Monday, 23 April 2018

Basic Steps in Designing a Preschool Curriculum

Designing an excellent preschool curriculum is extremely important for an early childhood education professional. It would create an environment that puts children in the right path ensuring a positive academic attitude and overall development. Moreover, it helps teachers love their job even more!

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Create a written framework

A written framework must list all the vital elements of the preschool education in relation to the early learning standards of the state. Updating the framework every year incorporates latest research and techniques into the curriculum.

While developing the structure, write down what you wish to achieve with the children. Define clearly all the early learning goals for the entire preschool program and take in relevant research findings, pertaining to childhood development.

The framework must work as a solid guideline and specify well-defined simple to complicated teaching methods, learner skills to be developed, intentional play, teacher attitude, and elements that promote essential social skills. The structure must also include evaluation procedures to measure learner progress. 

Define the teacher role

A very significant part of developing a written framework is defining the teacher role. It is the teacher who is responsible for: following age-appropriate teaching strategies; achieving engaging classroom interaction; inspiring learning on the part of the kids.

Parental, societal and governmental inputs and expectations go a long way in syllabus design, preparation of teaching/learning materials, formulation of teaching-learning strategies and techniques and evaluation procedures. Teachers have a definitive role to play in all these segments of the curriculum.

Identifying learner activities

Different kinds of learner activities have different objectives. Playing games aims at participation in fun activities – sharing, laughing, enjoying and relaxing. Small and whole group activities can promote social, emotional and psychological development. Art activities inspire kids in developing creativity and individuality. A right mix of all these activities facilitates all round development.

Creating appropriate learning environment

Kids are highly impressionable and easily affected by things and people around them. The preschoolers must therefore have a well thought out and secure learning atmosphere. Caring and responsive adults should recognize, respect and nurture their curiosity, creativity and individuality, and allow them to explore and learn on their own.

Room scheduling and structure, both outdoor and indoor activities, materials and supplies considered age-appropriate, interesting displays, alternative seating etc. are all factors that enrich learning environment.

A few more tips

Once the base of the curriculum framework is complete, professionals can work towards planning individual lesson plans. Present preschool education trends aim for an all-inclusive approach in respect of the following key areas.

  1. Literacy
  2. Language development, especially sounds and simple vocabulary of the language
  3. Basic numeracy
  4. Social studies
  5. Science
  6. Art
  7. Physical development
  8. Social development
  9. Culture development
The aim of designing a strong preschool curriculum is to foster genuine love for learning in kids. In order to accomplish this, the kids must be able to feel at home all the time. All the teaching-learning objectives must always be achieved through stimulating fun way activities.

When the curriculum designers are clear about this general goal, the kids are sure to find the journey of learning quite enticing and highly enjoyable!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Personality Types and Learning Styles


Educators have observed a strong relationship between learning styles and personality types of learners. The basic insight is that the personality type of the learner determines the learning process.

Carl Jung, the Swiss pychiatrist and psychoanalyst, originally proposed the foundational theory of psychological types. Drawing largely from Jung’s theory, Isabel Briggs Myers (daughter) and Catherine Briggs (mother) developed subsequently the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).


 Image courtesy: https://pixabay.com/
The application of the MBTI as an instrument has led to several insightful studies in the field of education. The findings of these studies authenticate that personality does affect the style not only of learning but also of teaching.

Jung’s oppositions


We believe that the behavior of every person seems to be idiosyncratic, vastly different from that of every other. Jung’s theory proposes that the converse is true: a clear order and pattern underlie such seemingly arbitrary variations in behavior.

People can indeed be categorized into a certain number of psychological types based on three sets of their preferences of bipolar behavioral oppositions. They are the following:

1 Extroversion (E) v. Introversion (I)

You may choose to concentrate on the outer world around you, or you may zoom in on your own inner world. If your preference is the former, you are an extrovert; if it is the latter, you are an introvert.

2 Sensing (S) v. Intuition (N)

Your preference may be to receive the basic information as it is, or you may examine the information received and look for an insight. The former is sensing and the latter, intuition.

3 Thinking (T) v. Feeling (F)

In matters of decisions, your preference may be to focus first on the underlying logic and coherence, or to study first the people and specific circumstances given. This opposition is labeled Thinking or Feeling.

4 Judging (J) v. Perceiving (P)

Jung proposed further that one of the functions above is dominant – maybe a function of judging or of perception. Briggs-Myers considered this relationship a fourth opposition that influences personality type.

