Monday, 23 September 2019

Educating a Child with the Help of Stories

It is not easy to teach young children. However, it is an extremely important responsibility and must not be delegated to an amateur. Making use of stories for teaching is an effective method. When a teacher reads to children, he or she does not confine the student to academic excellence but expands into their behavioral and emotional learning.

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Here are a few reasons which explain why making use of stories for teaching is a good idea.

The Child Will Not Feel Threatened or Bored

When the teacher reads, he or she is able to tackle a particular situation in a very non-threatening manner. What does threaten mean? Here are a few examples of some phrases that are utilized when teaching a lesson:

"You must never lie."
"You should not be scared."

Normally, this is said in an angry or accusatory tone. When there is finger-pointing, children hear the disapproval and the whole situation gets tense. However, if one uses stories for teaching, the blame is taken out and lesser emphasis is placed on problems. Solutions are discussed in a positive way.

Working Towards "Cure" and "Prevention"

By making use of stories for teaching, children can be helped through situations that they might be experiencing at that time. It also helps teachers prepare the children mentally for situations that could possibly arise. Children tend to gain a lot of indirect experience from the stories that are read to them. For instance, teachers can read a book on bullying to teach children how to handle such situations.

Children Look up to the Characters in the Stories That Are Read to Them

Children tend to connect with the story characters and like to relate with them. The teacher can further ask questions like:

1. Can you relate to anyone in this story? 

2. Do you think this character is like you?

3. Why do you like that character?

4. Is there any character you aspire to be?

Relate such lessons to the child’s experiences and life. For instance, in the story of  ‘The Three Little 

Pigs’, you can ask the child what he/she can do to make their house really strong.

Children Are More Likely to Remember a Story Than a Reprimand

Scientists believe that the assimilation of information inside a story is an extremely natural brain process. To summarize, neuroscience has found out that our brain is made in such a way that it organizes, retains and accesses information with the help of stories. This means that teaching with the help of a story will help little ones remember information more easily and they will also be able to apply it effectively. Perhaps this is the reason why children can recite dialogs used in their favorite shows with ease.

Permits Critical Thinking

One of the safest ways for students to explore behavior and emotions are through stories. There are numerous children books that teach children about the significance of holding parents’ hands when out. Thought-provoking questions related to the story will help in identifying feelings and problems.

One of the best ways by which early childhood educators can teach is through storybooks. They offer a lot of insight and help a child grow.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Early Childhood Education: How Has It Grown over the Years?

Since time immemorial, education has transcended generations, sometimes in stereotypical ways. However, as time progressed and knowledge became more complex, human beings created a multifaceted education system comprising of an array of professionally trained individuals working with a range of students. Within that framework, were certain practices that have subsisted for over a century. These practices include the use of blackboards, theoretical exams, grading and also the curriculum pertaining to different courses.

The education system in the United States has a crotchet going on, making it extremely generalized wherein each child has to pass through the same series of levels to finally be called educated. This problem of ‘generalizing intelligence’ has defeated the whole purpose of education, which was to teach, assist and support children so that they can reach their potential and enjoy the education that is being imparted.

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The early years of the child are postulated to be the most significant years in his/her cognitive and emotional growth. The skills and knowledge gained during this period become the foundation of the child’s adult intelligence. Hence, it is extremely important to equip children with the tools they need to learn these skills. However, what has to be kept in mind is that every child is cognitively different from the other. While some children may have stronger linguistic intelligence, others may be more inclined towards music while still others could be mathematically inclined.

Unfortunately, most institutions and parents in the United States give precedence only to linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. In fact, our society as a whole grades kids according to this prejudice, considering the linguistically/mathematically intelligent kids as smarter. The truth is, every child is built with different sets of strengths and weaknesses and has the potential to be successful in different walks of life. Also, an education pattern that may work for one child may not necessarily work for the other. Therefore, there is a need for a customized approach.

The new early childhood education courses for aspiring teachers are dedicated to altering conventions and revamping the system to make it more children friendly. It aims at developing programs that cater to the varying needs of the children, in turn, helping them reach their highest potential.

The idea behind such educational programs are to teach strategies to teachers that can help them decide the starting point for the children and continuously help them raise the standard for themselves. The teachers are taught how to enhance a child’s self-confidence by exposing him/her to their strengths rather than making them blindly compete with their fellow mates.

