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Developmentally Appropriate Practice

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  • Category: Childhood

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Developmentally appropriate practice, often shortened to DAP, is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development.DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development), both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals. Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation for all of NAEYC’s work including—publications, training programs, conferences, accreditation of child care programs, and more. 2) The term curriculum refers to the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program. In dictionaries, curriculum is often defined as the courses offered by a school, but it is rarely used in such a general sense in schools.

Depending on how broadly educators define or employ the term, curriculum typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet; the units and lessons that teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning. An individual teacher’s curriculum, for example, would be the specific learning standards, lessons, assignments, and materials used to organize and teach a particular course.

1.) The theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky have probably had the most influence on our ideas about how young children learn. Although they worked at about the same time, they approached the topic from slightly different perspectives and emphasized different aspects of children’s cognitive development. Piaget focused on the way an individual child acts upon objects in the environment in order to build mental models of the way the world works. Vygotsky looked more closely at the way children acquire knowledge through interaction with more experienced people, and at the role language plays in the process. The term constructivist describes both theorists, because they both view knowledge as something that individuals construct out of their own experience and reflection rather than something that is passively absorbed. Neither suggest that children accomplish this work in a vacuum.

For Piaget, the physical environment is important and the adult role is to make sure that environment is rich and stimulating, then to occasionally ask questions that challenge children’s thinking about the environment. For Vygotsky, the social environment is important and the adult role is to help children tackle challenges that are just a little beyond what they could do alone. Recent research on child care has linked a constructivist approach to learning to positive social development. You, as a student, are constructing your own knowledge of child development as you mesh concepts from your course readings and ideas gained from your experiences with young children. 2.) In a school or home setting, a positive learning environment is crucial for a child. A positive learning environment not only consists of the physical setting, but it also encompasses how the child feels or responds to the setting. There are a number of ways families and educators can create an environment for a child that is conducive to learning.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom of the University of Chicago, provides three categories of objectives: affective, psychomotor, and cognitive. For this newsletter, we’ll just focus on the cognitive. The importance of the taxonomy for teachers is that it can serve to remind us of what we’re asking students to do and why. In the cognitive “domain,” Bloom arranges the objectives in increasing complexity, from “simple” knowledge or remembering through evaluation. The kinds of words we use in assignments often signal the level of complexity that we’re asking of our students. Although it seems reductionist, this is one of the great lessons of Bloom.

1.) Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
Middle school student Greg Heffley takes readers through an academic year’s worth of hillarious drama. Striving readers will love the humor and comic illustrations in this best-selling series.

Goosebumps
This classic spooky series contains enough thrills, chills and gross outs to keep readers engaged from each cliff hanging chapter to the next. It’s perfect for reluctant readers.

Harry Potter
After 10 miserable years with his aunt and uncle, Harry Potter is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each book follows another year in Harry’s education while more of his frightening destiny is revealed.

The Sisters Grimm
In the land of Everafters, there is no shortage of mysteries for Daphne and Sabrina Grimm, the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives. With its fairy tales focus, this series can easily be connected to the Common Core Standards.

I Survived…
The most terrifying events in history are brought vividly to life in this fictional intermediate chapter book-series. Readers will be transported by stories of amazing kids and how they survived.

2.) Teaching learning disabled youngsters will present you with some unique and distinctive challenges. Not only will these students demand more of your time and patience; so, too, will they require specialized instructional strategies in a structured environment that supports and enhances their learning potential. It is important to remember that learning disabled students are not students who are incapacitated or unable to learn; rather, they need differentiated instruction tailored to their distinctive learning abilities. Students of high ability often referred to as gifted students, present a unique challenge to teachers. They are often the first ones done with an assignment or those who continually ask for more creative and interesting work. They need exciting activities and energizing projects that offer a creative curriculum within the framework of the regular classroom program

Know about and understand family and community characteristics. Support and empower families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships. Involve families and communities in their children’s development and learning. Develop the ability to talk with parents during drop-off and pick-up times. Make a mental note of the information you want to share. Ask parents what they want their children to experience while in the early childhood program. Learn about the goals they have for their children. Incorporate these into the curriculum and program. Involve parents in formal decision-making. Parents may bring new perspectives on how to use limited space, ideas for building needed equipment, and insights that are useful in hiring new staff members.

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