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Curriculum Post any curriculum ideas, activites or projects that wouldbe helpful to our Daycare community. What is your teaching philosophy?

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Old 09-21-2011, 11:52 AM
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kendallina kendallina is online now
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Default Question For Child-Led Providers...

I run a preschool and I'm struggling with how much to 'help' them in terms of curriculum. I have mostly 3's (mostly young-mid 3's). I've struggled with this in a lot of scenarios, but here's one that happened today:

The children have been interested in cars, so we're doing a study about cars. Specifically, today we were examining wheels and tread. I had some old recycled movie reels that I put a stick through (before they arrived) and we were spinning and wheeling those around.

One of the children was disappointed because he said it didn't really work (meaning that it didn't stay up). Then I had the idea that we should put two wheels on a stick and it would stay up more like how an axel works. So, I spent some time making that. They liked playing with that. But then I got the idea that we could make two axels and make a whole car out of it. But, again, it was my idea and they were too young to execute. I ended up making it, but I know I am doing too much...lol. However, I think just putting these materials out would have been too little. I want to get to the point where we are learning about something, they have an idea or see a problem and try to resolve it, but I just kept doing it for them...lol.

Reflecting, I think I should have slowed down and when the child said, it isn't working, I should have asked him some questions about how we could make it work better and then go from his solutions? Should I offer up solutions of my own?

What would you have done? Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you do child-led, while still trying to extend them a little??

if this scenario had happened during free play, I would have been more relaxed about it, but it was during a small-group activity, so I guess I felt like I wanted it to go somewhere...sigh.

Thanks for getting through that, any thoughts??
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:01 PM
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Reflecting, I think I should have slowed down and when the child said, it isn't working, I should have asked him some questions about how we could make it work better and then go from his solutions? Should I offer up solutions of my own?


Definitley ask open ended questions to expand their own critical thinking skills, but when they are really stumped, of course you should add ideas...just make it seem like their ideas.....for instance instead of just putting two wheels on a stick and showing them, you could say somehting like " I see with one wheel it is doing (this), what do you think would happen if we put the second wheel on the other end of the stick" Allow them to answer then say " Okay those are some pretty good ideas, now let's find out!" and then help them put it on. Then if it won't stay ask "what do you think we could use to make the wheel stay on " collect ideas and then try a couple out....if none work then you say "hmmmm, these aren't working I wonder if (whatever) will work" then try it. So on and so forth. In the end, you get the same result, but they were more involved in the process of putting it all together. I hope that all makes sense....I'm in a hurry!
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:27 PM
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honestly just the fact that you are doing any form of teaching with them is awesome. Even if you are the one having to lead it, the kids are getting to participate and are learning. I used to stress about this kind of stuff to. I think me stressing about it took the fun out of it.

When things like this happen, I ask the kids similar things as crystal stated.

I gave up on trying to perfect every lesson and please every single child while doing the lessons.
like today we painted the letter C with cottonballs, corn on the cob and combs....But some fo the kids were getting upset and wanted a paintbrush. I told them that piantbrust starts with P so we could use that another time... Then after that we made some crowns so all of the kids got to use the paintbrushes and whatever it was that they wanted to use to create their project..

To me it sounds like you are doing a great job... good for you
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
Reflecting, I think I should have slowed down and when the child said, it isn't working, I should have asked him some questions about how we could make it work better and then go from his solutions? Should I offer up solutions of my own?


Definitley ask open ended questions to expand their own critical thinking skills, but when they are really stumped, of course you should add ideas...just make it seem like their ideas.....for instance instead of just putting two wheels on a stick and showing them, you could say somehting like " I see with one wheel it is doing (this), what do you think would happen if we put the second wheel on the other end of the stick" Allow them to answer then say " Okay those are some pretty good ideas, now let's find out!" and then help them put it on. Then if it won't stay ask "what do you think we could use to make the wheel stay on " collect ideas and then try a couple out....if none work then you say "hmmmm, these aren't working I wonder if (whatever) will work" then try it. So on and so forth. In the end, you get the same result, but they were more involved in the process of putting it all together. I hope that all makes sense....I'm in a hurry!
Thank you! "What do you think..." and "I wonder if..." That helps a lot! I need to remember this and try to put this in practice more. Thanks!
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by daycare View Post
honestly just the fact that you are doing any form of teaching with them is awesome. Even if you are the one having to lead it, the kids are getting to participate and are learning. I used to stress about this kind of stuff to. I think me stressing about it took the fun out of it.

When things like this happen, I ask the kids similar things as crystal stated.

I gave up on trying to perfect every lesson and please every single child while doing the lessons.
like today we painted the letter C with cottonballs, corn on the cob and combs....But some fo the kids were getting upset and wanted a paintbrush. I told them that piantbrust starts with P so we could use that another time... Then after that we made some crowns so all of the kids got to use the paintbrushes and whatever it was that they wanted to use to create their project..

To me it sounds like you are doing a great job... good for you

Thanks for responding, daycare. I actually teach preschool (I run just a 3-hr a day program), so some kind of teaching is expected...lol..

Some of the subtleties of being child-led have definitely escaped me since I teach out of my home now and don't have any co-teachers to keep me in check...haha.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:43 PM
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I always get my projects going over their heads. I do my best work with 4 to 6 year olds...I have my 3's and young fours in the morning and a lot of projects that my 5 year old group would totally get go over their (the three's) heads...A lot of the time they get what they are supposed to do from watching me, but they don't get why or can't connect it back to what we just learned. It kind of discourages me, but I realized I'm just going to have to simplify my curriculum into really basic stuff. At least for right now, because a lot of my 3/4's have never been in daycare before and get little "learning time" at home...
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:23 AM
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Default car theme

It is great that you honor the children by focusing on their interests. Instead of narrowing the them down by using only the wheel idea and providing themwith few materials, I would gather a large supply of materials such as: large variety of cars, all sizes, books and puzzles about cars, long, narrow wooden blocks, stop signs, other road signs, rods, wheels, paper, paint, little people, pretend gas station and or buildings, make available lots of space, find music with songs about transportation, grab a camera and clipboard with paper, and perhaps, after a story or experience chart with their comments about cars, let them go... see what they do, what they create, take pictures, document what they say while they are exploring the materials and of course indicate the skills that they are using, fine motor, social, dramatic play, problem solving, community, cooperation, etc. Only intervene if they need you. Good luck! (you may want to research cars, the first car, display pictures of cars in the room, and if you get a large box, maybe they will make a car)
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:51 PM
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I have infants, two's, and very young three's right now. The three's are just starting to be able to problem solve and brainstorm on their own, so I get where youre coming from.

I agree with crystal. I ask alot of "what do you think" and "I wonder what would happen" questions. But sometimes they still need a little nudge. So I always try to give a little input, without completely taking over the activity.
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