Chapter 3 indoor/outdoor learning environments

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2 types of safe and healthy environment
physical, psychological/interpersonal
Children contrast different forms of knowledge
physical knowledge, social knowledge, logico-mathematical knowledge
Physical knowledge
refers to knowledge constructed by working with real objects such as pine cones. Direct experience allows children to learn about they physical qualities of the objects.
Social knowledge
refers to understanding knowledge created by humans, such as the names of things- “pine cone” for example. In addition children gain social knowledge through direct engagement with other people.
logico-mathematical knowledge
refers to understanding relationships such as the relationship of a pine cone to the tree on which it grew.
How do children build knowledge (logico-mathematical)
by connecting familiar ideas with new ideas about what a seed might look like or where seeds might grow and develop
How to create a supportive and challenging environment
Three types of knowledge constructs, scaffold children’s understanding, provide enough time for children to build different types of knowledge, structure schedule so children have large uninterpreted blocks of time for play and learning
three types of knowledge contruction
time, materials, appropriately challenging novel experience for project
why provide materials
children benefit from working with manipulatives
scaffold children’s learning
observe children as they work, ask questions, help children learn labels for items, help them understand relationships.
provide reasonably novel and challenging tasks for children
cognitive growth revolves around facing questions about what we know, figuring out how to answer the questions and finally understanding something new on that topic.
what is curriculum
defined by NAEYC, it is the goals for knowledge and skills to be acquired by children and the plans for learning experiences through which such knowledge and skills will be received
what are the goals of an early childhood curriculum
promote children’s development in all domains, support children’s learning their knowledge and skills, nurture their passion
promote children’s development in all domains
*social, emotional, cognitive & language, physical & motor
*goal is to have students develop in all areas
*desired outcome for developing in the physical and motor domain will be for child to acquire & practice motor skills appropriate for their stage
Support children’s learning, their knowledge & skills
Desired outcomes have centered around children’s increased knowledge & skills such as progressive learning/understanding of mathematical concepts
Abraham Maslow
identified physiological and security needs as a child’s most basic needs
Value of Safe and Healthy Environments
*Safe and healthy physical environments
*Predictable, structured, and familiar surroundings help young children to feel safe and secure
*More important, though, teachers need to be predictable
*Safe and healthy interpersonal (psychological) environments support children’sdevelopment
Safe & Healthy Physical Environments
provide food, water, and adequate rest and sleep; prevent illness; and keep children from harm, allowing children to focus on learning.
Predictable, structured, and familiar surroundings help young children to feel safe and secure
All early childhood children, infants, and third graders alike need predictable physical environments. For example, preschoolers need to know where blocks, art supplies, math manipulatives are located; knowing how their teacher expects them to use equipment and how they should return things when done using them facilitates their development of self-esteem and securit
More important, though, teachers need to be predictabl
because they have a major part in creating the interpersonal environment. Children need teachers whose personalities convey genuine affection, caring, and respect. Consistently respectful teacher behaviors create a cocoon, a safe interpersonal environment in which children spend time exploring, learning, and making friend
Safe and healthy interpersonal (psychological) environments support children’sdevelopment
because of their powerful effects on the child’s developing brain, personality, and ability and willingness to learn. Children’s curiosity paves the way for exploring, discovering, practicing, and understanding, but their curiosity-exploring-learning cycle is possible only when they feel safe and when they have appropriately affectionate and safe relationship
How to Create a Safe & Healthy Interpersonal Learning Environment
*Demonstrate respect and genuine concern affection for children
*Behave in a consistent and positive way
*Take children’s perspective
*Quiet Times
Anti-bias Perspective and Culturally Sensitive Materials
1. Culturally competent teachers have an anti-bias perspective

