Click on the Photo to Go To Lefty's: The Left Hand Store
Please be sure to provide your left-handed students with left-handed tools. We impede the development of skills and create pervasive challenges to learning when lefties have to survive in a right-handed classroom. Approximately 10% of the world population is left-handed. Therefore, the rule of thumb (left thumb, that is) is keep left-handed tools in your classroom for at least 10% of the maximum number of children your classroom might hold in a given year. We strongly recommend true left-handed scissors and left-handed pencil grips for ages four or five and up to begin with. (30 children max. = 3 sets of left-handed tools.) I'm so glad we found and can share this resource! Happy Day to all of our Left-Handed Friends!
We would LOVE some feedback on your experience with left-handed items, as well as this web site we found. Comments Are Encouraged! :)
After a wonderful afternoon of Training on Infant and Toddler Insights and Strategies with the Early Childhood Professionals from the Montgomery Early Learning Centers, I am excited to post and share this fantastic article that not only offers activities, but includes details pertaining to the outcomes to "see the learning happening" and differentiation of those activities for varying developmental levels. Play, Play, Play...
Enjoy other great articles from Texas Child Care Quarterly: http://childcarequarterly.com/backissu.php
This is a great example of the concept communicated via a recent Buzz Word in Education: "Intentionality". Although the word itself has been around longer than you can imagine, it has, in the last decade, become a term to reckon with in the classroom. More on the concept, after we see just how fun it can be in early childhood!
The children were "Intentionally" taught some basic cookie decorating skills to ensure they could: produce beautiful cookie gifts; keep the mess to a minimum; plan and execute a project; and exercise some fine motor coordination techniques. A lesson taught with Intentionality, which, in turn, taught the children to approach the project with Intentionality. They were required to think ahead about colors and design, and we used demonstration and hand-over-hand practice to understand the skills...the technique and the outcome of using the techniques. There were No Mounds of Icing, there were No Big Spills, there were No Sprinkle-Doused Cookies! There were a lot of little fingers working hard for the correct positioning, there were many thoughtful pauses prior to taking the next step, and there were happy, proud faces enjoying the holiday music and their own Edible Christmas Masterpieces!
Be enlightened! Click HERE for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's definition and explanation of "Intentionality". And make it FUN!! :)
We found a GREAT opportunity to begin our school year with STEAM learning objectives plus:
Cooperation, Collaboration, and Communication
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Literature and Journal Writing
Our Kindergarten Enrichment classes built a giant, STEAM-themed scarecrow and entered it into a local contest! While on display, we took a class trip to visit our scarecrow and have some fun viewing the other scarecrows in the competition. It was a fantastic, pride-filled project to propel our students into an exciting year of collaborative, project-based learning! See what's going on in your local community for your students to participate in... or to create their own school-based spin-off of! Happy STEAMing! :)
Sign Language Serves Several Purposes in the Classroom...
Sign Language increases vocabulary and communication, and it relieves frustration due to communication issues.
Sign Language activates additional parts of the brain during learning, and the rule of thumb is that the more parts of the brain we engage during learning, the deeper the learning goes!
Sign Language provides similar benefits to a child's developing brain as when learning other foreign languages.
Sign Language exposes children to the world of the deaf and hard of hearing, contributing to their cultural competence and understanding of disabilities.
Give American Sign Language a Try in Your Classroom
You can simply begin with Obie Leff's video of The Sounds of the Alphabet, which we use daily in our classroom! If you would like more information on Sign Language in the Classroom or Classroom Tools for incorporating signing into your lessons, contact us! We will be happy to assist you and your staff! Colleen@BeyondTheStandards.com
Colleen Mantell is a Certified Sign2Me Instructor Visit the Sign2Me site for Sign Language Research Articles and Contact Colleen at www.BeyondTheStandards.com for Sign2Me Workshops and Materials! We will have Sign2Me Products Available at our Exhibit Space during the DVAEYC Conference in March!
Children Researched and Created: Hard and Soft Coral, including Brain Coral, Staghorn Coral, Finger Coral, Tube Coral, Fan Coral and Flower Coral, as well as Sea Animals including the Octopus, Parrot Fish, Clown Fish, Crab, Eel, Sting Ray, Whale Shark, Dolphin, and more. Why is the sand white?