The main objective of students should be to become the best they can be by setting the bar higher each time they reach a particular goal. This makes the children do well as they recognize that they are their only competition and that they have the power to decide the pace of their own education and set their own goals.

Hence, parents should be open to changes and recognize the importance of making learning easy for their children. When the flow of information coming to the children is through a stream that is easy for them to grasp, children will learn and catch up quickly.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Creating an Impressive Resume: Tips for Kindergarten Teachers

There is no career more fulfilling than teaching. It can be extremely rewarding in every way to help children gain knowledge, build newer skills and become appreciative of learning.

To begin your journey as a kindergarten teacher or to get a job at a better paying school, you should have ready an impressive resume. The tips given below can assist you in writing an impressive resume that appeals to prospective schools with the right information needed in order to make a decision in your favor.


Image Courtesy: Pixabay
1.  Selecting an appropriate format

Select a format that is most common in the teaching industry. The main reason why it is best to use a commonly accepted format is that employers are well versed with the template and can easily find the information they need without any frustration.

Also, make it a point to include all the main sections in the resume. The main sections include heading, aim, education details, work experience, accolades, and affiliations.

2.  Using action keywords

Use keywords that are industry-specific, typical of teaching like ‘age-appropriate teaching’ and ‘informal and formal assessments’. With such keywords, display your ability to assist children in understanding concepts, solving problems, and building critical thinking capabilities and your enthusiasm for meeting the expectations of the school.

This way you are able to direct your Curriculum Vitae toward a particular target. Being vocal about your enthusiasm and passion for teaching will give you an edge over the others.

3. Highlighting your accomplishments

Your accomplishments are the creditable achievements that distinguish you from others, competing with you for the same position. Other things being equal, your CV that highlights appropriately your accomplishments would impress greatly the appointing authority to consider you favorably for the position of early childhood education teacher.

4.  Proofreading your resume

A resume that has several errors is generally considered evidence of shabby work of a shabby candidature. Probably you never even get a call letter for a one-on-one interview. It would be a great pity to be out of the competition even before entering the contest.

Never put your own self at a disadvantage relative to others because of silly mistakes you commit in your resume. Proofread your CV several times and make sure someone else to does it for you with great care.

If you are looking for a job as a kindergarten teacher, the first thing you have to do, therefore, is to create a CV that will impress on your potential employer. A CV can either help you grab a great opportunity or shut the doors for you; if the latter happens, it will be of your own making.

Make sure you write it with all your writing skills at play, and that should compellingly appeal to prospective employers in order to call you for interviews. Nothing can be more rewarding than the happy position that you can choose from several job openings. Nothing can be more satisfying than the realization that it is due to your well-written CV.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Importance of Preschool Activities

Imaginative preschool activities can help in laying a firm foundation for success in school performance. Preschool is not just about fun and naps, finger painting, etc. It is also about developing learning skills that enhance learning potentials through appropriate activities.

Apart from being fun, preschool activities promote skills that will help the kids in all kinds of achievement throughout their adult life. Moreover, preschool activities are launch pads for the visual development of children.

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What can preschool activities develop?

Early childhood education teachers can successfully make use of vision therapy activities for developing skills like focus, convergence, visualization, tracking, visual memory, sequencing and coding, and fine motor control.

It is a proven fact that correct vision therapy exercises can develop such important skills in preschoolers. Consequentially, they help achieve long-term success by offering an edge over others. The creativity is in producing the therapies in fun tasks so that the little ones will do the required exercises, and make the most of the overall experience.

Activities that help

After in-depth researching, behavioral optometrists have come up with powerful fun exercises, designed for capturing the enthusiasm and attention of young children.  They are intended to cultivate the visual skills needed for achieving success in their educational career. Simple techniques when applied smartly during games can result in exciting preschool therapies. Such exercises do go a long way in assisting cognitive development of children. Given below are a few such exercises.

1. Musical Chairs

Musical chairs help students sharpen their listening skill by testing how alert they are in distinguishing between silence and sound. It teaches as well preparedness for quick responses, self-regulation, and lightning-like reflexes.

2. Hide and Seek

Hide an object in the classroom and then give the kids specific instructions such as these: “move two steps backward” or “walk towards something red”, to lead them to the hidden object. This game not only reinforces listening skills but also gives practice in carrying out verbal instructions. Furthermore, it has a wider scope for teaching children colors, positional words, shapes and the like.

