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primary abq

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Vicky Meakings

on 7 August 2014

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Transcript of primary abq

The Primary Learner
Module 1
Cultivating Self Esteem
What is play?
What is Emotional Development?
Children's self worth is a fundamental aspect to learning and growing.
It is a teacher's job to ensure that in their classroom each child feels a sense of worth and belonging.

"Self Esteem" - the way one feels about oneself; how much like oneself; it is the positive regard or good opinion we have about ourselves. (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 89)
"It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Play: recreational activity; especially : the spontaneous activity of children. (Mirriam- Webster Dictionary)

Play is:
spontaneous and self directed
intrinsically motivated
letting children make choices
encouragement of exploration
imaginative, creative, and can involve fantasy and make believe
flexible (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 61-62)
Emotional Intelligence: the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 30)

Being able to recognize the emotional well being of students is a key skill that teachers need to have.

Emotions play a critical role in how children learn; negative emotions can be linked to lackluster performance in the classroom. If a student comes into a classroom in a poor mood, angry, or sadness, the likelihood of high performance is low.

In turn a positive mood and happiness can provide a higher level of performance
When we are sad or angry, how much work do we get done compared to when we are happy and excited? The same can possibly said for children.
Positive self esteem? But how?
Creating a warm, safe, and non judgemental classroom
Showing, as a teacher, that we too have self esteem, modeled behaviour is key!
Acknowledgment of personal success, failure, and mistakes by the teacher, letting them know it is OK to make mistakes (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 93.)
Everyone has a purpose, show children that they have a purpose too
The transition of teacher centred learning to a more independent learning approach,
Risk Taking

“What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”- Elanor Roosevelt
The ability to take risks and not having the fear of failure helps to foster a child's self esteem.
If there is a constant fear of failure, a child will never want to take part in activities and class discussion and the sense of belonging will be destroyed.
Some times building self esteem is the ability to give a little pep talk when it's needed...
What do children need to build self esteem?
Rules and guidelines that make sense to the children- if they don't make sense how do we expect them to be followed?
Encouragement of their individual thoughts and opinions- should we stifle opinion if it doesn't match ours?
R-E-S-P-E-C-T .. it is EXPECTED as a teacher, should it not be expected as a student?
Why is self esteem important for primary learners, and everyone?
"Feelings of belonging enhance students’ self-esteem and can contribute both directly and indirectly to improvements in academic and behavioural functioning and overall mental health." (Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario, pg 4)
Having self esteem and a positive self worth allows students to have the ability to strive in unfavourable conditions, both in and out of the school setting.
Self esteem, when carried over to adolescence and adulthood, has a major impact on that person.
Adolescence is the time of major change, both physically and mentally, having a positive self image and worth helps to provide a mental framework to navigate a tumultuous time.
Self Esteem and the Primary Learner
The Role of Play
How does play help children learn?
Developmental Stages of Play
Otto Weininger
Helps children develop:
verbalization- trying to get your point across
vocabulary language- hearing new words
attention span- enjoyment prolongs attention span
imagination- get creative control of what you are doing
problem solving strategies- without teacher involvement
cooperation- working together with peers (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 65)

Early play is attributed to readiness for school. They learn cooperation prior to entering school, which allows for a more seamless entry. (Importance of Being Playful, pg 1)
How to use play in the primary/ junior classroom
Small groups for problem solving- allows for students to see different views, opinions, and ideas. (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 66)

Technology- integral for play in the older grades. Use of Smart boards for interactive play based learning.

Kinesthetic toys- play doh, sand, and water activities allow for different learners to build and create with like minded learners.

