Saturday, August 17, 2019

Learning environment Essay

â€Å"The environment we are in affects our moods, the ability to form relationships and the effectiveness in work or play, even our health. † (Bullard, 2006). In effectively educating children an educator must build a foundation that has a stimulating environment which includes the inside and outside areas, classroom design and decor size. The outdoor learning area must be one that is organised in a way that promotes exploration and investigation of the elements of nature which includes planting trees and flowers, as well as nature stations where children can observe the different insects. On the other hand is the classroom design which also endorses discovery along with cooperation among peers. The centres should be spacious that enables free movement where group gathering can take place, as well as the different materials and manipulative that are easily accessible to children in the different learning areas in facilitating their knowledge. But however not only that, but as well as decor size which pertains to using child size toys, tools and furniture in the classroom that eliminates children from asking for assistance from adults, as well as allowing them to feel empowered by not requesting of their help. In providing a stimulating environment like the one that was now described would allow children to actively participate in their learning. This is so because the surroundings therefore cater for â€Å"appropriate ways in developing the vital skills, the knowledge and a positive attitude to learning in the individual needs of each child. It is based on â€Å"guiding children to observe, question, discuss, listen, manipulate, feel, investigate and develop the ability to think creatively and independently. This is defined as Active Learning. In discussing the importance of the active learning environment above which includes the inside and outside areas, classroom design as well as decor size that promotes active learning, this paper would now focus on one such area that is assessed in the internal environment, meaning a learning centre that needs to be enhanced, as well as strategies used for improvement to reflect my curriculum goals. Description of the Learning Centre that needs to be Improved While children were in the indoor setting of the classroom I took time to sit and observe what exactly was happening at each of the different centres. While monitoring I noticed that most of them were at the diverse learning areas excluding the language centre which had only about two (2) children who took a short amount of time interacting within that area. The other centres were very attraction as they had many tangible objects that children can interact with, whereas the other had old objects that were very unattractive and discoloured. Most of the materials were posters that were stuck to the wall which were there for a very long time, in turn making it appear distasteful and unappealing. In the language centre it therefore created a barrier that enabled children to further promote their language development as there were an insufficient amount of materials that catered for it. In addition, that learning centre did not cater for the children as it did not promote active learning, because as stated earlier when a centre has materials and manipulatives that are easily accessible to children it therefore facilitates their learning as it guides them to observe, engage and grasp different concepts in a simpler way. But however, there were no materials that held the attention of the children that they can become involved with; hence it developed a barricade for the active learning process to take place. When comparing the centres I have found that this is a situation that needs to be put back into working order immediately, because â€Å"language is an important skill that allows a person to communicate. † (Brannagan, 2010). It is a significant skill that is crucial in a child’s life as they use it to adequately exchange information with others in a meaningful way, as well as understanding the uses of reading and writing and becoming successful early readers and writers as it determines a successful future for them. In contrast, if this particular skill has a delay it can create complications in communication with others. This therefore can build frustration within the child since it may lead to miscommunication about what he/she is trying to convey. This is why it is important for me as an educator to address this matter quickly, so in turn children can have the opportunity to interact within that said learning centre and not only in the others, as they would gain better knowledge by coming into contact with materials and experiences that are provided for  them by adults, hence making it easier to make sense of the world around them, as well as influencing their rate of growth. This process is referred to as The Constructivist Theory in which the philosopher Jean Piaget believed that children’s learning is an active process where there is interaction between the person and the environment. This improvement of the Language Centre would be effective as it will continually provide active learning within all the centres in the classroom without the segregation of one. My Curriculum Goals within the Language Centre As stated by the National Early Childhood Care and Education Curriculum Guide in the strand Effective Communication â€Å"language and literacy play a critical role in the development of children’s thinking, learning and communication. To develop into successful, contributing adults, children must learn to be effective communicators and masters of their official language. † (Ministry of Education , 2005) With this being said my curriculum goals within the Language Centre are taken from the National Early Childhood Care and Education Curriculum Guide. The goals are as follows: ? A growing awareness that speaking is an effective way to communicate thoughts, ideas and views. ?A growing awareness that print (common signs and symbols) conveys meaning. ?An increasing understanding of some symbols, language patterns, letter sound relationships to predict, confirm or make meanings from using their hundred languages, which includes multimodal texts. ?Develop ways to experiment with conventional letters, word signs and symbols to convey meaning. ?Understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds. Develop ways to explore how symbols and written and visual texts are used to communicate meaning. ?The ability to derive and convey the meaning of common signs and symbols (exit signs, area labels etc. ) in the various environments (school, home, community. ) ? A love for listening to and retelling familiar stories, as well as a desire to â€Å"read† on their own. Learn new vocabulary and extend language to communicate and negotiate ideas and plan for activities. Strategies used for Improvement in the Language Centre Letters are all around us! Therefore using environmental prints stuck to the wall in the language centre such as signs, labels and logos can be of great assistance in accomplishing some of my stated goals in developing children’s reading skills. This was stated by Colorin Colorado as an influential method in making the connection between letters and first efforts to read. It discusses how adults can make these techniques interesting to a child’s learning in talking about letters, words and print. The article suggest that in taking advantage of cereal boxes, as they are colourful to facilitate learning in which they can request for the child to find the first letter of his/her name on the box which assist in letter recognition