THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN AND THE ASSOCIATION FOR CHILDHOOD EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL
Training Materials Which Could Be Utilized in Training Early Childhood Educators
Early childhood educators can benefit a lot from training programs and materials to read or guidebooks that can furnish them with core strategies of nurturing pre-school kids. The acquired skills will help them create a stimulating language learning environment for the young children they work with in a childhood setting. They also get to learn how to develop language and literacy which is crucial to the young children.
Programs like Teacher Talk encourage language development in early childhood settings by training them on how to use daily conversations, routine and play to promote social development and communication. These activities cater for all the children regardless of whether they are second language learners or those with language delays ("Training and Resources For Early Childhood Educators – Teacher Talk", 2016).
Early childhood educators are trained to encourage language development in young children through the following ways;
· Helping young children become better conversation partners or communicators by using proper turn-taking cues and appropriate comments or questions.
· Identifying children’s conversational styles and the role a teacher should play in interactions
· Using five necessary measures to ensure no child misses out on interrelation sessions during group activities
· Implementing six steps to following a child’s lead:
Ø Wait and listen
Ø Be face to face
Ø Join in and play
Teacher talk 2016 also recommends for ‘let language lead the way to literacy’ training for early childhood educators. The training will discuss important links between literacy and oral language development. Tutors will learn practical strategies for paving the way for children to write and read. The workshop trains educators on how to support and encourage literacy development through;
· Using book readings as time for conversations and interaction
· Helping juniors develop a positive attitude towards the use of print
· Making print a necessity on daily basis
· Choosing books that are equivalent to the children’s stages of development and their interests
Teacher talk program also provides training that will foster successful peer interaction among young children. The training equips educators with skills to create, support and encourage opportunities for interaction among toddlers in the social and physical environment by;
· Providing useful materials and promoting activities
· Encouraging need for socialization through groupings and providing precise coaching
· Making good use of the space in classrooms
Early childhood educators should also be trained on how to use technology in early childhood classrooms. With the Internet and Information Computer Technology being the biggest thing of our generation, there is a need to inculcate IT into the early childhood education curriculum ("Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom", 2016). Modern technologies are powerful ad leave a significant impact because they rely on one of the most powerful genetic biases that human beings have the preference for information presented with visuals. Visually oriented materials attract and maintain young children’s attention. Technology can also greatly benefit young interactive children as it allows them to develop independent thinking skills, curiosity, and problem-solving skills.
Early childhood educators should learn how to use materials considered developmentally appropriate for coaching young children as pointed out by the constructivist approach identified by Buffkin and Bryde (1996). General materials like books, writing materials, art supplies, and writing material can be used to cultivate the culture of reading, drawing and writing as they grow up. Playing is equally important for children as they learn which makes items like dramatic play materials, math and board games necessary in an early childhood setting. Other useful items include; counters, pattern blocks, calendar math and unifix cubes. There is also the need for center-based learning and materials for hands-on exploration of science materials.
Finally, there is need to inculcate experimental activities to the educators. Formal operations by adults do not mean they no longer need experimental learning. As a matter of fact, college students have admitted that experiments are the best as they help them make connections from theory to practice (Slotnick et al., 1993; Dart, et. al., 2005). The practicals make learning more meaningful bearing in mind that adults just like children have different developmental stages and have different learning styles, levels of motivation and background experiences.
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