Suggest some ways that they can get parents involved in this learning process by extending their activities to the child’s home environment. Discuss resources in the community that they may have overlooked.
Discuss your role as a teacher or caregiver in a child’s life in terms of promoting optimal brain development through exposure to various experiences.
The brain is made up of neurons. “The major early developments in the brain have to do mainly with its system of interconnections.” (Lefrançois, G. R. , 2012). I like to think of them as little fingers trying to reach out to each other and intertwine. With these connections, they grow and learn, and continue to make those connections. As we get older, if we do not use those connections, we can have a harder time learning because it is harder for those fingers to reach each other. It is up to us as educators to give children the experiences they need in order to grow those neurons to make the connections. This has to be done in every area with developmentally appropriate practices.
Give three examples of appropriate stimulation (activities) you can employ in the classroom or daycare center to promote learning.
I have had my students plant their own choice of flower or vegetable in a small container. They have to water and care for the plant themselves. We keep track of how fast it grows and how big it is. We also see how many of the seeds we plant actually come to grow. This teaches them about nature and how things grow from small seeds.
Art is another way they can learn. Scribbling and making lines is a form of writing. Letting them have a blank sheet of paper and do what they want is how they can express their thoughts and feelings. They can even tell you what they have drawn and it may even be a story.
Manipulatives are another activity they can do to expand learning. They can practice zipping a coat or putting a puzzle together.
How can you include activities outside the classroom that will reinforce the learning?
Planting seeds is good and one way to see seeds in action is to go on a nature walk. No matter the age of the students, including infants, can learn about nature and all of its elements. Picking up leaves and letting them feel the texture. Feeling of the sand in the sandbox. Smelling the rain by opening the windows and letting rain (light of course) fall on their faces.
I also like to include art activities outside in the playgrounds. I put different paints and chalks and let them use the washable boards and sidewalk to express themselves.
Manipulatives can be done outside by placing objects in the sand and having the children dig for them. You can also use toys that are designed for outside use in the playgrounds.
How can you involve the parents and community resources (i.e., fieldtrips)? Lastly, include information on a field trip you could take your class on in your local area that would extend the learning that you included in one of your sample activities.
I have taken the kids in my classrooms on field trips to the local greenhouse to show them all the different types of trees and plants. That is where we get our seeds donated from for the flowers and vegetables that we grow in the classrooms. The parents go with us to help make the trip easier and help us with transporting all the donated materials back to the school.
We have taken trips to the museum for art. Our local museum has asked us to make art for them and they display this for a period of time. The children get to see their art hanging in a museum and it causes them great happiness. The museum, in turn, gets more visitors because the parents go to see their art.
Manipulatives come in many forms. The way I like to see this done is to take a trip to the local Senior Citizen Center. The older people love to see the smiling and laughing young faces. They help them with chores such as sewing, puzzles, and rolling silverware. The center loves it when they come to visit. In turn, they make sheets for our cots.
Lefrançois, G. R. (2012). Children’s journeys: Exploring early childhood. San Diego, CA:
Bridgepoint Education, Inc.