Welcome to the CCEI Discussion Forum. The CCEI Discussion Forum is an online forum where early
childhood professionals can share and learn from colleagues. To view the discussions, click on the topic you’re interested in.
To participate in the discussion, click here to create a CCEI account.
Once you’ve created your account, sign in to access the Discussion Forum, located in the left navigation bar.
This month, we will be taking a closer look at STEM education and its value and importance, even in early childhood education. Science, Math, Engineering and Technology are vital subject areas for all students, and it's important to get children off to a great start. How do you encourage children to explore these concepts, create, and develop these skills that will help them be successful lifelong learners (For example: engineering can be something as simple as creating a ramp in the block center, or prying something open with a popsicle stick)?
Positive Guidance: what, why and how?
We hear so much now about positive guidance and positive discipline, but what does it really mean?
How can we maintain safety and order in the classroom while remaining positive in our discipline approach?
Do you have any techniques that you have used with success in your own classroom that have helped you make the shift from an environment that included punishment and negative consequences to one that includes positive discipline and natural consequences?
This topic is not a new subject. As leaders one needs to remember that the children we guide are looking up to us for direction. We need to practice what we want them to do. Respecting the individual and understanding the reason for the misbehavior will allow the adult to channel the behavior to a more positive outcome. The ability to do this takes time, observation, formal education, and the willingness to "seek to understand, rather than to be understood" (excerpt taken from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
We all wish we could have another hour or two in each day to get everything done! Especially in ECE, we have a lot of roles and responsibilities to balance.
If you've mastered time manangement, how do you manage to get everything on the 'to-do' list done? If you have some techniques, please feel free to share them here with your peers!
If you struggle with time management, please share your concerns here as well, so we as a community can learn from each other.
Developmental Assessment in Early Childhood
The importance of assessment in education has long been understood. We need to understand the needs of our children in order to meet those needs and help children develop, learn and grow. What types of assessment(s) do you use in your own classroom or program, and what have been your results? Are there any other assessment methods you might like to use and why?
Getting the Word Out About Your Program
Since December is National Write a Business Plan Month, in what ways have you had success this year as you marketed your program, or how do you plan to get the word out in the coming year? Do you have any techniques that have gotten a good response or might be a bit more creative or unique that you can share with other EC professionals looking to boost enrollment?
Promoting Good Health and Nutrition
In recognition of American Diabetes Awareness Month, what kinds of measures do you take or can you take to promote the good health of the children you care for? After yesterday's sugary treats and as we look toward the holiday season, how can you keep the atmosphere festive while still supporting healthy eating and physical activity habits?
Guiding Emotional Intelligence
Since October is Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month, please share how you work with children to help them understand and work through their own emotions and learn how to be empathetic toward other people. These are such important skills for children to learn in order to function in society and develop healthy self-image and positive self-esteem. In what ways do you foster the development of these skills in your classroom/program?
Promoting Critical Thinking in Early Childhood
Now that we're all back in the swing of a new school year and beginning to think about skills children need to learn in order to be successful, it's time to look at critical thinking.
How do you help children in your classroom learn to think both independently and critically? How do you support them as they learn how to reflect on and evaluate new information and situations?
Preventing the Spread of Illness
Since August is National Immunization Awareness Month, it's a good time to take stock before the school year begins and think of ways we can prevent the spread of illness and improve our health and hygiene habits.
How do you maintain good health in your classroom? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share with others?
Also, feel free to share a health or hygiene issue in your program that you'd like to discuss with fellow ECE professionals.
Working with many adult individuals proves to be harder if the main objective is not the children. How does one explain to a co-worker that even if one washes his/her hands one can not be touching the food that the child is eating. I informally addressed it to her by saying " Here are some gloves",He/She replied it's ok I washed my hands.
Children in the Culinary Environment
In honor of National Culinary Arts Month, we're focusing on getting children involved in cooking and nutrition experiences. How do you involve children in cooking? Do you have tips to share with fellow ECE professionals looking to guide children as they cook and learn about food and nutrition?
Effective Communication in the Center
As we reflect on Effective Communications this month, in what ways do you ensure that you're communicating effectively with your staff/coworkers at the center, with the parents and families involved in your program, and with the children in your care (i.e. making expectations and rules clear)? Do you have any techniques or tips to share with other ECE professionals that might be struggling with communicating effectively?
Promoting and Protecting Vision
Is there anything you do in your classroom to promote the development of vision or to protect the children's vision? There are many hand-eye coordination activities that can help children to learn and grow! Have you had success with a particular activity or technique that you would like to share?
Managing Stress in the Classroom
There is a considerable amount of stress that can occur in the classroom itself, or that one can bring in from outside the classroom. This energy is easily detected by the children and it can affect them deeply, often causing them stress as well. How do you leave your external stresses outside your classroom door and/or how do you alleviate stress in your classroom? Do you have techniques in place to prevent stress? Once it reaches a certain level, do you have stress management techniques to bring it back down?
I am new in this class and I am not a teacher I am a home based visitor for an early head start and we follow the family child care and have providers that are located in different part of the city who have up to four children in their homes. I visit mothers in the homes and I work with one child at a time as I visit homes I have ten families to monitor. it is not stressful and it is not overwhelming as long as you work on the individual child and the needs that the child has.
On the other hand in a classroom it can be stressful. Usually in a classroom setting there is assistants and if the teacher is stressed than they should take a break or go out side while the assistant takes over for the time being.
I am a new director in a school which has some security, but because it is in a church, there is limited access to the school area from the church side of the building. We are looking at options for making the classrooms safer, but I am also looking for any publications, information, samples of Safety protocols, how and when to call for a "lock down" of the classrooms etc. Any schools have something already written they are willing to share? Could CCEI offer any training in this area?
found this website. Hope it helps if you haven't already gotten the help you need.
New Haven Public Schools
Welcome Back Teachers! After your training, get started on a class and come here to chat with each other about the courses, difficulties, successes, questions etc.
Autism in the Early Childhood Classroom
Having children with special needs in our classroom can present challenges that help us grow as early childhood professionals. It is our responsibility to accommodate and meet the needs of every child that enters our classroom to the best of our ability. If you've worked with children with autism in the past, what teaching practices did you find most helpful? What kinds of adaptations did you need to make and what kinds of results did you see?
I find that using didactic materials that produce kinesthetic responses from the child seem to have the best success rate,
Building Partnerships with Parents
Parents are an integral part of the learning process throughout children's lives. It is important to cooperate with them in order to build partnerships that support each child's learning and development both at home and in the center. How do you communicate with parents in order to establish these valuable relationships? What advice would you offer to other teachers looking to develop open communication and partnerships with parents?
Hi, what do you currently do? Here are some things we do:
Open door policy
Whiteboard at classroom entrance welcoming them, reminding them of upcoming events, giving important information for the day.
Invite parents to come in and read to the children in small groups at their convenience, or share a talent such as singnig, playing an instrument, teaching a few words ina nother language, cultural art, etc.
Parent conferences 3 times a year.
Intake form that asks aboout child's interests, home language, cultural considerations, etc
Field trips with almost 100% parent attendance.
Cultural pot luck dinner on November.
Greet every family at door at drop off and pick up.
Notes home (positive language)
Parent Advisory board.
(Get the book Beyond the Bake Sale.)
Bullying in the Preschool Environment
What techniques have you used successfully to prevent or to reduce/eliminate bullying in your classroom?
