Get Outside!

This recently published Toronto Star Article highlights the importance of getting outside and allowing children to take risks. Canadian children are spending more and more time indoors.

parents who over-supervise their children are minimizing their child’s resiliency, decision-making capabilities and executive functioning.

Why not take advantage of our beautiful country and head outdoors, rain or shine. Treasure hunts, exploration, nature walks, and most importantly, free and unstructured play.

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Let the Kids Learn Through Play

The stakes in this debate are considerable. As the skeptics of teacher-led early learning see it, that kind of education will fail to produce people who can discover and innovate, and will merely produce people who are likely to be passive consumers of information, followers rather than inventors. Which kind of citizen do we want for the 21st century? – DAVID KOHN

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html?_r=0

Rethinking Calendar Time

“If we look at the development of children’s understanding of time, there is little evidence that calendar activities that mark extended periods of time (a month, a week) are meaningful for children below first grade” – (Friedman, 2000). – taken from the article “Good intentions gone awry” by Sallee J. Beneke, Michaelene M. Ostrosky, and Lilian G. Katz.

As early years educators, having a calendar in the classroom and starting the day with looking at the date and it’s place in the month and year is a regular occurrence across Ontario. However, is this developmentally appropriate practice for Kindergarten-aged students? The authors of the article, “Calendar Time: Good Intentions Gone Awry” argue that it is not.

“Young children can talk about things that have happened or will happen, but they cannot yet understand or talk about these events in terms of units of time (days, weeks) or sequence.” (Beneke, Ostrosky, Katz, 2008).

This rich article outlines the research behind developmentally appropriate practice in the early years with regards to time and sequence, offering many meaningful opportunities for children to engage with these concepts.

Have a read!

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 https://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/CalendarTime.pdf

Mathematics in the Preschool – Douglas Clements

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High-quality teaching in mathematics is about challenge and joy, not imposition and pressure – Douglas Clements

Preschool Math in TCM – Click Here for Full Article

Scaffolding Emergent Writing

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scaffolding Emergent Writing – ZPD[1] copy – Article Click Here


 

Scaffolded Writing is an innovative method of supporting emergent writing based on Vygotsky’s theory of learning and development. This article discusses the theoretical notions underlying the method: the zone of proximal development, scaffolding, materialization, and private speech. A description of Scaffolded Writing is given along with classroom examples. A case study of 34 at-risk kindergarten children is reported that illustrates the effectiveness of this method in supporting children’s emergent writing. – Scaffolding Emergent Writing in the Zone of Proximal Development. – Elena Bodrova and Deborah J. Leong


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In our experience, the scaffolded writing strategy has supported students in developing their ability to remember and record an elaborate thought, building the stamina in their writing, leaving spaces between words and developing an eagerness to represent their ideas in print.  As teachers, we are able to support students that fall on a wide developmental range, meeting each student where he/or she is.  Student growth is observed and documented over the course of the year, beginning with one or two words and moving to lengthly sentences, and from teacher supported opportunities to independent writing.


 

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Letting go of the Letter of The Week

This provocative article, thoughtfully written by Donna Bell and Donna Jarvis inspired us as educators to examine our own beliefs about the development of literacy in early learners as we aim to provide opportunities that are rich and meaningful to our students.

Letting_Go_of_Letter_of_the_Week-1 2[1]   Article Click Here

Our experimentation with new practices gave us a glimpse of what was possible, but we were curious and excited to see how far our children would progress with a full year of meaningful, strategy-based reading and writing experiences. – Donna Bell and Donna Jarvis

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Make it Meaningful

Make it Meaningful – Article Click Here

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Our article, “Make it Meaningful! Emergent Literacy in the Kindergarten Years,” was written collaboratively to outline how a Reggio Emilia-inspired classroom environment and emergent curriculum fosters literacy development in our early learners.

Literacy can and does develop naturally in a classroom environment that is purposeful in its organization and where depth of thinking is supported. – Logaridis, Siegrist, Tranter

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Consider The Walls – Patricia Tar

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In this article, Patricia Tarr inspired educators to consider the walls in their classrooms and have them act as a reflection of the learning that takes place in the space.

Consider The Walls – Article Click Here

The challenge for early childhood educators is to think beyond decorating to consider how walls can be used effectively as part of an educational environment. In Reggio Emilia the walls display documentation panels of projects that children are engaged in. These become the basis of ongoing research and dialogue between the children, teachers, and families. Panels of photos, artifacts, and text make “learning visible” to participants and to outsiders (Rinaldi 2001).