Many preschools and day-care centers celebrate Valentines Day by making crafts and artwork for loved ones. There are many other Valentines Day activities that preschool teachers and day-care providers can implement in order to create a fun and educational Valentines Day theme.
Here are some ideas the kids will love.
Ask the children and their parents to bring in pictures of loved ones or things the child loves. This can be people, pets or anything that the child is passionate about. Once all of the pictures are collected, post them on a bulletin board. Then during circle time, ask each child to share their pictures and discuss why they love them.
Crayon Heart Rubbing - Crayon rubbings are an easy, mess-free way to create great art in the preschool classroom. This Valentines Day themed project can be used alone or combined with other art processes, words or even turned into a special card. This project is for preschool or day-care age/grade level.
This project helps to increase fine motor development, explore artistic process, develop shape and color recognition, explore cause and effect relationship, increase awareness of pattern and texture.
The following materials are needed for the project: Precut cardboard or card stock (thick paper) hearts in various sizes and even textures, light colors of construction paper, crayons with the wrappers peeled (pink and red work great for Valentines Day).
The process to follow is: First an adult can precut heart shapes from card stock or a similar thick paper. Old cardboard boxes, cut apart, may work well. Different sizes of hearts can be cut. Second, invite the children to choose a heart from the sizes given. Next, have the children place a piece of light colored construction paper (or other thin paper such as printer paper) over the heart. Ask the children to feel the paper for the texture of the heart underneath. Then, hand out the peeled crayons. Show the children how to turn the crayon sideways and use it like a rolling pin. Make sure that the children are rubbing the crayon over the heart in order to produce the design on the construction paper. And repeat with different sizes of hearts and/or different crayon colors.
Following this activity, discuss the process used with the children in your care. Ask questions such as, “What happened when you placed the heart shape under the paper?” “What happened when you rolled the crayon over your paper?” “What shape did you see?” or “How did the paper feel?” Have a show and share to allow time for each child to speak about his or her unique piece of art. Point out different sizes of the shape and different colors used. Consider turning the artwork into cards. Ask who the card is for. This ties in the Valentines Day holiday theme.
Paper Plate Valentine People - These little Valentine People are so cute and lots of fun to play with, once you make them. Take a paper plate and draw a heart on it that takes up most of the paper plate. Cut it out. Show your child how to glue on candy conversation hearts to make eyes, a nose and a mouth. Next, take four narrow strips of red or pink construction paper and fold them accordion-style. Use glue, tape, or staples to attach them to the heart-shaped paper plate to make arms and legs. Then, trace your childs hands and feet on red or pink construction paper. Cut them out. Attach them to the accordion-paper arms and legs. I know I love little crafts Olihvia makes that she incorporates her hands and feet as part of the craft. It is so adorable and make great keepsakes.
These also make fun Valentines to send to grandparents, and they look really cute suspended from the ceiling with nylon string for decorations. Make an entire family of Paper Plate Valentine People by varying the sizes. You can substitute little heart stickers for the candy hearts making it easier to store and transport your Valentine People.
Read Valentines Day Books Young Children Love - There are lots of books about Valentines Day. The following titles are suggestions. Some of the books include information about the origin and history of the day, and others explore the sentiment and traditions of Valentines Day. Your local library or bookstore should have a selection of good books on the theme too.
You have a passion for teaching kids. You care about them, and follow the principle of always putting kids first. You have studied and worked hard towards becoming a highly qualified professional educator. Now its time to do your student teaching. Student teaching is tougher than anything that comes before it.
Here are the top ten student teaching tips and tricks from a veteran cooperating teacher:
1. Learn no matter what. Observe everything going on, and learn from it. You will see exemplary lessons by your cooperating teacher, and likely, some lessons that go awry. Analyze and learn from both. You will have moments of success, and those youd rather forget. However, remember both, and learn from them. Keep in mind that sometimes we learn best from less than ideal situations.
2. Handle yourself carefully at lunch. Stay positive. Observe, observe, observe. Notice the teachers who conduct themselves in a respectful, positive manner, and emulate them. Dont get drawn into gossip. The teacher whos been there for twenty years may be able to get away with it, but you cant.
3. Learn at in-services. Volunteer for professional development opportunities if you can. Be attentive, and pick up all literature at the workshop. Use online writing services, if you need help. Consider mentioning these experiences in your teacher job interviews.
4. Curtail your extra-curriculars. If you have the luxury, do not work while student teaching. Put all clubs, sports, etc. on hold until you complete your student teaching. This is where the rubber meets the road, and you must give all of your attention to performing your best in the cooperating classroom.
5. Stay healthy. Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. Stay healthy so you can do your best for your students, right?
6. Maintain confidentiality. You will be privy to lots of personal information about student and families. It is your responsibility to keep that information to yourself. Do not talk about your students negatively or in any way that they can be identified. Dont talk about their health, their grades, family difficulties, etc. Only tell about positive, general things your students do when you are in public.
7. Go above and beyond. There is a ton of competition when it comes to getting a teaching job. You must stand out. Try to think ahead, use your creativity, and do more and better than is required. Your goal is to become an exemplary, stand-out student teacher.