I am an assistant teacher in a 2 year old classroom. And I don't want to say that we have any children that bully at that young of an age, but when there have been children that show behaviors of bullying, then we put the misbehaved and the "victim" and 2 other children together in the same small group to all participate in a fun activity. Such as; ring a round the roses, dancing, or anything that gets them active. Our main focus is to redirect them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it takes a while. We never seclude, nor allow other children to "bully" the "bully".
Excellent! Isolating or shaming a child for "bullying" or showing some signs of bullying behavior can, and often does, perpetuate the problem. Redirection is often the best way to avoid/prevent bullying with children this age. Well done!
Assessing the Signs of Child Abuse
What signs do you look for to determine if a child is being abused?
Problems in school or with peers
Sudden changes in attitude or behavior
Regressive behavior—returning to bedwetting or thumb sucking
Excessive sexual curiosity or masturbation
Unusual or explicit knowledge about sex.
Safe Nurseries for Safe Infants
What methods are used in your classroom to ensure that the nursery is safe for infants of all ages?
Observar a los niños de cerca y establecer reglas de seguridad para crean un centro seguro. Esto es parte del proceso, sin embargo, también debo tener cuidado con las situaciones peligrosas. Los juguetes, equipos, electrodomésticos, agua caliente e insumos de limpieza pueden presentar un peligro para los niños, al igual que los vehículos de centro y el propio edificio. A fin de evitar una intoxicación, debo guardar los productos químicos fuera del alcance de los niños, manejando los alimentos de manera segura, cumplo con las indicaciones de las etiquetas de los medicamentos y enseñe a los niños a no llevar a la boca cosas extrañas (plantas, líquidos y objetos).Además de limpiar y desinfectar, también hay que tener hábitos seguros e higiénicos al manipular los alimentos a fin de evitar la presencia de gérmenes y el contagio de enfermedades. Preparar y manipular alimentos con malos hábitos de higienes puede hacer que los gérmenes hagan enfermar a la gente. Además, contar con una política por escrito y cumplirla es una buena manera de que el centro de cuidado infantil sea seguro y saludable.
Wow-parece que usted mantiene un ambiente super seguro para los bebes que cuida!
Research and new trends are continually being updated in the early childhood profession. What do you do to continue your professional development and ensure you are aware of and implementing the most current early childhood research in your classroom?
I attend conferences and scan the papers for speakers in my area. I also check out all the current educational and parent books from the public library to stay abreast of what parents are reading.
My last two favorites have been "Simplicity Parenting" and "Nurture Shock". These provide me good resources and information to use or back up what I do in the classroom.
I attend workshops/conferences each year. I do online classes, I teach other early childhood educator. With all the changes going on in ECE one can easy fall out of the loop if they do not take traning.
I am a member of local, state and national assoications and I received materials from the association to read.
I am always searching for a conference workshop, typially in the local area. I have taken several online classes. I can't get enough of reading. I subscribe to several magazines focusing on early child learning and development. Also, I look for DVDs on various topics: current educational trends, educational equipment, new teaching materials and strategies. I'm just a sponge!
Excellent! It sounds like you all find ways to stay connected and informed! As Rabbit mentioned, it's important to stay on top of new developments and research because it's easy to be out of the loop. Studying the research being done and then implementing that knowledge in the classroom goes a long way in meeting the individual needs of the children you care for.
Nutrition in the Curriculum
Nutrition is a topic that can be taught at a young age to help prevent childhood obesity. What strategies do you incorporate to help prevent the spread of childhood obesity in your classroom?
I make sure they are served the portions for their age. I personally don't believe in over feeding a child. When we give them a treat it is given in moderation. A treat is just that and not a meal.
We also do alot of dancing and running and other sorts of physical activities.
Excellent! It sounds like you focus both on nutrition and physical activity. It is important to strike a balance and look at each child's needs.
There does tend to be a push to get children to "clean his or her plate" and it is important not to force a child to eat more than they need to. On the other side, it is important to make sure that each child is getting enough to eat.
I can tell you are attentive to the children's needs and you are helping them create lifetime healthy habits!
I think that Nutrition in the classrooms is the best way to go due to the face that when kids learn the different ways to eat healthy, they then go home and teach it to the parents as well and then the whole family learns how to be healthy at home and at school. Then this stops all the greasy hamburgers and french fries as well so to all the educators keep shining and teaching tomorrows future about nutrition great job.
I agree that the children can take it home and share with the parents. It starts with one small step.
Literacy in Early Child Care
Literacy can be used across the curriculum in the early childhood classroom. How do you promote literacy in your classroom?
I promote literacy in my class reading books story everyday to the kids.
Wonderful! A few ways to bring these stories alive are to offer flannel boards to show the action of the story, have the children "act out" the story, do theme-based table activities (building bridges with different materials after reading Three Billy Goats Gruff), and have the children answer comprehension questions or sequence the storyboards of your story. Well done! Keep up the great work building literacy skills.
The Eco-friendly Child Care Environment
How do you maintain a safe healthy eco-friendly environment free from hazards in your early childhood classroom?
Please define hazards.
Hazards are anything that can present danger. Typical hazards in the early childhood classroom are access to chemicals, tripping hazards like rugs, pinching hazards (squishing fingers in doors), sharp edges, gaps in supervision, etc.
Music in Early Childhood
Research shows that music plays an important part in a child’s development. What musical elements do you use in your classroom? What effect does music have on the moods and behaviors of the children in your class?
Music in the class room is very important.It can be used during circle time ,calendar and as a quick filler.The ideal early childhood setting has an assessable ready to go music center for all to participate in randomly during free play.It also has duplicates instrument to assure there is plenty to go around.Music together, is a program that I would recommend for teachers to explore early child hood based and truly touches on all the elements through sound/rhythm/tone/instrumental/dance & expression.
I reccomend music in the classroom when working with children who are displaying negative behavior.
Curtis091, that is right! Sometimes music communicates to children in ways that speaking just cannot. Music can be soothing, calming, energizing, or set any other mood you need. Using music during transition times may help to avoid a lot of negative behavior to begin with, but when negative behavior occurs, music can be used to redirect the child to more appropriate behavior.
We have drums, pianos, shakers, and xylophones. I like to get silly with the children and just play one of the instruments and sing a song. They will watch with amusement and then join in. I have tried the soft slow music, like Mary had a Little Lamb and find children that are bored. When I put on Mr. Al or some other up beat music and ask who wants to dance and start dancing myself the children come alive. The room is filled with happier looking children. I have alot of fun with my children.
Excellent! I can tell you all bring music alive for the children and make it fun. The children are responding to this and you can use these fun songs and dances during music and movement time as well as transition times. Music will probably always be enjoyable and important to these children since you are instilling music appreciation in them at such a young age!
Music in the classroom is a must because it helps the kids to learn about different cultures and then its also important because a child learns there alphabets and numbers by listening to music and they also learn there vowels by listening to differnt sounds that the letters make as well. It also is a relaxing time for the kids as well and it can also be used for exercising and games as well.
Teaching Oral Hygiene
Teaching oral hygiene in early childhood education is more than just teaching children to brush their teeth at the appropriate time each day. What creative techniques are included in your oral health curriculum to teach this important subject?
We had a prop puppet with "huge teeth" to show proper brushing techniques & discussed the importance of taking care of our teeth & gums daily.This also included healthy drinking choices and foods that are healthy for teeth and gums.Good habits start in early childhood.
