"I have taught Kindergarten and First Grade in public schools on Long Island, New York for 32 years.
I believe in teaching to the "top child"; that is, lessons and activities should be designed so that all children, regardless of their apparent capabilities or intelligence would challenge themselves to reach and stretch toward their highest potential. This "journey" to the top might not always be with ease; there may be times of struggle. Yet, with the help of their parents and educators, the journey can become one of satisfaction and joy. The quest for knowledge is the greatest journey upon which one can embark. The process of maximizing a youngster's abilities produces a person who is strong, happy, confident, and independent. This begins in the early years. These are the educational beliefs that I carried with me when I founded Creations Preschool in 1996."
A Word About Learning Styles
Do you wonder about your child’s ability to learn and succeed in meeting future educational challenges? Perhaps you might even ponder how children learn. Why do some children have a great aptitude for math or science or art or writing? Within the same family, there might be obvious differences of comprehension, interest, and ability.
Educators have noted and even classified learning styles so that classroom teachers will create lessons that use methods which will stimulate and challenge the individual. This will
lead their students toward greater understanding and the ability to grasp new concepts. Ideally, students will love to learn, seek and reach higher levels of academic growth.
Howard Gardner, a noted developmental psychologist, is often quoted as having identified eight intelligences to address these individual talents and abilities. Methods and activities are adjusted for age. Generally, they are classified under broad approaches, such as musical, inter and intrapersonal, observance of the natural world, linguistic, spatial, kinesthetic and logical.
Creations’ curriculum has incorporated these methods from its inception, recognizing that educational concepts should not be presented in a passive form. Rather, it has used these strategies and others with our young children that stimulate their desire to learn and retain “big” concepts. We sing as we prepare for our trips into space or other continents. We role play; we share personal experiences; we count; we create patterns; we do art projects that build on the topic’s challenges. We move, we do, we speak, and get excited to repeat and build on the knowledge acquired. Children of all ages learn by doing and enjoy the confidence of having achieved greater levels of understanding and insight.
So, a simple trip to the grocery store, or anywhere, even a mundane task, can involve these learning strategies. You, as parents, will also have fun and be amazed by how much these methods can enhance your child’s reasoning and critical thinking skills, now and for the future.