Jun 26

Sprinkler Day Fun in Preschool

We put the recycled 2-liter bottle sprinkler to use on Water Day in Preschool Summer Camp as a part of the Beach Week Theme.


Jun 24

Transportation Week in Preschool

During Transportation Week in preschool summer camp, the students learned about the progression of vehicles and transportation throughout the years of history.

They started the week with a visit from a horse and hearing how horses were used on farms as well as modes of transportation.

Then they had visits from classic cars: a 1915 Model T and a 1955 Chevy. They loved hearing the different horns and seeing the different seats and seatbelts. These cars were so much different from their cars they ride in today.

Then the preschool students were given the freedom to build their own cars and trucks out of art materials consisting of foam pieces and bottle caps. IMG_1877IMG_1882


Jun 23

From a 2-liter bottle to a Sprinkler

I saw this homemade sprinkler highlighted online and had to try it myself to be used for water day during Beach Week.

Use an empty 2-liter soda bottle. Drill small holes in the sides of the bottle at various spots around the bottle. Attach the water hose with an adapter on the end of it into the mouth of the soda bottle. Turn on the water. Once the bottle fills up with water, then it starts to squirt out of the drilled holes.

This sprinkler will make a great water day for the younger preschool students (toddlers-2 year olds), but the older preschool students will enjoy it as well.


Jun 18

Preschool students learning to Marshall an airplane

During Transportation week in Summer Camp, we had a visit from the local municipal airport to talk to the young preschool students about air travel. They brought many pictures of different airplanes and aircrafts.

Then they allowed the students to dress as airport personnel and marshall a plane in for a safe landing. The students loved wearing the bright yellow vests and using the lighted wands to signal the person pretending to be a plane.


Jun 16

Is it cheating if you don’t get caught?

Integrity and honesty are closely related concepts in education in which students must maintain a high level of honesty in regards to academic integrity. However, competition and the drive to succeed place high demands on students at all grades and stages of their academic journeys. The pressure for plagiarism and cheating is such a common thought in today’s educational circles, especially with the Internet, that many students say, according to Dukes (2012), “It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.” Teachers, professors, administrators, school districts, peers, and the government place a great deal of pressure on students to succeed and score higher on papers, assignments, and tests in order for schools to be graded higher which causes extra anxiety and stress on all stakeholders. However, do to the effort and work put forth by learners, especially lifelong learners, it is imperative to cite the work used, give proper credit to authors, and acknowledge their study practices. In a sense, it is cheating when students use another learner’s work without citing proper recognition and credit. Learners must be completely honest and hold high ethical standards when doing research and writing papers and completing assignments. These standards reflect on the learner as a person and as a professional.

Dukes, D. L. (2012). “It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught”: Critical discourse analysis of academic integrity policies in public high schools. (3502617, The George Washington University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 286. Retrieved from             http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/992951223?accountid=27965. (992951223).

Jun 12

Instructional Practices

In the medical field, there is a team of various professionals involved in any surgical procedure performed on a patient. There are surgeons, doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists directly involved in the procedure, but there are also other members of the team involved in the important preparation but lesser known and acknowledged duties of the procedures. They need bedside caregivers and transport teams to assist the patient with routine preparation schedules. There are even other members of the team to assist as well when the front line team has difficulties or complications. They all collaborate with one other to make the patient’s personally inconvenient hospital visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Professionals in other fields have similar teams in which each member has a specific role and duty to perform, and they collaborate with one other to reach desired outcomes. Educators are no exception to the collaborative efforts. There is a team of administrators, lead teachers, assistant teachers, student leaders, parents, and students themselves who are all involved in the educational process and success of students of all ages and developmental levels. Each one of the members of the team is a learner and has the responsibility to gain knowledge and understanding in the learning process.

The teacher’s job is to model learning to her students. “Learning and leading are firmly linked” (Lambert, 54). Teachers are intense learners. When teachers model learning, their students begin to see the value of learning and the value of the content. Many students often see assignments and homework as busy work with no value or lasting impact to meet future needs and goals; therefore, teachers must learn along with their students to allow students to see the importance and application of the material. They must become teacher facilitators where they learn along side their students. When teachers engage students as leaders for other learners in the class, they become a team of learners working together. They form partnerships, and students feel a sense of ownership in their educational experiences. “A student leader is one who contributes to the world around her and understands her role in the community” (Lambert, 56). By employing student leaders, teachers share their roles and are able to meet more learner needs in the class.

