Something I have learned throughout my learning process of doing these blog posts is to pay attention to the small things when making observations. In all four of my blog posts each of my observations seem like very small things that I had just happened to take notice to. I feel as though they seem like small things they impact the classroom greatly. For example, when reflecting back on my past blog posts specifically post 4, when reading it you might think that children having a lot of energy is not a big deal in the classroom. When you think about how using that energy as an advantage it makes sense. I would not have come to this conclusion if I was not observing the small things.
At the beginning of this project I was not really thinking about how the question would really affect my audience. I was always just trying to come up with something general that would link to my observation. In the process of this project I was able to learn how to use the question to engage my audience and make them think on a higher level. The way I found to do so was by asking rhetorical questions with many possible answers. This would interest the audience and make them want to find out more about what I’m talking about. For example, in my last post I felt as though it was the best possible question for this topic that I could have used. I feel as though it allows the audience to think about how they would answer it in their head and then be even more interested about what I would say to see if it matched some of their thoughts.
This is one area that I have always struggled in when writing. I always just googled everything and used random websites to find my information. I never really thought about the credibility or how reliable the information is. During this project I was able to become more familiar and comfortable with using the database and looking for scholarly articles. I was also able to learn how to correctly use a hyperlink so that the audience is able to find more information on the topic as well.
This area of my blog posts was my favorite part to write. It allowed me to think about everything that I had researched and wrote and tie it all together. With each time of practicing this area I feel as though I got better each time. When looking at my blog post 1, I feel as though I didn’t write very much for the reflection part and it left a lot of loose ends. If I would have done this part the right way to begin with it would have made my posts make a lot more sense to the audience and not just a lot of facts and opinions just written out.
Although I am already familiar with how to do a blog post this project taught me how to engage the audience which is hard to do with written material. This project also made me aware of MU Blogs, which I did not know existed before this point. I feel as though I should have branched out and tried a podcast of something like that, but I do like the knowledge I have gained on writing a blog post from this project.
If I were to experience the R2P project again I would probably not do a blog post for every one of my posts. I would try to branch out and try something different to gain that extra knowledge on something I’m not very familiar with doing.
Something that I am taking away from this assignment is the importance of observing, research, and reflection. By doing these things you are able to find things in the classroom that could be better, do research on how to do so, and them make the changes. This process will make me as a teacher stand out from others because I am constantly looking for things that I can improve to help the students learn better.
Really take this project seriously and don’t put it off. The content that you can learn from doing this assignment is a lot.
Everybody has their different opinions on the use of positive and negative reinforcement in an early childhood classroom. Let’s all take a minute and think about what kind of reinforcement we tend to use more of. In my current field placement, I have been paying extra attention to the effects that positive and negative reinforcement have on the students. My current field placement is in a Pre-K classroom, so as most of you know these students are constantly needing some type of reinforcement.
While observing these two types of reinforcements that happen at some point during my time at this placement, I noticed that the students in the classroom do not respond well to negative reinforcement. When the teachers at my placement force kids to sit on the steps instead or participating in recess because of their behavior, I noticed that during this time they usually only get themselves into more trouble instead of thinking about what they did wrong. Another thing I observed is, one child in my class always calls out during circle time so the teacher makes him sit at a table by himself. During this time the students is missing out on learning opportunities. The child will also cry which is disruptive to the rest of the students.
After observing this during my time at this field placement, it has brought me to ask one question. What are the effects on using positive reinforcement in the classroom?
While reading an article on this topic I have found many positives that come out of using positive reinforcement. One positive that the article talks about is it builds a relationship between the teacher and student. This is very important to have with a young child and many times when negative reinforcement is used it ruins that relationship. Another thing that the article talks about is it builds a positive learning environment. It is not a secret that students strive in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe. Why wouldn’t we want to use positive reinforcement if it achieves this goal? In conclusion I feel as though teachers should try to use positive reinforcement whenever they can and eliminate negative reinforcement to the best of their abilities. I understand that there are going to be times where it is needed, but all I ask is to try to think about the type of reinforcement you use in situations and how it might affect the students in the long run.
Jenson, W. R., Olympia, D., Farley, M., & Clark, E. (2004). Positive psychology and externalizing students in a sea of negativity. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 67–79. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.10139
Do you ever feel like your students have a crazy amount of energy from the time they walk through the door, to the time they leave? This is very normal, and if they don’t then you might have a problem. While observing the students in my current field placement, it seems that the teacher in the classroom is using that extra energy against himself. What if I told you there was a way to use that energy in a positive way to improve instruction. We can do this by incorporating movement into the classroom. The big question that I am going to talk about in this post is, “How does movement in the classroom improve student learning?”
While reading an article that promotes movement in the classroom, it lists a lot of positive ways that movement helps young children. One way that I found is that it increases student engagement with academic content. For example, when learning about the life cycle of an animal you could have the students stand up and do certain movements to go with each event that occurs. This will force the students to pay attention and engage themselves in the material. It will also be another way for the students to remember the information. Another positive thing that movement provides is, it allows children to get out some of their built up energy. Having movement throughout the day will limit the amount of times that students have trouble sitting in their seats. If you have time set aside for this, you will have more control over student distractions during a lesson. I could go on forever about the positive benefits of adding movement into the classroom, because it is so important and a great tool to use.
In conclusion, adding movement in the classroom is a crucial tool to have in the classroom. You don’t even have to really make extra time for it because you can incorporate it into your lessons. Students have an endless amount of energy, so why would we not use that to our advantage? Movement in the classroom will allow kids to get out that extra energy that they are holding in, and to hopefully improve their attention spans and paying attention to the content.
It is no secret that 4 and 5 year olds have an endless supply of energy, so when you put 19 of them in the same classroom it could keep New York City lit until the world comes to an end. While observing a pre-k classroom you could see this energy in each individual student. While this energy is very important for young children to have, one thing that I noticed is how much it affects the transition period between centers. As I started to notice this lengthy period of time, I started to record how long it took for the students to move to the next center. The time periods varied from 2-8 minutes. Now this might not seem like a long time, but if you multiply say 5 minutes by 4, for how many centers there were, that’s 20 minutes that the teacher has lost in just one day. To put it in a larger perspective, that’s 1 hour and 20 minutes a week in which the students are losing quality learning time. Many teachers already feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to teach all of the standards. These transitions just take more time out of students learning.
This observation made me ask the question, “How can we create smooth, quick transitions between centers?” According to an article on classroom management in the music setting. Turning on music between silent transitions will believe it or not make the transition a little better. Incorporating music creates a beat for the children to move to and gains their attention in a better way then yelling at them or clapping your hands. Music will allow the children to get rid of any extra energy they have. Using something that children like during your transitions is key to get them to do what you want.
In conclusion incorporating music into transitions can create a fun way for the children to move from each center. When the music turns on the children will eventually learn the routine and move to the next station. Some days will be better than others, but the key to student cooperation is discovering something they like to do so that they will make these smooth transitions. I feel as though this will help overall in classroom management.
Classroom management for Early Childhood Music Settings
Koops, L. H. (2018). Classroom Management for Early Childhood Music Settings. General Music Today, 31(3), 82–86. https://doi.org/10.1177/1048371318756997
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