The childcare centre I am attached is well organised with wide pathways. They can move freely from one place to another. In this way, this provides opportunities for the children to interact with their peers with the sufficient places. Along the corridors, there are no obstacles blocking their way and is danger free.
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Toys, books and stationaries are placed in lower cupboards whereby the children are able to reach for them so they feel independent and competent so they will less likely to disturb their friends. The classrooms have quite a number of low shelves and dividers to divide the spaces out for different kinds of activities carried out by the teachers.
In the dramatic play corner, there are insufficient materials for the children to play. Therefore, there will always have friction to argue who should play which toys. In order to prevent such things from happening again, the school should ensure there are enough toys provided in the dramatic corner to allow the children to play in a purposeful manner. They should also limit the number of children going in to dramatic play corner to ensure that the toys in there are sufficient for the allowed number of children. This would then discourage negative behaviour in the children where they have to fight over for the toys.
Children participating in cooperative activities are less likely to behave aggressively and more cooperative even during unstructured times. The classrooms mark the boundaries clearly by placing mats around the floor, this allows children to be able to focus and concentrate more on the activities that they are engaged. When the children are having some quiet activities like reading and writing, they should be located away from classrooms where children are more likely to be more active and noisy. In this way, they can concentrate better in their activities.
Social context is a framework that shows us what kinds of attitudes and behaviours are expected, accepted and valued in a setting. Sense of community consists of cohesiveness, friendliness and cooperation. Children participating in cooperative activities in class are less likely to behave aggressively and be more cooperative even during unstructured times. (Kaiser, B. & Raminsky, J. S. (2010) Cooperative activities purpose is that all the children will benefit and they success as a whole class. For example, the teacher can plan do outdoor activities like passing around the hoola hoops. All the children need to form a circle and holding each other hand. A hoola hoop is placed at the arms of two children. The challenging part of this game is that the children cannot let go of each other hand when passing the hoop around the circle.
As teachers, we have to be their role model. It is important that we speak to the children nicely instead of shouting. Therefore, this would help to build a positive social climate, hence children will less likely to show challenging behaviours. We must be a good role model for the children as they would tend to follow what we do, thus we have to be cautious of our own body language and actions that we do in class. This is to instill core values in them and also to create positive social climate.
We have to be caring towards the children and try to become their friends. This will make the children close to us as they start to believe and trust in us. Having more group works than individual work, this would encourage the children to have more interaction with other classmates. Children need to make friends so that they will not show challenging behaviours. We only teach when the children are calm down. This is because they would not be able to listen to us when they are not calm.
During the class-running this is what I observed. The theme for that day was on garden. During art and craft lesson, the children were given a piece of paper of vegetable salad each. They were instructed to do colouring, cutting and pasting. They are independent enough to do this activity by themselves. Next, they had their science lesson. The teacher used National Geographic Young Explorer magazine to teach them. The magazine was about tomatoes. The children had their tasting session whereby the teacher would prepare some tomatoes for them to taste. After the tasting session, they write their reflection about the experience of eating tomatoes on their journal. In their journal, they wrote about “How was the texture?”, “How did it taste?”, “Did you like eating it?” and draw your tomato plant.
I find that the tasting session is very successful. The teacher made sure that the children were not rowdy during the lesson. The tasting session made the lesson very interesting and fun. Children were able to learn and play at the same time.
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Another successful was teaching using National Geographic Young Explorer magazine. Children could absorb a lot of information at young age. They were exposed to different things and this will help them greatly in the future.
The classroom rules are raise hand to speak, talk softly, clean up eating area after meal time and put things back to their original place. I think this is successful in somewhere, but it is also unsuccessful too.
It is unsuccessful because young children do not talk softly in class. They tend to talk a bit louder and during lesson, they just talked whenever they want. They would not raise up their hands to speak. However, it is successful because they were taught to put things in the correct place at young age, thus this would let them know that no one will help them to clear things up after used. They were also required to tidy up the eating area after their meal time. This became their habit to do it.
In small group, there are a lot of movement and talking among the children. They would be very engaged in the activities. This enhanced their motivation and having more involvement in learning. They will also be energized and motivated to complete the task. Group discussion can help to increase interaction with different races. Children should respect each other races and religion and not being racist against them. The teacher in the childcare entre that I was attached planned creative arts. The teacher cut different shapes of the potatoes, then she divided the class into small groups. In each group, there must be different races and genders. The children chose the different shapes of potatoes and dipped into the different colours of paints onto their paper. The children was very enthusiasms towards this activity. Through this activities, the children can learn through play. Through group discussion, they can develop greater communication skill with their peers as they can voice out their ideas across to their classmates. Children contribute to one another’s learning by helping, supporting, encouraging, motivating and praising each other’s work. For example, when the teacher is busy teaching one child who has difficulties in their work, she is unable to attend to another child who also has problem with the assignment. Therefore, she can ask the other children who have finish their work to help the child.
In large group discussion, all the children gather together in front for the same activities. This gives the children to recognize their classmates. Whole group times for young children include such activities as dramatic play, outdoor play and brainstorming. In the childcare centre that I am attached to, the classroom has a dramatic play corner to role playing. They have different types of themes like bakery shop and doctor’s clinic. The children take turns to play the different roles. These activities encourage social interaction with peers.
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