3. Art and Craft

Coloring, drawing, finger painting, cutting, and pasting are all art and craft exercises that are designed to develop fine motor skills of preschoolers.

4. Sock Puppets Show

Students can come up with hand puppets created out of socks and together put up a show in the class. Creating puppets helps again to develop fine motor skills. In addition, talking to others with the puppet helps to develop communication and language skills. It also helps in teaching children how to resolve conflicts using words.

Thus, imaginative fun activities and games for preschoolers can develop powerful skills in them. This is important in early childhood education as it is capable of laying the foundation for all their achievements later in their life.

A note of caution: the fun activities and games should be designed carefully to kindle real interest and fun in the children. If not the efforts made will not lead to the expected outcome.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Stress Relief for Preschoolers

There was a time, when children from infancy to five years implemented natural stress relief strategies with no special initiation into preschool stress support. Women who stayed home to raise their family never felt the need for ‘special strategies’ for coping with and managing anger of kids. Most adults just made use of common sense to help the little one’s cope.

Due to drastic changes in the external and internal environments today, preschool teachers require knowledge of modern stress relief techniques for their young kids. Unfortunately, however, for lack of that knowledge, they amplify instead of reducing the stress of the kids.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
Definition of preschool stress

Preschool stress is essentially a young child’s response to the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional demands made by situations. When the response is positive, the child experiences eustress. On the other hand, when there is a negative response, the child suffers distress.

Things stress relief should focus on

1. Preschool stress is not about the teacher's demand on the child to make her/him sit quietly for the story circle. It is the child’s response to the requirement. It is important that stress relief focus on the response.

2. Preschool stress is not about the teacher's attempt to make the child count 1 to 10. It is the child’s response to the requirement. It is important that stress relief focus on the response.

3. Preschool stress is not about the mother's demand that the child stop crying at preschool. It is the child’s response to the requirement. It is important that stress relief focus on the response.

Preschool stress and stressors

Most teachers confuse stressors with stress. Preschool stressors are certainly an inescapable and inevitable part of the child’s life. However, it is important not to view stressors as the reason of stress. The former are merely demands made on the child to learn, cooperate, comply with, share, and more.

On the contrary, preschool stress is the response of the preschool child to the demands made on them. In case the child accepts demands willingly and cheerfully, s/he will feel a sense of eustress. It releases endorphins, often called ‘feel good chemicals’ into the bloodstream. There is no need for any kind of stress relief for eustress.

However, when the little one rejects and rebels against demands, a sense of distress takes charge. It is a negative situation that causes the release of adrenalin into the bloodstream. The child gets fearful or combative, and completely non-compliant. There is a definite need for stress relief here.

The primary reason for a child experiencing "distress" instead of "eustress" is their internal response to giving up to control or not having anyone in control.

Like adults, preschool children also need control in their life. They also require boundaries. However, they do not want anyone to take control of or dominate over them. They prefer handling situations on their own.

The popular expression "terrible twos" came from the ‘terrible’ developmental stage of two-year olds who cry aloud ‘no’ to any control, throwing tantrums. At the same time, they require someone to cling to. The ECE teacher should understand this sensitive psychology of the kids and help them feel reassured, not confused and stressed out.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Should Early Childhood Education be Academic, or Play-based?

Kids perceive through all their senses all that happens around them. Every sensory experience is an instance of some active learning for them. This is how they gain knowledge of the world. Hence, it is important for early childhood education teachers to include play-based educational activities in their curriculums.

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Learning is better through play

Research findings have proved the following:

  1. The preferred method of learning for a young child is through movement.
  2. Play promotes creativity, better problem-solving ability and improved levels of reading, and higher scores in IQ.
  3. Optimal learning takes place with the integration of all body systems.
  4. Lessons experienced physically have an immediate impact, and happen to be longer lasting.
  5. Retention of quality information depends upon the number of senses utilized during the learning process.
There is definitely a very strong connection between performance of physical activity and mental associations.

With all the mounting evidence, it is pretty clear that play-based learning is far more superior in comparison to that through plain academics. Unfortunately, in spite of the findings of such research studies, most educators continue to focus on the need to ‘educate’ the child. Thus, preschoolers fill more sheets and perform more seatwork. These were originally designated for first-graders or kindergartners.

Why learning through seatwork only?

A big part of this tradition comes from the society's belief that brain functions are more important than body functions. Moreover, many of us have lived with the misguided belief that body and mind are two separate entities. Hence, schools continue to train human minds through ears and eyes only.

