Part B EssayIn normal childcare and preschool settings, children are often placed in together in large numbers per class. Be it teaching in a large or small group, the learning context has its own characteristic and function, which some teachers often get confused about. According to NAEYC, teachers must think carefully about which learning format is best for helping children achieve a desired goal, given the children’s ages, development, abilities, temperaments, etc (Copple and Bredekamp, 2009). When children are placed in small groups, there are more opportunities for children to play and collaborate with each other when then extends their thinking, build on one another’s ideas and solve problems. Also, teachers will be able to observe carefully to what extend that each child’s ability stretches to so that they can plan activities that caters to their needs through scaffolding which then enable children to make optimal progress.
To allow children interact in smaller groups, teachers can divide the class into smaller groups and at the same time have the children think of their own group names. To prevent them from fighting over which group name to choose, teachers can narrow the categories that the children can choose from or go according to the majority. There are usually two teachers in a class, one class teacher and one assistant teacher. The class teacher can take one group for activities and rotate to the other group later or another day. The rest of the class can stay with the assistant teacher.
According to the age group, the learning environment, facilities and materials must comply and cater to the children’s needs and abilities. Children should feel psychologically safe in the classroom. The overall social and emotional climate should be positive (Copple and Bredekamp, 2009). As teachers sometimes bring external negativity into the class because of personal problems, children can feel and suffer from the stress and negativity in the classroom and can become “disengaged, frightened, worried, or unduly stressed”. Teachers can take a breather when feeling upset and have another teacher on standby to take over when needed. Teachers often overlook hygiene hazards. In some kindergarten centres, children can wear shoes into the centre.
As practitioners of early childhood teaching, the physical environment must be designed and maintained to protect the health and safety of the learning community members, specifically in support of young children’s physiological needs for activity, sensory stimulation, fresh air, rest, and nourishment (Copple and Bredekamp, 2009). Teachers or administrators of the school should be ready to receive the children when they arrive from their homes and do a proper health spot check to prevent illnesses from spreading. The health spot check can consist of temperature taking, hand sanitizing and checking mouth and hands for ulcers and blisters (HFMD). Shoes should be taken off and left on a shoe shelf or into the cubby holes.
Too little and too much facilities and materials can happen in a classroom. Teachers must properly arrange the space that the children need. To do that, teachers should anticipate a toddler’s rapid developmental changes and arrange indoor and outdoor spaces for flexibility, safe sensory exploration, and large and small muscle development (Mills, 2013). If there is too much materials in the class, it can cause confusion and over-stimulation for the children. It can also cause a lack of social interaction between the children should they decide to play on their own as there is an abundance of materials for them to claim as theirs during play time. Facilities and materials should also be at children’s height and eye level. Children gain self-esteem and confidence when they see their work on display, it promotes emotional support for the children and feel happy to be in the class.In some centres, routine and daily schedules are not in an orderly manner.
When routines are not in an orderly manner, children sometimes get confused and upset. The transition of different environments can get too much, and it can be hard to handle for young children as “younger children have different learning processes than older children” (Tomlinson, NAEYC). Teachers should ensure that the environment is organized, and the schedule follows an orderly routine that provides a stable structure within which development and learning can take place. While the environment’s elements are dynamic and changing, overall it still is predictable and comprehensible from a child’s point of view (Copple and Bredekamp, 2009). As the curriculum consists of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and understandings children are to acquire, learning experiences are included into routines and daily schedules. Teachers can develop plans for the important routines and experiences that will promote children’s learning and development and enable them to attain desired goals.
ReferencesCopple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101.Mills, H., (2013). Developmentally appropriate practices in infant and toddler classrooms.
Volume 37, No. 3. Texas Child Care quarterly. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.childcarequarterly.
com/pdf/winter13_dap.pdfTomlinson, H. B.
(n.d.). NAEYC. Retrieved January 27, 2018, from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/tyc/dec2016/explaining-developmentally-appropriate-practice