Learning To Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Learning to live a healthy lifestyle can be taught to children from their earliest years of life. What experiences do you provide for the children and the parents of the children in your classroom to help them learn to create a healthier lifestyle?
I have an outdoor living classrom. We grow our own veggies and eat them. We do exciese on a daily basic. When the parents see what the children are learning from have a garden they go home and start one for their self.
Each year I do this with my new preschooler as they start schoo.
Excellent, Ava! What a wonderful way to help children understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Also, growing veggies makes children more likely to eat them and it also helps them to understand where food comes from and how things grow. You are then able to not only teach children about health and nutrition, but about science as well. Keep it up!
Healthy habits start young no better place then an earlychildhood enviornment to introduce and reinforce healthy eating habits.Teaching children to make better choices and its importants.Food pyramids,activities and making it part of the curriculm.
Right, Zee! How do you accomplish those things in your classroom? Your success might help other colleagues who are struggling with bringing these concepts into their own classrooms.
Is Standardized Testing Producing a Creativity Crisis?
Is standardized testing producing a creativity crisis, or are the levels of American children’s creativity as strong as ever? Should creativity be encouraged and taught from a young age, or should today’s educators focus more on teaching content and let creativity develop naturally?
Share your thoughts around this topic and what you believe is critical to the future success of today’s children.
I believe Standardized Testing is not testing all areas of a child's intellect or achievement that is possible for a child to achieve.
Im posting from Florida and cant account for other states. Im a Director of two Headstart Centers with both located on Elementary School Grounds. For the past 5 years i have observed teachers grades K-5 teaching the children the test. This is understandable since Florida teachers are evaluated by there children test results. Two back to back low scoring years could also cost the teacher his/her job.
Now im seeing Pre-school along with Headstart centers beginning to teach the test. Pre-School children are given a school readiness test within the first thirty days of school once they enter kindergarten. By teaching the test in all grades Prek-12 causes the teacher to miss alot of important bonding with the children along with teaching morals, ethics, honesty and numerous of other characteristics thats not in text books but extremely important in life.
That is right, Curtis091! We miss out on so many opportunities as educators to reach the children and have incidental learning experiences when we are required to focus on "covering the materials" and "teaching to the test." What students walk away with is rote memorization of a bunch of information that they did not actually learn and will soon forget. The key for a masterful teacher is to meet the standardized testing requirements while still allowing for fun, creativity and exploration in the Pre-K classroom. It's difficult but doable!
I live in Up state Ny . As a substitute teacher for 15 years k-12& earlychildhood teacher along with having children of my own Standardized testing has it's place but, has become the main focus in our public schools and for teacher's.
Yes,standardized testing is important as long as it is well balanced in keeping creativity and hands on fun!motivating learning activities
that promote children to be excited about learning and not just focusing on a test
Healthy Cooking in the Classroom
What creative cooking activities have you used in the classroom? Share how you help the children in your classroom learn about healthy eating while developing fine-motor and problem-solving skills!
we made homemade applesauce the children got the chance to help smash the apples and they got to put the apples in the blender and push the button down all while being supervised by teacher, they learned to take turns and they learned that smashing the apples first would help the it be a little easier when in blender
This is an excellent activity in so many ways, Gribby! Making applesauce and other products with apples is an excellent activity to tie into themes like Fall, Fruits and Vegetables, etc. You can apply motor skills, social emotional skills (like you did with turn-taking), science skills, math skills and many more in this one activity! Excellent work and thank you for sharing this activity and what your kids got out of it.
To extend this activity, you could reserve some of the applesauce and make apple butter with it, then use the same skills and allow for fine motor practice by spreading the apple butter on some toast!
The Outdoor Classroom
As winter gives way to spring, the thoughts of both children and staff turn to the playground. Early spring is an ideal time not only to review the physical condition of your playground, but to review how you incorporate the "outdoor classroom" into your lesson planning.
What processes have you put into place to ensure the safety of children on the playground? What indoor activities have you successfully moved outdoors? Please share how you have incorporated the 'outdoor classroom' into your curriculum.
My playground is a natural living habita. I have a outdoor classroom where the children learn through the curriculum. We have a year round garden.
Most of what we can do inside we can do it outside as well. We do a daily walk around to make sure that all hazards are remove.
Wonderful, Ava! You are lucky to have access to a year-round garden and I'm glad you take "indoor" activities outdoors. What specific activities are you taking outdoors? Your experiences may be helpful for colleagues looking to do the same!
The playground is the best classroom a child can ever have because they can be free and play on the equipment and also run as freely as they want. They can also scream and shout if they want because there outside and there really no minimum there voice can be.
Art and the Brain
It is generally accepted that the arts including music and movement, dramatic play, and the visual arts should have a place in the early childhood curriculum. When touring a child care center, parents rarely ask "Why?" when they hear that their children will be engaged in drawing, painting, sculpting, dancing, or playacting activities. After all, art is fun and engaging and children like it! That is often reason enough.
What art materials or curriculum have you introduced in the classroom to encourage learning through art? Share how you have promoted discovery, development and creativity through the use of art in the classroom.
I am employed at a Air Force Base CDC, the teacher's are preparing for Art Gallery, I would like to share some of the ideas:
Colored Sand Art
Pipe Cleaner Critters.
The teacher's introduced several art activities to the parent's and explained to the parent's the Goal's for the activities, because most parent's associate Art with just painting,drawing and scribbling and fail to see/understand the benefits of art.
I think this is a wonderful way to help children work on different projects that engage both fine and gross motor development, as well as encouraging them to use cognitive skills and creativity. Also, seeing their work on display improves social and emotional skills by increasing self-esteem and pride in one's own work! Putting all of these different types of very hands-on, expressive works on display also shows parents, other teachers and the children just how much there is out there beyond the usual stand-bys of an art program. Some of these, like the Recycyled Construction, would also tie well into themes, such as Green Week or Science. Thank you for sharing!
I think this is one of my favorites parts...help the kids....like an assitant teacher....i love to prepared the project when they are enjoying the nap time.....i start thinking about the theme of the month......i use to work with babies 12-18 months and they like paint....in some childs i help them holding their little hand and i observe that for next project they have an idea what we gonna do.....they are ecxited to coloring....to glue....or do what ever the project is.....!!!!! i love to help my kids ..... in the classroom....
It sounds like you do a great job of providing meaningful art experiences and planning and organizing them ahead. Art is such a great way to work with 12-18 month olds to improve motor development and it sounds like you do a great job of working with each child!
Stress Management for Childcare Providers
You are working and playing with children - what could be more fun? Yet you feel depleted and sometimes unappreciated at the end of the day. If this sounds all too familiar you might be suffering from occupational stress! This not only affects you as the caregiver, but also the quality of care that you are able to give. In order to be successful, caregivers need to look after themselves by managing their stress and finding a sense of balance in their life.
Have you implemented a plan to manage both your stress and the stress of your students? Share how you've reduced the stress in your classroom. Or, learn from your peers and get ideas for implementing your own plan!
I usually work with four year olds, but this week, I worked with School Agers and to keep them interested and enjoying themselves, I had a student bring in a dance cd. I also treated them to some popcorn and Hawaiian Punch. I had fun watching them dance and also joined in a few times with them trying to teach me the dance steps.
