FunShine Tells: Observation, Assessment, and Goals

By this time of the school year, most children have had the chance and opportunity to integrate into the new environment, adjust to new people, and learn the schedule. You have helped children socialize and interact with each other, promoted problem-solving, and given them the tools to enjoy a typical day in a classroom. And even though observing children’s behavior and development starts on the very first day they walk into your classroom, it is at this time of year that you can evaluate, measure, and compare children’s progress, mark very clearly where children are now, and set goals for the rest of the school year.

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Scaffolding: One Way to Individualize Instruction

by Debbie Keiser

What happens when a child is not ready for a skill he experiences in the classroom? In most situations, the teacher provides assistance, perhaps by modeling, giving hints, or directly teaching the skill. This is called scaffolding. Many states are revising their standards for birth to five with increasingly difficult indicators to be mastered. Providers using state standards as a basis for creating lesson plans are challenged to find ways to scaffold these skills so children are adequately prepared for kindergarten. More and more pressure is falling on teachers to make sure children are meeting these stringent guidelines.

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It’s the Little Things

by Cora Tormaschy

As toddlers grow up, they often get used to adults doing everything for them, whether it’s zipping their coat or buttoning their shirt. Toddlers are curious by nature, and so you have probably noticed them watching you do these tasks that you don’t normally think twice about. For instance, I was watching my three-year-old niece trying to button her pajama top for the first time when I remembered that we all had to be taught how to do everyday tasks such as that one. It is easy to forget that little everyday tasks take A LOT of concentration and energy for little fingers, but it’s a very important stage of early learning and development.

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Positive Good-Byes

by Kelley Jilek

Most children experience some type of separation anxiety during infant, toddler and preschool years. The circumstances and ages can vary widely. Some infants become alarmed when held by someone they don’t know, while others are content. A toddler who has been happy in a child care setting begins to cry one day when being dropped off and continues this for the next several weeks. This behavior can be frustrating and concerning for both parents and caregivers. Should parents be worried? How can providers console the child and convince parents that all is well?

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