Saturday, February 20, 2016

10 DAP Teaching Strategies

Going to take a break today from the categories that are all a part of parenting. We often hear that parents are a child's first teacher and they are. When I'm in a classroom being a teacher one of things that is stressed by the director is making sure that developmentally appropriate practices are being used. Developmentally appropriate practices are exactly what they sound like. It's a teacher or a parent keeping the way that they raise children developmentally appropriate. An example of a developmentally appropriate practice is a child wanting to learn how to climb the stairs but allowing them to only do it when a parent is around to supervise them and keeping the stairs blocked with a gate when the supervision can't take place. The National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) developed ten teaching strategies that they say are used in a classroom. These strategies can be modified to be used in a home by a parent.

The first strategy NAEYC mentions is to acknowledge what children do or say. When I'm working in a center I do this by seeing a child ask for something they want and saying, "Thank you for using your words," to them. For example, at one of the centers I worked at we kept teethers in a washed out empty wipes container. When the children wanted one they would point to the cupboard they were kept in and say, "Bite." When I handed one to a child I would say, Thank you for using your words," opposed to the usual pointing and grunting that occurs with children between ages one and two.
To use this strategy at home a parent can acknowledge what children do or say by noticing when a child helps a sibling without being asked and saying, "Thank you for helping (siblings name)."

The second strategy is to encourage persistence and effort. In a classroom if I saw a child trying to do a puzzle but getting frustrated I would encourage persistence by telling the child to try it in another place or turning it so it fit into the correct space. Parents can encourage effort by sitting by them while they do their homework and asking questions and explaining things that help them understand what they're doing.

The third strategy is to give specific feedback. In a classroom I would say, "Try holding the crayon this way," when a child is learning how to color and hold a crayon. A parent can give specific feedback when they say, "You did a good job cleaning your room. Next time can you remember that part of cleaning your room means to put your dirty clothes in the hamper and not leave it in a pile by your bed?"

The fourth strategy is to model behavior. In a classroom I would model behavior by saying please and thank you to the children. Parents can model behavior by making sure the child finishes the question they're asking before answering their child in order to make sure they're answering the question the child is asking, not the question the parent thinks the child is asking.

The fifth strategy is to demonstrate the correct way of doing something. For example, in a classroom I would put something in the sensory table like sand, buckets and shovels and show the children how to put the sand in the bucket using the shovel. At a home a parent can demonstrate the correct way of doing something by first showing a child how to clean the bathroom sink then supervise the child when they try it to guide them through things they may forget.

The sixth strategy is to create or add challenges. For example, once a child learned how to walk and were steady on their feet instead of letting them crawl up the stairs to the slide I would have them walk up the steps of the slide. A parent can create a challenge by having a child do a chore such as clean their room within a certain amount of time and setting the timer so the child knows when to start and when time has ended.

The seventh strategy is to ask questions that get children to think. When I was working in a classroom I asked questions while reading a book such as where is a chair, then the children would point to a chair in the classroom. Parents can ask questions to help children to think by asking questions like, "Do you think it would be nicer to ask your sibling to scoot over so you can sit down or do you think it would be nice to just scoot your sibling over so you can sit down?"

The eight strategy is to give assistance. For example, where I worked with toddlers and they were trying to  learn how to walk we often had push toys in the room or on the playground. When a child would push one into a piece of furniture I would put my hands over their hands and turn the push toy giving the child assistance to go around the push toy but they also felt with their hands and arms how to turn it . Parents can provide assistance to children by holding a cup while they pour the water or loosen a lid on something they're trying to open.

The ninth strategy is to provide information that give children facts. When working in a classroom when a child would point to an object I would say the name of the object such as, "Chair. We sit in a chair." Parents can provide information for children when they say similar things or give direction, "After you eat lunch we're going to go to the grocery store."

The last strategy is to give direction's for actions or behavior. Many times the toddlers I worked with would walk looking behind them instead of in front of them so I had to remind them to look where they were going so they didn't run into another person in the classroom, a wall or furniture. Parent can give direction as they guide their children while playing a game. For example, when it's the child's turn the parent can give direction such as move your piece to the green space or the space with the rocket on it etc.

All of these seem pretty simple and are things parents do on a daily basis unconsciously. If you're interested in reading the article by NAEYC you can find it below.

10 DAP Teaching Strategies

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