Wonderful! It sounds like you avoided the possible stress associated with a new situation by preparing ahead of time and by embracing this new age group. I think a key stress-reducing tactic is to prepare yourself, your materials and your activities ahead of time (it's also helpful to have some backup plans).
A thought -if a teacher is stressed the children no matter what age pick up on that.I agree pre- pare materials and always a back up plan.It is worth taking that extra time at the end of the day to prep for the next.
this will help tremendously and will allow you to be more effective as a teacher.
I am use to working with older children. I am currently working the a toddler classroom and I sometimes feel very stressed. I enjoy watcheng them grow but here lately I am having trouble dealing with the stress of children moving up. I can usually listen to some music on my lunch break and that helps me get rid of some of the stress. I know that they are only into an activity for about 10 minutes and I am starting to run out of ideas for dealing with the everyday stress. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I have left my current employer know that maybe I need a change of classroom. I have lasted in the toddler room for 2 years.
Melmel, I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing stress in your current room. We all have different gifts, and you might be better suited to working with the older age group that you were more comfortable in the past. It is important for you to be the right fit for the age group and vice versa. In the meantime, being informed and prepared can prevent and alleviate a lot of stress. You can learn about the developmental and growth needs of the age group you are working with so that your expectations are realistic. You can also plan ahead how to meet those needs and keep the children engaged. Also, with any age it is vitally important that you set clear expectations for behavior, that you ensure that the children understand what is expected of them, and that you follow up with positive discipline. I would recommend approaching someone who seems to "have it all together" and ask them for advice or to be your mentor. Above all, I recommend that you find a positive outlet for your frustration, such as cooking or reading outside of school to relieve some of the pressure and renew your spirits. Remember that you are a guide and model for these children and that you are as much a gift to them as they are to you!
What can you say to a director who seems to always looks for the negative. Our director put out a paper each Monday or Tuesday whith problems that she sees or has heard from staff. never does it have a positive remark. We actually have a great preschool.It has a great reputation in our area. While we as people aren't perfect, it would be nice to hear something positive about all our hard work.
Good evening christine42,
I think it might be nice to suggest forming an "Improvement Team" for the center, focusing on all of the wonderful things that actually happen at the center and addressing areas in which your director and/or coworkers want to see improvement.
Creating a team environment in which you are all looking out for the betterment of the work environment will benefit everyone involved in your program. Also, it might be a matter of requesting a meeting with her to express your feelings. She may not be aware of how negatively she is coming off. You will not want to be on the attack, but rather start with all of the positive things you see and do, then move into how you feel. You will want to use "I" statements (this is how I feel, this is how I perceive, etc.) to express your thoughts and not go in to her office on attack-mode.
Hopefully,opening lines of positive communication and building team morale will improve your work environment and therefore the care the children receive.
Good luck and have a great evening,
Inviting Family into the Classroom
Parent-teacher conferences can be a valuable tool for both parents and teachers. Taking advantage of this opportunity to collaborate can help parents become more involved in their child’s program and reap the benefits of creating a positive relationship with the child’s teacher.
What methods have you used to encourage Parent involvement in your program?
Movement, Play and Physical Activities
Most experts believe physical fitness is the result of practicing a physically active lifestyle. For young children, appropriate movement tasks and experiences can enhance overall body strength, bone density, and developmental functioning of the cardiovascular system.
What movement activities have you included in your curriculum to promote play and physical activity?
Music in the Early Childhood Classroom
The reasons why children should have many and varied musical experiences are numerous. Among them is the belief that children exposed to music have a greater motivation to communicate with the world, perhaps because music provides their first exposure to the existence and richness of their own culture, as well as the heritage and cultures of other people and regions. Perhaps it is because music can be a nonverbal form of communication and, therefore, can bridge the gaps among people of different backgrounds.
How are you introducing music activities in your classroom?
Movement, Play and Physical Activities
We have the hat time...we put music every one put a hat and they start dancing, jumping...i think this activity makes them to be relax and happy....
That sounds like a lot of fun! Thank you for sharing!
Inviting Family into the Classroom
My co teacher and I invite parents to make up and activity they would like to have the children participate in. We have a lot of parents do cooking projects with the children (fruit pizza, lemon sorbet - healthy food).
We also invite parents to come in (2 per month preferably) and read to the children, books that they or their children select from home.
We also ask our parents to chaperon our once a month field trip to a retirement home
All three of these activities are wonderful for involving parents while also providing learning opportunities for the children. You could also tie the first two together by inviting parents to share their home culture through food, stories and possibly wardrobe or games!
Music in the Early Childhood Classroom
I have introduced music in my classroom over the years in many ways. With the older children I have taught we have had them paint to different styles of music. I also use classical music to listen to while we are resting and taking a nap. I have used upbeat music to dance to or just played a soft instrumental cd while the children are playing at centers. I have noticed that the childrens moods change depending on the music that we listen to through out the day in the classroom.
Melmel, I love the idea of painting to different styles of music! What a beautiful way for children to creatively express what they are hearing and feeling in response to the music! I am also always pleased when I am in classrooms that use appropriate ambient music to set the mood and keep things upbeat. Thank you for sharing these beautiful ideas!
Leadership in the Early Childhood Classroom
Mentoring can provide teachers with a structured and supportive entry into the child care profession. Mentors take a personal interest in their staff by guiding and helping them in their jobs. Experiences with a mentor can influence the outcome of adult learning. Please share your mentoring relationships. How important have they been in your professional development?
ITS VERY IMPORTANT CAUSE IT HELPS US TO BE MORE POWERFUL. ITS LIKE USING TWO BRAINS.MENTORS ARE EXPERIENCED SO THEY CAN ADVISE BETTER THAN US.
Professional development is a daily struggle. It requires compassion in addition to experience. It requires touching sensitive areas of a persons life. It requires you to spring forth the best possible hidden values in a human soul. It requires much love for your fellow man and for yourself. It requires one to "not be selfish", but be willing to give knowledge and inspiration where hope may have been lost.
Thank you for sharing! It is true that "two brains are better than one" and that "[mentoring] requires one to 'not be selfish', but be willing to give knowledge and insipration where hope may have been lost."
How often have we felt lost or overwhelmed in our daily lives? How often would a guiding hand or a kind word have helped us to tackle what we had to deal with? Mentors can often be this person in the lives they touch.
We as educators are constantly being educated ourselves, and what better way than by someone we cam emulate?
The mentor relationship is a tricky one to establish and maintain, as it takes so much for both participants-an open mind, a willingness to learn, and much observation on the part of the person being mentored; and patience, generosity of spirit, and confidence in one's own skills as an educator in order to be a mentor.
Does anyone have an experience they'd like to share that they have had either as a mentor or with their own mentor?
Professional development is a daily struggle. It requires compassion in addition to experience, Working in the field for 15 years is a big much
How Does Your Garden Grow?
It's that time of the year! Time to start thinking about gardening!
What are some of the ways you have introduced gardening into your curriculum? What have you found to be successful? What have been your challenges? Please share activities that you have included in your daily classroom that use the garden in learning.
my first time that I do is prepare brefast and then sing for 1 1/2hr. then we go out side and play for 30hr
Thank you for posting to this discussion. Thank you for sharing a portion of your daily routine. Have you incorporated gardening into any of the activities you engage in with your children? Please share any of the activities you have introduced to the children in your care.