2. Appropriate materials

Culturally competent teachers have an anti-bias perspective
Questions to raise:
1. What messages about diversity does the children get from materials?
2. Do children see abundant images of people that reflect diverse abilities and current racial, ethnics, gender, & economic diversity?
3. Do the images include depictions of important individuals who participated in struggles for justice?
Appropriate Materials
music, art, and books showing different ages, genders, and countriesres
To nurture their passion for learning
The desired outcomes here center on children’s intrinsic motivation for learning based on participating in learning activities that are interesting to them and worthy of their time
What Type of Curriculum Achieves the Goals of an Early Childhood Curriculum?
A child-centered, emergent curriculum achieves several goals for early childhood education
Two major resources of a child-centered emergent curriculum
1. infants and children
2. learning standards
Child-centered curriculum
acknowledges that young children learn through play and activity-based learning as well as through social interaction with other children and with teachers
Emergent Curriculum
develops from children’s needs, interests, and abilities
What Are Some Specific Things that a Teacher Can Do to Present a Child-Centered Curriculum?
combining: content areas & using project-based learning
Combine content areas
For example, a group of kindergarteners made a graph showing how many of the children have different pets. This activity united math with language arts. Math is evident in the graphing part and language arts is evident in the children’s listening, speaking, and writing during the activity
Organize projects
A project is a method for providing learning experiences for children
Organize Projects
1. Projects satisfy children’s curiosity-driven, question-asking, investigative approach to seeking knowledge

2. Projects allow teachers to make content such as mathematics meaningful through everyday connections

3. Projects allow teachers to introduce new content or skills and to appropriately sequence learning activities

Projects satisfy children’s curiosity-driven, question-asking, investigative approach to seeking knowledge
Well-chosen and well-developed projects are intellectually stimulating for children
Projects allow teachers to make content such as mathematics meaningful through everyday connections
For example, in a “pets” project, preschool children make guesses about whether they are taller or shorter than a dog brought in to visit the classroom. Then they use technology, a tape measure perhaps, to obtain their data
Projects allow teachers to introduce new content or skills and to appropriately sequence learning activities
1. Prior knowledge/learning new information

2. Research

3. Review/summary of what was learned/conclusion

Learning Center
Play or work space in a classroom and can be for small groups, the entire class, or individuals
Small Group Learning Centers
Might include block, dramatic play, science or discovery, art, puzzles, and manipulative, math, writing, and sensory table.

For 4-6 year olds

Functions that help meet program needs

Large Group Center
Space large enough to accommodate the entire class

Ex: math, dance, science, nutrition, and other curriculum topics

Individual Learning Centers
Give children a chance to work alone

Example: writing center & reading library center

Arrange learning centers
Group quiet centers together

Example: reading/library and science and discovery

Group centers that are vigorous: blocks next to dramatic play and music

Create boundaries

Define Effective Traffic Patterns
Flow or movement in the room

Create open pathways clearly leading to centers and that make it easy for children to move between areas.

Provide enough space for wheelchairs so that a child w/disability can participate in any center

Criteria for Materials and Resources for Centers
Materials must be developmentally appropriate and support learning goals
Safety 1st
All materials chosen for a classroom must be safe

Materials must have smooth, rounded edges, nontoxic paint, and must meet ALL safety requirements

Some may need to meet school regulations

Active Learning
Materials should encourage active learning

Ex: a puzzle or manipulative center would contain a variety of manipulative that engages children exploration

Ex: a preschool or kindergarten teacher might place flat, translucent plastic shapes that fit together on a light table

Support Learning Goals
Materials should support learning goals

Example: if a curriculum goal is to support children’s development of mathematical concepts, small group centers might support children’s active learning by providing boards with nails over which children can stretch rubber bands to create geometric shapes, group blocks for counting, base-ten rods, tan grams, or attribute blocks.

Meet needs of ALL children
Materials and learning material need to meet the need of all children

Differentiate instruction with classroom materials and resources to meet he needs of children

Ex: a gifted child in spatial relations and needing a challenge might try to build or duplicate more complex patterns with a given set of shapes or more challenging kinds of interconnecting blocks

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