Thursday, February 18, 2016

Inspiration from the Blogosphere - #AskingWhatIf Edition

I've been particularly "ranty" lately. See my recent posts on snow day homework and no live plants. Even when reflecting on my reading, I slid into a sort of rant on toys. I don't know; I sometimes wish I could just impose things on the preschool education universe (starting with good sense!).

Here are a few more links that make you wonder what education could/should/would be like if more educators acted in ways that were more in line with child development.

Reading Readiness Has to Do with the Body (Laura Grace Weldon)
She says: "In order for children to read, write and spell they must be developmentally ready. Some are ready at the age of four or five, some not for many years later.... Such readiness isn’t created by workbooks or computer programs. It’s the result of brain maturation as well as rich experiences found in bodily sensation and movement."

Maybe we need less literacy interventions and more recess time.

What Life Lessons Will Kids Learn from Lunchtime? (Rae Pica)
In relation to "no talking lunchtime," she asks: "Do we expect that, as adults, these silenced students will suddenly (magically?) know how to successfully communicate – with partners, peers, and employers? Is no previous experience required in order to master this skill?"

If they cannot talk during lunch, when should they talk?

The Importance of a Strong Foundation (Amanda Morgan on EdWords)
She writes: "Those unable to see the foundation of early learning for what it is are often eager to plop something down that’s more rewarding. Just as I may have been happy to skip right to the home I could see, they want to go directly to the seen skills like reading rather than pre-literacy skills and mathematical computations instead of early numeracy. From their perspective, those performance skills are what really 'count', after all."

All that play builds strong foundations for future learning. We cannot always see the immediate results of play but we will see the results of lack of play.

Letting Them Be Little (Not Just Cute)
She notes: "We have a tendency to look at childhood through adult lenses. But that egocentric view leaves kids short-changed. How can we be responsive to the needs of children if we refuse to see them as they are?"

Amanda is reading and reflecting on What If Everybody Understood Child Development? by Rae Pica. I did this last summer. But Amanda's posts are bringing up some new thoughts for me.

We must teach kids as they are. Not as we wish they would be. Not as we think they are. Not as curriculum or standards or even developmental charts say they should be. But as they are, right now, in this moment.

What is inspiring you to think about teaching preschoolers?

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