8. Prepare your portfolio while you are student teaching. Take pictures of your best bulletin boards, of you teaching lessons, of kids engaged in learning. Work on your professional teaching portfolio consistently, so it is ready to use for interviews when you are finished student teaching.
9. Use every kind of technology possible. Use interactive white boards, the internet, adaptive technologies, etc. Make sure you know the rules for their use issued by the school district in which you are student teaching. The more teaching technology you are familiar with, the more hirable you may be. Consider listing the technologies in which you are proficient on your resume.
10. Collaborate. While you are student teaching, connect with other teachers in the school. Ask them questions. Meet special education teachers, reading specialists, speech therapists, the nurse, custodians, the principal, the secretary, and so on. You will almost certainly have opportunities to work together on lessons, groups, special education IEPs, and more. Do this as much as you can to practice being a team player.
Student teaching is an experience you will always remember. It is guaranteed to be intense, and if it isnt, you arent doing it right. (See tip 7 above.) Follow these top ten tips for student teaching to become the best educator you can be.
As the mother of a pre-schooler I am often bombarded with advertisements and opinions about when and how my little girl should learn to read. The age in which they master reading is heralded as a status symbol, intelligence marker, or at the very least, a badge of good parenting.
But, what if your child, like my own, shows no real interest or the proper focus to sit still long enough to learn letters, phonics, or sight words?
Does this mean she is destined for some form of academic mediocrity or wont be able to compete with the honors level students when she eventually goes to school? Will this somehow prevent her from realizing all the dreams she has or some day will have?
Instinctively I cannot accept this as true. Looking at the culture around me, however, I find myself caught up in comparing my daughters progress and developmental milestones along with everyone else. I dont need instincts; I dont need peer pressureI need the truth. Is there a best time to introduce reading to children? If so, how do you do it?
Back when I went to Kindergarten (shortly after dinosaurs roamed the earth), all you needed to pass on to grade 1 was to know your basic colors, count to 10, and say your ABCs, along with a bunch of non-academic sort of social and emotional development prerequisites. Now I hear a lot about what type of preschools are the best to teach you child phonics before they ever get into kindergarten. Is there evidence that teaching a very young child to read helps them get ahead academically? What happens to the early starter vs. the late starter when learning to read?
Maybe surprisingly to many (including myself), there is growing evidence that early starters may have more problems in school later on than if they waited for a later time to learn to read. Of course there is nothing inherently wrong with early systems of reading, but the problem often lies in the fact that the young child may not show proper readiness or readiness to learn to read early, but the over-anxious parents are pushing for it.
You have to be sure that you are not putting your child into a program to feed your own ego. If your motive for pushing your child into early reading is wanting them to outdo other children, it is very easy to pressure and damage the childs personality and the relationship between child and parent.
Although it is certainly true that some children can learn to read remarkably early, it is not necessarily true that they all should. Should is another question than could.
I read about a school district that set up an experiment to help decide between early or late starts to reading. Some kindergarten children received extensive instruction in reading in the district; while others spent the same amount of time learning science and other life skills. Books and pictures were available for these children, but no formal reading lessons were held. Would you find it surprising to discover that by grade 3, the science children were far ahead of the reading children in their reading scores. The reason? The science children had a larger vocabulary and better thinking skills. They could read on more topics and understand higher level materials because they had actually lived and experienced a bigger part of the world in their formative years.
A child has a limited time in his early years to saturate his world with the experiences and stories he or she uses to increase his or her vocabulary and thinking skills. Pre-reading instruction that is truly valuable is so much more than learning the letters, phonics, and sight words needed to read a simple book. A child that is allowed to observe, play and learn to solve problems around them is setting themselves up to learn quickly how to read when they really are ready to sit down and master the alphabet and letter sounds.
So when is a child ready? How do you know? If you are in tune with your child, and not a slave to social pressures, you will probably easily observe when your child is telling you they are ready to learn to read. Some begin by asking about words or letters. Some learn favorite books by heart and sit reading them. When you allow your child to guide you when to teach them something new, you are sure they will learn it, for they already have the desire.
So, does this mean I should put away the many computer programs and learn to read systems that I have tucked away in the house? I dont think so. If my little girl is very active and not too keen on sitting down to learn her letters yet, I can still teach her here and there, mixed in with everything else she is doing throughout the day. She loves me reading to her, even if she cant always sit still for the story. She loves to pick up books and read to her dollies and mecreating her own plots and character adaptations. She creates songs and dances and imaginary worlds where her favorite stories are blended together into a unique world that she creates for herself and anyone else who wants to play with her.
I do not know if my girl will learn to read early or late; but even if it isnt until she is 7 years oldI know she will be just fine. Intelligence is much deeper than reading words off a page. Enjoy your preschooler and relax in knowing that it isnt about you or what the rest of society says. Your child is unique and will learn when ready as long as we are there to guide them and show them the way. The lessons about reading readiness can be applied to most other areas of our childrens development, I believe. Whether potty training or playing varsity sports, provide the opportunities but not the pressure for our children to be successful.