Arriving at personality types

It is possible to arrive at sixteen different personality types by permuting the preferences in the four sets of oppositions given above. Each of the sixteen personality types can be identified with an acronym of four letters that correspond to the combination of preferences.

For example, Introversion + Intuition + Feeling + Judging give rise to the personality type INFJ; ESTP indicates the type Exroversion + Sensing + Thinking + Perceiving, and so on.

Personality types and learning styles

The application of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in the field of education has enabled a much better understanding of why there are diverse teaching and learning styles.

The findings of several original research studies with the help of the MBTI instrument on college and school students have led to much better teacher-learner communication, and much enhanced quality learning.

Online educators have greater awareness of the individual learning styles and demands of online learners. They do cater to the specific needs of the students.

Students on their part do not have to be concerned about the differences they find among themselves, as far as their individual learning styles and the outcomes at a point are concerned.

With a heartening understanding of the personality type, a learner can have greater motivation, follow helpful learning strategies and achieve satisfying performance levels.

In the past decade, e-learning opportunities have grown exponentially, particularly in the field of early childhood education, thanks to the concept of personality types.



Friday, 23 February 2018

Balancing work and study

Maybe you are one of the many who desire to pursue your interest in study and further your career prospects. Inevitably, you will be burdened with the twin responsibility of holding a job and doing study at the same time.

You take a job to support your education. You pursue education in order to enhance your knowledge and career prospects. Work assists study and study will bear fruit in the form of a more respectable career.
However, the downside is that daytime is usually your most productive time not only for your work but also for your study. Furthermore, the rest of the day is to be apportioned between your family, friends, workout, entertainment etc.

There are for sure several online programs and jobs that you can do sitting in the comfort of your home. Working/studying from home has become a great option for several people because it is convenient and effective.


Nevertheless, it is a great challenge and a vital need to balance your work and study and other demands of life. Here are few ideas for achieving that feat.

1. Prioritize what is important ‘now’, this moment

It is important to be clear about your priorities on a minute-to-minute basis. Say, you have to choose between a test that counts towards your final score and a lucrative online job you have to take immediately. You need to find the balance by prioritizing what is more important at that given moment. Explore ways of taking the other subsequently.


2. Time management

It is going to be very hard for you if you do not manage your time. It is necessary to have a proper plan of what should be completed in what order, when, and how, and what can be ignored as unimportant. Without such a preparation, you may cause yourself avoidable stress and allow everything to suffer. Make sure that you draw a clear plan, construct an effective schedule and execute a firm follow-up. Avoid wasting time, but take short refreshing breaks.

3. Never bite off more than you can chew
When balancing between work and study, never ever take on overconfidently more than what you can probably accomplish. Be realistic about your own potentials, efforts and circumstances.

4. Multitasking blues

It’s rather tempting to attempt multitasking, when you find that you have too many things to do – for example, form ideas for an assignment, peel potatoes, soothe your crying baby, respond to your spouse’s query and think about handling a brewing crisis in the workplace the following day. It will indeed be great if you can achieve them all.

Almost invariably, you find that the multitasking you have done leaves you nowhere near what you wanted to accomplish. Had you attempted single tasking, you would have accomplished much more. Thus, the age-old dictum of one thing at a time is sure to stand you in good stead; right sequencing and single-minded completion will help you achieve the right balance.

5. Stay Organized

Begin by organizing your life and study/work space. If you spend, even a few minutes every day, looking for a pencil or a book or a file, it will only be a wasting of much precious time. Ensure that all your things are where they should be for more effective balancing of work and study.


Lastly, make sure you manage stress effectively by keeping good health. Take out time to sleep well and do your regular workout. Eat healthy and stick to a balanced diet for the optimal function of your body and mind. These ideas with just a little effort will help you balance your work and study successfully. 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Stay Motivated to study during the Holiday

One of the most difficult times to study is the holiday season. This is indeed the season for taking time off from all commitments during the rest of the year. No wonder, why it is a challenge to stay motivated to study during the holiday seasons. Here are a few ideas for you to achieve this feat!

Image courtesy: https://pixabay.com/en/laptop-apple-macbook-computer-2557571/


1 Check the timeline of your program

Keeping to a course schedule is an extremely important tool for staying motivated and being on track. It is necessary to check the timeline on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t fall behind.

You should have a healthy respect for timelines, as they are designed to guide you through programs. It will be great if you can finish tasks well ahead of their timelines!