Why is the sand white? Is the coral a rock? Does coral eat? How did the coral move and get the sand off of the top of itself in that video? What color should my turtle be if it lives in Australia? What is the weather in Australia? Where is the book I put that book mark in to go back to the puffer fish page? How big can a coral reef grow?
These and so many other inquiries from our students drove the research and learning involved in our Great Barrier Reef project. Preparing for a new project, wondering if we could find anything more fun and exciting than our recent North Pole and Santa's Workshop, we laughed about needing a little beach time with all of these "too cold to play" days. That thought, coupled with a recent obsession with magnets, led our group to a debate over whether we should create a beach or a science laboratory. Let the voting begin!
The beach was the winner, and all of the students whole-heartedly embraced our virtual trip to the Coral Sea. The students' brainstorming eventually led us to exploring the land down under, a beach on Australia's East Coast called Lizard Island, and finally, The Great Barrier Reef. Students were attracted like their magnets (opposite poles, they will tell you) to the incredible world that exists under the sea.
The learning involved the globe and discovery of the land down under being south of the equator, the location of the Reef along the northeastern coast of the country, the name of the country and its not-as-well-known name as a continent, and then it was on to the science with trying to figure out just what a reef actually is and how it forms and grows. We studied a variety of types of coral, and then the sea animals that make their home in and around the coral reef. We hit the books, a few YouTube vids and some great Kindle Books on the iPad.
Researching and Creating Sea Animals of the Coral Sea
As we began working with our art teacher, using techniques with water color, resistance, pastels, etc., math skills became evident in our art work and soon we were pulling out yard sticks and rulers to measure 8-foot streamers for the windows, counting out 8 tentacles for our Octopi...yes, we went from Octopuses to Octopies to Octopi! And, with ensuring that I am spelling this correctly here, I just learned and must share with my class that it is truly supposed to be Octopodes! Octopi developed as the plural out of a mistaken assumption that the word is of Latin origin which would require the "i" plural, whereas it truly is of Greek origin and should be Octopodes! They now say that for American English, Octopuses should be acceptable, as it is the easiest. Everything I need to know a learned from a kindergartener...didn't we just come full circle with that plural? Can you see how the learning just never ends...for all of us? Back to the project...The engineering came in with the planning, designing and building of the reef base, and the reading and writing are ever-present; however, we also created "Sticker Stories" with this project. Children selected ocean-themed stickers and set them in a scene to tell a story. They then used their best Kid Writing to write the story of their illustration. These were edited and the final copies were read to our parents at The Great Barrier Reef!
My adult right-handed scissors. Notice which blade sits on top while lying in this position. Comfortable hand grip is on the bottom, and the blade extending from that grip is on top. This enables me to clearly see the page I am cutting with the scissors on my right and paper on my left.
Children's left-handed scissors. Notice which blade sits on top while lying in the same position as my right-handed scissors. It is the opposite blade, the one extending from the thumb grip, which allows the left-handed cutter to view the paper with the same field of vision that I have with my right-handed scissors. Scissors on left, paper on right...clear sight.
Joy of joys...we have found true Left-Handed Scissors! Every classroom should have at least two pairs!
Note that scissors claiming to be designed for left- or right-handed cutting and scissors that advertise simply a grip for left-handed cutters Are Not Appropriate For Left-Handed Students. Neither is a right-handed pair of scissors turned upside-down.
The difference is in the overall design of the scissors. In addition to the comfort of the appropriately constructed grips for a left hand, the blade on left-handed scissors is set in a position opposite of the blade on right-handed scissors. Without this design shift, left-handed students must see over the blade while they cut. This is Difficult and Counterproductive. Happy Cutting to All of Your ECE Students! :)
Colleen T. Mantell, M.S., Ed. Founder, President Beyond The Standards Inc. Prof Dev Instructor -PQAS Certified PA & MD Certified Teacher -Early Childhood Edu -Elementary Edu -Family & Consumer Sci -Psychology Published Author -Peer-Reviewed Journal Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher Wife and Mother of Three