Active Learning in Early Childhood
Please refer to course CCEI122
Movement is the preferred mode of learning for young children. Active learning that combines elements of cognitive, social/emotional, and physical domains builds a bridge between mind and body. Please share how you incorporate these active learning concepts in your lesson planning. We would love to hear your creative ideas and comments!
Most of my older toddlers and young twos love to play see-saw on the capret or grass.
I taught them when they were young toddlers by sitting one child in my lap, and the other child opposite and linking their hands. All three of us did the sway of the see-saw and the little song, "see-saw." Eventually they learn to see-saw without teacher's help.
It is a great tool that touches all developmental domains. Won't you give it a try with yours?
Thank you for posting this activity teach4life. I hope everyone tries this with their class, it is a great movement activity and an informal assessment of the children's cognitive skills once they begin to repeat the activity without your assistance.
They love to make sounds.....when i show them for example a cow they love to make the sounds mooooo!!! the chiks....they love to make the sounds pio.. pio.. we have different cains of farm animals and they love to play with those....and they love to sing showing expressions with the face hands etc.....
The CDA Assessment Process
Please refer to the related course CCEI3001- The CDA Assessment
Share your ideas with other colleagues preparing for the CDA Assessment. How is your Professional Resource File organized? What tips can you provide for preparing and obtaining Parent Questionnaires? How long did the CDA Assessment process take for you to complete?
I actually never finished it because I did the course while I was not working in a daycare. Now I work in the public school, but in the food service. I'm waiting to find a work as teacher aid in head start or VPK so I can have my training hours, the visiting, the parents questionnaire etc...
Good! You have up to five years from your graduation date on your transcript to move forward with the Council for Professional Recognition and all of their requirements. I hope you find the position soon, and all of the process requirements are on the Council's website at www.cdacouncil.org
I'm having an interview this week for a VPK Lead Teacher position. Do you know if that count as a training for the CDA? Can they do the visit in the public school?
Thank you for the time line, I didn't' know about that.
Good afternoon Nadiutta,
The CDA Training requirement is specific to formal education. You need to have documentation of approved training (such as our online coursework) in order to meet their 120 hour requirement. Interviews and other experiences wouldn't count as formal education. Did you complete your online CDA Program with us? If so, you've already met that requirement. If not, you might want to consider re-enrolling to finish. You must have the training complete before moving on to the other steps.
As far as where the visit can be, once you have applied to the Council for a Verification Visit and you hear from the representative, you can decide on a mutually agreeable meeting location.
Good luck with your credentialing process and your interview!
Thank you, yes I finished the National CDA with this website, but then I received a long list of more things to do....
So if I get that job then I'll request the Application Form from the CDA Council and will do everything else..
Great! Good luck with the job and your CDA credentialing process!
Waiting to be able to take my final exams. Only thing is I am no longer working in a classroom. I am thinking it will be difficult to obtain parent questinaires if I am not in a classroom.
Not to sure about my cometency statements either. I first obtained my CDA 20 years ago. What is required for the professinal portfolio is a little different. 20 years ago we had someone here on site helping us with it. Hard for me.
I am ta
Grammy, I would love to have somebody here on site to tell me what to do....
I'm still not working...
Hi I need to renew my CDA can I use these courses to do that and if I pay for the annual membership can I take as many courses ads I want??
MayMay, you can definitely use our CDA Renewal Program to meet the Council's Training Requirements for the CDA Renewal. You can contact one of our Admissions Representatives to discuss your options! 1.800.499.9907 ext 523.
Nadiutta, you can complete your coursework with CCEI without currently being in the center, but one of the Council's Eligibility Requirements for pursuing your CDA Credential is 480 contact hours working with young children in a licensed setting within the last five years, and you must be working in a center when applying to the Council.
For more information on their requirements, you can go to their website: www.cdacouncil.org or give them a call: 1.800.424.4310. The first step, however, is to gain employment. You cannot apply for or go through the Verification Visit until you are employed in a center. Good luck!
Grammy, I apologize-the information I just posted for Nadiutta was for you as well. Good luck!
Hi, I have been a substitute teacher for over 15 years and have worked for 18 months in a pre k and daycare setting.I also am enrolled in your in your course program.
My question is, once i finish my courses can that
then get transfered into your CDA selflearning courses?
That your institute provides.I am a pre-k and daycare and daycare assistant and know I have over 450 hours.
Once I finish my online 120 proffessional developement courses.Will I recieve a certificate.
where can i get a cda
where can i get a cda
"and you must be working in a center when applying to the Council"
Somebody on this website when I called for information, told me that I could do the classes the same, even without being working at that time.....But now I see.....They just got my money for the classes and now I'll never found a job for the requested hours of experience before the 5 years. So then if I want to apply I will have to re-take the classes again...
Good morning Tina,
We offer training that meets the formal education requirement (the first step in the Credential Process laid out by the Council for Professional Recognition) for earning your CDA. If you do not yet have the 120 hours of formal education complete, you can contact our Admissions Department and they can discuss your options with you. You can call 1.800.499.9907 ext 523.
If you have already completed the formal education component of the CDA process, then you will need to contact the Council directly for your CDA Candidate Application Packet. Their number is 1.800.424.4310.
We are proud of you as you seek to increase your own professional development and hope to be of service to you as you work toward your credential!
Good morning Naduitta,
I apologize for any confusion that you may be experiencing, but there are two requirements that we need to discuss here. I hope to clarify these requirements and the CDA process for you.
Yes you are able to take the coursework if you are not currently working in a center. So you were able to pursue the educational component of your credential and gain professional development as you searched for a job. You are able to complete the educational component of the credentialing process with us without being currently employed. You have up to five years from your graduation date to take your coursework to the Council. Having 480 hours of contact with children and currently working in the center is a Council requirement, not a CCEI requirement.
So you have the educational component taken care of and now have documentation to that effect-this is a wonderful first step! It is a reflection on you and your professionalism that you took this first step that many employers might appreciate as you look for a job.
Once you complete the 120 hours, how long do you have to do the center work with children. What happens if your center is not licensed because you are under a public school system?
Good afternoon Knowledgeable! In order to move forward with the Council for Professional Recognition to pursue your CDA Credential, you must have 480 hours working with young children in a licensed childcare setting within the last five years. Also, when you apply to the Council for Professional Recognition for the Verification Visit and when they come our for the visit, you must be employed in a licensed childcare setting. For more information on setting requirements, you can visit the following link on the Council's website:
For any additional questions regarding setting, you will want to contact the Council directly at 1.800.424.4310.
Who is the advisor that completes the CDA Assessmant Observation instrument?
Good evening Creator!
You select your advisor based on the Eligibility Requirements outlined by the Council. I am posting the link to the CDA Advisor information on the Council's website: www.cdacouncil.org
You can look over the requirements and select someone you know based on the information found at: http://cdacouncil.org/CDA_ADV.htm
We at CCEI wish you much luck and success as you continue in your CDA credentialing process!
I am wondering what do I need to do to begin an online course for my CDA Assessment for infant care after which I could get a position in La Petite Academy on 98th Ave which is in my backyard.
I am presently unemployed and decided to re-train into an Online Course for ChildCare....preferable in infants. I have three grandchildren and have taken care of them on a constant basis. At present, I am taking care of my 3 Yr Old granddaughter all day. I also take care of a 6 yrs old after school which includes homework etc. I have also taken care of another granddaughter during her infant days and on occasionally when she is sick she will come for a day or two.