Sports- encourages cooperation, team based play, sportsmanship, play is now organized and children now play by rules vs. free play.
Forms of Play from the
Ontario Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program- pg14
Some classroom strategies that I have personally used to help build self esteem is the "compliment sandwich".
You cushion a negative or "needs improvement" area with 2 positive ones, this way the last thought they are left with is positive. Eg. "I love how you stayed on the lines in your journal, next time lets try and stretch the sounds out for your words, I also really liked how neat your printing is today"

Another strategy that seems to work with primary students is "a wish and a star." You tell them one thing that was great (the star), and one thing you would like them to work on (the wish). Giving a fun and non-threatening form of improvement can help build the confidence in a certain area where they may be weak.
Classroom Strategies
Classroom Strategies
Personal experience has allowed me to use many forms of play in the classroom. Most recently I helped to construct a farm themed play centre designed for role play, kinesthetic play, independent play, and cooperative play.
The centre included:
A cardboard barn- children worked together to come up with the design for the outside them decorated it in small groups
Dress up western wear for role play
A mock chicken coupe with "hay" (shredded paper) for kinesthetic play
A book shelf devoted to farm themed books for independent reading, as well as a read to friend area.
A farm mural that started out blank and the children could add what they wanted to it for a creative and independent form of play
An incubator was also brought in to begin a life cycle unit that went along with our farm theme. The students were able to watch the eggs hatch and the chicks to grow
Emotional Development of Primary Learners
Erikson and Goleman
Emotional Intelligence
Strategies for the Classroom
Daniel Goleman explains EI
Play as Observable Behaviour
3 stages of play :
1) Functional: considered typical and "correct" form (use of toys in an expected way.
2) Symbolic: imaginary play (house, dress up games)
3) Games with rules: specific ways to play a game, rules and guidelines (board games, sports, cards, etc.)
(The Role of Play in Development, pg 2)

Play allows children to be themselves and be creative. It also allows for teachers to observe the social interactions of students, and the stage at which students are at. Anecdotal notes can be used during play as a form or assessment; evaluation in play is a bit more objective, some areas that could be evaluated are oral language, communication, and cooperating with others.
Every stage of this theory has a conflict that needs to be resolved before a child can move on to the next stage. The nature of each stage does not need to be positive to move on to the next stage, the majority of the resolution does have to be positive though, according to Erikson. (Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 30)

Goleman: Emotional development (ED) is looked at in a limited way. Goleman has added these 5 factors of emotional development to broaden what ED is:
Self awareness, mood management, self motivation, empathy, and managing relationships.
(Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 30)
In my personal experience teaching children to understand their emotions has made a huge impact in the class room. As an EA at the primary level, I have been able to use systems to help children identify their emotions and help to regulate them.

I have used programs like PECS for no verbal children so that they can "tell" me how they are feeling.

I have also used a "check -in" program for students. They place their name on either a level 1,2, or 3, as they enter the classroom. Level 1 which is green, is ready to learn and in positive space. Level 2, yellow, is not in great space but not in a negative space, a middle of the road type level. Level 3, red, is not in positive space (sad, angry, bad mood, etc). Once all children have picked where they are emotionally, we discuss why each of them is where they on the chart. This allows children an emotional release and to explain why they feel this way, and for the teacher to know where the students are and if there is negative behaviour a possible reason why it is happening.
Assimilation, Accommodation, and Equilibrium
There needs to be a balance between assimilation and accommodation to create equilibrium. Play contributes to development because of the ongoing balancing between assimilation and accommodation

Schema: existing knowledge, preconceived ideas

Assimilation: child uses an existing schema on the world (play, child pretends)

Accommodation: modifying the schema to fit the world (imitation, children while playing imitate something they have seen or repeat a past activity)

Equilibration: creating the right balance between assimilation and accommodation. Process of self correction and self regulation.
(Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 14)
Classroom Applications
Teachers can help students evolve their emotional development by doing the following:

be a positive role model of emotional health
encourage self expression through the arts (drama, dance, music, art)
teach cooperation
give responsibility to the students
having class meetings
encourage sharing of beliefs and feelings
encourage risk taking
teaching how to self and peer evaluate using honesty and sensitivity
express the value of honesty and integrity
(Curriculum Theory and Methods, pg 31)
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