I can get easily distracted when I am online. I’m the curious type and my mind can wander in places I have never thought before. AND That was exactly what had happened today. My news feed on FB is mostly about teaching. I get updated of latest blogposts, if a teacher-friend is going through something related or not to teaching or even sharing stuff or asking questions. Whatever the case FB is one of the tools I use for my PD and to keep in touch with teachers all over the world. I’m introduced to new ideas or old ones I need to revisit. Whatever the case I can get a little carried way and distracted. But some distractions are so good that I don’t want to stop digging, reading, reflecting and making sense of what I already know or thought I knew.
So, if you are reading this and you are not using FB yet, consider these advantages:
- You can connect to great teachers around the world and learn from their experience;
- You will certainly be inspired;
- You will be able to share your own ideas and discuss them, as well as learning about others’ ideas and also discuss them;
- You can also like Pages that do the curation work, like Teaching English – British Council and many others;
- You can participate in groups to discuss anything you want;
- You can also start projects with your students and use pages or groups with them.
Here is what happened today: Teaching English – British Council shared this Video:
As I watched every second of it, I felt like jumping up and down, and also clapping my hands like I had just seen the most exciting thing in the world… and I had. I had seen a group of 6 year-old kids excited about learning, talking, sharing in English. The teacher is so inspiring. And like I said, FB is great to connect to teachers. I don’t want to lose sight of Armagan so I sent him a friend request which he kindly accepted. Right away, I left a comment and as soon as he accepted my friend request, I sent him a pvt message thanking him and sharing my ABOUT ME page so he could also learn a bit more about me and to have a chance of deciding how much he can or will invest in the connection. I feel blessed he is not just great with the kids, he is also willing to share. Armagan rocks. Here is his website. All I have learned in Early Childhood Education Major happens in a classroom in the other side of the world from me. I talked to him about my striving to learn how to offer my teens more ludicity and tap their natural needs instead of creating artificial ones as I have been sharing in my journey to understand playfulness.
Fun is about enjoyment and freedom to enjoy something. It is about been invited in and have the choice to do it or to stop doing it and choosing or not to do something else. How can we provide a fun environment if the final aim of education is always the numbers/grades that label them and does not help them get in touch with themselves and their need to learn.
Talking about getting distracted and wander around… I ended up after watching few of Armagad videos on Youtube channel (subscribe to it if you don’t want to miss anything he does in his class!) I started browsing Youtube and found this very interesting video on Integrating Music and Movement with Literacy.
“Besides being a lot of fun, this song enhances gross motor skills. Different children learn different things from this activity, some may learn left and right, others will learn body parts, others will learn vocabulary.” (1:46 to 2:03)
Although this seems obvious, it is not the standard practice in my country. Children are required to sit still and do as told even in pre-school. The only time they are allowed to move around is when they go to play in the playground which saddens and worries me when the time comes that I have to enroll Emanuel in a school. What called my attention the most was not the cliché “Play” but MOTION, NOVELTY, ADVENTURE AND ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD WITH MY WHOLE BODY. Something that is not very much talked about and reflected on by most of us, including me. In a JOURNEY to leave behind HOW I WAS TAUGHT to fully engage in the FUN OF LEARNING with OTHERS.
This is a brief review of the relevant research evidence which overwhelmingly supports a later start to formal education. This evidence relates to the contribution of playful experiences to children’s development as learners, and the consequences of starting formal learning at the age of four to five years of age
A personal note added after reading the article above.
We can only appreciate and understand the importance of playing if we look at it from the development perspective. While it is fun to play it is also essential for children to develop cognitively, affectively and also their psicomotor skills. Play is the form of learning most effective for whole development of a child. This article really resonates with my understanding of the importance of play and how formal schooling without any form of play (not artificial play that tries to lure kids to do what school wants) is actually what causes low literacy to escalate and persist until adult life. When I was pregnant of Emanuel I read John Holt book “Learning all the time” and remember thinking to myself… why hadn’t I read this book before! Funny enough I didn’t have to be concerned with my older son Sean who spent most of his early life playing – he went to couple of good nursery schools in England, one of them being a Montessori school and as we traveled a lot when he was a child, schooling wasn’t a priority. I only enrolled him to school when he was 6. Schools push kids to read and write at early age and label them when they don’t achieve it. Sean comparing with other kids of his age, already in formal school since 3/4 learned to decode faster than him, but for all the rest Sean was faster. He could make sense of what people said and wanted, great problem solver and all. And that was the only reason he was put in 1st grade. While my daughter started at the age of 2 1/2. Me silly thought I was doing the best for my kid. Unfortunally the system’s view in my country is to prepare kids for academic life. And kids don’t get the kind of experience they should have to succeed during their life time in school, then having to catch up latter in life. No wonder our low literacy rate is so high in our country. 😦