Topics in Early Childhood Education

Monday, April 21, 2008

Avoiding Negative Behaviors

I was speaking to a group in Kingsville, TX, this weekend and I was again reminded about how important it is for early childhood teachers to set up engaging and effective classrooms. Research by the Center of Social and Emotional Foundations in Early Learning (CSEFEL-see website below) indicates that the organization and setup of a classroom is key to preventing negative behaviors. Adults tend to blame children for negative behavior when the real culprit is the environment in which the child is forced to function. CSEFEL has developed a pyramid for the classroom teacher to follow in setting up a class setting to avoid those negative episodes. There are many additional resources available on their website:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

DAP Mathematics Skills

I was recently talking to a group about developmentally appropriate math skills for early childhood children (see 'Conference Handouts' below right). I remember discovering the developmental order of math skills a number of years ago when I was teaching kindergarten. When I patiently worked through the developmental order (and didn't rush to talk about numbers, shapes, etc.), the most amazing thing happened. ALL of the children in my class acquired all the skills when they were introduced. I no longer was playing the 'catch-up' game with children that didn't seem to wrap their minds around the skill. It gave me the understanding of how important it is to built the foundation for every skill that is taught. Children that don't seem to understand a concept usually do not have the background knowledge to support that skill. For other developmental lists, check out: