Reflecting on my Experience

Reflecting on my Experience

Looking Back…

For my first R2P assignment, I was clueless and had no idea how to blog, I was stressed out. At first, completing a blog was not an easy take for me. Once I continued playing around with the website and received feedback from Tatiana, Dr.Powers and peers blogging starting to come with ease. Doing a written blog seemed the easiest way for me to share my thoughts and research. If this semester had remained on campus and had face to face classes as expected, I likely would’ve stepped out of my comfort zone by trying to create a video or podcast. Plus, I began to enjoy blogging!

Moving Forward…

This is definitely something I want to keep in mind as a future educator. I would love to use a blog as one of my communication tools to stay in contact with parents and caregivers. Not only that, it let’s them know what is happening inside the classroom! With technology constantly changing and improving, it is important to stay up to date with technology and try to communicate with parents through technology devices since most parents/caregivers spend a good portion of their day on phones or computers it will allow them to have access to information more quickly.

What is self-care for Teachers?

Self-care for Teachers?

Due to the recent pandemic of the COVID-19 outbreak, educators are forced to adapt to all the new changes of the stay at home and virtual world. During this time, teachers are expected to continue teaching their students virtually. Although teachers are flexible to these changes, they might feel stressed and tired due to working endlessly to make sure their students are in the best hands. Before you completely use it, I hope to provide you with useful tips you can use to stay sane while teaching during this pandemic. Why? Because taking care of your health and making sure that you have everything you need is how you thrive as a teacher. 

1. Eating right is right:

Eating right is important to staying at a healthy weight, having good nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. During this outbreak, make sure you make time to eat and to eat a healthy meal. Not something quick and fast because you are constantly sitting in front of your computer giving instruction and directions to students and families. You need time to develop healthy eating habits. Benefits of eating healthy include weight loss, reduced cancer risk, diabetes management, stroke prevention, heart health, strong bones and teeth, improved memory and feeling better moods.

Listed below are self-care eating resources such as simple strategies for healthy eating, snack and dinner ideas & more reasons of why eating healthy is beneficial and important: 

2. Get up and Moving:

Move is important because moving your body gets your heart beating and your blood flowing.  Movement should be thought of as medicine since it benefits low blood pressure, controlled blood sugar, controlled height, relieves pain, lowers cholesterol and is good for your heart! Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits and most importantly can improve your quality of life.

“If you move well, you also think, feel and live well.”

Examples of Movement/Physical Activity:

  • Sports: Soccer, Lacrosse, Football, Volleyball, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball and more.
  • Fitness: Swimming, Biking, Running, Strength Training, Yoga and more.

Listed below are additional self-care approaches to physical activity:

3. Stay connected with your kiddos:

Although it might seem like you are doing everything to make sure your students are successful with their learning at home, it is hard to accept the fact that you aren’t seeing their smiling faces until the fall. Not only that, the students might come back not quite where they are suppose to be academically.

Teachers should stay connected with their students through technology during this time. Teachers can connect with students if they have access to technology through Zoom meetings, interactive messaging and learning games or video messages from email. Teachers dedicating their time to the students virtual learning is important, but also dedicating part of your day just to talk to your students can also make a difference!

Teaching through Coronavirus

STAYING AT HOME WITH YOUNG CHILDREN?

When Governor Wolf issued the order that everyone should stay at home, I grantee you were not the only parent asking a million of questions per minute about how you were going to be able to support your child’s development. You understand the risks and safety precautions of COVID-19, but you are at a loss for how to fill your days with your children being home instead of at school/early learning centers. As an educator, I created this post for parents and caregivers to provide activities for, their children, who they have been spending all their time with.

TIPS:

  • Manage expectations – Children will not be learning at the same pace as their usual school day. Don’t stress to much about this, but allow two to three hours a day to start for learning opportunities.
  • Set a schedule – Routines are important and comforting for younger children. Provide a schedule where they can reference what they are suppose to be doing and can be hold accountable for knowing expectations.
  • Have breaks and fun time – Everyone can be anxious and adapt differently to change, therefore giving everyone the opportunity to chill and laugh together is important.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Physical activity is beneficial to children of all ages. Physical activity can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes. Not only that, it can help children improve fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Endurance activities: Skateboarding, skipping, hiking, soccer, running.
  • Flexibility activities: active play on a playground, yoga, stretching routines.
  • Strength activities: Lifting, hand weights and bands, gymnastics.

Children tend to be more active when they are outside rather than inside, but physical activity can still be implemented indoors. It is important to allow physical activity into your child daily life since it can help improve confidence, self-esteem, and develop social, cognitive and emotional skills.

  • Indoor activities: Dance battle/party (Just Dance Wii games), name workout, obstacle course, yoga or stretching.

  • Outdoor activities: active play on playground, riding a bike or scooter, playing catch and field/net sports.

For more information on physical activity click on the following link: https://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/teachers-childcare/physical-activity.aspx

READING ACTIVITY:

If your child has a book they were reading at school, have them continue and make progress on that. If not, allow your child to choose one for fun through the books you have at home or through EPIC! – KIDS! BOOKS AND VIDEOS app or website. This website and app allows parents and kids to set their own preferences based on books you like to read, topic interests and age level. Due to schools being closed because of COVID-19, they are allowing parents of children to have access to 40,000 digital books for 30 days FREE!

  • Reading Activities: Reading Bingo (where you make a bingo board with the books you read off the website/app), having the children write their own story, bedtime stories written to the child every night, try reading chapter books periodically throughout a day.

For more information on EPIC! click on the following link: https://www.getepic.com/

Reading is important for young learners because its helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares children to understanding written words. Not only that, it allows children to use their imagination and expand their understanding on the world.

STAYING SAFE & HEALTHY:

To protect children and others from getting sick, it is important to inform your kiddos on how to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by doing things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  • Clean hands often: using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice to wash your hands properly to kills germs.
  • Cover you cough and sneeze: into your elbow is your best option. DO NOT COVER COUGH OR SNEEZE IN HAND!!
  • Clean/Disinfect high tough surfaces daily:  such as doorknobs, tables, switches and sinks. ANY COMMON AREA IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

Additional Resources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/
  2. https://www.pearson.com/uk/learners/primary-parents/learn-at-home/help-your-child-to-enjoy-reading/why-is-reading-so-important.html

 

 

Field Story

Hello and welcome back my fellow blog readers!

In this blog I am going to talk to you about my field placement. What’s field placement you might ask? Field placement provides students with supervised hands-on experience within their field of study while fulfilling academic requirements; like an internship.

Looking into my field experience:

I am currently in a head start Pre-K classroom with students of the age of three and four. Out of all the field placements I have been to at my time at Millersville, this is my first time ever being in a head start classroom. Head Start programs promote school readiness for children from birth to five from low-income families by supporting the development of the child emotionally, socially, nutritionally and their psychological needs. Head Start programs are funded federally from the government.

With me only attending my field placement two times so far, I observed that the majority of students were English language learners and that the students spend more time in free play then instructional learning time in their daily classroom schedule. Not only that, students engage more in free play then instructional learning time. This only led me to ask the typical question of a child which is “Why?”

What I wonder:

In my field placement the students engage and participant more during free play time than instructional time. Which led me to the question, “Why is play so important at this age? And what benefits does play have for English language learners?” From what I gathered from my research it seems that play is important at this age and especially for English language learners because it allows students to form social skills, including how to use the language to communicate, initiate contact and resolve conflicts with other peers. This is important for English language learners because in previous studies English language learners had a hard time forming friendships because of not knowing how to communicate verbally, but play allows them to do so.

Importance of Play in Early Childhood

http://momtrusted.com – The importance of play in early childhood education is immense. Knowing all the type of play and the benefits of each will make you a…

With the majority of the students being English language learners, this made me wonder if the students were participating in play more for a reason. From what I observed during my field placement most of the student lack confidence during instruction time because students either don’t know the letter they are being asked to identify or they don’t know how to pronounce it and are scared of trying or being incorrect. They usually stare at you in silence until being given the answer or other directions. Several investigations have shown English language learners develop through a silent period in which they speak less and listen more. Therefore, teachers need to keep that in mind when English language learners are trying to obtain new information and knowledge.

Overall:

Overall, all future educators are going to encounter English language learners at some point during their career. It is important to have patience with these students and making sure they are receiving the needs they might need compared to other students. Not only that, it is important to understand their home life and their cultural heritage since those are all things that affect their emotional, social, nutritional and physical self. Furthermore, it is important for teachers to observe their behaviors during free play and instructional time because it can help you gain knowledge on their social skills and many other skills as well.

Additional Resources:

A Qualitative Study of the Play of Dual Language Learners in an English-Speaking Preschool

 

A Lifelong Learner

Welcome to my first blog at Millersville University! In this blog post I will share my story on why I wanted to become a lifelong learner for young children.

It all started when I started to attend elementary school. After school, I would usually want to play teacher because I enjoyed elementary school a lot. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher when I would make my sister and all my neighborhood friends play teacher with me. I was a little bossy when I was younger and I had to be the teacher every time we played. I would teach my friends lessons, give them tests and homework, grade their assignments and even assign them to classroom jobs.

During my first grade academic year, I remember doing a numerous amount of reading assessments with my first grade teacher, like a running record. My first grade teacher took notice of me struggling in reading and other literacy skills.

Image result for running record

My first grade teacher recommended to my parents that I should take summer reading classes to promote my literacy skills and help me be better prepared for second grade. I remember feeling upset and frustrated that I needed to go to these classes over the summer and couldn’t play with my neighborhood friends. I remember feeling like I wasn’t smart or good enough because I needed to put in more time and work into school than my friends.

Until one day I started to feel relief and grateful. As much as I dreaded going to reading classes over the summer, I do have to say it was beneficial for me and really did help prepare me for second grade. I started not to care if I took longer than my friends when it came to completing assignments, I started to improve my literacy skills when taking my time and believing in myself.

Therefore, I want to create an inclusive classroom where all students can achieve their goals in whatever learning style works for them and get students eager to learn. I don’t want any of my students to ever feel not smart or good enough because I remember the feeling and each and every child as the potential to achieve their goals.

The educational philosopher’s I admire the most is Lev Vygotsky and Abraham Maslow.

Vygotsky theory on zone of proximal development is important to know when trying to develop an inclusive classroom because there has been times where students are presented with information that is too hard or too easy for students and then they lose interest or behaviorally act out.

Image result for zone of proximal development

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is also important when trying to have students achieve their goals. If children are hungry, tired, scared or don’t have their needs met, they will not learn. Having a school district provide breakfast and lunch for students is important and beneficial in my opinion. If I worked in a school district that couldn’t provide that, I would make sure to have snacks, extra clothes and other essentials that the students may need.

Image result for maslow's hierarchy of needs

My professor and peers are teaching me about the why and how of early childhood. I have received field experiences since I started here freshman year and it is beneficial for my peers and I to practice teaching strategies in our placements and receive that experience working along students and teachers. Suggesting ideas and learning new information is always beneficial.

As I continue this path as a lifelong learner, I will continue to learn and grow. Education is constantly growing and changing and it’s my job to keep up with it. I want to be that teacher that helps my students learn, grow and achieve their goals. I want my students to develop a love for learning, like I did.