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…