Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Challenging the brain

Teachers need to explore and play, too!  During our meeting days last week, we read this article from the New York Times: Simon Says Don't Use Flashcards.  Considering the powerful effect that playing has on the developing brain, we played a rousing game of Capture-the-Chicken.

Challenging ourselves to do something new offers so many opportunities to learn.  Here is a Pre K teacher's take on how children tackle challenges, and what we can do to facilitate their learning:

Challenges can be found everywhere.  We see them when a child is trying to figure out design problems in a project, attempting a new physical feat, and testing out opinions and voices in social situations.  It can be easy for us to miss these massive opportunities for learning when we are watching our children play.  It is even easier to quickly and "expertly" solve the problem for them.

Next time your child is struggling (but not frustrated) with a task, try to stop, sit back, and watch.  See what solutions your child comes up with. If they are truly stuck, try asking them a question to draw their attention to a specific part of the issue.  Let them devise a solution.  It may not be one that you would have suggested, but their practice with personal challenges will certainly be a boon later in life.

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