Often, the issue of toys being from social media is brought up. Girls play with Barbies and boys play with toys from movies like Cars and Spiderman. It is difficult to walk into a store and find a toy that has not been affected by the media. Many people would argue that children are losing their imagination because of this. They reenact movies and television shows because that is what their toys are from and that is the only thing they can play with them. While i do no agree that reenactment is the only thing that can be done with those toys, I do believe that it strongly influences how children play with the toys. The other day at the daycare I work at, I noticed that the doll house the children were playing with had small wooden dolls with simple feature and square bodies. Quite different from the Barbies I had as a child. I quite liked that the toys were very generic and I noticed that the boys played with them as often as the girls did. I was intrigued by this and went in search to see if there were any other toys in the room that were from the media. I am happy to report that I couldn’t find any. There were cars, but not from any movies and there were big dolls of different skin tones (although no males). As I payed closer attention to what was happening in the room I noticed, day after day, that no area was always used solely by a specific gender. There are usually more girls in the dress up area and more boys in the big blocks area, but there is always both genders at both areas. I think this is wonderful!
Check out my online teaching portfolio at amyburghardt.wordpress.com!
This semester I have been learning some sign language online. I have summarized my process and posted links to the resources that I used to learn! Check it out!
I recently wrote a paper for a class about multiculturalism in Canada and the classroom. I created a wordle from the document. It is difficult to understand multiculturalism and know whether or not Canada truly is multicultural. By some definition Canada is, but by others it is not. For myself, I do not believe Canada is truly multicultural, as this country does not yet treat every culture member equally or equitably. As far as multiculturalism in the classroom, I find that it is usually superficial. According to this document there are a number of stages a person can be in regarding their understanding and actions towards multiculturalism. It is important to know and show that there are many cultures, but also to integrate them into the classroom on a deeper level than just decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs or celebrating the Chinese New Year. I am striving towards integration , as should all teachers and Canadian citizens. This means that respecting other cultures and communicating effectively with people from other cultures happens without thinking about it and including them, their beliefs, and their practices into our everyday lives. What are you striving towards?
I created this video to summarize what I have learned in ECMP355. I have also helped others learn by sharing my own work, talking about it with others, and by commenting on other people’s blogs. Here are some examples of my comments:
To awiks: “Obviously this is a hot topic even just by judging how many comments you have received on your post.
I do not agree with giving a lot of homework, however, sometimes I think it is needed. In elementary grades, homework can be helpful if a student is really struggling and their parents are willing to work on it with them. However, homework just causes more stress for a struggling student if they are not going to get help at home and they will get in trouble for not finishing their homework.
For the most part though, I don’t think there should be homework. All assignments given to students should be able to be finished by the students during class time. If it can’t, the project/assignment is too difficult/long/not enough time was given. As you said, most students have full days because of extra curricular activities and it is impossible to expect them to squeeze in homework during the car ride from point A to point B.
Also, another thing to consider is students with disabilities. Students with disabilities, such as learning disabilities, really struggle to work hard during school hours and are sometimes unable to do so. Asking them to continue doing more work at home is just going to discourage them and eventually may cause them to stop coming to school altogether.”
To achsahkl: “I agree that we need to stop and ask ourselves, am I doing the best I can for my students? I think that checking for understanding is almost as important as the teaching strategies we use. It might be a wonderful teaching strategy, but if the students don’t understand and it’s not working for them, then we have to change how we are teaching it. One thing I have struggled with in the past is, like you said, soldiering on through a lesson when it is blatantly obvious that the students are not getting it and the lesson just doesn’t work. Thankfully, I have gotten better at adapting on the spot. I think every teacher needs to remember that we are not teaching the lessons or the curriculum – we are teaching the child.”
To missdudrange: “I think its hard for students, especially very young ones, to understand that it might not be appropriate to have their teacher on Facebook or twitter. There are some students that crave positive attention and for someone to be involved in their lives outside of the classroom because their parents or guardians may not be an active participant in their life. I think that teachers should create special Facebook accounts (or a similar program) and add their students if it is something that both the teacher and students really want, but clear boundaries and rules need to be discussed about what is appropriate to discuss. This can also be a great learning tool to teach students about cyber safety. However, in response to “are the roles of teachers changing due to technology?” I don’t think it is. It has always been the role of the teacher to look out for their students and, any good teacher, actually cares about their students outside of school. The way that this looks HAS changed because of technology, but the role itself has not.”
In a class today we talked about social media and technology and it’s effect on children. One of the things we focused on was how modern children’s televisions shows and violent video games affect children. There were many mixed opinions on the matter, most of them being that the effect is very negative and children are very violent because of the images they see in the media. However, I disagreed. I don’t think that modern media is making that much of a difference. It has always been in the nature of children, especially boys, to play in a way that portrays violence. This doesn’t mean that the play itself is violent because, for the most part, there is never any physical contact and they don’t actually fight with each other – it is mostly imitation. Also, my professor has told us that when his children were young he tried to cut out all influential media and did not purchase stereotypical toys for them. This means no Barbies for his daughter and no toy weapons for his son. However, one day his son brought a friend over and they played that they were shooting each other with guns in the backyard. Is this the influence of media? No. It is in their nature. Boys have played “violently” since the beginning of time. Modern media and other influences have not caused children to suddenly start doing this, or even do it more often. The idea that parents can “protect” their children from this is a bit silly because there is no way to do this. When his son was playing guns with is friend my professor gave up and went into his shop and made toy swords and shields for the boys to play with.
