Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting to Know One Another

This one is a little late as school is well under way but I also think it is a topic for all year round. Often in a child care center children are moved according to birth date not the school calendar so I've found myself getting to know children all year long as children are moved up. It takes time to get to know one another. The children need to get to know you and you as the teacher have to get to know them.

 I've started taking care of a new child recently. We're still in that getting to know one another stage. Today was the first day he would let me put him down and sit beside him while he played. Until today he wouldn't play unless I was holding him-even if I was just sitting beside him. He's starting to trust me and he's showing more of his personality. We're getting to know one another and be comfortable with one another.

Something to do to get to know a person is to use their name. When I'm taking care of the child whose in my care right now I not only use his name but I use mine. When I'm taking care of him I use his name and say, " Child, Ms. Taryn is going to put you in your bouncy chair while she makes your bottle." That way I've used both my name and his. It gives him the chance to recognize who he is and who I am and that I'm a different person from Mom and Dad.

Another thing I like to do not only when I'm working in a child care center or am taking care of a child in their home like I am right now is to get to know the family. I've found you can have a better relationship with the child if you also have one with the parent. Most of the communication is done through the parents anyway and if you take the time to have a professional relationship with them it earns the parents and therefore the child's trust easier and quicker.

One last thing I like to is to help children make friends. In a situation like I have now I like to know of a play group that meets once a week or every other week and go so that the child has interaction with other children. I also like to take them to the park. In a child care center I like to have the new child sit next to me or my co-teacher so that as the other children come and play around me the new child is included and the other children get to know them.

Here's a link to an article by NAEYC about helping children get to know one another.

Helping children get to know each other

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


The children in my classroom always made me laugh. They would do and say things that were so funny. To bring humor into the classroom always helped lighten the room particularly after something serious had happened such as someone got hurt, sick or a new face was in the room. Sometimes to eliminate stress or frustration I would sing a song about how I was feeling such as singing to a tune words like, "You're really frustrating me but I'm gonna come over here help the children do the project."

NAEYC has an article about putting humor in the classroom. They suggest making up silly rhymes. When I would sing to relieve stress or frustration this is what I was doing. Sometimes I would do it as they suggest and use phases like I just finished a puzzle wuzzle. I would do this when a child was learning how to talk or having a hard time with a certain syllable or the sound of a word. The children would try to repeat this and often made me laugh but it also helped the child learn the sound.

Another suggestion NAEYC makes is to do tongue twisters. Where I worked with toddlers this really couldn't be done. Children this age already have a hard time learning the syllables and sounds and it would only frustrate them. I instead brought this concept in with music and would play music that did tongue twisters and dance to the music. If a object was mentioned in the music that happened to be in the room I would hold it and point to it when the music said the word.

Other suggestions it mentions are replacing key words in songs and being absurd. Being absurd was never a problem. This is when I had the most fun and so did the children. I would often do this when the room was full of children crying. It got them to calm down and stop crying because I would be acting so absurd it would make them stop crying and they would stop and watch me and listen to the silly song I was singing.

This article also suggests modeling humor behavior in the dramatic play area, and reading humorous books. Some of my favorite authors who do humor well are Mo Williams and Sandra Boynton. I would read these authors a lot to the children and point things out in the pictures to show the humor. The article suggests having a silly face contest which would be fun to do with preschool and pre-k aged children.

The last three suggestions are to sing funny songs which I did on a daily basis and would play funny songs to lighten the mood in the room. It also says to fill a hoola hoop with preschoolers and see how many it will hold. The last one is to laugh and to let the children see you laugh. The children did see me laugh almost on a daily basis but certainly a weekly one. At least once a day someone would do or say something that made me laugh. Here's a link to the article if someone is interested.

Ideas for bringing humor into the classroom

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I've always tried to be the best teacher I can be to the children in my class. I've always recognized that children can't and won't learn until they feel safe in the classroom and trust you. Sometimes it's hard to gain a child's trust and it can certainly take time but over time they do come to trust you and feel comfortable in the class.
In trying to gain their trust and help them feel comfortable I've tried to establish a classroom of learners. Once they learn the first lesson taught which is to be comfortable and trust you as teacher, the teacher can start to teach a child, whether it be colors, numbers, opposites etc.

I work with toddlers, so where each child is developmentally, is different. Sometimes there are children who have just turned one in the classroom and are trying to learn how to walk and there are also the children who are older and trying to learn how to talk. As a result I've had to find ways to enhance their development and learning. I've done this by taking a simple concept such as colors and finding objects of different colors. With the younger ones I tell them the name of the color and point to the object, then see if any child or object in the room has that color and point to it and repeat the color. With the older ones I don't tell them what the color is when I point to it, instead I ask them if they know what the color is and ask them to say it. This way what I'm teaching is developmentally appropriate.

Sometimes I plan a lesson with goals in mind. For example if I see a child who is really interested in cars I'll do a lesson plan on transportation. If I see a child who is trying to meet a milestone such as climbing the stairs on the slide I plan a lesson with lots of different kinds of movement in it. This way I can help the children meet the milestones they're trying to reach. Every so often I can tell a child is learning but may be ready for the next level of learning. For example with manipulatives, a child close to two has the skills to better do a manipulative game than a twelve month old. When I sit with them I assess where they are and then come up with a game that extends where they are into something they can learn. Often times I go and get activities from the two year old room to help the child develop and learn.

One last thing I've always tried to do in order to be a good teacher is establish good relationships with the children's families- the parents. The parents that are the hardest  to deal with are the ones who worry about everything. They are the ones who have questions about everything and just need to learn to relax. Best advice is: if it won't hurt you, it won't hurt your child. Most parents as long as you talk to them when they drop-off and pick up and keep open communication with them, you can have a good relationship with them.