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Posted by on in Early Childhood

swing set

On my way to work, I pass no fewer than 6 child care centers. As my life revolves around Early Childhood and young children, I am always interested in seeing what’s happening in programs in the community. It had been puzzling to me, no matter the weather or time of day, how few children I ever saw playing outside. In the winter, when it was approaching 40 degrees, after a fresh snow- no children. In the fall, it was sunny and windy and leaves were everywhere- nobody. In the spring, it had just rained, the sun was out, but all I saw were abandoned play areas.

It first, it was a curiosity, but as the seasons changed and the pattern persisted, I was concerned why there was this lack of outdoor, physical activity in child care.

I decided to do some unofficial investigating and started asking child care staff if they had some answers. Boy, did I get an earful!

The staffers very often cited children’s clothing as the problem. They said parents send their children in clothes not meant to get dirty or in shoes not safe for playground surfaces or equipment. It was also reported that parents, in their hurry to get out the door in the morning, forget jackets or hats or boots. A couple care providers even expressed their belief that some parents did these things on purpose, so their children would have to stay indoors.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

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When I get the chance to speak to groups about DAP I cover a lot of ground.

I talk about things like:

The importance of respecting childhood, the developmental process, and individual learners.

The critical nature of appropriate, foundational early learning experiences.

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Posted by on in Movement and Play

Champions in school, champions at life. Respect.

Thank you to our Sensei, master teacher for teaching us never-ending, continual improvement. “Kai Zen!”

Karate classes, taught by Sensei, extraordinary meshing of kids and Instructor.

Listen to the children with me, powering up their spirits with the sound of “Kiai”, sounds like kee-eye. Here we go! Outfits on, belts tied, spirits soaring.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

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Cognitive Overload. Unfortunately, we do that a lot. We often overwhelm students with information when we present it to them. What's worse, we teach them to do the same to others when they present. We are killing them. Well... We're killing their learning...

So, it is only fair we call the police on ourselves... Or stop the insanity...

Talk About 1 To 3 Key Points And Expand On Them

One way you may be killing your students is by doing too much. They say: Say Less! They mean it. So never, ever spend the entire class period presenting. Such practice is questionable even in college. And, it's NEVER student centered.

This is what most of my college experience was. Presentations were meant to be interactive, but usually only a small percentage of students asked questions or commented.

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Posted by on in General

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This is one of those things that I learned through failure.

Several years ago, I went through a very dark period in my life. A period during which I was under a lot of stress. Some of it was self-induced and some of it was caused by outside forces. I lost twenty pounds. I began taking medication for anxiety. I fought like Hell to put on a happy face when I was out in public. But by the time I got home I was tired. And I am quite certain that my wife and kids saw a side of me that others did not. I wasn’t mean. I simply was grumpier than I should have been. They deserved better than what they got. I can’t go back and redo those days. I wish I could, but I can’t. But I have today. And right now, that is enough.

One person that helped me tremendously during that time and whenever I have needed him, is Ben Gilpin. I can’t begin to imagine how many voxes Ben must have listened to during those days. Many of them I’m sure were not pleasant. But, he was always there. He was like the wise tree in Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree[1]. Always able to give me what I needed at the right time. When I needed advice. He gave it to me. And when I just needed an ear to listen. He was that ear. And like the tree in the book, Ben gave much more than he received. That is just the type of person that Ben is.

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Tagged in: Mistakes My Bad mybad16