Starting Off Strong in Early Learning
According to Chrys Dougherty (2015), “Our nation strives to have all students graduate from high school ready for college, we have to confront the reality that we are far from achieving this goal.” Early childhood and elementary are important years for a child to learn. For many students learning gaps appear in early childhood. Students, who enter kindergarten are behind in early reading and mathematics skills, oral language, development, vocabulary, and general knowledge. Since most kindergarteners are academically behind one their first day of school, teachers must upgrade their regular academic curriculum to a higher-quality of learning. It is beneficial for students to have an enrich curriculum, but it does not help the students, who have limited knowledge and vocabulary. Children build their knowledge and learning skills based off of their life experiences. So children who do not have a learning environment at home early on, do not have a promising future in their school years.
Early learning contributes to later learning throughout a child’s academic career. Children should have early exposure to knowledge to help them to learn new things. Learning takes time and is spread out through periods of time. In order for a child to learn upper grades, they must build their lower grades. Some children do not get exposed to knowledge, unless they are at their school. This is a major disadvantage for the child’s learning because children need adults to guide them. Adults help them with understanding new things. It is difficult to get a student caught up in middle school or high school, so it is best for a child to have an early invention in elementary school. By having a child meet with a tutor, it can enhance their learning and have one-on-one time with an educator.
Strengthening early learning is to start reading and mathematics. Reading is identifying words on a page or being able to decode the words. Knowing letter-sound relationships and with spelling patterns will help the child with decoding. Children also have to be able to understand the words that they are reading; which is comprehension. Reading aloud can help a child with understanding what they are reading. Teachers should assist their student to develop phonological awareness as early as kindergarten. Instill games into a child’s classroom to keep it new and exciting. Playing a take away game can get a child to learn mathematics and prevent difficulties in that area of learning. Keep learning fun and interesting. If students have a good reading and mathematics in elementary it will continue through college.
Home environment needs to be positive for a child to go to. Having a learning environment at home for a child could increase their achievements at their school. Developing a strong vocabulary and knowledge is to provide a stimulating environment at school and home. Parents who are active in their child’s education will motivate their child to do better and to love school. Parents should help with homework so the parent knows what they are doing in class. When a parent helps a child out with the school work, their child feels important. Children need the right amount of sleep every night and nutrition. If a child does not do these things at home, then they will have bad day and not pay attention in class. Thankfully, Alabama has free lunch at any school, but children also need this in their home environment.
Classroom environment is important as well. Students must feel comfortable enough to ask questions, engage with other students, and receive positive feedback. Teachers should do an icebreaker activity with their students so they break out of their shell and socialize with their peers. Social interaction is important for students because they will need it for their future. Students will make friends with each other and can learn from their peers. Have a routine with a classroom, so they know what to expect each day and what to be doing. Teachers also need to be great at communicating with parents. Parents should be informed with what their child is learning, having a bad day, or falling behind. Creating a happy gram or a weekly calendar will help parents know what is going on.
How do we close the learning gap between students? Parents, caregivers, and teachers need to be held accountable for what they do with their child or student. Experiences that a child goes through can have a long term effects on a student. Strive for active learners not passive learners. Try to eliminate behavior issues in a classroom. Keep a structural environment in class and at home. By doing these little things can enhance more time with learning in a classroom. This will create an easy transition into school for the child.
Classrooms should have a curriculum and academic goals. Teachers must know what is expected of them in the school year and what their students need to learn. Provide examples for teachers to see what different levels their students may be on. Having a descriptive instructions for students and teachers will help them to know what comes next. Monitoring a students’ performance can help with seeing which student needs extra help. A teacher can reteach, use different teaching strategies, or give different instructions to help a student.
An intervention for early learners can help with filling in the learning gaps with students. Collaborating with teachers to help assist students who need the extra help. By having an interventionist can have the greatest impact on a student. Although it is costly on the school, it can change a students’ future and life. Learning is priceless for a student. Schools should have the best resources for their students and teachers. If a child has a disability with learning, then that student should not be placed in a classroom that does not cater to their disability. If they are in a third grade classroom and on a first grade level, then that student is only getting further behind and is not using their school time effectively.
A teacher can be define in many different ways. Teachers are the glue that keeps the classroom on task and prepare our children for the future. We need good teachers, but we need effective teachers. Teachers that follow a high quality curriculum, challenge students, and make learning fun. The key to a successful school year in early learning is to have parents who are involved in their child’s school. We need teachers to become more active and want their students to learn. If teachers does not have the proper training to teach their students, then they are doing an injustice to their students. I want to change a life, give back to others, and give knowledge to people. I can do all these things by teaching, so now it is time to learn how to do it the best way I can.
Dougherty, C. (2015, February 1). Starting Off Strong: The Importance of Early Learning.Eddigest, 12-18.
Linkages to Elementary Schools and ECE Providers. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2, 2015.