The need to go back to basics

Early childhood education teachers created in the past programs to meet the developmental requirements of children. They believed that active play promoted active learning; some of the play-based activities included:

  1. Stacking and sorting blocks and other such manipulatives
  2. Dancing and singing, or acting a story out
  3. Exploring outdoor areas, and growing plants
  4. Trying different roles and speaking to one another during social studies classes.
However, many parents and educators are in a hurry to feed children with as much information as they can. This tends to affect the overall experience of children.

The truth is, children from kindergarten to third-grade should be more active in learning because they're still too young to be forced to sit for hours. Conversely, early childhood education happens to be less appropriate to all-round development.

Recent research studies on the brain have confirmed what early childhood education teachers have upheld for long: the body and mind are strongest when integrated rather than separated. Physical activity helps in activating the cells of the brain much more than seatwork.

Sitting can increase fatigue and decrease concentration. Movement helps in feeding oxygen, glucose and water to the brain, enhancing its performance. Moreover, learning through activity creates neural networks within the brain and all through the body, making the whole body an instrument for learning.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Advantages of Using Preschool Worksheets

Most children do not have a chance to reap the benefits of preschool worksheets. However, for generations, educators have been using worksheets for developing lingual, logical, problem-solving and analytical skills.

The fact is kids are quick learners during their formative years. For this reason, educators give importance to training children in the age group of three to seven years, as they can be molded easily to become confident learners.

Image Courtesy : Pixabay


Here are some benefits of using worksheets:

1 Make easy foundational concepts

Imaginative worksheets for children, created by professional teachers, can be utilized to make English and Math concepts intriguing and easy, in a fun format.

2 Boost and motivate

Completion of a set of worksheets, rewarded every time by stickers for example, can boost and motivate the interest of the kids.

Help kids express creativity

Coloring worksheets offer the advantage of giving children the opportunity to give expression to their imagination; at the same time, kids enjoy the use of colors as they like.

4 Prove to be effective forms of learning

One worksheet a day helps in keeping away the need for private tuition or extra help. Children have a very little attention span. Every worksheet can be finished within seven to ten minutes, and that leads to effective learning.

5 Improve learning potentials

Educationists prepare worksheets according to the child’s level of understanding. Therefore, they are a great way to enhance a child’s learning potentials. They help children apply the knowledge they gain from their teachers in the classroom.

6 Can be customized

Worksheets for children suit every group, and can be upgraded easily to match varying applications and demands of each child.

7 Usable from a very early age

Worksheets are an important resource for learning fundamental concepts, irrespective of the subject. Therefore, it is a good idea for educators to start early with worksheets and help children build a solid foundation.

8 Simplify the learning process

Educators use extensively worksheets, especially the ones designed for children in preschool, kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Following the right plan and offering rewards at every level of completion help motivate the children finish their tasks, and make the most of the process of learning.

9 Reinforce concepts

Preschool worksheets are one of the best ways for reinforcing learning, which is done for important subjects including, phonics and English, Math, GK, and life skills.

Most children today are addicted to gadgets and digital devices, as the lure of the technology is irresistible. It is important for them to keep away from the digital world, and activate brain-stimulating activities. They need to be occupied in valuable lessons, transforming their experiences of learning into these simple and creative fun sheets.

Worksheets serve enhancing effectively students’ intellect and imagination simultaneously. They help as well in improving the handwriting and finer motor skills of the children. Early childhood education teachers themselves can learn a lot by preparing suitable worksheets from the interactions they have with the kids on a day-to-day basis. Learning is the other side of teaching!

Friday, 22 February 2019

Dealing with Disruptive Behaviors: Reflective Practices

Disruptive behavior in the classroom is one of the primary concerns of teachers around the world. According to statistics, more than forty per cent of childcare professionals quit their jobs in just five years: they find it hard to handle unsettling behaviors in the classroom.

Troublesome behavior is essentially any kind of demeanor that acts as a threat to productive learning situation as well as successful performance of a teacher. This definition is useful in that it helps to make a distinction between the types of behaviors occurring within the classroom. Here are a few ways in which a reflective practitioner can handle such behaviors while teaching.

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Reflect on action before action

Take some time to ponder on all common disruptive classroom behaviors you may have to face: distracting other students during the class, gossiping, not following directions, showing aggression, being rebellious and so on. This is extremely important to staying proactive and planning strategies of management.

