Thursday, July 28, 2011

Growing My Collection of Resources

Growing My Collection of Resources
Course Resources Section
Retrieved July 27, 2011 UNICEF (n.d.). Fact sheet: A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Additional Resources Section
Environment Rating Scales
The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-ECERS

ERS Data System - Software for the Environment Rating Scales

Early Childhood Research and Practice


Friday, July 22, 2011

Words of Inspiration and Motivation

Dr. Lillian Katz Advocate of Public Early Childhood Education
An “absorbent learner” is one who holds a strong understanding of the basic tenets of how people (children) grow, change, and are affected by the interactions of others, understand the world, learn, and so forth. The “absorbent learner” listens, discusses, verifies, explains, and uses multiple strategies and styles to come to know but ultimately self-constructs understanding most effectively with the assistance of a “mentor.” -Dr. Lillian Katz

I like this quote because I have learned that being a good communicator is often times just listening and receiving the message the sender is trying to convey without interruption.

Dr. Edward Zigler Advocate of Head Start and former leader of Head Start during President R Nixon’s administration
"Head Start was created with the idea that parents are important and the community in which they exist is important, and they run Head Start” – Dr. Edward Zigler

I like this quote because it left me feeling as if parents and families have more power than they may think when it comes to their childs education, and that they are valued and important stakeholders of the community.

Quotes from Wk 2 Multimedia Presentation

“I just had a built in passion for teaching”- Louis Derman-Sparks
“I think my passion comes from wanting to make a difference”- Raymond Hernandez MS Ed
I selected the quotes written above because they both speak of passion and of the desire these two different advocates have for education and for wanting to make a difference not only in the lives of the children but in the lives of their families as well; this is the same desire and passion that I have. I want to be a voice for the “voiceless” and provide families with the support they need to make sure their child(ren) is one step closer towards attaining “The American Dream”.

Retrieved July 22, 2011
Video Program: “The Passion for Early Childhood” 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Personal Childhood Web

Mother: My mother influenced my life because she was my first teacher. My mother is a verrrrrry independent woman. Although she had 17 other siblings as a child, and later married my father (still married) she always taught me to try things on my own and not to wait for a man nor anyone else in this life to “give” me something, she taught me how to problem solve and to try and figure out how to get myself out of jams. I am happy and blessed to have a strong mother because it is her strength that she instilled in me that has carried me through difficult situations and to develop a thicker skin. As a teenager, I did not walk with my graduating class, but she still gave me a dozen red roses, so I made sure my mother would see me walk as an undergrad graduate which she did and just recently I am happy to say she witnessed me walk as a graduate student. I am happy that my mom allows me to make my own mistakes, and encourages me not to wait for any person to “give me” my hearts desires but instead, I need to make my desires/dreams  a reality for myself.

Father: Well there is sooo much I can say about my dad; he is proud of anything I do and has always supported me and my other siblings and my son in all of our endeavors. At 37, I am proud to say that I am still a daddy’s girl! As a child, my father would always say “Go to school and get yourself a good education”, but I didn’t value that statement until I became an adult. However, growing up as a child, my father was supportive of anything I did whether it was taking piano lessons for two weeks or my saying I wanted to be a chef, he was right there in the kitchen with me telling me to wear my goggles while I cooked so the cooking oil wouldn’t splash into my eyes. One of my fondest memories was being a little girl and driving up to my third floor home in Northern NJ, and as soon as I saw my house I would pretend I was sleeping because I did not want to walk up the stairs; instead of my father waking me up, he would carry me up all of those stairs and as soon I we got to the front door, I would jump out of my dads arms and run and play. I know he knew what I was doing but he never said “wake up”, and my father still in many respects carries me by providing me with continued spiritual, personal, and professional advice.  My father never tells me NO, he has spoiled all of his children and grands and I know that if I were to call and ask my dad for his left arm today, he would give it to me; it is that support that has made me the woman I am today.

