STEM and Early Childhood Education [WLO: 1] [CLOs: 1, 3, 4]
There are several early childhood curriculum activities that support the development of cognitive processes, science knowledge, and math knowledge. In Chapter 10 of your text, Jaruszewicz (2019) offers an explanation of these areas of development and ideas for educators and families to support these areas. You will use the knowledge you have gained from Chapter 10 and this week’s required readings to further elaborate on the ideal classroom you created in Week 2 of this course. Your elaboration will focus specifically on the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
To prepare for this discussion,
- Read Chapter 10: Cognitive Development, Mathematics, and Science.
- Review the resources Why Is STEM Education so Important? (Links to an external site.), Kids in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (Links to an external site.), and Preschool STEM Activities (Links to an external site.).
Review the classroom you designed in Week 2 of class, considering the feedback you received from your instructor.
For your initial post:
- Explain your ideal STEM classroom. Your description must include:
- A list of specific materials your STEM classroom will have.
- A specific activity that teaches/reinforces each STEM component:
- One activity that incorporates science
- One activity that incorporates technology
- One activity that incorporates engineering and
- One activity that incorporates math
- A description of how your activities and/or classroom is aligned to standards (these can be your state standards and/or NAEYC standards previously covered in Week 1 of class).
Literacy Backpacks [WLO: 1] [CLOs: 1, 3]
Promoting language and literacy experiences in early childhood education can profoundly impact children positively for the national core standards in language arts (Jaruszewicz, 2019). In particular, research confirms positive correlations between high quality early literacy experiences and later success in school (Barnett & Lamy, 2006). Part of this is creating engaging literacy experiences that generate enthusiasm and emerging positive literacy dispositions. One way to engage children in meaningful experiences is to create language and literacy activities that are engaging, interactive, and fun. The concept of a thematic literacy bag, sometimes called a story sack or backpack, has been used within the classroom as well as an at home activity to support positive literacy experiences. These thematic bags include several language and literacy activities that support children’s learning.
To prepare for this discussion,
- Read Chapter 11: Language, Literacy and Language Arts in your course text.
For your initial post,
- Create a plan for a literacy backpack that can be used within the center, classroom, or at home. Your post must include:
- A visual of what your bag might look like. You can use whichever graphics program you choose to create the visual (e.g., the drawing tools in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint). Be sure to attach your visual to your initial post.
- A description of the theme of your bag and introduction to the bag (e.g., “Back to School,” “Seasons of the Year,” “Animals,” “Apples,” “Feelings and Emotions”).
- An explanation of the developmental level/age that you would use the activities with.
- Three developmentally appropriate literature selections that could be read to the child, including the title and author.
- Three open-ended questions that the child could discuss after reading the stories.
- Three activities which reflect reading/writing for the developmental level.
- Three language activities that could be done with the child.
- Three manipulatives or additional items that could be added to the bag, with a rationale of why they are important. For example, you may wish to include a puzzle or a stuffed animal that is related to the theme.
MY WEEK 1 DISCUSSION POST:
Preparing for Individualism
Teachers who go to the extent of knowing their students individually create a greater chance of guiding them and lead them to grow in their learning. The teachers who create individual bonds with their students tend to know them in a unique way which will be of great use in helping the students navigate through their education and as well as school life. Different strategies are used by teachers in creating the personal teacher-student bond, including displaying a positive attitude both inside and outside the classroom. Creating a positive attitude can be accomplished in many ways for instance, when the teacher teaches with passion and enthusiasm, he/she creates a positive attitude.
An environment where the attitude is positive often leads the students to put to use several learning strategies which are essential in facilitating the development of skills in learning. Such, it makes it easier for both the teachers and the students to achieve their goals (Romero-Tena, et.al 2020). A positive attitude makes it easy for the students to seek help from their teachers, strengthening their bond even further. This strategy can be put in use by the teacher avoiding any negative talks and try to be optimistic in his words and actions. Avoiding negative talks will lighten the classroom mood hence in turn creating a positive attitude.
Trust between the teacher and his/her students can be built in many ways. Giving the students responsibilities is just one of the ways, by giving the students responsibilities and trusting that they will accomplish their tasks will help a lot in building trust. The other way is by the teacher creating a “trust atmosphere” in the classroom. These two ways are likely to be effective because most of the students are young and thus, they are naturally trusting, therefore, the teachers have to maintain that “nature.”
Jaruszewicz, C. (2019). Curriculum and methods for early childhood educators [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
Romero-Tena, R., Barragán-Sánchez, R., Llorente-Cejudo, C., & Palacios-Rodríguez, A. (2020). The Challenge of Initial Training for Early Childhood Teachers. A Cross Sectional Study of Their Digital Competences. Sustainability, 12(11), 4782.