EDEC 4561 Field Experience Day 3

Today was my third day within the pre-K classroom in order to complete my field experience hours. Within this timeframe, I observed and participated within several interesting activities. As the day began, the students were dropped off by their parent(s) or guardian(s) in the gymnasium. The students began with playing around the gym with one another. After a while, the instructor reintroduced the students to Red Light, Green Light. Once the teacher ensured that the students understood the instructions, she began the activity.

The students played a few rounds of Red Light, Green Light, under the teachers instruction before the teacher instructed my classmate and I to take over. Our job was to ensure that the students were being safe while also having an enjoyable time while engaging within the gross motor activity of running back and forth. After finishing the activity, the children went back to the classroom for breakfast. Once the students are done with eating breakfast, the instructor allows my classmate and myself to practice carpet time with the students. This experience and practice has given me confidence for when I would do my student lesson on September 27th. Hopefully I will display my understanding and knowledge of how to properly deliver information to the children, until then!

Dodge Questions Page 6

Question 1: Do you say hello and good-bye to each child and family member everyday? What message do you think your hellos and good-byes (or lack of them) send?

Answer 1: As a future educator, saying hello and good-bye to each child and their families is essentially for everyday. When you greet the families and they are entering and even speak when they are leaving, it sends the message that you are acknowledging their presents within the classroom community. When families feel welcome within the classroom, this sends the message that their child’s learning and development is a priority because creating a connection with them and those who are close to them is a priority. This also leads into creating a connection with those who are within the classroom in order to get a better understanding of each child’s background. When you have a better understanding of the child and their background through connections made with the family, then you have a better idea of how to engage and develop the child’s education overall.

Question 2: What do you think about a child who cries a lot when his parents say good-bye? How does his crying make you feel? Do you feel differently about a child who never cries at drop-off time?

Answer 2: When a child cries a lot when their parents say good-bye could mean several things to me overall. When a child cries at departure, the children then this could mean that their child has separation issues and they do not want to be far from their parent figure. This could also mean that the child is not comfortable within the environment that they are in or the child could be having a bad day overall. When a child cries at drop off, this does not necessarily mean that the child hates being dropped off, they could just be having a bad morning or even be upset from some other unrelated matter. When a child never cries at drop off, I do not necessarily feel differently. No matter how the child comes into my classroom, my goal is to make sure that they are in a safe, developmentally appropriate, environment that caters to each child’s individual learning needs.

Question 3: What might explain some parents’ attempts to leave without saying good-bye? What are they feeling? How do you feel when parents leave that way? How do the children feel?

Answer 3: There is a few different reasons as why a parent might leave the classroom without saying goodbye to the child. One might be the fact that they are sad themselves or even scared of seeing their child leave them so soon. When parents leave “too soon” I never overthink it because parents are human too, sometimes they forget things, they have a lot on their mind, they might be sad to see their baby go and think that the sooner they leave the easier it will be. Depending on the child, the child might feel okay with the parent leaving because they know that they are in a safe space and environment. Some children might be sad or cry because they feel that they might have been abandoned, which in this case is the educators job to reassure the child and make sure they know that their parents are coming back for them later or even distract the child with different activities to get their mind off of it.

Question 4: How do you help parents reunite with their children at the end of the day? How does a parent feel when her child cries or keeps playing? How do you feel?

Answer 4: At the end of a very long day, when parents have arrived to pick up their child, this can be a joyful moment for most. Some parent come in and grab their child and go but with a simple transition then the child can feel content with leaving school and going home knowing they are back with their loved ones. A parent could come into the classroom and talk to the child about what they are doing in order to make some sort of connection with the child before pulling them away from any activity they may be doing. A parent might feel that their child is not interesting in them anymore or not too fascinated with the idea of coming home with them when the child does not want to leave the classroom or they might be thinking of new ideas of how they might engage with their child later on in order to get the same, if not a similar, reaction out of their child. Overall, I do not feel like the actions of the child reflects poorly on the actions of the adult or their skills of being a parent. As educators, although we are allowed a glimpse of a families’ life, we never know the full story. A parent may feel guilty because their child is having more fun at school than at home because they may be busy all the time, the story is never clear to understand therefore it is not my place to judge as an educator.

