very important.
Children desire to fit in, to be liked, and to succeed in peer relationships.
L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Golubtchik, B. (2008). T