Cousin Cedenia- My cousin Cedenia is more like a big sister to me and that is because our mothers (which are sisters) were very close and in turn we were pretty much raised together. My cousin has always been in support of me even when I went against things my family believed in, she was always there to offer me an out.  In addition, I always thought Cedenia was “cool” so I wanted to do everything she did. As an adult, I am proud to say that I continue to mirror her footsteps. For example, Cedenia went to and graduated from undergrad and became a teacher, and I did the same; she even went to graduate school and later became a counselor, so I went to graduate school and finished and I am now working on my second master’s degree. My cousin has always listened to my concerns and never agreed with me because I am her cousin but instead she would tell me when I was wrong and or right about a situation. I remember going to my senior prom and my cousin came to see me off at my “show off” and she just looked at me like a proud sister and she told me she was proud of me and to have fun.  

Great Grandmother Sally- My great grandmother was not your typical great grandmother; she was spunky and didn’t bite her tongue. I remember learning how to use the telephone as a child and one of the first phone numbers I memorized was my grandmothers. I would call her and tell her every little thing that went on in my house. My grandmother was more than a grandmother; she was more of a best friend. My grandmother always told me as long as I make safe and good decisions, I should enjoy life and try new things and if people who portray to be my friend, will always have my best interest at heart and that in life, and relationships that I have with people may change as I change and grow, but she wanted me to always be true to myself and treat others the way I want to be treated. For all of those who are blessed to still have their grandmother, my advice would be to cherish them and sit down and listen to all of their stories, and get all of their recipes because tomorrow isn’t promised.

Mrs. George/1st Grade Teacher- My 1st grade teacher Mrs. George impacted my life in a great way. For instance, she always pushed me to do my best and worked towards strengthening various skills and talents I had at an early age. I remember Mrs. George came to my senior prom “show off” and she actually remembered me and I cried, she told a friend that was with her that I was one of her babies and that she was proud to see me at my senior prom. As an adult, Mrs. George was one of five teachers of color that I had in my entire elementary and high school career. As a result, she taught me that woman of color can have jobs other than your stereotypical job and she made me proud to be a child and now woman of color so I can hopefully encourage other little girls of color to pursue their dreams and the sky is the limit as long as you believe in yourself.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Personalized Blog

My favorite quote that I developed as a  former kindergarten teacher and has now become my teaching philosophy is the following: All children can and will learn, they just learn differently.

I developed this quote about children when I had to develop different strategies when I taught a little girl in my class whom displayed Autistic tendencies. Although I was not at liberty to diagnose her, I was able to refer her to the child study team so with the parents’ permission, the little girl could be evaluated and receive the necessary in school support and intervention so that she could grow to become a successful citizen. 

However, this little girl had a twin sister whom met kindergarten requirements for the state of New Jersey, but her family would often compare the two girls. As a parent, I understood their frustration so I was empathetic to their concerns, but as an educator, I wanted the parents to know that the two girls are individuals and even though they are twins, they both share different strengths and weaknesses and that it was up to us to develop strategies that would support her development so that she could attain individual success as a future 1st grader. This story touched my heart on so many levels because the parents were very involved in both of their children’s academic lives and wanted so desperately to keep their twin daughters in the same school, but after testing, it was concluded that the one twin was Autistic and after many conferences we concluded it would be best if the little girl went to a different school in the district that supported children with special needs because the pace was slower then general education classes and the class sizes was much smaller which meant the little girl would have more one on one time with the teacher. I am happy to say that I saw the parents at the end of this past school year and they thanked me for all of my support and they told me that they see a lot of growth in their daughter both socially and academically.

The children’s book I love is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Lois Ehlert because this story allows children to read, sing in a rhythmic manner, it encourages 3-5 year old children to learn  and identify various letters of the Alphabet, and the CD that goes with the story encourages many extension activities such as  independent reading during listening lab, students can paint their favorite letter during Art Lab, or they can use play dough and create their favorite letter when in manipulatives lab which strengthens their fine motor skills.

In addition, I love this story because it allows me to introduce words, and promotes critical thinking to students whom may not have any prior knowledge of various words such as coconut, coconut tree, and the concept of there being enough room in an area for a particular item and what we should do if there isn’t enough room. I also selected this book as being one of my favorites because it provides me with so many opportunities to bring the book “to life” by allowing the children to explore and use various manipulatives to support literacy, math / science, arts and crafts and ect…