There seems to be a lot of concerns about motor skill development or the lack thereof when it comes to children being school ready. Normally, I teach about motor skills and the difference between fine or small and gross or large to my students. This year I took it a step farther and had my students explore the connection to academic success and motor skills. Below, you will find the lesson and activities that I used with my students to open their eyes to the importance of motor skill development in relation to a child’s academic success.
Several months ago a Texas FACS teacher, sent me a message suggesting that I create a lesson on this topic. I loved the idea and immediately had ideas swirling in my head. However, before sharing, I wanted to try it out with my own child development students to make sure everything went as I envisioned. Thankfully, The lesson and activities went according to plan and students had a lot to say about this topic and some great discussions ensued! If you have suggestions for future lesson and/or activities, send me a message and I’ll take a look!
What child doesn’t like playing with toys? When my children were young, they received a lot of toys from family and friends. Some of those toys were appropriate and safe for their age and abilities and others were too advanced and were put back for a later time. To some people, toys are toys and safety, age and ability play no part in their selection. I like to provide my students with an overview of the types of toys recommended for each age and stage of a child’s early years. After discussing some criteria to keep in mind, the best way to evaluate or analyze a toy for age appropriateness is to actually play with them. So, the toy stations go up and the big kids “play” and utilize their resources to help them determine the toy’s age/stage and justify their answer. This is always a fun activity as students see and explore new toys they’ve never had or played with, along with reminiscing about those they did play with, as youngsters! No toys? No worries as I’ve included an alternate activity to accomplish the same thing!
If you teach child development or a related course where students are learning about or developing materials for young children, you are most likely teaching about developmentally appropriate practice. We all know as educators that children and activities are not all created equal! This lesson introduces students to this concept with an interactive introductory activity and then continues with student exploration of the concept and what it entails. Students also explore what can happen when developmentally appropriate practices are ignored. Finally students participate in a variety of activity stations to determine if DAP or not!
I’m finding that my students do better when they have a good balance of “hands-on” activities mixed with technology. So, in this feature you will find my version of a “pop-up” style activity that revolves around the family structures. Students work in small groups to complete a “pop-up” of their assigned family structure, incorporating additional information. The “pop-ups” are then displayed and students participate in a gallery walk to learn more about each of the unique family structures. See below for more details!
If you teach a unit on handling childhood injuries, this lesson is a must for you to try! After learning about Flipgrid through a teacher in-service, Diane Senkoski, a sixth grade FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, created a super engaging lesson for students of all ages, using the free app. Even if you are not a 1:1 school or have access to technology, the lesson can be easily adapted for live performances! So, what are you waiting for…set up your free Fligprid account and get started!
This is such an important topic to teach about, one I’ve honestly struggled with over the years. However, when teaching about infant safety this school year, I decided it was high time I put my trepidation aside and created the below lesson and activities. I’m not sure I’ve given the topic the justice it deserves, but it’s a start! As always, if you have additional ideas, please share in the comment section.
How many of you remember fingerplays such as “Where is Thumbkin” or “This Little Piggy”? These along with many others were a favorite with my own children and I’m sure with many of yours too! This fun and interactive activity was shared by Lauren Williams from McCracken County High School, Paducah, Kentucky where she teaches a variety of Child Development, Child Services and Parenting classes. If your students enjoyed learning about nursery rhymes, they’re going to love creating their own original fingerplays! So, check out her ideas below and let the creativity begin!
Sometime throughout the year, I have my Child Development students write a children’s book that they must read to the class as part of my literacy and reading to children unit. In the past, I’ve used Storybird as my platform. However, with this particular group of artistically talented students, I wanted to have them write and illustrate their own stories. Not just any type of story, but a “circle story”! In addition, I wanted them to apply the characteristics of reading aloud as well as incorporate technology. Continue to read to find out how all of this was accomplished…