December 28, 2009
June 13, 2009
April 25, 2009
Amy Anderson is at it again, this time with some tips about helping preschool-age children with listening and following directions.
Here’s a sample of what she says:
For more, read the whole article here.
- Get down on your child’s level - eye contact is good, and it is also less intimidating to your child.
- Make sure you have your child’s full attention before giving directions. Be straight-forward: “I am going to tell you what to do now. Ready?”
- Keep your directions short and simple - preschoolers are not known for their extensive attention spans.
- Use visual cues if you can — point the direction you want him to go; touch her feet if you want her to get shoes on.
- Ask your child to repeat back the directions. My four-year-old likes to count on her fingers while she retells what she needs to do. Whatever works!
- Be predictable. If you always tell your child to first clear his plate, then wash his hands, he will have a better chance of remembering what to do.
- Have appropriate expectations. Don’t give your child a three-step direction if you know she is not capable of remembering three steps. Break it down step-by-step until she is ready.
April 22, 2009
Encourage your child to complete self-help tasks, such as cleaning up spilled juice or sweeping up paper from a cutting project.
Break complicated tasks into small steps and celebrate all the little successes along the way.
Praise the effort, not the task: “You didn’t give up and kept trying until you opened the toothpaste. Way to go!”
Build extra minutes into your daily routines to allow your child to complete tasks without being hurried — such as putting on his own socks, buckling her own seat belt, etc.
These are all great but I particularly like the last one. Chronic parental rushing stunts the development of initiative in children.
March 27, 2009
March 22, 2009
- Each player helps all the tokens make their way around the board.
- Pick a token to be the "bad guy" and everyone takes turn playing for the "bad guy" trying to make him come in last place. Cooperating this way takes deeper strategic thinking than playing the normal way.
- Play against the clock instead of one another.
- Play for fun--don't keep score.
January 5, 2009
- First School Years has a nice, simple sorting game that is good for young children. It helps with vocabulary and reinforcing the living/non-living distinction. The only problem I had with this game was that if I put an item too close to the center line, the game told me I had put it on the wrong side. The workaround is to place items well away from the center line. Here is what the game looks like. [Edit: it has been reported that this game does not work well in some browsers. Please test before using with your students.]
- The Open Door has a nice mini-lesson on the attributes of living things. (feeding, movement, breathing or respiration, excretion, growth, sensitivity, and reproduction). It's targeted toward older children but you can apply the ideas to preschool too. There is also a twenty-item quiz which asks whether each item is "living," "non-living but once part of a living thing," or "non-living and never part of a living thing." After choosing an answer, you are informed whether you are right or wrong, and why. The quiz is for solid independent readers or for parents to do with their children.
January 4, 2009
I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
I used to avoid this truth by applauding - as you can - the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It's a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith.
But this doesn't fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.