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©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. Chapter 9 Sensory Centers Sensory activities “are crucial for brain development because it is through exploration with the body, and the senses that children’s earliest learning takes place “ (Essa, 2011).
©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. Overview •Children learn best through their five senses –visual—to see; auditory—to listen; olfactory—to smell; tactile—to touch; and gustatory—to taste •The quality of the environment contributes to sensory development •Children and adults inhabit different sensory worlds •Sensory awareness - is another way the body gives the mind information; promotes self-discovery
©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. Water, Sand, and Mud Play •Individual and small group activities •Indoor and outdoor activities •No right or wrong way to play •Can relate to any theme •Materials offer many opportunities to learn about transformations •Encourage imagination and confidence •Should be used daily
Water, Sand, and Mud Play (continued) •Purposes and objectives –Develop inquiry-based learning –Perform simple experiments –Measure, compare, and solve problems –Play creatively –Develop new vocabulary –Develop new concepts •Teacher’s role –Observe, ask open-ended questions, and show support –Pay attention to safety and health practices –Create a space that allows for exploration and messiness •Props and materials –Use dry, finely textured sand –Add props gradually ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Blocks •First introduced into school setting by Froebel •Types –Unit blocks •Caroline Pratt –Sturdy wooden blocks –Standard measurements –Hollow blocks –Assorted blocks –Block accessories –Placement considers noise level and traffic patterns ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Blocks (continued) •Developmental stages –Carry blocks from place to place –Pile one block on top of another –Make block rows –Use blocks to enclose a space –Build block bridges –Make patterns and designs –Use blocks for representation ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Blocks (continued) •Developmentally appropriate guidance is critical in the block center - Strategies 1. Supply an adequate number and enough differing shapes of blocks 2. Provide ample space 3. Use open shelves 4. Guide children to match the blocks to the shapes on the shelves to put them away 5. Take down their own buildings using only their hands 6. Preserve structures, if possible, from day to day 7. Have a camera available for photographs 8. Encourage the children to make signs for their structures ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Blocks (continued) •Purposes and objectives –Develop concepts and perceptions –Whole part relations –Balance skills, matching skills –Problem solve –Gross and fine motor development –Cooperate with peers –Release emotions in an acceptable way ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Blocks (continued) •Teacher’s role –Observe developmental levels- keep in mind developmental stages –Set limits, define rules, encourage cooperation –Inform families and document through photographs –Guide children who never use the block center –Watch for teachable moments ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Woodworking •This center has existed for a long time in the early childhood classroom •Sometimes these centers are not seen, or they are underused –Cost –Safety •This is not just a center for boys •Place away from quiet centers ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Woodworking (continued) •Purposes and objectives –Develop and improve fine and gross motor skills, eye-hand co-ordination –Encourage cooperation –Creative expression, emotional release and means of nonverbal communication –Sharpen children’s senses through the smells, textures, and sounds of woodworking –Extend concepts of inquiry ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Woodworking (continued) •Teacher’s role –Allow plenty of time to explore –Practice before you supervise the children –Be available the entire time to closely supervise and observe –Establish specific rules that are consistently reinforced-safety is always the first consideration –Focus on the process and plan for success by providing developmentally appropriate sequence of skills –Evaluate continually ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Woodworking (continued) •Equipment and Materials –Use real tools-child sized –Safety goggles –Sturdy workbench –All tools and materials stored and displayed carefully –[See list on page 263] ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences •Nutrition education in an early childhood classroom is necessary •Tailor nutrition concepts to the ages and ability levels of the children & your knowledge •Knowledge about nutrition can influence a lifetime of food choices ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences (continued) •Difference between nutrition and nutrients •Nutrients are used in three ways •Nutritional concepts including Food Guide Pyramid •Obesity - balance between food intake and physical activity - number of required minutes for physical activity - 30/60 ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences (continued) •Children should be involved in the process of planning through the cleanup •Cooking offers curriculum extensions –Math, science, reading (rebus), social studies –Following directions, sequencing, cooperation •Projects must be developmentally appropriate, must be age appropriate, and can enhance cultural sensitivity •Link cooking related activities at home to school activities-review suggestions ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences (continued) •Purposes and Objectives –Help children feel responsible, independent, and successful –Complete tasks from preparation to cleanup –Learn about new foods (cultural awareness) –Learn about different careers –Introduce new vocabulary and concepts –Develop beginning reading skills, math and science concepts –Observe how cooking changes the ingredients –Develop small and large muscle control and eye-hand coordination. ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences (continued) •Teacher’s role –Emphasize the positive aspects of healthy eating –Give children many opportunities to taste healthy foods –Review the food allergies of the children –Be culturally sensitive –Integrate cooking opportunities into plans –Explain the limits and rules to the children –Take plenty of time to introduce foods –Start with no cooking activities then proceed to more complex –Use correct terms for foods, measurements, equipment, and processes –Provide ample time –For older children, include information that addresses sequence of food sources –Washing foods and hand washing ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Nutrition and Cooking Experiences (continued) •Props and materials –Use real kitchen utensils and equipment •Sensory Snacks ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Activities Suggested in the Five Senses Curriculum •Books used for a curriculum web •Activities –Sandpaper –Whip it up –Indoor rainbow –Woodcuts –Sensory texture box •Recipes ©2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
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