The best way to set up an early childhood program is to provide visual stimulating environments combined with spaces children can call their own. The best way I can set up an infant/Toddler classroom with everything I learned thus far would be to use a few simply approaches and theories in our school setting. Each class has a daily schedule that is posted and followed. The class schedule starts from 6:00 am-6:00 pm. The routine must include diaper changes/potty training every hour.
Our children must have outdoor time twice a day (weather permitting) and bottled feeding of infants are on demand while our toddlers eat three meals a day starting at 8:30, 11:30, and 2:30. Along with this schedule, the staff create open centers and teach creative curriculum even as young as six weeks in our program. Infants/toddlers are always learning and absorbing their surroundings. We as staff are their first teachers in life. They are natural copycats. I choose this age group of infant/toddlers because I believe this is a very important stage in a child’s life.
Infants/toddlers learn by watching what we do no matter if it’s a positive action or a negative one. They will copy us its just what they do. So being mindful of how we talk and move and our tone really sets the mood for their learning. In my infant/toddler program, there are many things I would like to see happen and the way I would approach it is by teaching my staff how to apply The Creative Curriculum approach. This is a comprehensive early childhood educational system that emphasizes a practical, easy to understand approach to working with children.
It promotes the use of interest areas as a way of providing experiences that promote cognitive, social, and physical and language development. (Teaching strategies gold). I would use this method by setting up everything in the class at eye level. The children need to be able to see and touch everything. Sensory is very important at this age and allowing the infants access to their surroundings helps build their social emotional and physical needs. Children learn through play and every day life experiences and creative curriculum allows me the ability to let them play and learn at the same time.
Our teachers will set up their classroom in areas that allow for science, math, literacy, music, art, and dramatic play. Friedrich Froebel is a huge part of education, he saw children as having an innate desire to learn, and he believed that children needed to be active in their own learning and Respect with which the individuality and ability of each child should be treated; “the importance of creating a happy, harmonious environment in which he or she can grow; and the value of self-activity and play as a foundation on which the integrated development of the whole person can be built.
” (Friedrich Froebel 1782-1852). I choose this approach because it relates to the type of classrooms I envision in our program because Froebel stated, “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul. ” He also believed that children were like flowers because they varied and needed care, alone they are beautiful but together they are glorious. I have learned in my career that infants/toddlers are all unique and learn at different paces and levels.
Froebel’s teachings used things like free play, games, songs, stories, and crafts to stimulate imagination while developing physical and motor skills. Creative curriculum is all about gross motor and fine motor skills as well. Both of these tie so well into each other that it makes for excellent observations when shadowing the child. There are a lot of ways we can teach our infant/Toddlers cognitive, social- emotional, and physical development skills, even at this early age. By having centers set up around our classrooms that allow our staff to teach them these tools is easy to execute.
Our children learn these things through creative curriculum in our program. For example Math! Singing a simple song such as “This little piggy” Wiggle your toes! Twirl your fingers! Reciting favorite nursery rhymes is an engaging way for your child to learn to count. “Turning your favorite nursery rhymes into counting games for kids is an engaging way for your child to learn to count and begin understanding one-to-one correspondence. ” (PBS. ORG) My staff can sing these kinds of songs during diaper changes or while laying/sitting on the floor.
And example of how this activity would be done is the following: Recite to your child the classic nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy Went to Market. ” As you say each line, softly squeeze one of your child’s fingers or toes and say a number in sequence from 1 to 5: This little piggy went to market. (Softly squeeze a thumb or big toe and say, “That’s one! ”) This little piggy stayed home. (Softly squeeze a second finger or toe and say, “That’s two! ”) This little piggy had roast beef (or tofu or ice cream).
(Softly squeeze a third finger or toe and say, “That’s three! ”) This little piggy had none. (Softly squeeze a fourth finger or toe and say, “That’s four! ”) This little piggy cried “Wee-wee-wee! ” all the way home. (Softly squeeze a pinkie finger or toe and say, “That’s five! ”) Reading is very crucial at this age so it should be a daily part of our curriculum. Examples to implement this would be Recite nursery rhymes and sing songs to your younger infants in the classroom. Early infancy is a good time to begin reciting and singing rhyming songs.
Studies have shown that nursery Rhymes calm and soothe babies and believe it or not theses are the first stories they will begin to learn and memorize. Around baby’s first birthday, my teachers should establish a regular reading routine. At this age, many babies will enjoy looking at a specific book that has been read over and over, the lead teacher will choose to implement this book in his/her circle time. Teachers can let the child sit in their lap and touch the book and turn the pages. Teachers can point out objects and really let them connect with what’s on the page.
Science is learned primarily through sensory exploration of the world. Explores objects in many different ways (e. g. , shaking, banging, throwing, dropping). Repeats an action to make it happen again, experiencing cause and effect (e. g. , dropping items off highchair tray). All of these examples allow our infant/toddlers to explore and learn at their own pace. According to the NAEYC standards its our job as teachers and Administrators is to promote a healthy environment for our children that respectful, supportive, and challenging to them.
NAEYC also states that family and community support is huge part of their educational future, I have parent volunteer forms that allow my parents to come in a read to our toddlers during circle time. I encourage them to come and join the crafts we do as well as start communication logs. This is the foundation and core of what early Ed. Is all about. Another standard our program met is doing weekly observations on the infant/toddlers to see where they are.
My observations are done in each area to give me and my staff a better idea of where the child is at and what things we need to do to help if the child is lacking in any area. An example of this would be if a teacher has an infant that reaches out for him/her as soon as he/she sees them and starts smiling. This is a social/emotional observation because the infant is showing recognition of who they are and making a connection with them. Infants that cry and then suck their thumbs to self soothe is showing cognitive observations by taking care of ones needs. This infant has figured out how to meet her needs by self-soothing.
These are areas we must be trained in to observe and document according to NAYEC standards. Another standard is standard five building meaningful curriculum. “Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs a) use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum.
They b) know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates c) use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child. (NAYEC)An example of this is the lesson plan listed below to show how our teachers implement this in the Toddler classroom. The role we as administrator’s play is very different from the teachers because it is our job to make sure our school runs smoothly.
As the director I over see the day-to-day routines in the classrooms. I help my teachers with lesson plans by approving them or teaching them what things they need to add or find appropriate activities for the children. With our school be accredited by NAYEC. I make sure we follow all curriculum based guidelines within that. I send all my teachers to training to give them the tools to be able to apply creative curriculum and I am here to make sure all policies and procedures are being followed to ensure we are living up to our philosophy, vision, and mission statements.
Our program believes in parent and community involvement we promote that by inviting them into their child’s classroom, we stand by our vision of providing our teachers with the best trainings and educational support possible. Lastly our Philosophy Children learn through play and need to be able to have the freedom to thrive and learn from one another. No two children are the same so their learning process should not be the same! When you know better you do better! We believe in allowing our children to take part in what they learn and how they learn. You need to excite an interest to learn within a child instead of making it a chore.
(Week 1, dis 1) REFERENCES Thoman, E. , & Browder, S. (1995, January 1). Infant/Toddler Caregiving A Guide to Cognitive Development and Learning. Infant/Toddler Caregiving: A Guide to Cognitive Development and Learning. Retrieved June 11, 2014, from http://clas. uiuc. edu/fulltext/cl03256/cl03256. html http://www. pbs. org/parents/education/math/activities/baby-toddler/ http://teachingstrategies. com/ http://www. naeyc. org/ http://www. pgpedia. com/f/friedrich-froebel Gadzikowski, A. (2013). Administration of early childhood education programs. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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