Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Sequence Cards

From an early age, children begin to explore the concept of time through the procedures, steps, and sequence of events. I remember when my daughter was in the hospital at the age of four. We spent about 10 days together reading books and singing, to the point that after a few days she memorized one of the stories. She would choose the book, turn the pages, and recite each part of the story. Not only did she learn parts of the story, but by associating what she heard me read with the pictures, she learned the whole story and was able to tell it over again in order.

Sequence, order, and routine are important to a child’s development. As babies, children adjust to eating, sleeping, and playing routines. Then they begin to understand before and after and begin to incorporate it into small conversations with peers or adults. With time, children continue to learn about time and sequence, through experiences, consistency in routines, illustrations, and stories. All of this helps them better understand their days from beginning to end. Let’s discover together one tool that can help you present and develop this concept successfully.

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Charlie’s Cues: Incorporating Music and Movements

by Chalimar Ríos

Children’s development is highly dependent upon their environment. How much are the children in your care exposed to music, language, movement, or exercising freely? A balanced variety of activities that include songs and movements is sure to increase children’s attention, help them socialize with peers, and prepare them to learn and be more perceptive in future activities throughout the day.

Other than the physical benefits of enjoying songs with movements or exercise, research shows that songs and rhymes help children’s language development. As children listen to instructions given during physical activities, they build a relationship between the words they hear and the movements they see; they make meaning of the words as they imitate movements or create new ones. Through songs and rhymes, children also learn sounds, syllables, and musical patterns. Children will slowly continue to store their experiences until they feel prepared to say their own words, repeat the words in a rhyme, build short sentences, or sing along.

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Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Math Game

by Chalimar Ríos

Two challenges educators face when offering board games is group size and child interest. Playing board games has many benefits, but depending on children’s skill sets, educators may need to be more hands-on. Begin by making sure each child is interested in being part of the game. It is important to have their attention before giving directions, so they can understand them clearly. If you have a small group, you might want to include yourself as part of the game, take turns with children, and celebrate their attempts so they can understand you are happy to engage and play with them. For large groups, some suggestions are to sort children by age or interest. You may want to begin by playing with the most excited number of children and then try gathering the rest of the group at a different time to play and have a much quieter or individualized experience.

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Charlie’s Cues: Using Your Concept Cube

by Chalimar Ríos

Twelve years ago, when I was still studying in college to graduate as a teacher and educator, we were asked to create a teaching material that would stand out in some way or that would involve a different way of teaching. With a thousand ideas in mind, I went to a department store and bought different colors of felt, Velcro, hot glue, and fiberfill. I came up with the great idea to create a “concept cube.” I imagined it as a tool that I could use easily by changing the pictures often to work on multiple skills with the children and teach new concepts. The day came, I presented my idea, and it was a success. I saved that concept cube as one of my best teaching tools and used it for years in my classroom.

Years later, I find myself working for FunShine Express, where I have the great opportunity to see and be a part of creating good, quality educational materials to help teachers and caregivers make the teaching process easier and more effective. And guess what? They have a Concept Cube! The idea I had more than 10 years ago was already being implemented by FunShine Express as part of the materials sent in their monthly kits. Teachers receive Concept Cube Cards, a mix of drawings and real pictures, to place in the Concept Cube to play games with children, making learning fun and interactive and helping children make connections between learning and the real world. Join me in discovering how to use one of my all-time favorite learning tools by reviewing our February Concept Cube components.

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