Early Education

Early EducationI am a Director of an early childhood center. I wanted to take the time to inform the community, particularly the parents of the community, of several opportunities that exists right in our area. Early Education! I am aware that the parents of this community are heavily involved in the welfare and of the achievements of their children. From the moment of their birth they are beginning to learn and collect information, even while still in their mother’s womb. Education plays a large role in our children’s welfare, now and later in life. I would like to make you aware of the different opportunities that there are available in this community, that will allow your child to be in an educationally enriched environment. If you haven’t heard of the term Early Education, let me share with you some background and research on the subject.

Common Misconceptions

In the past when people heard the word childcare, they may have automatically thought of a place that simply watched over your child while you were at work, or tending to some other duties, and at one time that may have been the case, but so much has changed in the course of 30 years. Early education centers are held to much higher standards than they were back then. Early education Programs, follow a steady flow of rules and regulation that dictate how we are to go about our day to day business and with that we implement a high functioning curriculum that addresses and guides the teacher’s lesson planning, assist them how to better target a child’s strengths and address any potential delays which will result in bettering the outcome of the children.

Research

Research shows that when children are exposed to early learning experiences before they turn five, they have long term benefits and their school readiness scores are substantially being risen. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said, “High-quality early childhood education and full-day kindergarten are fundamental to a student’s long term success and shouldn’t be determined by their parents ‘income… {It}is the right thing to do.” One well-known study, the High Scope Perry Preschool Study, found that individuals who were enrolled in a quality preschool program ultimately earned up to $2,000 more per month than those who were not. Young people who were in preschool programs are more likely to graduate from high school, to own homes, and have longer marriages. With all the different resources available to parents now, it would behoove the parents of the community to take advantage of this opportunity.

Support

The State of Florida offers its support to Early Education Programs through various means. OEL (office of early learning) offer pilot programs which allows programs to potentially strengthen their staff, by investing time, teaching, and funding, the training they provide largely enrich the teacher’s knowledge of the field. Which is in turn put back into the classroom instruction.

Coalitions also contribute greatly to the success of such programs. Adding assistance to Educational Centers and Institutes providing collaboration with those related in the field, planning meetings and hand in hand working with families through their child’s formative years. They also provide health screenings for children, to identify any potential delays that may hinder a child’s cognitive growth. Along with vast resources that contribute to the overall success to Individual programs.

Unique Opportunity

There are a few aspects of early education programs that benefit families on a more personal level. One is that from the time you drop off your child to the time they leave, your child is in an enriched learning environment. Early educators are taught to not only scaffold the classroom environment to encourage higher learning, but consciously use each moment of the day as teachable moments. by actively scheduling in their lesson plans well laid out strategies that target different areas of learning, such as cognitive, social emotional, physical both large motor skills and fine motor and language skills.

Another thing that is unique to Early Education Programs is that, the amount of time in which we have the children. Most Programs have the ability to stay open for a longer period of time, opening early in the morning and closing later in the afternoon. This gives parents a more flexible time to arrange their affairs, and give the children an opportunity to get more hands on experience, which they largely need at that particular age in life. It prepares them for what they will encounter later on when they come of age to enter public school.

Calibration between Professionals

Collaboration between teachers continues to be essential when it comes to children leaving the preschool program, and entering Kindergarten. The Preschool teacher really become, the voice of the child when it comes to what strengths, and weaknesses that may exist. The kindergarten teacher will have a better view of the child’s potential, and can use the information that’s been collected to aid in his, her assessment and planning. The information shared on each child can really go a long way in ensuring the ease of transition. If we continue to see collaboration between Professionals, it will help in easing the transitional period, when entering Kindergarten.

 

Teachers Are Teaching, BUT Are Students Understanding?

Teachers Are TeachingWe live in an age where the number of discussions about education reform, teacher accountability, and dropout rates have become the basis of news reports, research topics, and even dinner conversation topics. Many educators feel the overwhelming pressures of high-stakes testing, the lack of parental involvement, biased teacher evaluation systems, and limited amounts of instructional time to sufficiently address all of the academic standards prior to the end of the school year. At times, as an educator, it becomes difficult to decipher through it all in order to figure out what to do to meet the needs of the divergent learners that come into our classrooms. It is because of this difficulty, which in part, may explain the alarming number of teachers choosing to leave the profession altogether. With so many challenges, many may ask: “Well, what is the answer to improving student learning?” The answer is that in the midst of it all, educators must remain committed to the one element within education that is within their control, which is authentic and purposeful teaching. This type of teaching occurs when teachers seek to teach so that their students understand because without understanding learning ceases to exist. In order to teach for understanding, teachers can choose to focus their energies to committing to three key principles: teaching the whole child, taking careful mental notes along the way, and making the learning process a reciprocal process.

