PitterPatterFeet

Where Smart Kids Get On Their Feet !
Home » Archive by category 'Succcessful Teaching'

Is It Developmental or Behavioral: Children’s Misbehavior

009

One of my greatest honors is teaching babies and boys!!! They both tickle me so much. Today I was teaching my students about their bodies and force. They were learning how to roll a ball to the other side of the room. They had to figure out how much force to use to get the ball to the wall. So of course these little cuties pies started throwing the ball at the wall , kicking the ball, balls were flying all over the place I was cracking up.

THANK GOODNESS FOR PATIENCE!

I had to stop the class and the music 3 times to explain the instructions and how it was to be done, and that if I saw a ball flying through the air, it was flying right back into my bag. Everyone complied except two little boys, so the balls went flying back into my bag. Well of course you know those boys had the fit of life, crying and carrying on. I explained in a calm voice what I had said earlier and said now they had to watch. They were not happy about that at all.

They both sat out one song, after which I asked did they want to try it again. The purpose of them sitting and watching was not to punish them. In watching the other children they could learn how to do the activity.  I once again explained the instructions. One little boy was able to do it. The other one sent the ball flying into the air again at which point I realized that he just didn’t know how to do it. So his teacher and I showed him how and broke it down so he could see what was happening.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Because I work solely in private schools and early learning centers, it is important for me to understand when a child is really misbehaving and can understand what I am asking them to do or when it is a situation where the child doesn’t have the capability to carry out a task because it is beyond them developmentally. We don’t expect babies to run  or hop or skip. You may say that’s a physical thing, but this happens physically, emotionally, socially and in other ways.

As educators and parents we have an opportunity to look further and ask is this a behavioral problem or are my expectations too high for what the child can actually do.  Asking this question opens up many opportunities to make things better and easier for both the child and us. Once we know the answer we can respond appropriately and in the best interest for everyone.

 

This is why I love my job so much. Sometimes things children do are not out of misbehaving but because they are not quite there developmentally. As Educators it is our job to know the difference and then support them in working on and mastering what it is we are teaching them. HOT DIGGITY!!!! I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

Question: Do You Feel You Should Actively Encourage Your Child To Fail

Success Picture- Black woman getting high fived

I was watching an interview with the CEO and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. I was intrigued by her story where she said every day her father would ask her and her brother what they failed at  that day. I thought that was so interesting and enlightening. I understood why he was doing this immediately. He wanted to prepare his children for success by first having them get over their fear of failure. To them failure would not be anything bad or terrible, but something that happens in the process of learning and life.

Sara’s father wanted them to become resilient and confident and know that they can easily overcome failure. It was not something to take personally or that they were bad or a failure themselves. By doing this when the children were young they developed a positive perspective around failure. Failure didn’t mean the same thing to them that it means to the average person. To Blakely and her brother, failure just meant try again, try something different, maybe possibly even use your mind differently or look at things in a different way.

I feel  this was an excellent and crucial life skill that he taught his children. The skill he taught them will help them be successful in any venture they decide to undertake. They will know from experience that they can overcome failure. They understand that inside failure is a valuable opportunity and information. They now know what will work and what will not work. A base from which to create the desires of their heart is provided for them because of this valuable information.

Of course with your children you would give them age appropriate and developmentally appropriate challenges to conquer and succeed in and build from there. I recommend something physically challenging, as children build esteem by what they can do. Even if your child is not a physical child you can introduce them to games like catch, walking on a balance beam or ledge or trying to shoot something in a basket. Keep telling them to try again and that they can do it and soon they will.

What are your thoughts on this. I would love to hear about your experiences and what has and hasn’t worked for you. Please share them in a comment below. Also share this with your family and friends online and off.

Have a great day! :-)

 

Teach Your Child That Mistakes Are Their Helpers

Childhood Girls floor painting

Teaching children that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process helps to build confidence, resilience and creativity in children. If children are allowed and actually encouraged to make mistakes they will learn to not take things personally and are willing to explore and try new things. They will receive valuable and necessary information about themselves and the world that they live in. Most importantly they will learn what works and doesn’t work and develop a mind that is open,  flexible and learn to tolerate when things don’t go their way more.

ENCOURAGE POSSIBILITY THINKING

As educators, caregivers and parents we want our children to confidently and boldly learn about the world around them and how they fit in it. We want them to be willing to take risks, make a mess, explore and discover. When we box children into only right or wrong answers or only a certain way to perform a task we are limiting their learning potential and minimizing their learning experiences. Instead we want our children to learn to think about what else is possible? What other ways can a task be successfully completed?

I totally understand that they are right and wrong ways to do things and children definitely should be taught this. What I am talking about are areas where they are no right or wrong answers, but sometimes teachers and parents make it that way.

