The End

Making blog posts this semester has been a great learning experience for me. I think it is safe to say that I had a bit of difficulty  at first because I had never done anything like this before. In fact, I had a lot of anxiety about creating these posts and making sure I was doing them correctly. Sometimes, I would put off blogging just because it was something so challenging for me to do and it made me nervous.

If I were to experience the R2P again, I think I would try to relax a bit more. I often got so worked up about making it perfect, that I forget the most important part of this assignment is not about making it perfect but learning how to do it. I also tended to struggle with different technical pieces of the assignment, such as the permalinks and the research database. If I were to do this again, I would try to focus a little more on the technological aspect of the assignment because it posed difficult for me. As far as content goes, in all three of my past blog posts, I think I could have went into more detail with my observations.  I would also have liked to try podcasting or vlogging because they would be extremely out of my comfort zone and I think it’s important for me to try and learn new things.

As a future teacher, I will definitely be remembering this assignment and referring to it when I need to do research. I will constantly need to look up different classroom topics and the research process we learned in class is going to help me do that. The information we learned is incredibly meaningful and important.

The advice I would give to a future ERCH 496 student would be not to worry if your blog post, podcast, or vlog doesn’t turn out how you envision it. It’s more of a learning experience than something that should be causing you a lot of stress. Additionally, I would encourage the student to try something they might not be as familiar with, whether it’s blog, podcast, or vlog. Exploring new options is a great way to grow.

This assignment has really been helpful for me, and I feel that I have a better grip on researching topics and then sharing the results on a public platform. This has been a valuable experience.

Positive Reinforcement

Last time I wrote a blog post, I talked about classroom management, specifically call and responses and songs, and how they could be used in the classroom.  Today, I want to talk about another classroom management technique that I think is very effective: positive reinforcement. I observed positive reinforcement being used in my preschool classroom, especially in the form of stamps or stickers. One day a little girl was behaving very well, and she got to move her clip up to “I’m having a great day!” Although I do not agree with the clip chart idea, I  liked how the child got rewarded for having a good day. She received a stamp and a sticker at the end of the day, which she was very happy about. I was interested in finding ways to incorporate more types of positive reinforcement into my classroom.

To get some ideas about other types of positive reinforcement I could use in my classroom, I did some research. In an article entitled Positive Reinforcement, I learned that praise is a great positive reinforcement technique. I also learned that it can be tricky when it comes to praising children because we don’t want to call them “smart”. Calling them smart implies that they do not need to work harder, however praising their specific efforts motivates them to perform those same efforts again. I always thought that it was okay to call children smart, but it actually is more damaging to them than beneficial.

Another idea for positive reinforcement that was provided

in the article is incentives. These incentives can include extra credit points or activities, such as a movie or extra center time. I think that children would be more likely to behave if they were working towards a goal of  getting to do something they really want to do.

I also learned positive reinforcement can be something as simple as your body language. I never realized this before, but positive reinforcement can be found in your smile and in the way your tone of voice sounds. All those little gestures and facial expressions you make can actually have a big impact on the way a child learns and feels in your classroom.

I really like these ideas and will definitely be applying them to my future classroom. I think it is important to encourage the students to do their best as much as we possibly can! Thanks for reading again!

A future early childhood teacher!



Positive Reinforcement. (2007). Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers,   82(4), 10–11. Retrieved from direct=true&db=eue&AN=507970201&authtype=sso&custid=s3915890&site=ehost-



Wild Pack


In the wild, animals of the same kind live and travel in groups. Typically, there is an animal who takes charge of the pack to make sure that the animals are all together. There needs to be someone who sets the “ground rules” so that the animals are working towards a common goal. If they are smaller animals, they likely want to stick together so they don’t get eaten. If they are larger animals, then they probably work together to hunt for food. Whatever the goal is of the specific group of animals, they work together under a strong leader to  maintain safety and structure within the group.

A classroom can be like the wild sometimes. Children can be very adventurous and rambunctious. Sometimes, they can get a little carried away. Just like the animals need a leader, they need the teacher to hold onto the reins and make sure that the common goal, education, is still being met. The teacher must set ground rules and maintain strong leadership so that the class can remain focused and structured. Keeping the class on track and solving the problems that may arise is called classroom management.

Last time, I focused on a form of classroom management that I witnessed in field and I did not care for: punishment from recess. Because I didn’t like that technique, I had to start thinking about the kind of classroom management techniques and strategies I would like. At the end of the last blog post I formulated a question: what are some effective, positive classroom management techniques and strategies?

To dive further into this topic, I needed to get more specific. The last couple weeks, I continued to observe at the preschool to see if there were any classroom management strategies I did like. I did in fact find some great techniques that seemed to work, but a specific one especially stood out to me. When the classroom would get a little crazy, or a difficult transition was being made, the teacher used little sayings and actions to get the kids to pay attention and focus. One I observed was, “hands on top, now we’re gonna stop.” The teacher would say the part, “hands on top” and the kids would respond with putting their hands on their head and saying “now we’re gonna stop.” This worked very effectively because the children knew it was time to get quiet. Another saying that the teacher used was “swallow a bubble” in which the kids had to hold an imaginary bubble in their mouth while they walked through the halls to the bathroom or the play room. This is done so that they don’t talk in line. The kids take holding the bubble in their mouth very seriously.