So, let’s begin! Teaching the whole child takes work because in order to teach the whole child, you must know the whole child. This requires studying your students. As, we study our students, it is necessary that we endeavor to collect artifacts or data that offers insight as to what they are heard saying and observed doing. The information gained aids teachers in making accurate inferences relative to student learning. Through student observations, value is placed on the qualitative data that children can offer, but in today’s society, the quantitative data or numerical value that can be derived from test scores have unfortunately gained more value. So, our students have been oftentimes seen more as numbers rather than actual people. For example, consider the times that you have had the opportunity to participate in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, or a Data Team meeting. Think about how the strengths and needs of various students were identified. You may recall hearing the number of grade levels that a child may have been performing at in comparison to his or her peers or the number of words that a child could read fluently within a minute. Indeed, the numbers can provide vital sources of information, but they are not the only sources of information that educators can glean from. So, instead of “talking numbers”, educators should seek every opportunity to learn why students perform at the level that they do. This is not a superficial task, but one that requires work and dedication.

Secondly, it is so critical that teachers make mental notes before teaching, while teaching, and after teaching. Engaging in a reflective practice is so necessary if teachers endeavor to be more than what Wiggins and McTighe identify as “coverage teachers”, but instead, teachers that are truly invested in their students’ ability to understand what is taught. Making these mental notes requires that you monitor the level of engagement, motivation, and interest that your learners take in the learning process that you have been assigned to facilitate. Recording these mental notes, requires that teachers not only engage in observing their students, but that they also strive to make connections that will help them to assess where their students are, where they are as the teacher, where understanding is occurring, where there may be potential breakdowns in understanding, and what next steps should be considered in moving forward. Making mental notes is advantageous because it gives the students the opportunity to benefit from responsive teaching, which means that the teacher is not teaching at them, but teaching for them… for them to understand.

Lastly, in order for students to understand what is taught, they must be invited to be a part of the process. Authentic and effective teaching is grounded in inviting students to engage in a process where reciprocity occurs. This reciprocity takes the form of teachers being willing to teach their students and to learn from them, and where students are willing to do the same. Believe it or not, there is a great deal that our students can and will teach us, if we give them permission to do so. We no longer live in an age where teachers serve as the sole provider of dispensing knowledge, but students can take on this role as well. Teachers can and must create a learning environment in which students’ thinking is valued, their opinions are welcomed, and their experiences are invited. In the absence of these components, students become disengaged and teachers struggle to teach for understanding.

Just like anything else in the world of academia, the three principles in this article can not simply be remembered, but must truly become embedded within the “teaching DNA” of an educator if they are to be truly practiced. These principles must be adopted as a part of the educator’s teaching philosophy, and not to be dismissed when new administrative mandates are introduced or drastic shifts in students’ behavior occur. Instead, teachers must remember that each principle discussed in this article is the source for relationship-building. “Good” teaching, which is teaching for understanding, is most evident, when teachers strive to build healthy, genuine relationships with their students.

 

Teaching Strategies That Can Help Motivate Students and Improve Learning

Teaching StrategiesOne of the teacher’s roles is to help the student improve on their learning skills and prepare for lifelong learning. Online tutoring services should promote the following productive learning skills: Concentrating, reading and listening, time management, remembering, creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration so, students can acquire skills they need to be productive.

To promote learner development in a way that draws out and gives form to what the student already knows, the teacher or tutor should provide mentorship in online tutoring websites.

PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS IN LEARNING

Modern theories of learning emphasize the need to think while learning because learning and thinking are related. As an educational goal of online math tutoring for kids, helping the child in learning how to think more productively by being able to generate ideas and to evaluate those ideas will lead to possible best solutions in problem-solving.

Critical thinkers must be creative thinkers as well in order to find best solutions.

Most often when a problem drags on, it is not because we cannot tell if the determined solution is the best, it only shows the gap in our inability to find the best solution available because no one has thought about it yet.

Designing a process for problem solving and combining creative-and-critical thinking skills can help the student improve their learning skills in an online tutoring platform. This combination process results in productive thinking.

MOTIVATIONAL PERSUASION AND LEARNING STRATEGIES

Humans learn because it is fun or it is useful in our present situation or both. When students discover that learning is fun, they want to partake in it more often and more skilfully, in different ways.

