Welcoming Children and Families: A Family Resource Guide
ECE 205: Introduction to Child Development
Welcoming Children and Families: A Family Resource Guide
Hello and Welcome to our school! We are so happy to have you and your child in our classroom. “Did you know that in every culture, all over the world, children play? The United Nations even considers play to be the right of every child” (ECLKC, 2018, pg.2, para 4). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 2018) stated that “play is one-way children engage in and interact with their environment. Play allows children to safely explore their fears and practice adult roles. Play is a way for children to build relationships with their peers and caregivers” (pg.2, para 5).
In this classroom we do encourage children to play this, will help with all 5 of their domains such as social-emotional, cognitive development, development language, physical development, and self-help skills. I believe Pre-K is where we set the foundation for skills that the children will use in their future.
Every child will learn and process things differently, but every child will learn how to comprehend language in their own time. I will be encouraging you to help support your child every day at home so they can continue to develop they’re at home language daily. These skills are very important for a child to learn, having your support will only help encourage them more. Having conversations with your child helps model their language all the way up to when they are an adult, therefore, it is so important to have conversations with your child daily. Conversations also help develop their cognitive skills, literacy, and social skills. Families are encouraged to come into the classroom at any time and I hope to see you all through-out the year! I would love to see parents and grandparents to be involved in the classroom.
Hello! My name is Christina Eckman, I currently reside in Pocatello Idaho born and raised. I absolutely love working with children. I am so excited to be your child’s Pre-K teacher this year. I have been working with kids for 5 years now. I started working at a daycare where I fell in love working with children and watching them learn new things every day. This is where I initially decided I wanted to become a teacher. After the daycare, I started working as a Teachers Assistant (Paraprofessional) at my sons’ school. I am a mother of three beautiful boys. They are my reasoning for pushing me to continue my degree in Early Childhood Education. I have worked with children ages 2-12. I loved working with all age groups, but kindergarten and first grade stuck out to me more. I will be going back to school to obtain my bachelor’s in education. I will be working towards becoming a Special education teacher and Kindergarten teacher. This is my ultimate goal! I am always learning new ways to help my students learn and be creative in their own way.
When you become a teacher of any grade, I believe that you should love children and want to help them along their journey to adulthood. Being a teacher can be stressful but also rewarding. You will need to love your job no matter how stressful it becomes. In order to teach the 5 domains of child development growth, you need to understand and be familiar with how children develop and how they hit their milestones. I believe I can create an environment where children will be able to thrive when they learn something new such as, new materials, new centers, and activities that are adjusted toward your child learning.
The NAEYC (2009) stated that when children are interested in reaching out to their peers and sharing their feelings then they are more able to make express their feelings the correct way. Children who make essential cognitive gains that will be able to help them express their feelings in pretend play, objects, language skills, drawing, and math symbols. As a teacher, I will need to maintain the correct skill to help provide each individual child with the correct amount of sensitivity, challenges, stimulation, and support by having these this will create a positive and delightful environment to help your child become successful. Every child will develop at a different rate it is amazing how we can change the chain reaction of a child’s way of thinking. As a teacher, you will be devoted to that child’s life. As you teach children you can help change the way they think about school, learn, and help encourage them to push themselves no matter what they have happening in their life. This is why I have chosen to become a teacher. I love how I can encourage a child to do the best they can.
Everything that I have learned from my Early childhood development classes, experiences, and training has made me into the educator I believe I can be. It has taught me that not everything is going to be in the textbook. Every child is different, and you will need to find new ways to help that child succeed. As an educator, you need to look at each child individually not just as a class. NAEYC (2009) said that children will develop better if they are more secure about any relationship that they have. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Peter Pan (J. M. Barrie, 1904). I love this quote because to me it means you should never doubt yourself. Once you start doubting yourself you will believe that you can’t do what you want to do. You should never doubt yourself no matter the situation.
According to the NAEYC (2009) “Children learn through positive modeled behavior by teacher, environment, and parents.” In my opinion, children will learn as much as you allow them to learn. As a teacher, you will need to be flexible and knowledgeable, but also caring and firm. Most of all you will need to be understanding. Educators have no clue what happens outside of school. We don’t know if the student has a safe and loving environment so while they are at school, we need to instill that we have a safe and loving environment.