Do let me know the cost and the length of the course. I have worked for over 33 years in the business world and decided that since I cannot find a position anywhere that this field would be very rewarding.
I already have my Credentialing as a level 3 teacher. I also have my BS in education. In order to go to a level 4 (Maryland) I need 12 hours in community and 5 hours in special needs course work. I have taken, and enjoyed, the 5 course hours in special needs. What courses should I take for community. I love this site for it's information and ease of continuning education, especially with a family to raise.Thanks or any help you can offer.
Congratulations on continuing your development as an early childhood professional and thank you for your kind words about our coursework!
In order to be sure Maryland will accept your hours for their "community" requirement, I recommend you get in touch with someone in licensing and present them with the course catalog on our website. They can review the courses we offer and let you know which ones they would accept to meet that specific state training requirement.
Keep up the wonderful work and good luck in all of your continuing education!
I bought an annual subscription this week to take courses for my CDA. I currently have 34 hours I believe. But reading some of these posts it appears I need to enroll in an actual CDA program - or is this a way for you to make more money off those of us in the field that pays so little?? I have been in this field over 22 years and was licensed thru the USAF (we were required to complete the same modules - but at time USAF did not give us our CDA for all the work they required). I cannot afford $800 for classes. I live in TX and there is never a grant or financial help for CDAs. My goal this week was to finally finish and earn my CDA by end of this summer - this is something I have been trying to achieve for years. Now it looks as if this will not work and I blew $99. Can I finish the CDA without the online CDA program?
Good evening Sherry,
There are not enough courses in the Professional Development Library you subscribed to that meet the specific training requirements set forth by the Council for Professional Recognition. The Professional Development Library and subscription were designed for people to meet continuing education/CEU requirements (often to meet annual training requirements).
The good news is that any courses that also occur in our CDA Program that you've already taken in Professional Development can transfer into your program so you don't have to take them twice. Also, you might want to find out from our Admissions/Accounting Department whether you could get a $99 credit to count toward your CDA Program with us and then you would not be starting from scratch and you would know you were getting training that meets the Council's requirements.
Have a great weekend!
I emailed Admissions this psat weekend and have yet to hear anything back on the tuition issue as mentioned in the above posts. Any idea how long it takes to get an answer back from them? Sorry if I sound I am in a hurry - but have been trying to complete my CDA for so long I want to meet my goal.
hello, I have a question. I have taken my cde course in a classroom setting but was with drawn from the program b/c I missed 2 days. I didnt get to finish my last cycle, and now its to hard to go back to school. I was wondering if I could pick up were I left off online here with your school. I have all my hours(2000+). Can you please help. thsnk you
I have a question, once I take the final exam course, will I still have acces to my account?
Yes, you will have access to your program for a year after your graduation. This will give you time to go back and review as well as retrieve any work/responses that you might need later (like your competency statements).
I would like to know what courses you recomend to do for Tools and strategies for data collection?
Good afternoon Windixie,
Courses can can prepare you for collecting data (of various kinds) would be our marketing courses or our assessment courses. It depends on the type of data you are looking to collect. If you want data on improving your center/administration and staying competitive in the market, our marketing courses would be great for you. If you're looking for data on staying responsive to the developmental needs of each child within your program, then the assessment courses would be ideal. Go to our Course Catalog on the main webpage (www.cceionline.edu)and you will see a thorough list of our courses along with descriptions to help you decide.
Hello-It took me about 3 months to complete my CDA. This is my second renewal. I am also an CDA Advisor as well.
Yeah! I finshed the online CDA course! It was tough, especially when you work and still have a family to take care of. I almost thought I wouldn't make the deadline, but I made it with the help of God.
Now, I'm not too sure what comes next but I believe it's filling out an application and having my supervisor finshing up her observation of me. Once that's taken care of, it's time for the big part....the oral & written exam, along witht the viewing of my resource file and parent questionaires. I'm all set with my resource file and parent surveys, but I wonder how long I have to wait for a test date. Also, how do I know if I have enough ECE credits as well?
Anyway.... to those that are trying to climb that ladder by attaining a CDA, stay in there and try to stay focus. I know it may seem difficult but any extra time you get, try to use it to work on your studies. I wish everyone well!
Congratulations and thank you for encouraging everyone else to continue with their own professional development, NikkiDominique!
As far as your questions regarding the time line with the Council for Professional Recognition once you apply for your verification visit, you will want to contact them directly at 1.800.424.4310. It sounds like process-wise you are right on track, but you can always feel free to refer to the Council's website for information regarding their process: www.cdacouncil.org.
Regarding your ECE credits, you are eligible for up to 26 quarter-hour credits since you took the College Credit Eligible CDA Program. The number of credits you are granted by the institution you transfer them to and whether they are "enough" depends on the institution you are looking at or what requirements you are trying to fulfill.
I work as an Assitant Teacher right now and I have always been wanting to get my CDA. My question is since I do not really have the money for this course right now is would I be able to pay the school off as I go, or does my job pay for it as a scholarship.
Good morning Sammi,
Congratulations on looking into taking this important step in your professional development! We have many CDA program options and I recommend that you contact our Admissions Manager to discuss the option(s) that would work best for you. You can email or call: email@example.com or 1.800.499.9907 ext. 523.
Once the course is completed do I take the test or is there some sort of interview happening?
Good morning Robin,
In order to answer your question I will need more information. Are you talking about being 100% in your coursework with us and taking your final exam for your online program, or are you talking about being complete with your entire program and taking the exam with the Council Representative? Feel free to call or email and I'd be more than happy to discuss the process with you:
1.800.499.9907 ext 538
I plan on volunteering my time at my church's preschool in order to obtain my 480 hours of professional experience. When I apply to the council, it is ok that I am only a volunteer and not a paid employee?
Good morning Serissa,
You'll want to reach out to the Council for Professional Recognition directly to discuss your situation with them and make sure that your hours will meet their professional experience requirement. You can call the Council at 1.800.424.4310.
Does working in the child's individual home count toward the 480 hours of contact with children? I am not working in a Center but self employed and go to the child's home to provide child care services. I secure 100% of my child care positions through care.com. I am currently completing the educational component of the CDA. I understand teh 480 contact hours is a Council requirement and not a CCEI requirement.
Thank you in advance!
The 480 hours of experience need to be professional experience in a group setting. To find out whether you might be able to use your hours (or possibly submit a waiver) you would want to contact the Council directly. You can either visit their website at www.cdacouncil.org or call them at 1.800.424.4310.
I completed the online CDA courses almost two years ago. I work in an area that involves a community center and aquatics program for children. The programs are not recognized by county, etc. Is there a way I can complete my CDA with working with the children in these areas? I am very involved in program planning, etc.
How many CEU's do in need to renew my CDA?
Good morning Donita,
Here is the Council's page outlining all of the CDA Renewal requirements:
You need 4.5 CEUs (45 clock hours) to meet the education requirement. Feel free to reach out to our AR Admission Representative to discuss your training options. 1.800.499.9907 ext 544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What courses do I need to take for my CDA on this website?
Thank you for your interest! We have various options for getting your CDA. You can explore them all here:
http://www.cceionline.edu/certificateCatalog.cfm or you can contact our Admissions Department at 1.800.499.9907 est 523.
