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How The Pitter Patter Feet Method Supports Its Teachers: Health and Fitness Combined With Learning

The Pitter Patter Feet Method is concerned with optimizing children’s fullest potential. How that is accomplished varies from day to day, no two days are alike. It is this particular component of working in the Early Childhood Education field that I love the most. There is no way you could ever get bored. Each day and moment actually provides you with a new adventure, something new to learn and ways to grow.

In one of my schools last week they were short staffed. One of the teachers had a death in the family so there were twice as many children to teach than normal. What this meant is normally there are two classes one with 9 children and the second with 12 children. Each class is divided according to age.  To teach the two groups separately is divine, a dream. Every one has enough space to move freely and express themselves and the potential for accidents is greatly reduced. Combining the two classes in the same space is like cutting the amount of space in half.

Normally teachers that are new to teaching young children in preschools can have a tendency to become over whelmed, especially in a small space. Thankfully both the teacher and myself were experienced in working with preschoolers. At one point during my class this particular teacher had to leave us temporarily to address another matter. This meant me being by myself with 21 cutie pies that were accustomed to being in their own classroom with a much smaller amount of children.  This required me to think on my feet and totally scrap my original lesson plans for that day.

It called for me to have to considered safety first, fun second and learning third. This is nothing new because all of my classes focus on these components anyway, but how can I accomplish my goal now with these new and recent developments. First I had to regain control of the class so we sat. One of the best ways to quiet and calm down children is to have them to sit. This will only work for a few minutes unless you engage them. It is more effective to have both their minds and bodies engaged simultaneously. It is easier to engage them when they are doing something that they love. We did a rhythm and timing game in which they patted their legs while they sang the song” Please, Please say your name.” Children love this game for some reason and after doing it for twenty years I still haven’t figured out why. It doesn’t matter though because it works.

After each child said their name we moved on to a lesson on the difference between wide and narrow. First we looked at two different over sized Lego blocks. Since this was a lesson we had done previously I asked them to tell me which block was wide and which was narrow. Many of them answered correctly. I then asked them to look at their classroom and tell me if it was wide or narrow compared to the hallway. We all got up and looked in the hallway and then back in the classroom. The classroom is wider they screamed. I asked them where should we put the wide block. In the classroom they screamed back and the narrow block should go where. ” In the hallway.” they all screamed again.

So I placed one block in the classroom and one block in the hallway, equal distance apart, and we did another activity where they had to jump over the blocks. We turned on Thomas the Train, a song they really love and ran and jumped over the blocks in single file. This was an activity that they had done in the past so they knew to maintain their place in the line and not cut in front of anyone. We all had a great time and by the time the teacher had come back, the students were resting on the floor waiting to hear the magic number so that they could pop up for the next activity.

The following week the teacher couldn’t wait to speak to me to thank me so much for my help. Anyone else would have gone bonkers if they had to deal with something like that she told me.  She was so appreciative and kept thanking me over and over. I told her it was no problem and that this was part of the program, the Pitter Patter Feet System. Each and everyday my job is to make sure that all my children have experiences that grow their minds and bodies. Provide a safe and secure environment for learning and development on all levels and most importantly have FUN! How that will happen I never know but I do know that it will happen for sure! Being open to change, adaptable and flexible and having an intention to grow all helps me to achieve my goals.

Have you ever had any experiences like this, if so how did you handle it what worked, what didn’t work. Please share your experiences with us we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to  leave your comments or questions. Have a great day! :-)

 

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