Importance of Early Learning
Jean Piaget believes play is one of the most important ways children can learn. Her theory of cognitive development has four different stages. Piaget considers children to be easily driven to learn. Pre-K students are mainly focused on “the final period of the sensorimotor stage which involves solving problems by mentally combining new information taken in about the world around the child” (Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk, 2014, sec.6.3) similar to Lego’s and building blocks.
We need to be encouraging children to learn in different ways and using their different motions. I will be merging music and different instruments into our daily activities. Music has great benefits such as decreasing stress and encourages different language development. Bright Horizons Family Solutions (2018) stated that “music ignites all areas of child development and skills: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words” (pg.1, para 2).
I love how Vygotsky’s theory of sociocultural is more based “on the idea that social interaction and children’s participation in cultural activities are necessary for healthy development. These activities must include the cultural tools of communication and other skills that guide cognitive development” (Berk & Winsler, 1995). Culture has a huge influence on child development. There are always going to be pros and cons in growing up in an enriched cultural environment. “These influences include direct and indirect impacts of culture, race, and ethnicity as well as the powerful effects of economics, gender roles, marriage, divorce, single parenthood, and religion” (Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk, 2014). Having a parent involved in their child’s life is crucial for their success in the future despite their society and culture.
“Through imitation, children learn new behaviors (modeling effect), they learn to inhibit or engage in deviant behaviors (inhibitory/disinhibitory effect), and they learn to engage in behaviors similar but not identical and those of the models (eliciting effect).” (Lefrancois, 2012, pg. 212).
There are many different core approaches like society, interactions in childhood, environment, different science and math skills that evolve all through early childhood, this will affect the way children are learning and growing. According to Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk, (2014), “these core concepts attempt to grasp the typical and atypical developmental paths of early childhood. They cover the prenatal period to kindergarten and address how early experiences affect all components of development from neurological development to cultural and societal influences” (sec, 1.5, para 4). Our schools’ ambition is increasing the students learning and having the knowledge of all the different theories and theorists that are known to have great leadership and history when it comes to the development of a child.
I believe that our classroom should be arraigned with the student’s best interest in mind. Their environment should be fun, colorful, but not too overwhelming for the students during school. We need to make sure our classrooms are age appropriate and support the child’s social-emotional, cognitive, physical and sensitive for each child. This gives them a healthy learning environment.
“Play is very significant for a child during the early childhood years. Therefore, knowledge of the development of different types of play gives educators and parents a foundation for proper teaching strategies. Space generally shapes the flow of play and communication in the classroom or outdoors” (Kritchevsky, Prescott, & Walling, 1977; Loughling & Suina, 1982).
This picture is an example of how we will use the 5 domains of development to help your child grow. “If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” -Vince Gowmon
Cognitive: I would like to motivate my students to use more cognitive skills. I will use small groups that will be easy to observe each child individually focus on what they struggle with every day. I will be able to do this by doing one activity at each table. “Mathematics content for young children is varied, playful, purposeful and meaningful to children” (The Children’s Learning Institute, 2010 pg.323, para 3). As an example, I would have the children count up to 10 at one table using colorful buttons. I will have frames for the children so they can use the buttons to on the frames. Each child will have ten buttons to glue on their frames. This is a great activity for students so they can start developing math skills that are going to be very important when they get into Kindergarten.
Social/Emotional: For this skill, I would like each child to play pretend at a learning center. This is where their vocabulary will become more enriched by the different items I will place at the center. I want them to start using their imagination. I like to watch children setting up the table for dinner and then cook some food on the pretend stove in the learning center. This helps with their vocabulary especially when they are students that don’t have the best verbal vocabulary. They will be interacting with the children and an educator to help them learn the different vocabulary they will need to know. As an educator, I will be fully aware of their needs.
Language: I will be implementing language skills into different centers this will allow children to learn new words every day. For example, the “Three little pigs” book in the library has puppets, and a flannel board available for children so they can use their imagination and put on a play for their friends and classmates. This will be associated with the vocabulary words for the week. We will make it a lesson and teach it throughout the week. All of the lesson plans will include a Spanish version so we can encourage dual language learners. Every child will have the correct materials so they can tell the story and encourage social and language interaction with their peers.