If you were looking at our Professional Development library, it is offered to help people get CEUs and meet other continuing education or professional development requirements. It does not stand alone as a source of CDA training but you would be able to combine your PD training with other training to get the minimum 120 hours in the six competency areas that the Council requires. Any PD coursework you take with us that is also in your program would automatically transfer into your CDA certificate with CCEI should you enroll.
Encouraging Parent Participation
Please refer to the related courses CCEI520 & CCEI520P1 – Parent Communication and Family Involvement.
Good communication between parents and caregivers in the early childhood setting is very important. Good communication can encourage the parents to get involved with events at the child care facility, which is a benefit for the children. According to the National Parent Teacher Association, parent’s involvement in their children’s school has a positive effect on the children’s self-esteem. How do you help to include working parent’s in your school activities?
encourage the parents to get involved, send home notes and keep them up to date on things that are happening with their children's school activities
It is good to learn from parents, and make sure it it not a one way street- they know a lot about their child in settings we do not share; when is their child most tired during the day? what are the signs of tiredness? what if any changes have happened in the home (good or bad, little or big) so we can be aware of them? ( rearranging the furniture at home can be a big change to some kids!) and these changes often spill over into behavior at the program.
It's good to communicate with the child's parent. Why, because you can learn great ideas from your parents as well as the ideas you already have it will be good to put two and two together.While talking to a parent about there child or children it's always good to say positive things as well as saying things that the child does in the classroom area. It is also good to motivate the parents to come into the classroom area to see what the child is doing that will motivate the child to do even better.
Preparing for a Licensing Visit
Please refer to the related course CCEI959 – Legal Issues for Directors
Early care programs must comply with many state and federal laws. Specifics may vary from state to state so it is important to become aware of your state’s regulations. Children’s safety is generally handled by licensing. Licensing includes many areas. It may include staff qualifications, safety, teacher/child ratios, social services, sanitation, health services and nutritional services. What is your biggest struggle in preparing for a licensing visit?
yes why not
well for this year state has not come yet but the things we are trying to get together is our paperwork. From sleepcharts to immunizations and physicals. We have everything but sometimes when we enroll kids quickly you kind of slip over it.
We are preparing for a state visit coming in May. We are basicaly getting together our calssroom portfolios right now. Its fun!!!
The biggest challenges are admitting that your program is deficient in whatever area(s), fixing the issues, and then educating all of your employees about what was wrong and how you plan to fix it so that it doesnt happen in the future (especially when they have the "but we've always done it like that" mentality.
As a lead teacher, I have worked with different co teachers for ratio purposes.
Most coteachers I have had come in with an attitude that they know it all. But they don't!
You would be surprised to know that I have seen bleach for the diaper table used to clean a table after lunch, while the children are sitting down. As soon as I saw it, I stopped it, of course! (The bottle is marked DIAPER TABLE ONLY!)
This is only one the sorts of problems I fear during our assessment.
Thank you for posting to this discussion. I understand how frustrating it can be to work with someone who does not necessarily follow proper procedures or processes in the center. I do encourage you to express the importance of upholding the proper procedures and policies to your co-teachers. You can inform them of their responsibility if they do not adhere to providing quality child care, which includes everything from following the routine of your classroom all the way up to upholding the requirements of any center accreditation your center may have earned.
We are currently preparing for a licensing visit. Our past director recently resigned and I have stepped into the interim role as I complete my CDA. The toughest thing I have come across is fixing things that were left undone. I found a staff person with no file!! How do you fix that?
The hardest task i have with preparing for a licensing visit is getting my parents to make sure that their child's folder is up to date.
It is really tough to "clean up" after someone else and unfortunately you have to do this while satisfying your CDA requirements. The only thing you can do about the teacher's file is to have the teacher collect all of the documents required. If there is information you need to have documented from the time the previous director was active, you will need to back track as much as possible and get the file updated. If you have a person you can place in charge of file inventory, this will be help to free you up from a paper chase and you can check in with that person on a weekly basis. I wish you the best and I hope your visit goes off without a hitch!
Getting parent participation can be tricky. One tip I can offer is to tie some type of incentive or make a friendly competition to complete the task, in this case updating the child's file. Perhaps, you can highlight the parent(s) who have an updated file and feature them in an area of the classroom visible to all of the parents or in a class/school newsletter. Before you know it, you will have parents coming to you with all the info you need to complete their child's file.
Healthy Bodies and Growing Minds
Please refer to the related courses CCEI 530A, 530B, 540B, 540C, & 550
Providing healthy meals and snacks in the childcare setting is a great way to encourage children to form lifelong good eating habits. Cooking is a very enjoyable activity for most children and a wonderful window of opportunity for both teaching and learning. Please share some of your fun recipes and cooking activities.
Cooking is enyoyable activity for some of the kids. They love pasta and pancakes,and other healthy foods.
Thanks for sharing Ruth!
Here is recipe that is tasty and very easy to make. You can also turn this into a science lesson as liquid will be turned into solid.
(Adult Supervison is Must)
Perfect Peachy Freeze- Serves: 3
Serving size: 4 oz. (1/2 cup)
1/2 c. milk
1 c. sliced peaches (they can be either fresh or canned)
1 tsp. sugar
ice cube tray
1.Pour the milk into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
2.Pop the "milk cubes" out of the tray and put them into the blender. Then put the peaches and sugar into the blender.
3.Put the lid on the blender and blend on high speed until everything is all mixed together and very smooth.
4.Pour your Perfect Peachy Freeze into serving dishes and serve right away.
65 Calories, 2g protein, 0g fat,15g carbs, 1mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 53mg calcium, 0.3mg iron
the health is very good
the healthy body is need to exelent food and exercise for development of the child
When I was working in a daycare I was in the kitchen. And I tried my best to give more healthy food to the kids. For example instead of precooked chicken patties I start ordering fresh chicken breast. I sliced them and bake them in the oven.
Or instead of french fries (the frozen one) I start ordering fresh potatoes. Which I would have boiled or roasted with some herbs.
The owner was also very happy about the kitchen budget! ;) Fresh food cost less than processed food.
That's great! Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in the mindset that fresh always equals expensive. As you have pointed out, that is not always the case! The closer we can get to the natural state of the food item, the healthier it is for the children. It is a matter of doing some research and price-comparing. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out just how many fresh items you can fit into your budget!
children grow into healthy body and minds by physical activies such as walking,climbing,running,kicking,jumping these activies make them feel good about them self and about there growing ablities.they also need to learn new skills in thinking and talking quality care means developmental care that help children develope their mind and healthy place.
Right, Ada! Children are natural movers and they learn by exploring their world with all five senses. It is important to allow children to explore as they develop physically and learn all that their bigger and stronger bodies can do! A healthy body and healthy mind go hand-in-hand and it sounds like you make a point to nurture both. It sounds like you do all that is developmentally appropriate to support their physical and cognitive development. Keep it up!
Please refer to the related course CCEI 660- Supporting Appropriate Choices: The Preschool Teacher and Classroom Discipline.
Discipline is a word that means to teach. It is a positive means of setting limits that leads to a child developing self-control and responsibility.
Some Positive discipline strategies include: Distraction, Redirecting, Setting Limits and Positive Reinforcement.
Please share your experiences and helpful tips for guiding children towards appropriate choices in the preschool setting.