2 Reward yourself always

This helps in giving you a positive reinforcement to your resolve. Reward yourself every time you finish something. Knowing that rewards await you will motivate you to tackle head-on hardships and achieve the study tasks. Holiday treats work really well!

3 Study together

Create chat sessions and forums to give your fellow students and your own self some extra support. Those who study once a week in a study group will get a more detailed understanding of the materials of the course, ask better questions, and be more involved in discussions.

One of the biggest motivation blockers is frustration. When collaborating with others, you can keep frustrations at bay.

4 Keep yourself reminded of the long-term goals

When you remind yourself often of what you wish to accomplish in the long term, you will be able to keep yourself well motivated. If you feel run-down, while preparing for a test or doing an assignment, think of the bigger picture to gain momentum.

5 Eliminate distractions

Distractions of any kind might rob you of precious time, and unconsciously you tend to postpone your studies. You should always be on guard to eliminate all distractions. It is best to complete quickly all your regular errands and other important tasks and make yourself ready for study.

6 Sync your learning with your pastimes

One of the best ways to make learning exciting is to indulge in activities that will suit your nature and are in agreement with your recreations. For instance, if drawing is your hobby, you should learn your lessons by using images or visualizing them to relate to certain topics.

If learning becomes fun, you will have no problem concentrating on your studies during the holiday!

7 Take breaks

It is always a good idea to take a break when you need it. Stopping at a logical point for a short unwinding is important. Never burn yourself out. You will find it a lot easier to complete a chapter or finish an assignment after a short break.

Divide your study session for the day in small periods. For instance, study for one hour, and then take a break for five to ten minutes to do a physical activity. This should help your brain reinvigorate and continue optimal function.

With just a little bit of reorganization, you can thus stay motivated for study during the holiday without missing the fun element.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Time Management for Online Students

The most important advantage of online learning is the flexibility of time you can spare for learning. Most people who go in for this option do so because jobs or other commitments prevent them from attending regular classroom-based courses of an obligatory schedule.

There is, however, a danger in having flexible study hours: it is easy to lose track of time or become disorganized. The ability to learn and the quality of your performance, in such situations, just cannot be your best, and your poor grades will prove this.

The key to best performance is to be able to manage your time efficiently. Here are a few proven time management techniques that will help you to stay in control of your time for study and derive the maximum benefits from your online learning.



Image courtesy: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2014/05/02/21/50/home-office-336377_960_720.jpg

Make a plan

Everything begins with planning: you can use a good planner or special calendar, adding all the dates for each class you have scheduled and the dates of submission of projects. You need to add as well a timetable for execution of work in stages of each project and stay on schedule.

Making such a plan is easy – implementing it is another matter. Being on your own, it's easy to let things slip with the excuse that you can easily make up for lost time later on. Maybe you can, but the results will never be as good as those of properly scheduled work will. A good instructor will know that your work is a rush job done at the last minute, and grade you accordingly.

Prioritize

You may think you are too much burdened with too many cares, but are you in fact? Track all your activities and time spent on each for one week. It will help you understand how your time is being used; you will realize where you need to make changes to prioritize your studies and other important things and in what order.

For example, if you meet friends for two hours three times a week, cutting it down to twice a week could give you a valuable two extra hours to go for the higher grades. Mobile apps are available that make prioritizing and tracking easy for you.

Establish your work space

You are in pursuit of knowledge, a degree and a better career that will depend on worthwhile results. You need to be, therefore, organized and disciplined to be in the right frame of mind. To do this you should have a designated workspace where you can spend your time studying with concentration.

Making this a habit will help substitute the psychological structured system of the physical classroom. It will enable you to focus on your work instead of being disturbed by domestic distractions.

Establish a routine

If you are able to do your study at the same time each day, that will be great. It helps you to be mentally and physically prepared for study. However, if you cannot do this, there is a way out. Establish a routine of a specific number of study hours each day. If necessary, you can break up the time into as many segments as would suit the other demands on you.

Ensure that you utilize fully the different blocks of time and put in the same number of hours of quality study each day. Sub-routines like a cup of coffee after an hour of work (no earlier or later) and a snack an hour later will help you to stay settled in your routine.



Thursday, 23 November 2017

Benefits of an Online Early Childhood Education Degree

Do you have a passion for kids? Are you looking for a career that is fulfilling? Getting an online early childhood education degree is what you should be doing first. Such a degree is a boon for people like you, who hardly have time to go to school.