Thus, you are better prepared to handle situations as you have reflected on action before action. Think critically about your experience and personal knowledge of strategies utilized for reducing disruptive behavior. You would do well to learn from the strategies employed by senior colleagues in school.

Reflect in action

When a disruptive behavior happens right before your eyes, you need to reflect in action. Plans to handle recurring behaviors like the ones mentioned above will be useful at times; when you 'frame' the 'issue', think critically 'on the spot' about the context (classroom), students, experience and personal knowledge of strategies employed for preventing disruptive behavior.

You should follow the policy of the school on handling disruptive behavior. Moreover, you need to be clear about strategies to manage violent, confrontational or critical behaviors such as using tools in a workshop as weapons of ‘war’, throwing tantrums thereby creating anxiety in other learners, or showing defiantly no inclination to follow rules.

Understand the hidden message of violent communication

Almost all behaviors are a way of communication, particularly disruptive behaviors. However, violent communication of small children may be extremely difficult to understand.  To avoid such behavior, you must try your best to understand the unclear and unknown message of such communication. Patient perseverance is the key here.

Connect with all your students

Try to connect with all the children so that they can build a strong relationship with and trust in natural authority. This is important before you expect them to display their best behavior. You can make a class behave using brute authority, but the costs will be heavy.

That might turn even a quiet child a ‘militant’. A warmer and stronger connect with them will be more productive. The first reaction of the teacher after managing the misbehavior must be to play more with the child, give quality time, and make  her/him feel important, relaxed and at home in the classroom.
Evaluate the reaons

Evaluate the reasons that caused the disruptive behavior. Was the class noisy? Was the group time too long? Was the child hungry? Are there any disturbing issues at home that the child faces? Is the child having a hard time establishing friendships?

A reflective early childhood education practitioner will ensure a good connect with all children, as they know they are being understood properly with immense love and taken care of.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

6 Important Life Skills for Development in Preschoolers

Children keep learning constantly. All new experiences offer opportunities for them to acquire life skills that go a long way in adding value to their lives. The earlier they learn these skills the better for them. Preschool children interact with one another and receive gentle directions from ECE teachers in a nurturing, innocent environment. It would be ideal for them to learn the following six vital life skills.

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1 Taking good decisions

Preschool is a great place for kids to learn different things from different choices they make each day. As they work and play together, they start to decipher the type of behaviors acceptable and the ones that are not.

Preschool helps them understand the many outcomes of their actions. With their regular interactions, they learn to cooperate. All the activities there help children understand how to make the right decisions within a safe setting.

2 Ensuring effective communication

Appropriate play way lessons with dance and songs help preschoolers get exposed to, acquire and develop effective communication skills. Apart from learning basic skills of writing, they practice as well the right way to speak complete sentences. They try to communicate verbally in order to articulate their feelings. They try out a way to express their viewpoint.

Every day at school provides several new opportunities for verbalizing and expressing ideas to patient teachers and peers. Communication may be very basic and shaky in the beginning, but with more and more practice, preschoolers will start to communicate effectively.

3 Making friends

This is a very important life skill, which generally blooms in preschool. Little kids learn the fundamentals that go into building a lasting friendship. They learn how to make good friends and how to be a good friend. They get the chance to understand friendships with classmates of diverse interests, backgrounds and abilities.

4 Assisting others

Little children are naturally inclined towards helping others. Early childhood education teachers are trained in human behavior and classroom dynamics. When they offer guidance, kids learn quickly crucial qualities such as empathy and compassion. Within the class, children are motivated to help one another. When they experience the joy of assisting one another, they acquire the natural desire to help others.

5 Sharing

Sharing is another important skill that needs to be developed in preschool. A group activity such as coloring, for instance, creates a chance to share stationery. Playing with puzzles, toys, and building blocks are also informal lessons that teach the value of sharing, cooperating, patience, teamwork and taking turns.

6 Confidence development


An early classroom setting is one of the best opportunities to try different things and excel at them with time. This whole process of attaining success by trying something repeatedly is one of the best ways of developing confidence.

Participation in show-and-tell activity or becoming a class monitor can enhance and reinforce confidence in every child. When the attitude of ‘can-do’ is developed at an early stage of life, it carries forward and offers the necessary external and internal strength to accept life confidently in every age.


Early Childhood Education Teachers play therefore a significant role in developing these vital traits in preschoolers, so that they get ready to take on the challenges of life head on.