There are a variety of ways in which students think productively. According to Howard Gardner, “An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings”. Teachers and tutors alike should design teaching strategies that will be beneficial for students, using different learning styles.

One of the goals of education is to develop sharp analytical mind in the student vis a vis developing intelligences and help the student reach their full academic potential to face tough competition in the future. Students, who are helped to do so, will be more engaged, competent and inclined to serve humanity constructively.

Teacher and student working together in education improve goal matching due to combining goal-directed teaching and goal- directed learning. The prefect school environment should promote teamwork between teachers and students. Close matching between teacher and student goals can be achieved in two (2) ways; by teacher adjusting their goals to more closely match the way students think and by persuading students to adjust their thinking, so teacher goals become their learning goals. This way, they can embrace the teacher’s educational goals for them. Students want enjoyable, satisfactory and fun-filled learning sessions.

A teacher/tutor can achieve better learning results by adjusting to student goals and persuading them. These strategies also applies in learn it online tutoring platforms.

Self directed learning, places the responsibility of learning directly on the learner. This promotes the deeper learner approach. Deeper learning is demonstrated by the learners’ ability to explain a topic to others, apply it and consider related theories.

TEACHING STRATEGIES THAT MOTIVATE

In trying to persuade the student, the teacher/tutor should consider total motivation, as many students performance to a large extent is a reflection of their mindset.

Self perceptions of student always affect how they learn and perform.

One of the determinants of learning is motivation. When students feel a sense of belonging they are motivated to learn and do well in school.

One strategy to help students perform well in school as well as in online tutoring services is for teacher/tutor to care about their social as well as academic needs.

Social factors in the form of interpersonal relationship with peers, parents, and teachers are directly related to the students’ emotions. Emotions have been shown to play an important role in motivation and learning.

Another teaching strategy that promotes motivation is to keep students engaged or make each learning session engaging. Task-oriented and engaging outlook in learning is associated with deeper learning.

To facilitate task-oriented and engaging outlook strategy, teacher needs to evaluate each student on a personal level than comparing students’ performance against each other.

Specifically, this strategy to make the students learning session engaging involves taking what the students know from real life examples and using that concept in classroom learning. Students are motivated by knowing that what they learn in classroom and learn it online tutoring sessions is relevant to their daily life activities.

 

3 Foundational Techniques to Help You Teach Public Speaking to Youths

Public Speaking to YouthsPublic speaking is a skill that can benefit you for life. The earlier you master the art and science of public speech, the more time you have to enjoy the benefits it can bring to your personal and professional life. Unfortunately, delivering a speech in public is often rated as the number one fear in surveys; people are generally more fearful of giving a speech in public as compared to jumping from great heights, facing insects, and even facing death!

Therefore, the best time to pick up public speaking is when one is in school. Seek to conquer the fear of public speaking before entering the workforce.

Here are three techniques teachers can use to support their students in honing their public speaking skills.

Technique #1: Start small by asking open-ended questions

If your students are shy or introverted by nature, you can start getting them to speak up by asking open ended questions. Open-ended questions facilitate thinking, learning and speaking by allowing students to elaborate and expand on their answers. For example, you can ask questions such as “What would you do if you are the main character in the story?”, “What new ideas do you have with regards to this project?” or “What are the pros and cons of… ?”

Then, get students to start sharing their answers and opinions even by speaking out from their desks. This is one way to kickstart their learning process on public speaking.

Technique #2: Create more opportunities to speak

As a teacher, there are many ways in which you can create more opportunities for students to speak in class. For example, appoint a student to deliver a three-minute presentation on what they have learned in the previous class. You can also appoint a student to deliver a short speech on what they have done for a recent group or individual project, or deliver a short presentation on how they have managed to solve a mathematics question. The possibilities are endless!

The bottom-line is to give students opportunities to speak whenever the opportunity arises. You can build these opportunities into your curriculum in a purposeful manner.

Technique #3: Always be encouraging

Students who are shy will need lots of encouragement to stand in front of their classmates in the first place. Give them your greatest encouragement, acknowledge the strengths in their public speaking skills that they already possess, and embrace mistakes. After all, these are learning opportunities for your students, isn’t it?

Conclusion

These three methods presented in this article are designed to kickstart the public speaking journey of students in your class. They also create the foundations in which other instructional methods of public speaking can be subsequently employed. Therefore, give these techniques a try in your next class.