Some may believe the art center to be a luxury in the early learning classroom. Not so! It is a necessity! One art center project that has numerous benefits is an activity I call Construct. Not only is this activity a great way to practice and master the Geometry Standards of the Common Core, it can benefit the child in many other ways.
Using data to inform instruction in reading is a very different thing than teaching to a test. Learning to read follows a prescribed path that expert teachers follow in order to lay a proper foundation for independent reading. This path includes components such as fluency, comprehension, and phonographic knowledge. Whether we use Dibels, Aims Web, DRA, or another formal measure, responsible reading teachers use these measures as a tool to find out which components of the reading spectrum children have mastered and how their skills can be increased. This is the responsible teaching of reading.
Teaching reading needs to be a carefully constructed experience, with it's multiple components thoughtfully in place, in order for children to be successful. One crucial component of reading instruction is oral language development. The Common Core Standards call for increased interaction with critical language skills and expanded engagement in appropriate academic discourse. Consequently, developing oral language skills in young children must be specific and targeted. Unless a child knows the meaning of a word in oral discussion, reading the word is meaningless.
Establishing a peaceful and cooperative learning environment for young learners is possible through the strategic teaching of life-skills. One such life-skill is empathy. When any human is able to feel compassion for others, or to see another’s point of view, this leads to a cooperative, peaceful environment. Empathy is the keep to this peace.
Teaching children to tell time is not a math skill. That may seem strange to say about a concept that is usually included in math text books and taught in math class. However, even though telling time includes an understanding of numerical values, telling time is more about learning how to use a particular tool, than understanding a mathematical concept.