Sunday, November 2, 2008

Guided Play- research based

For a grad school assignment I had to review an article on a subject of my choice.
I reviewed:

Guralnick, M. J., Connor, R. T., Neville, B., & Hammond, M. A., (2006). Promoting the peer-related social development of young children with mild developmental delays: Effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 336-356

Which was a 2 year longitudinal study examining the effects of intense, individualized social skills interventions on children with mild developmental delays. The 90 participants in the study all had a full scale IQ on the Wechsler of between 50 and 90. They were all between 48 and 78 months of age, all had a current IEP, their primary caretaker was a female, and they were all experiencing difficulties in peer-related social competence.

The study was based off of previous research which found that children with mild developmental delays:

•have difficulty with peer social interactions
• engage in more solitary play
•Do not exhibit developmentally appropriate problem-solving patterns
•More difficulty forming in-depth peer relationships
•Less accepted by peers
•More likely to have social isolation later in life

A possible cause of this is that children with mild developmental delays show difficulty with information-processing and working memory, which gives them difficulty tracking complex and rapidly changing social stimuli.

The study gave each participant a pretest. Based on the results of the pretest the study formed a team of the primary caretaker, the teacher, and a consultant to create clearly stated goals and objectives to meet each students' needs. The consultants then gave the caregivers highly structured scripts individualized to the child. These scripts used across social settings in three different social tasks. The scripts prompted caretakers to assist the child with organizing the salient events in each task.

The strategies the caretakers and the teachers used were:
•Pair students with compatible peers
•Select toys and activities of high interest
•Create circumstances to minimize conflicts
•Provide needed support and guidance from teachers and mothers

The study found that:
•Students with an IQ below 70 benefited the most from intervention plans
•Negative interactions with peers did not increase as compared to the control group
•Parallel-dramatic play remained stable, while it increased in the control group.
•Interventions prevented declines in social development

The implication to my research study, I believe, is that it is possible to use free choice time in kindergarten and preschool classrooms to guide play in order to promote social goals. By using the strategies sited by the article it is possible to positively impact a child's development of social skills. During a free choice time the child is selecting an activity for himself, which is already an activity of high interest. If the teacher can consider the children at the activity with the child, and alter the circumstances to minimize conflict, the teacher should be able to provide support and guidance for the student that will help him respond to the changing stimuli in a social situation by helping him organize the salient events of a social task.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great ideas from TR today

Record students' use of literacy, language, communication skills in a checklist.
Check literacy objectives to get information for the checklists.
Fabulous guidance couselor said she'd seen kiddos make a recipe book at another school and said she'd bring it in for me to see.
Very excited!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

name practice

the same day as the fire incident i was picking up scraps of paper in the house keeping center and i noticed that most of them had the same set of letters scribbled on them. adnerb. brenda. this little one came in unable to write her name, unable to identify any numbers in her name, or recognize her name. she was spending her house keeping center play time practicing writing her name, over and over again. i'm not sure if it was a part of play and she was "signing" her recipes for the cash register, or if she just suddenly decided to practice. (or if she wanted to write and those were the only letters she knew).
whatever it was, i'm glad she had paper and pencil available to her.

acting and writing

one one of the last days of school before break (when the last thing i possibly wanted to do was play house with loud kindergarten kiddos) i walked by house keeping center and one friend excitedly asked me to participate.
"Help! There's a fire! Come put it out fire-fighter lipstick!"

how could i refuse?

immediately after we had acted out putting out the fire and rebuilding the restaurant i suggested to my imaginative friend that we write a book about it. he was surprisingly excited and we sat down to re-create the story. he did the pictures and i did the writing and then he put the pages in order so they made sense. it was a brilliant story with dialogue and as soon as i get a picture of it i'll put it up.

hooray for writing about imaginary play!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

dog food

clearly we need a dog food sign, otherwise how would we know what is play dog food and what is play people food?
we had to make 2 signs because one little girl who mainly speaks spanish took our first sign and put it in her book bag and refused to give it back. picking my battles (i mean, it is a sign in english she can read, and anyway, making a new sign just repeats the learning activity) we happily made a new sign. notice the pink to match the pink puppy.
one little one because so excited about doing interactive writing with me that she began using the abc chart to practice her letters- right there in the middle of free choice. "hows that?" she'd ask, after writing a p. "that one was hard"
she certainly seemed motivated in house keeping to write.
later we became drs and the children wrote out "prescription" notes for the teddy bear baby they adopted. it was endearing to watch them take turns feeding the bear the medicine, burping him (including the boy in the group) and then "re-reading" the fake drs note (a series of numbers- they wrote that one without me).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

more references

Notes from Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller

Stenhouse Publishers, 2003

Page 123, How to Add Literacy to Traditional Kindergarten Centers

-simple recipes

-children's cookbooks

-a telephone book (homemade with each page featuring one child's name, a photo of the child, and the child's phone number)

-Order pads

-Message pads

-List paper for grocery lists

-toy catalogues




-play money

-play telephone

-message board

Recommendations: Add these gradually, sit down and show kids how to use these items.

Literacy Development milestones: research

Child development milestones:
Early Writing-
36-48 months:
Children use scribbles and unconventional shapes to convey messages.
Children represent ideas and stories through pictures, dictation, and play
Children experiment with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

48 months:
Children are using letter-like shapes, symbols, and letters to convey meaning.
Understand purposes for writing.
Begin to use familiar words in writing and drawing.

Print Awareness and Concepts:
36-48 months:
Children are showing a growing awarness of hte different functions of forms of print such as signs, letters, newspapers, lists, messages, and menus
Children are showing a growing interest in reading-related activities
48 months:
Children are showing an increased awareness of print concepts
Children recognize a word as a unit of print that is formed by individual letters.
Children are reading environmental print

Phonological Awareness and Alphabetic Knowledge
36-48 months:
Being to identify words that rhyme.
Show growing ability to discriminate and identify sounds.
48 months:
Identify matching sounds and produce original rhymes.
Show growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words
Show growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words.
Develop beginning awareness of alphabet letters.
REcognize that sounds are associated with letters of the alphabet and that they form words.
Understand that letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can e individually named.
Laugh at and create willy words while exploring phonology.

From Milestones of Child Development, Virginia's Early Childhood Development Alignment Project