“Poor language development is especially problematic because language skills are the foundation for learning to read and for successful interactions with peers” (Hebbeler & Spike, 2016, pg.193, para1). It is important to ask the students open-ended questions to help increase critical thinking skills and also be able to communicate with their teacher peers.
Physical: It is important to use both indoor and outdoor activities in our everyday teaching. Indoor activities will include 15 minutes of singing different songs, we will do interactive dances followed by a relaxing time to help the brain continue to learn. The outdoor activities will include playground activities like the parachute or an alphabet hunt.
Communication is very important between teachers and parents. All children develop at different rates. As your child’s teacher, I am 100% devoted to your child. If at any time you feel like I do not have your child’s interest in mind, please talk to me. I want you to feel comfortable with your decision of having me as your student’s teacher. We will have conferences and address any problems or questions you have. Children at this age will always get more help when they are struggling. According to Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk (2014) “the course of development can be altered in early childhood by effective interventions that change the balance between risk and protection thereby shifting the odds in favor of more adaptive outcomes” (sec. 1.3, para 2).
We encourage parents, and teachers, to be aware of the student’s needs. Parents that are more involved help their child’s learning grow tremendously. Some activities you can do at home ask open-ended questions after reading them a book. But also play pretend with them so they can show you how they use their imagination. I will be sending home different activities for each student so they can have your help completing the activity. I encourage you to read to your child every night for 15 minutes every night this helps with their social-emotional, language, and critical thinking skills.
If we can have continuous support for every child at school and home, then we will succeed your child by increasing your child’s learning abilities. It is amazing that we as teachers and parents can help change the way your child learns. If we take the appropriate steps and help each child individually meet their goals. Thank you for reading my resource guide. If you have any questions, please call me at the school or email me. I will always be more than willing to help you.
These are some resources for families in our local area:
- Portneuf Valley Family Center 444 Hospital way #477 Pocatello, Idaho 83201
- Languages Translation Services http://www.translationcompany.us/idaho/translation-services/pocatello-translators.html
- Idaho Children’s Mental Health 1070 Hiline Rd #170 Pocatello Idaho 83201 (208) 235-2088
- Journeys DDA Developmental Disability Agency 1177 Call Pl, Pocatello, ID 83201 (208) 235-1334
- https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Children/InfantToddlerProgram/tabid/4120/Default.aspx this program helps coordinate an early intervention service to help assist Idaho children from birth till three years of age who have a developmental delay.
- https://www.siphidaho.org/comhealth/parents_as_teachers.php This program helps parents become teachers, by a visiting at the family’s home.
- I hope you found this guide to be helpful in what your child will be learning and how we plan on teaching your child. I believe play is very important for every child. “Play is very significant for a child during the early childhood years. Therefore, knowledge of the development of different types of play gives educators and parents a foundation for proper teaching supplies” (Kritchevsky, Prescott & Walling 1977; Loughling & Suina, 1982). Play will allow your child to safely explore different fears and practice different adult roles such as being a doctor, fireman, police officer, and a parent.
- I encourage you to be more involved in the classroom throughout this school year. I have some resources listed and hopefully have explained them enough for you to understand. If you have any questions, please contact me and I will explain anything you need help with.
Children’s Language and Learning, 1987 Children’s Learning Institute. Retrieved from https://www.childrenslearninginstitute.org
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) introduction. (2009). Retrieve from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/positionstatements/PSDAP.pdf
Groark, C. J. McCarthy, S. K. & Kirk, A. R. (2014). Early child development: From theory to practice. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Lefrançois, G. R. (2012). Children’s journeys: Exploring early childhood. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Watson, A., & McCathren, R. (2009, March). Including Children with Special Needs. Young Children. (Kritchevsky, Prescott, & Walling, 1977; Loughling & Suina, 1982). Retrieved from https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/53567_ch_10.pdf
Kathleen Hebbeler and Donna Spiker, 2016 Supporting Young Children with Disabilities Retrieved from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxylibrary.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid =17c67bca-be78-459a-bedb-7970aea5f330%40sdc-v-sessmgr03
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