I recently had an experience where someone was using a stoplight and moving kids from green to yellow to red when they did not behave. I do not believe this is good positive discipline. The teacher has changed the system, gotten rid of the stoplight, and now the children earn points when they are seen exhibiting good behavior traits.
Author Ken Blanchard tells us that the best way to positively change behavior is to "Catch someone doing something right". Blanchard's premise is a perfect example of Positive Reinforcement. A direct and focused acknowledgment of good behavior helps children understand what is correct. In addition, the happy feelings associated with the good behavior leaves the child wanting more compliments and results in the negative behavior diminishing.
Whenever I can, I try to develop a closer relationship with my children by talking, reading, hugs, encouragement, asking questions, etc., so that if a problem ever arises, I have already cemented a relationship. From there, I can get closer to what is really bugging the child that day....Is he/she tired, hungry, wants to be alone, bored, needs to play outside, needing a hug, etc.
When you invest time with a child in a positive way before there is ever a discipline problem, you can expect the outcome to be smoother and have better results.
Has anyone else found this kind of interaction to help?
Re: Positive Reinforcement
I like the method of teach4life. Its a wonderful one to do with kids.Being a human we all need love and love makes everything work smooth and long lasting. I love my kids very much and they do what ever I want. I do what they want and play in a way with them where I teach them the rules and regulations as well as discipline them.If I give them a lecture they forget but teaching them in a play way method they remember and get practiced and finally it becomes a habit.
You have all made valid points and shared wonderful insights into the value of positive discipline for the development of young children. I agree that forming and maintaining strong relationships is a vital part of any meaningful teacher/student relationship, and that this relationship can promote positive discipline in the classroom.
In using positive discipline, we are attempting to guide the child toward appropriate choices and behaviors. It makes complete sense that we would guide them toward positive choices by focusing on positivity ourselves! I enjoyed the citation from Ken Blanchard about catching someone doing something right. We need to seek out and reward positive actions and outcomes in our classrooms.
One powerful tool is to review your classroom rules or limits. Are they stated in terms of the behavior that is expected? Are they stated positively? Or are they a "laundry list" of what not to do? Maybe your first step toward positive discipline can be to reword any negatively phrased rules in a positive manner. Instead of "No running", how about "We walk in the classroom"?
Does anyone else have any techniques, tips, or insights to share with the rest of the group?
This is the first year in a long time that we have had to use a behavioral chart in the classroom. The one that we use is similar to the "stop light" MSC mentioned above. We use the colors green, yellow, orange and red. Everyone starts off on green everyday, you get one warning then it's on to yellow, then orange and a time out, if it gets to red then it's a talk with parents. I work with 4&5 year olds, and this year they are a very young bunch of 4's. We have 3 children that have special needs that no one wants to "label" so it is hard to know how to address the behaviors. Are they just behavior issues? We don't know. We try to "let go" and let one do or not do as he chooses(we were advised to do this) but what about the other 19 that also want that choice. And by choices I mean walking around with as little clothing as he chooses. Music and movement time he just wants to crawl around between his friends legs. When he sees something he wants he takes or shoves or has even bitten for the item. We are trying to reward good behavior in hopes that he notices and will want to choose good behavior. "I like the way Johnny and Suzie are building with blocks together.." "Thank you Joey for cleaning up your snack things" The other two are, stated only by the parents, have aspergers and one ADHD which I believe there is more than just the ADHD.
Grammy, it sounds like you are trying to handle a difficult situation the best you know how. It's hard enough to balance everyone's wants and needs in the ECE classroom, but now you have some new members of the class that require additional accommodation.
I do have a website and some resources that can help you with the social and emotional development aspect of these behaviors. If you go to www.vanderbilt.edu/csefel/, you will find resources and links, including a section called Book Nook with a recommended book and handouts on Social Emotional Teaching Strategies from The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. If you create activities throughout the day based on themes, it will lend a comforting continuity to each day while also teaching key social-emotional development concepts. It will most likely take time for any of these concepts to take hold, but creating a routine and a cohesiveness of concepts throughout the day could teach him the "survival skills" they need to get through each day.
Rewarding positive behavior, as you mentioned you do, is another good tool. I once heard "catch them doing good"-notice them doing something positive when they weren't prompted to do so, praise them out loud, and offer a reward. That way, the students know that not only are you watching, but that you're seeking out ways to acknowledge their good behavior. Also, try to befriend the child, getting close enough to start a dialogue if possible. Communicate to this child that he is a valued member of the class, that you are glad he is here, and that you want him to be happy and learn. On Monday When It Rained by Cherryl Kachenmeister is a great book for introducing and discussing feelings with the class. His behavior might be stemming from a feeling of lack of control: give him a "task" or two to do every day. His behavior might be stemming from lack of self-esteem: focus activities for a week or more on confidence and self-esteem. He might have tension and stress at home that manifests itself in the behaviors he presents at the center. Building trust and opening a dialogue will go a long way in getting to the root of his difficulties.
You'll just want to be careful not to slip into the role of "diagnostician"-you're not there to "figure it out"-you're there to work with the child, and if there are red flags, to report them to the administration and possibly the parents. You are this child's ally and friend, and as daunting a task as it may seem, I know you can do it! The simple fact that you're concerned enough to post here shows how much you care!
I have done many different things to control behavior in my classroom. I work in preschool and I had one child who, no matter what we told him to do, he would do exactly the opposite and we figured out that always correcting him was doing nothing. My center doesn't not allow us to use rewards for good behavior, so I asked me boss if I could use a reward chart for him , only I would ask the parents to provide the reward. We did that. His reward was he was only to bring home our classroom bunny for a weekend. Within 3 days, the behavior problems all but vanished and he is well on his way to bringing the bunny home.
I also catch children doing what they are supposed to do and compliment them and I very quickly have 16 children doing the same so they can get the compliment as well.
I have very loving relationships with all my children and that can help behavior issues as well as inhibit. I say this because some children will try and use that relationship to push their boundaries. I am not saying you shouldn't have close relationships with your children, but we weary because the little ones can be sneaky sometimes =)
These are excellent suggestions for people who find themselves in more restrictive environments like your center! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas, CMHALL!
Please refer to the related course CCEI 700: Planning an Early Childhood Environment that Promotes Creativity.
As Early Childhood Professionals we provide an environment that supports creativity in young children. Themes are main topics or ideas which classroom activities are planned. They help provide creative opportunities for the development of learning skills.
Please share your favorite themes. We would love to hear your creative ideas and comments.
My Favorite Theme was Dirt
The activities that we learn from that was what lives in dirt. Things we also learn what can grow in dirt. We also ate worms and watch the movie How To Eat Fried Worms.... The kids loved that love making mud pies growing plants etc..........
Dirt is a wonderful theme Teresa! It opens up so many discussions for science, and gets children involved in a hands-on way in the world that surrounds them! Your activities sound great! Another fun one for children is to make edible "dirt":
Either as a class or on your own as prep time, prepare chocolate pudding and divide into enough individual portions for each member of the class.
Top the chocolate pudding with either chocolate wafer crumbs or crumbled chocolate cake, and then top each one with a few gummy worms.
Now each person in the class will have their own cup of dirt to enjoy, and the conversation about dirt can move further. You can expand it into dirt making mud, worms living in dirt and what they do for the soil, etc.
Great job and thank you for your insightful post!
I was wondering if any one know if we are to write a lesson plan for a week or just write about the process of writing a lesson plan in chapter 18?