I really loved these little sayings and actions, so I did some research to find out more about them. Through my research, I found that a great way to do these little sayings and actions is in a song. In the article, Singing Smooths Classroom Transitions by Sarah E. Matthews, I learned all about how singing affects classroom management tremendously. One of the ways singing can benefit classroom management is it smooths transitions. Transitions are a very difficult thing for early childhood students because children do not know the expectations the teacher has during transitions. Another reason why transitions can be difficult is because some children do not adapt well to changes. Singing can help with these greatly. Singing and corresponding movements are often found on the playground during children’s recess time. They are familiar and comfortable with singing, especially in a call-and-response format.

The article shared many accounts of teachers’ success stories using singing for transitioning. Some of the songs they found beneficial to effectively benefit classroom management include: A Helper I Will Be, Circle Time Song, and If You’re Happy And You Know It. The article states that when using these and other songs, they should be sung consistently. That way, the students know the songs and they know the expectations that are set when the song is going on.

I really enjoyed reading about the singing in the classroom. I never really thought about incorporating it into my room, until my preschool class that I observe was signing some songs. I definitely that singing will improve classroom management, and make for an overall better environment to learn in.

Hopefully, we will be able to keep the “wildness” out of the classroom and opt for some structure!!

Until next time,

A future early childhood teacher



Mathews, S. E. . (2012). Singing Smoothes Classroom Transitions. Dimensions of Early Childhood40(1), 13–17. Retrieved from

Talking Recess

During my time in the pre-k classroom, I made many observations. One area of the classroom I have specifically focused on was classroom management, and even more specifically: punishments.

 When I was in field, I observed lots of different things going on at once. One moment that I was very curious about was a moment where the teachers disciplined a child after he wasn’t cleaning up his toys in the dramatic play area. When he didn’t comply, one of the teachers had him go sit on the rug while the other children lined up to go to the playroom. The child sat down on the rug and began crying. The teachers, noticing I was observing, informed me that he cries frequently and that I shouldn’t feel sorry for him. At this point, he was sobbing.  Eventually, the child was allowed to join the line at the very back. He continued to cry while the class walked to the playroom, so he had to sit out during their “indoor recess”. Because the school doesn’t have a playground outside, they have a playroom inside that contains slides, houses, cars, scooters, bikes, trampolines, balls, etc. That is what the child could not participate in. He continued sobbing the entire time, until he was allowed to play at the very end. Although I respect the teachers’ disciplinary actions, I thought that not allowing him to have recess until the very end seemed to be too big of a punishment for that situation.

After witnessing this scene, I formed a question in my mind pertaining to classroom management and punishment: is taking away recess ever an acceptable form of punishment for a young child? I had to further my research on this topic and I had great results. Using the education database, I came across an article entitled Withholding Recess as Discipline in Decline by Evie Blad. The article was mainly about how many schools are eliminating the traditional and famous punishment of taking away recess. Lots of research in the article confirmed what I thought may be true: withholding recess is rarely an appropriate use of punishment.

In the article, Sara Zimmerman, technical assistant-director of the Oakland-California based Safe Routes to School Partnership (which is an organization that advocates for children being physically active), shares this message:  “That physical activity and unstructured play, those things are not luxuries for kids. That’s a key part of how kids learn and grow.”

Researchers have found that recess benefits all domains of a child: physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Physically, recess is beneficial because children need exercise and movement. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention suggest that children should get at least 20 minutes of recess each school day. Cognitively, recess is beneficial because it gives children a time to clear their brain and get their energy out so they can be ready for the rest of the day. It also positively impacts the children’s academic abilities and in class concentration. Social-emotionally, recess is beneficial because they learn respect for one another and awareness of other’s feelings and needs. This is only a portion of all the wonderful benefits that recess provides for children. Blad shares a whole plethora of reasons why withholding recess is a poor choice of punishment.

After reading this article, and thinking of my own experiences in the classroom, I truly believe that taking away recess is an unnecessary and non-beneficial form of punishment. Although I intend no disrespect towards any teachers and their practices, I do not think that punishing children from recess will be something I implement into my future classroom. There are too many benefits and essential developmental milestones that are uncovered through recess and that raw, unstructured play environment. I realize that through making observations and researching a question based off of those observations, I came to find some wonderful information about a topic I am genuinely interested in. Now, I have some ideas for my future classroom. For example, I am going to use positive reinforcement more than negative reinforcement because I believe it is more beneficial to the students, and that they will behave better if they are rewarded for the times they behave well. Consequences will be had, but they will not leave the child out of activities or key parts of their school day. With that being said, a future question I have is “what are some alternative consequences to give children in the classroom that are not taking away fundamental activities like recess?”


Perhaps next time, I will dig deeper into that topic. There is always more research to be done!

Thank you for reading and see you next time!

-A future early childhood teacher




Blad, E. (2015). Withholding Recess as Discipline in Decline. (cover story). Education Week, 34(27), 1–14. Retrieved from direct=true&db=eue&AN=102117472&authtype=sso&custid=s3915890&site=ehost-live