Blogging with Dr. Susan

 

Blogging with Dr. Susan

Learning Centers in the Classroom

 

Learning Centers in the Classroom

A developmentally appropriate classroom enables the connecting of learning to positive emotions, allowing students to make better, more reflective decisions and choices. Emotions are biological functions of the nervous system, and they strongly influence attention and memory. Children engaged in interesting activities at the beginning of the day will have a more positive disposition toward the day’s activities as a whole. Additionally, they will retain more information when learning is associated with positive emotions. However, emotions can be a double-edged sword. A balance of emotions is needed for learning to take place. Jensen states that “a little to a moderate amount of stress is good for learning. Lasting high stress or threat, however, is disruptive. It reduces our brain’s capacity for understanding and can interfere with our higher-order thinking skills” (1998, 93).

Because individual differences occur among children, not all classroom situations are going to elicit the same response from children. Extroverted children may enjoy public speaking, while introverted children may find it frightening. Some children enjoy the security of daily routine, while others enjoy opportunities for more varied activities. 

Learning centers provide children with the autonomy to explore their interests with positive emotions. Some students release emotional tension by playing at the sand table, petting an animal, or working with their hands-on projects. Others may begin the day by reading in a cozy beanbag chair up in the reading loft. Still others enjoy listening to music and eating a snack. Several centers located around the room allow children to participate as individuals or as members of small groups. Centers may focus on carpentry, cut-and-paste activities, science, publishing, pets, chess, reading and writing, and sand and water play.

A learning environment with a variety of centers fosters self-esteem and decision making ability by creating opportunities for the learner to make their own decisions and choices. Taking personal responsibility for their learning helps children learn to focus their attention. As a primary school teacher, I provided each child with a tracking sheet to help him monitor the number of times, he visited the various learning centers during the week. Tracking sheets also allow the teacher to individualize the curriculum to children’s specific needs. I encouraged the children to be responsible for their actions and learning during the day—to hold conversations and discussions as they interacted, played, and learned together.



Misconduct Has No Meaning for Home-Schooled Kids

Teaching is not a dangerous profession for home schooled kids.  They are trained to recognize workloads, not abuse, student-adult  approval, not disruption, positive behavior, not watching the clock to leave!  Student leadership is a parent- child partnership. There is a plan for creativity and work expectations in all areas of study , privileges to accompany good behavior and problems to be solved without question.    



A Brilliant Blog

 

 

Parents are sole authority figures responsible for children’s daily demeanor at home and at school, modeling for their children’s benefit, respect for teachers, knowing discipline guidelines, and being polite to janitorial and food services, as well as therapists and observers who do business in school environments.

Parents set family behavior rules and on a daily basis remind children of school rules that include classroom behaviors, consequences and expectations for proper manners and honest effort!  Parental authority always is expected as a means of discussing student issues. 

Parents are first and foremost responsible for their children’s behavior.

Parents do not call teachers, contact principals, psychologists, monitors, or school personnel unless contacted by the school or requested by the teacher. Parents monitor children’s home-prepared workload the night before.

Good teachers do not act as parents, but isolate and assign remediation or written activity work any time there is a problem; Teachers set simple classroom rules first day to set the classroom’s mood, and standard of behavior. 

Teachers take into account that children need to trust their teacher to be fair and equitable, understandable, and interested in each child’s nationality, type of learning, and background, after time.

Parents are sole authority figures responsible for children’s daily demeanor at home and at school, modeling for their children’s benefit, respect for teachers, knowing discipline guidelines, and being polite to janitorial and food services, as well as therapists and observers who do business in school environments.

Parents set family behavior rules and on a daily basis remind children of school rules that include classroom behaviors, consequences and expectations for proper manners and honest effort!  Parental authority always is expected as a means of discussing student issues. 

Parents are first and foremost responsible for their children’s behavior. Parents need to get used to going to their children’s teachers with their child when they have issues that affect behavior…..



Flipping the Classroom

 

 

In this day and age teachers need creative ways to get kids interested in learning exciting new ways. 

“Flipping the Classroom” refers to kids watching a video of the teacher’s lesson at home and doing the homework in class.  WSQ refers to students who (W)atch the video, (S)ummarize the content and ask a (Q)uestion. This gives the teachers the time and technological tools to give students more individualized personal attention.  This technique creates a rich environment where personalized learning, student-teacher interaction and better understanding of the subject matter exist. Students become learners who learn for themselves and by themselves.

There are many sites devoted to screencasting.  You can learn how other teachers have switched to the Flipped Classroom technique and how TWIRLS (thinking, writing, interacting, reading, listening, speaking) in class holds children accountable for learning, processing, discussing, and questioning the content.

http://shop.ascd.org/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductId=63037985&gclid=CPLd5tTfzLQCFQinPAodb3IAgA

http://blog.sophia.org/the-flipped-classroom-wsqing-into-twirls/

http://www.flippedclassroom.com



Creating Spaces for Children

 

 

Toddlers and preschoolers make mental maps of the spaces they occupy.  The make repetitious routes around furniture and objects. They are restricted by partitions, furniture, and other environmental patterns that create difficulty in knowing what is “on the other side” of walls, etc. They use “Tunnel” vision (near to far distance vision) in scanning and entering into arranged spaces.

To create a space for children enter how a toddler would enter and think how a young child would map out the premises. A child’s visual field resembles a megaphone.  He only briefly scans what is nearest to him first; then his view widens out as he looks forward and outward and concentrates on what he sees “out there”. A child uses near vision more often than far vision to gain acuity and control over objects because he sees objects close at hand as being extensions of himself_- not separate from himself. Children look “out” and then “down”.

 A child views space as air, light, even temperature; space includes surfaces such as rugs covering a floor, perimeters such as door openings.

A child changes position every few seconds, so the child’s gaze change constantly. Motor movements are altered. A child moves forward first, then sideways, or backward.

Children are attracted to open shelves, visible tables, and furniture.  Children are attracted primarily to lower level objects before they are attracted to higher level objects.

Teachers and parents need to create higher level and lower level objects, and arrange those objects by using specific categories such as miniature cares, dolls and people, tools, talking and reading and feeding and eating.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SAMPLES OF HOW TO ATTRACT CHILDREN TO LOWER LEVEL POSITIONS.