CHILDREN NEED EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TOO

A perfect example of this is when teachers don’t allow children to do their own art work. They are usually well meaning in that they want the class to have beautiful art hung around the room and in the school. What they fail to realize is that things like art, music, painting and building with blocks or legos  or anything else, is not about perfection or right or wrong but are merely for the expression and exploration of those mediums.

Some teachers and parents understand this but do not want to deal with the mess or noise that these activities create. Once in one of my classes we were having such a blast that the noise level had reached a high pitched scream. We were in an area where we were the only ones using that area and the teacher jumps up with this frown on her face and screams “BE QUIET!!!!!!!”

We quickly took a rest period with a magic number( a game that I play with the children to get them to be still, listen and focus) to quiet the kids. It wasn’t the worst thing because we had been running around so it was time to take a rest anyway. After class I spoke with the teacher to explain that noise is to be expected when kids are having fun and the class is designed to allow for this and also help them to calm down also.

I hope you get my point, in that we should make allowances for and encourage the best way that children will learn and express themselves. We should also take care of ourselves so that we can allow for those methods and facilitate the learning process of children. How have you managed to do this for your children? What has worked for you either in your home or classroom. Please share your thoughts with us in the form of a comment. Also share this with your family and friends either online or off. Have a great day! :-)

There Is No Such Things As Cute Germs

As an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer, I have the wonderful and amazing opportunity to work with children from infancy up to school aged. While I have loads of fun working with my students and teachers one thing was not fun, getting colds.  When I began working in childcare centers I could not believe I often I got colds. It is no fun trying to do your job sneezing and hacking all over the place. You feel miserable, your head is pounding or you’re all stopped up, it’s terrible. You also don’t want to spread germs to the children and other staff members. The babies and children were cute and adorable but the germs weren’t. In a child care setting there are steps you can take to keep the spread of germs down.

 

One easy place to start is with hand washing. This might seem obvious and you might do it and teach your children to do it, but are you doing it correctly. There are 9 steps to correct hand washing. Nine steps you say you’ve got to be kidding. No I am not, I was very surprised too, but after reviewing them it all made sense.  In a child care center there is a lot of sharing and touching going on. Also because there is not a lot of space per person and children and adults are in close proximity to one another it is very easy to spread germs.

It is recommended that a hand washing poster be posted in bathrooms to remind children and staff the correct way to wash hands and avoid germs. This is also a great practice when you’re out and using public restrooms. Since children spend much of their time in school, this is a great place to start.

1. Check and make sure you have all of your supplies. like paper towels and soap. If possible avoid those air dryers. Paper towels are much more useful.

2. Turn on the water, it should be between 60-120 degrees.

3. Moisten hands and apply liquid soap.

4. Rub hands together and all over out of the stream of water, making sure to get in between the fingers and both the inside and outside of the hands. You should rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. In some of my schools they have a Hand Washing Song. It is sung in the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.

Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands .

Get them nice and clean.

Scrub all over, in between.

Get them nice and clean.

5. Rinse under running water and leave water running.

6. Dry hands with a paper towel.

7. Turn off the water using paper towel.

8. Throw away the paper towel in a lined garbage can.

9. Use hand lotion as needed. I didn’t think this was such a big deal at first until the instructor who is a nurse, explained how you didn’t want your skin to get cracked from dryness because that was an opportunity for germs to get in.

Since most germs are spread by hand, keeping your hands and your children’s hands clean and moisturized will do a lot in helping to cut down on the amount of germs. How do you help to prevent the spread of germs? Please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you. Please share this post with your friends and family and also comment below.

 

A Fun Way To Help Your Preschooler With Counting

Who Built The Ark Video On You Tube

This is a great video to help your preschooler with counting. I find that boys really love animals. When given a choice to jump, or leap over blocks or animals, the boys in my class always choose the animals. So your boys will really get a kick out of counting all of the animals.

This would be a great art project also. Don’t just jump in and say “We’re going to make the ark out of a milk cartoon! Ask your child “What should we use for the ark?” Let it be their idea and creation. The more children are invested in the process the more cooperation you will get from them. They will even take your suggestions(sometimes) because they feel that they are in control.

In our area we have stores that sell items for a dollar or under or just a little bit over. You can get the animals from here or use paper ones. Either way it’s a great project for fine motor skills for your child.

For the paper ones help your child with cutting them out. Make sure to remind them to keep their thumb up, this will help them a lot with trying to cut. If they are under 3 it will present a challenge so be patient. Holding the animals between their fingers will help to develop their pincer muscles in their index finger and thumb. This also applies if they are holding actual animals that they are going to march on the ark.

Doing this all while singing provides a multi-sensory learning experience that provides not only cognitive development in the way of learning numbers and counting,but also physical development as well. This is a great activity for all types of learners, auditory, kinesthetic and visual. You can try this with one child or a group.

Try it and come back and  share your experiences with us. I’d love to hear from you. If you feel that this post is useful please feel free to share it with your family, friends, or colleagues. Please also feel free to leave a comment or question.