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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Child Development

Posted by on in What If?

Recently I had the unique experience of being interviewed by a middle school student. Jacob had found me on the Internet because he was researching recess and wanted to ask some questions for his project.

Of course, recess is one of my favorite topics so I agreed to give him some time. What I didn’t know until we were on the phone was the reason behind his project.

It seems he and a friend (a student with special needs) had had a small incident on the playground during the 10 minutes or so they get to hang out after lunch. As a result, not only have he and his friend been denied recess, but the whole school is having it withheld!

I was momentarily rendered speechless (a rare occurrence indeed) – and I’m still beyond stunned. I mean, what the hell? How could any administrator/decision maker believe that that’s an appropriate reaction? That this is a logical consequence?

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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 General

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The measure of a school's worth is directly associated with the quantity and quality of the connections between the adults and the children who share the building on a daily basis. Students are more likely to flourish as learners when they know they are appreciated, supported, and loved by the teachers and other staff members they encounter on campus.

It is our job to provide that type of structure for the kids in our classrooms. But we also share the immense responsibility of being there for ALL of the school's children. The adage, "it takes a village," is indeed true as the success of students will exponentially increase with each added strand of support woven into their emotional web.

Sometimes all it takes is a quick acknowledgement on the sidewalk - a "hello," a "have a good day," even an "are you okay?" Such a connection might be the only adult interaction in a child's day. Every moment counts! Talk to your kids in line for lunch, on the playground, on the sidewalk as they leave for home at the end of the day...

As a principal, I noticed one day a student and a teacher walking toward each other on the sidewalk. The teacher said nothing at all. Later that day, I made sure that the staff understood that the expectation was for staff members to make the first move in greeting ALL children - whether they knew them or not. Most kids have yet to fully master that social skill. Some may even keep on walking without responding to your greeting. But at least they know that someone noticed them. Such a small show of interest could greatly redirect the trajectory of that child's emotional well-being for the day - and perhaps for the year.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

Will we ever be able to stop justifying the value of children’s active outdoor play? I think not. This will be an endless push by Early Childhood professionals, as our society continues its march into a technology-driven lifestyle.

I was again reminded of this recently when Rae Pica posted an image of an exercise bike for toddlers… apparently aimed at providing a solitary exercise experience for the child while engaged with a screen. Geesh.

We have to remember that a child develops across multiple domains synchronously. Each impacts the other. The physical benefits of outdoor active play are obvious, but let’s consider some of the social and emotional payoffs. Simply stated, while engaged in this type of play, children form relationships with peers, acquire confidence in their abilities, and learn to express their emotions.

One of the greatest emotional benefits of outdoor active play for young children is having a sense of self-control or competence. Some children have an innate drive to try and master new things and don’t need much encouragement to do so. Others may be hesitant to get involved with new play activities and may even give up easily. Later, this may translate to giving up easily on academic tasks, too. It’s critical, then to support their motivation and confidence to master new skills.

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Posted by on in General

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This happens every time!

She cooks and then she leaves the kitchen and the surrounding area a mess.

Then I have to be the bad guy and remind her to clean it up.

I do like that she loves to cook and to be honest she is quite good at it.

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