The World Wide Web has completely revolutionized the system of education, making it more readily available. Several colleges provide online degrees for obvious reasons: it's quite practical and flexible.

Therefore, if you are thinking of going back to college, it befits you to check the growing popularity and the benefits of online courses.



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Having the edge on competitors

An online early childhood education degree that you longed for will surely stand you in good stead. In this extremely competitive world, even the slightest edge can put you above your competitors. If you have a degree while other applicants do not, you are more likely to get the job.

Moreover, a degree in early childhood education is needed for certain jobs in the field. Preschool teachers should complete the required credits before they can apply for a teaching position.

No more waiting

No longer do you have to wait to save for three or four years of tuition in a full time course. If you wish to get started quickly, the online option is the fastest way of getting your certificate. An online certificate will always work whether you wish to start working in a private residence, daycare center, or a local daycare of your community center. The course will show your level of commitment, which in turn will build your confidence. Moreover, your high confidence can help you climb up the success ladder.

Online courses are fun

Doing an early childhood education program online can be great fun and you will really enjoy it. It opens your eyes to several surprising aspects of developmental psychology of young kids. Classes can take you from curriculum planning to group activities.

Another major advantage of doing the program is an amazing exposure to the world of little children. Keeping the learning process creative but simple enough are all parts of learning about early childhood. The course will impact numerous spheres of your adult life.

Development of early childhood lays the foundation for teaching and learning in general. After you have obtained the degree, you will carry these crucial fundamentals with you throughout your lifetime.

Door to many jobs

A degree in early childhood education opens the door to many jobs like the following: preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, teacher’s assistant, childcare worker, childcare center director, special educational needs teacher, social worker, youth worker, child psychotherapist, community development worker, counsellor and so on.

There can be nothing more exciting than working with little children as they are full of fun, vigor and warmth. You forget all cares of life when so many of them surround you. It will be great to think of a degree course in online early childhood education today.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Preparing for a Test: Goodbye to Cramming! Welcome to Positive Habits!

Getting ready for tests relying upon cramming can be very stressful and counterproductive. Instead, with a little patience and intense practice of a few positive skills you can make sure that you achieve the best results. Here are a few tips that should make you give up cramming and embrace confidence-boosting and much more reliable skills.


Preparing for the test in advance

Careful planning and whole-hearted preparation are the two essential prerequisites for the success of any task. Academic tests are no exception: you need to ensure therefore that you go about these vital prerequisites at the earliest.

Gather all the study materials, work out carefully your strategy and begin your preparation well in advance; focus all your energy and effort on them without wasting a minute.

Putting off everything until the last minute is indeed a very bad habit: self-confidence is a virtue but not over-confidence in your might; you will surely end up ill equipped, and stressed out, opening the door to poor performance.

Visualize

If you are reading mechanically straight from your course books all the time, you are bound to fall asleep; rather, try something creative. When revising the topics, recognize the areas you should focus on, and reduce the long text into an info graphic – a chart, diagram, or picture. There are more chances of your remembering an image in comparison to a mass of text. A good info graphic is worth a thousand words!

Exploit the advantages of group work

A great way to test your newly acquired knowledge is by studying with your friends in a group. You must make sure you stick with a single topic at one time, and ask one another as many questions as possible from different perspectives.

It is quite possible that the group will have solutions to questions you’ve been searching for, or you may be exposed to a few questions you may not have thought of.

Plan your day

All your preparation will be in vain if you do not sleep properly overnight, and are late for the test. Before the test date arrives, make sure you have ready on hand everything you require, your transportation organized and your timing sorted. Being late or reaching just in time can cause you needless tension, which is not good for your pre-test composure.

Eat and drink right

You should have sufficient stamina to withstand the demands of a test. A big spoon of sugar may sound like a good idea to get instant energy. You are certainly better off consuming a lot of water and eating healthy brain foods.

You would do well to visit the local farmer’s market, where you have plenty of farm-fresh produce packed with more nutrients and available at a cheaper price. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, then go to the supermarket for grains, beans, pasta, and condiments.

With healthy food items sorted out, think about what you're used to drink normally. Most students love coffee, which is fine if had in moderation. A great alternative is drinking green tea; it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that improve the function of the brain, besides other great benefits.

Drink as well plenty of water all through the day, and eat healthy snacks such as blueberries, nuts, vegetable or bananas with hummus.

With a little patience and concerted effort, you can make the process of preparing for your online exams of a reputed college easy and fun!