Now we move on to a new question. We know that, no matter what, there is violence in play. Is this a bad thing? Is it a negative thing that children are playing that they hurt each other? The children aren’t actually hurting each other and it isn’t necessarily going to lead to actual violence. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that there is an explicit conversation about it. Violence is part of our life and our reality so it should not be hidden away and ignored. For example, when 9-11 happened children heard about it and some even watched about it on the news. Many children play through things like this because play is what they know best and it helps them make sense of what has happened to pay out the events they have seen. I was in grade 6 at the time and for the entire morning my class sat in the hallway and watched the news. The event was important to our reality and it was important they we were aware of it, even if there were some parents that weren’t happy that we watched it. We can’t hide underneath rocks.
I watched this video in one of my classes today. I want to focus on the therapist’s comment that in the era of technology, children have sort of forgotten to play with toys. The value of playing with toys has lost its importance a bit with some children because everything is focused on technological games.
I am currently doing a project for the same class and I am interviewing and observing play behaviours in a public school and comparing it to a classroom in the Huda school. I have found that some of this focus on technological games is present here. I have found that, when asked what their favorite thing to play is, most students from the public school answered with things like made up games and games that use toys. In contrast, the students at the Huda school most often answered the same question with some kind of computer game. Also, at the public school there are two East Indian girls in the class that answered similarly to the students at the Huda school, listing computer games as their favorite things to play.
So this lack of play with toys mentioned in the video may have a connection to cultural perspectives, not just the fact that we are in the era of technology. Does anyone have any input or experience with this subject?
Another thing that I thought about this video was that the tips the therapist is giving the grandmother about playing with her grandson who is on the Autism spectrum are tips that I think are important for every child and caregiver, regardless of having a disability or being able-bodied. It is important to play with the child and not just be an observer. This comes into the classroom as well, as teachers should not just sit back and let their students play. I think it is important to get involved while still allowing the children to shape and lead the play because it will allow for the richest play environment and learning opportunities.
So there is only about three weeks left of school for me before I get my Bachelor of Education and excited is much too light of a word for how I am feeling. When I started going to the University four years ago I thought that this program was going to take forever and I would be so sick and tired of classes. But it has actually gone by so fast it’s scary! Part of me wants to say I’m not ready for this! But really, I am so ready to get into the classroom and start teaching students.
There are so many things I have learned in the past few years that I want to implement in my classroom right this instant! Unfortunately, I do not yet have a classroom to do it in so interviews here I come!
This is a TedX Talk by Dimitri Christakis that I watched in my ECE435 class. His research on over-stimulation is fascinating. If you want that part of the video start watching at about 5:00.
The research results show that the more television children watch before the age of three, the more likely the child will have attention problems. Also, the more cognitive stimulation that children receive the less likely the child will have attention problems later in life.
Another thing that they found was what the children are watching on television. They found that educational programming provides 0 risk of attention problems while entertainment shows provide 60% more and violent t.v. shows provide 110% more risk of attention problems. This seems to stem from the fact that entertainment and violent shows are much faster paced. The scenes change a lot more frequently than educational programs. This information is not all that surprising, except perhaps the actual percentages.
In the 1970, the average age children started to watch t.v. regularly was about 4 years. Today, it’s 4 months.
So what does this mean to us as educators? We need to provide a classroom setting that keeps the attention and interest of our students. We cannot change what happens at home and how much or what kind of television our students watch other than teaching them about how to spend their time wisely and encouraging physical activity. In my classroom I strive to provide an environment with minimal distractions – which means not a lot of mayhem on the walls or access to view outside. That last part sounds mean, but it is just a matter of facing the students’ desks away from the window, not blocking the windows. Also, I try to plan my lessons in a way that changes, not doing the same thing for the entire time. One other thing I find that helps students is brain breaks.
Does anyone have any other ideas regarding this?
I am currently taking an early childhood education class about play and I am finding that I notice a lot more things about play when I am around children than I did before this class. I am looking at play a lot differently and I often stop myself from ending light rough-and-tumble play because I have learned about its benefits.
At daycare last week something phenomenal happened. There is a teacher cupboard that the students are not allowed in and there was a bag of some squares of a meshy fabric – basically scarves. In the afternoon one of the teachers had removed the bag from the cupboard for some reason and it was sitting on a table out in the open and one of the children found it and pulled one out. Now, this happened on Saturday and on the weekends things are a little different at the daycare. The weekend staff allow the children to do a lot more than the weekday staff and actually let them make a bit of a mess without getting on their case about being so messy and loud. In other words – the weekend staff let the children play and have some fun. So, there is one child playing with a scarf and of course, the other children notice it and want one too. All of the children find the bag and everyone takes a scarf and miraculously none of the teachers object to this.
It was incredible watching these children play with the scarves. After everyone had at least one scarf some of the children took another one, and none of the children fought over who got two scarves and who got just one. One of the staff, the only male that day, helped some of the children tie their scarves into different props. There were aprons, capes, scarves, skirts, robber/bandit masks, shirts, and many other things and each was worn by both girls and boys. I have never seen all of those children play together and have so much fun with just a swatch of material. There were some kids that I had never seen play together who were because their scarf costumes matched.
When it was time to clean up for supper the teachers helped the kids untie their costumes and the kids put their scarves back in the bag. I found myself just standing back and watching everything that happened instead of helping with supper or clean-up. The only thing I kept thinking was that I can’t wait until I am in my own classroom so I can inconspicuously place a bag of scarves in the room, stand back, and watch what happens.