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Posted by on in Early Childhood

Statistics and family studies provide us with some answers to why some dads will never see the inside of their child’s classroom. One in three children don’t have a father present in the home. That’s a little over 24 million and the number is growing.

Some dads, for various reasons, have learned to mistrust schools. They may have had a rough school experience themselves with teacher or administrators who were less than supportive. Other dads could feel wary of stepping into an active dad role due to present or past issues with the law or substance abuse. These dads may even get to a point where their self-esteem bottoms out and they feel they have nothing left to give their children.

If a dad is working all day, he may not have the opportunity to spend time in the classroom. Teachers will see him briefly at the beginning or end of the day, as he drops off or picks up his child. But, if a carpool line is in place, he may only be a face in the car window.

There is also still a stigma attached to dads who are actively involved in their young children’s education, especially for those dads whose own father was not an active participant. I think this is diminishing, but there is still the lingering belief that a mom holds the primary role of involvement in a child’s early education. It is important that we, as teachers, ensure this next generation of children understands that the early childhood environment is for everybody.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

Development progresses proximodistally, from the body core outward. Toddlers are newly gaining control over their arms, hands, and fingers. They have moved from palmar to pincer grasp and now have the ability to use their fingers with more precision.

We can provide activities to prepare little hands to someday play a musical instrument, fly across a computer keyboard, or perform delicate surgery! Exercising those small muscles are easily a part of everyday routines and play- the way it should be. As we interact with and observe toddlers, we can make the most of what they’re already doing and interested in.

tearing paper

Tear paper. Now you have two sets of fingers grasping and pulling! Provide a variety of papers, some thin and some thick. Magazine pages are easier to rip and a good choice for beginners. Tearing paper is a sensory activity that very young children enjoy. They will notice the different sounds the paper makes as they tear it fast or slow and usually stay engaged quite a while.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

This is a very interesting topic, especially in light of the expectations our Department of Education makes on schools and teachers, even as far down as preschool. Children are given a Kindergarten Readiness test and this will often determine whether or not a child will enter Kindergarten or be required to stay out a year. This is what is called "high stakes testing", which means a future outcome for a child is determined by one test. When you think about this, you can see how unfair and actually ridiculous it is.

A teacher will have a wide variety of abilities and developmental levels in her classroom. Many of these differences are due to the variety in experiences children have been given in their home environments prior to preschool. Some children live in homes where no one reads to children or takes them anywhere or even spends time with them. They may spend a good deal of the day watching TV or being cared for by relatives. Many have little to no experiences outside their own neighborhoods.

Child Watching TV

In some states, like Indiana, there are children who don’t even start school until age 7, since Kindergarten isn’t required. Many of these same children did not attend preschool, either. So, they can be behind quite a bit... socially, developmentally, and academically. And yet, they will be given the same tests as children who have had much more enriched home experiences and have attended preschool and Kindergarten. They will also be tested alongside children whose first language is not English and are at a disadvantage just understanding the test questions.

Once these children get into the elementary grades, the obsession with testing continues, as the differences among the children increases. Schools and teachers are held accountable for each and every one of these children to test well. The results are tied to school funding, teacher salaries, and even maintaining teacher employment. Sadly, this can wreak havoc among school staff.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

 

What IS a philosophy? It is a set of beliefs and personal understandings about something in which a person holds a deep interest.

Because you are committed to your work with young children, the Council wants to know about your philosophy of caring for and educating them.

Based on your experience and your education, you have the elements of a philosophy in your mind already, but they are yet to be organized and written down.

For your Portfolio, you will base what you write on four questions posed by the Council. But trying to start there may be difficult. It is sort of like putting the horse before the cart, so to speak!

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

 

The computer-generated CDA Exam is taken at a Pearson VUE Testing Center. A location near you can be found by using the Pearson VUE Website at: http://pearsonvue.com/cdaexam. You can make your appointment online or by calling 1-866-507-5627. 

If you will require special accommodations related to a disability, you will need to locate and download a “CDA Exam Special Accommodations Request Form” from the Council’s website. This can be found in the Downloadable Forms and Brochures section. 

This must be completed and sent to the Council BEFORE you apply for your CDA. You will indicate what type(s) of accommodations you will require and also include documented proof of your disability.

Some accommodations that are typically provided include:

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