By serving as class facilitators and partners in the learning process, teachers can incorporate various methods and techniques for students. They can observe student interests and how students learn best as well as areas for improvement and additional practice. Learners learn on different levels, with different styles, and through different techniques. Student learners allow teachers to meet the needs of the different learning styles. “To promote the success of all students, teachers must look at them as individuals and not as a group of thirty” (Beazley, 2013). Teachers are unable to write lesson plans to meet the learning needs of a large class of students. They must individualize their lesson plans to include focus areas for individual students. Some students may require remedial work in some content areas while other students may need to be challenged above the level of the class as a whole. Some students learn best through print material and grasp concepts through reading assignments while others require writing assignments or hands-on tactical approaches to learning. Each student deserves to be given fair amounts of learning methods and efforts. Teachers must remember that fair and equal are not the same (Falen, J, personal communication, January 2013). Fair is when students are given adequate chances to learn the material on their own levels. One student may grasp a concept on the first attempt, but another student may require multiple attempts and multiple methods. Fair is giving that student as many attempts needed.

On the pre-kindergarten level, students often require multiple approaches and methods to learning. The classrooms are arranged to accommodate these different learning styles and approaches to learning. There are learning centers in each classroom. Students begin the morning routine with circle time where they gather on the big carpet in the center of the room. They begin by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and then singing familiar songs. One song helps the students learn the sounds of the alphabet and phonics. Since many of the students respond well to letter sounds with this song, this approach is individualization for students to learn the sounds of the letters in their names. They learn to spell their names. They learn other words that begin with the same letter as their names. Relating the letters of the alphabet to their own names allows students to place some meaning to learning phonics. They first recognize the letters of their own names, and then they can learn to recognize all letters on flash cards. However, not all students respond as well to group sessions of learning on the carpet. Teachers and classroom facilitators must plan alternate methods for teaching the same concepts to meet the interests and styles of multiple students.

Some students are interested in and need movement activities. After the morning routine in circle time, students choose learning centers in the classroom where they are free to choose the blocks center, art center, math center, housekeeping center, or music center. The art center is a teacher-directed center where students can use paint to write letters of the alphabet. For those students who did not respond as well to the circle time phonics activity, they can paint letters of the alphabet. Teachers will feature one letter per week so students have five days to master one letter. They learn the shape of the letter. They learn the sound of the letter and objects that begin with the letter. They glue objects on the paper with the correct letter. Once again, group sessions and art are not always the best approaches to learning for some students. There must be a variety of learning techniques available for students.

Another learning technique and approach at the pre-kindergarten level is through the active block center. Blocks and cars often appeal to active, high-energy students. In this learning center, students will learn as much about letter sounds and phonics as the students who prefer the circle time session. They will construct letters using blocks and make that the roadway to drive the cars. They will construct letters using their own bodies on the floor. They will learn words that begin with different letters by having examples of the featured letter in that learning center for the week.

The teacher will know her different learning approaches are successful when she observes and assesses her students. One of the best assessments is observation. Students will exhibit their understanding of letter sounds and recognition as they learn through play and daily interactions with peers and recall information presented to them. Although young pre-kindergarten students do not respond well to direct questioning assessments, they show their knowledge and understanding through acting out lessons and topics. Student success happens when students take ownership of their own learning. The teacher knows her students understand and have accomplished the learning material and concepts when they speak it back to her and to classmates. Students will begin to teach and lead others in the class. Some students who have yet to grasp the material will learn from those lead students. It becomes a collaborative approach where all students learn from one another. Teachers will be successful in their approaches to learning “when they are intuitive about the needs of their students” (Welsetead, 2013).

Lambert, L. (2003). Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Beazley, J. (2013). Messages from the Field. Leadership in Education Administration. Minneapolis: Capella University.

Welsetead, C. (2013). Messages from the Field. Leadership in Education Administration. Minneapolis: Capella University

Older posts «

» Newer posts