as well as when going on a car trip. This results in children making the explicit link between letters and sounds. Another strategy the article further suggests that can be utilized, is about the use of technology in taking digital pictures of signs such as â€Å"exit† or â€Å"do not enter† to create a book for children to promote his/her reading skills. Environmental print provides lots of opportunities for kids to interact with letters, sounds, and words. † After reading â€Å"Colorin Colorado† 2010 it is concluded that not only can you facilitate children’s learning in the classroom but using the environment prints that surround us everyday can be of grand assistance. As stated by the U. S Department of Education 2011, Phonological Awareness and Training assist in the development of preschool language and literacy. The article defines Phonological Awareness as the ability to detect or manipulate the sounds in words independent of meaning whereas phonological awareness training is the means of involving various training activities that focus on teaching children to identify, detect, delete, segment, or blend segments of spoken words (i. e. , words, syllables, etc. ). In the language centre I can provide picture cards along with letter cards as well so that children can make the distinction between sounds and their letters as they are able to match the letter sound card to their pictures. Other materials may include ABC books, magnetic letters, alphabet blocks and puzzles as well as alphabet charts. It has a positive effect because it’s easier in learning alphabet letters as well as the letter sound knowledge that enables them to add letters together to form words and in turn add words together to form sentences; in addition it also provides the knowledge of print awareness and early reading abilities; Incorporating Interactive and Dialog Reading declared by the U. S Department of Education 2011 refers to the adult reading stories to the children. When teachers repeat the reading’s of favourite books it enables children to become familiarized with the books that will allow for independent reading as well as utilizing different techniques to engage children in the text, while dialog reading is the term used when the adult and child switches roles where the child now becomes the storyteller and the teacher the listener and assistance of the child. Dunst, Simkus and Hamby 2012 says â€Å"Engaging young children in retelling stories read to them by parents or teachers is a strategy that is often used to promote story-related comprehension and expressive vocabulary. This article similar to the one mentioned above suggest that in reading and repeating stories to the child or a small group of children and therefore engaging them to retell the story in their own words results in the expansion of ideas and their imagination. This becomes effective because Interactive and Dialog Reading assist in oral language and vocabulary development as the teacher may ask open ended questions in engaging the child in verbal elaborations which allow the child to gain knowledge about the meaning of spoken and written words and the development of comprehension skills which caters for early literacy and language development. To further endorse these skills in the language centre that is significant in improving and supporting literacy development the materials that would be provided are lots of good child friendly books that are attractive and prints that deals with class activities e. g. helper charts, toy shelf labels, as well as charts that display good habits etc. Apart from all those strategies mentioned above this one takes a different course. This article written by Howard Phillips Parette talks about the acquistion of Phonological Awareness and Alphabetic Principles through the use of Microsoft PowerPoint. It declares that through Microsoft PowerPoint it can facilitate a child’s phonological awareness because teachers can modify such features such as colour, pictures, sounds, animation, slide design and slide transition. This promotes the acquisition of reading skills and fluency. Whereas, alphabetic principles also known as phonemic orthography which refers to relationships between letters and their associated sounds help young children develop letter-sound correspondence. Using the techniques through technology enables the promotion of comprehension skills, the understanding of the concepts about print as well as the facilitation of vocabulary development. This article is critical as it shows how to assist children in identifying letters and sounds through the use of technology. In being educated about how to incorporate technology in teaching children the acquisition of these skills, I would therefore try my utmost best in providing a computer in the language centre that would be most available to the children, as well as undertaking that strategy of how to teach the children phonological awareness and alphabetical principles on that such computer. How does the Active Language Centre Created reflect my Curriculum Goals? When assessing the language centre before I did my creation it was evident that there were no signs of my curriculum goals, mainly because of the lack of attention I gave to that particular centre and the insufficient amount of materials that were provided to the children in classroom. But however, now when comparing the centre from how it was before to this very moment, I can observe that my curriculum goals are off course reflecting. The reason for this is because it is more attractive in the eyes of the future members of society, as well as the materials that are presented to them mirrors my goals. The materials that were mentioned and described earlier above and that would be offered to them facilitates the particular skills that would be met in the declared goals and that are of great importance to the children, as well as the teacher learning strategies that were undertaken in further endorsing and accomplishing them. Limitations and Innovations In implementing the strategies that were discussed earlier, there was off course one (1) obstacle that was preventing me from accomplishing my entire task. But luckily, there were more innovations than limitations presented. They are as follows:- Innovations – all this were possible with the help and the support of the parents ? I was able to provide lots of books in the language corner that were incredibly attractive to the children. ?The magnetic letters, some puzzles along with many beautiful charts. ?Labels ?Alphabet blocks Picture cards ?Letter sound cards ?Environmental Print e. g. (signs, logos etc. ) ?Together with the children we were able to create the book that includes the different environmental signs. Limitations ?The strategy that was very different from the others which was the incorporation of the computer into the classroom was unable to accomplish due to the expense that it would have implanted. It was hard to achieve, but however after sometime we would be able to achieve it to facilitate the children’s learning. Conclusion In discussing the strategies above that I have undertaken in enhancing the Language Centre in my classroom in reflecting my goals, it has enabled me to realize how unique this learning area is to the children in the environment and to there future. When adults create rich language and literacy environments with the appropriate materials, manipulatives and teacher learning strategies to further endorse the important skills, it boosts the child’s vocabulary along with the use of language, which in turn increases their likelihood of future success.

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