EDEC 4561 Field Experience Day 2

Today was my second day within the pre-k classroom in order to complete my field experience hours. Within this timeframe, I observed and participated within several interesting activities. As the day began, the students were dropped off by their parent(s) or guardian(s) in the gymnasium. After entering the gymnasium, the students begin with greeting the instructor then listening to music in order to play and dance. After a few moments, the instructor engages the students within an activity about animals. She placed almost a dozen photos of animals with children next to them pretending to be that animal on the gymnasium floor. The instructor then has a classmate of mine and myself to instruct and lead the children within the activity after demonstrating once herself. Within the activity, we have the students pick up cards off the gym floor and ask them what animal is on the card. After the students acknowledge what animal is on the card, then we will pretend to be said animal. For example, one of the children picked up a card with a bear on it, I engaged the students by asking them questions such as “Where does a bear live? In the sea?” and I wait until they told me about them. Once the children have answered questions, I demonstrate how a bear might walk.

After finishing this activity, the children went back to the classroom for breakfast. Once breakfast was complete, the instructor guided the children to the carpet for carpet time. Within carpet time, the instructor has the students listen to a few videos about the alphabet and shapes then continues with the “Wish You Well” board. Once all the students who are not present are acknowledged on the board, the instructor has the students mark on the board how they are feeling so far for the day and then are dismissed to their centers for playing and free time. Hopefully I will observe and engage more with the children next week, until then!

EDEC 4561 Field Experience Day 1

As I begin my journey into education, one thing I must do is observe and engage within the learning environment as a guest to the classroom. Within my EDEC 4561 Field Experience class, we are placed within classrooms at the Family Development Center at Governors State University. For my field experience, I was placed within Mrs. Siville’s pre-K classroom. Within the classroom, I was meet by many interesting children. At the beginning of the day, Mrs. Siville’s students meet within the gym to start the morning with movement and games. The students go through an obstacle course and continues socialize and play with one another through their time within the gymnasium. Before leaving the gym, the instructor always counts and acknowledge the presents of each student in order to ensure that she has all the students that were left in her care. After a while within the gym, the students are taken to their homeroom class where they have breakfast: cereal, a glass of milk, and applesauce. Within the class, the students have a system of how to clean up after breakfast. The students will get up and push in their chairs, the grab their cup and take it to the trash, then the bowl, then the apple sauce container and their spoons and napkins; this is done in order to reduce the amount of accidents from students carrying too much stuff as well as reenforce behaviors when it comes to cleaning up after oneself and ensuring the environment is how it was before breakfast.

After breakfast, the students then go to carpet time. During carpet time, the students engage in activities such as greeting everyone. After this is complete the instructor then has videos that are ready for students to watch and dance along to such as the alphabets, counting videos, and more. Once this is complete, the teacher uses a “Wish You Well” board, that is make from a cooking pan and magnets in order to take attendance. Within this board there are magnets with the students faces and a heart in the middle. If a student is absent from school on that day, the teacher will acknowledge them and put the magnet with that student’s picture in the center of the heart and say, “We wish you well!”

As class progresses, the students then close carpet time with taking magnets and openly expressing how they are feeling for the day by placing the magnets on the pictures of emojis or faces with different emotions on them. When a student picked an emotion, the teacher will then ask them what is making them feel that way and why. After the child places their magnet, they are then allowed to go to a center of their choice as long as it is not already a certain amount of students within that area; each area has a sticker with the number of students that can be within the center that child generally acknowledge. By time it was time to leave the classroom, I had a general idea of the different kinds or personalities that where within the classroom and how the class is conducted. I simply can not wait until my second day of field experience in order to engage and observe more interesting and developmental classroom activities in order to enhance my education and knowledge that is necessary to be an Early Childhood Educator! Until next time!

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

As aspiring early childhood educators, we think, “What does it mean to be developmentally appropriate?” As an instructor, a key factor is considering the age of the children you are instructing to make a developmentally appropriate decision. To do so, we consider the following:

  1. What we know about how children dvelop and learn.
  2. What we know about the strengths, need, and interest of individual children.
  3. What we know about the social and cultural contexts in which children live.

By observing students as they learn, we can also look at different factors such as age, individual intelligence, and social and cultural aspects. Doing this is only the first step into molding mini minds of the future.

Home

Hello Early Childhood Educators and welcome to my blog! My name is Shaylee Marr and I am currently attending Governors State University in hopes to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I come from a long line of teachers and I am currently a full-time student. I enjoy volunteering and working with children of all ages and developing their young minds. A little bit more about myself is that I am the youngest child of five and the only girl. One of my older brothers has autism and I consider him my best friend. I am a proud member of Civil Air Patrol, the civilian portion of the Air Force and I am also the only child of my parents who have earned a college degree (Associates). Hopefully, with this blog, I can give you all a look into the life of an aspiring early childhood education educator!