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Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

  • 1.  Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-29-2020 03:00 AM
    Does anyone else question whether distance/virtual learning is developmentally appropriate for children under 5 years old?
    Have we fully thought out the ramifications of all this screen time on young children? Up until shelter in place screen time was shunned as harmful, but now it's ok? What are we teaching children about electronic v. real experiences? Are we interrupting with screens the time they should be spending playing and moving their bodies, having concrete experiences in nature, being hugged and spoken to face to face?
    Wouldn't it be better to tell them "Go play and I'll see you later when school opens"?


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    Barbara Gallios
    PreK Teacher
    Presidio Early Education School
    San Francisco CA
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  • 2.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 12:09 AM
    Barbara,
    I agree it isn't ideal but I have also seen some amazing things and creativeness come from Zoom sessions.  My teachers really stepped up to the plate and made sure to incorporate music and movement and interactive science activities (kids were supplied with the items to do during Zoom). We even cooked together! The kids loved seeing their friends each week.  I am the director of a Co-op where our parents are heavily involved in our classrooms and we are such a tight community that the thought of cutting them off was heartbreaking.  So, we do what we do.  We think outside the box to keep those connections and going digital was part of that.    It was one day a week and optional. There were parents that opted out which we totally supported as well.
    We have decided to not begin our school year via Zoom and are revamping our program again to support our families the best we can.

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    Shannon Skeens
    Pleasant Valley Co OP
    Camarillo CA
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  • 3.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 09:08 AM
    Yes, it is not necessarily developmentally appropriate, but as educators we can decide what is most appropriate for children ages 5 and under. I am seconding what has already been said here, which is that music, movement, science and art are the ways to engage our youngest students. It is important to engage parents in a transparent discussion about the developmental appropriateness of your distance program as well, and the aspects that you have considered and what your priorities and goals are for it. This will help to ease parent anxiety and make clear what your program is committed to during this time of distance learning. I am not sure what your schedule looks like, but something that worked well at my school for the nursery and preK classrooms was to start with a morning group meeting, which included greetings and singing, and then the teachers would share something interesting with the kids. After this 30-40 mins meeting, they would be sent "assignments", or "projects" to do for the day, and then meet back together at the end of the day to share. Teachers also had them share offline via phots graphs and videos, and then teacher compiled these into slide shows and movies to share with the groups as well. So there are different ways to approach it - but you def can't think of it as regular school, and we certainly didn't keep the youngest kids on the screen for the same amount of hours as regular school would have been, even though some parents expected that.

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    Amy Marie Rivera
    Founder
    Step One Learning - educational consultancy
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 4.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 10:56 AM
    Hi Barbara,

    I had the same concerns about distance learning. After a little bit of research, I found that as long as the screen time is limited and appropriately engaging, it's not as damaging as having a child watching YouTube for long periods of time. I had to adapt my preschool program in the past few months to distance learning. I structured it to be only 3 days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays), no more than an hour a day, and made sure to include plenty of movement and parent engagement. My team and I made supply bags for each student so that they had all that was needed to participate in our activities and lessons. As a result, our program became more STEM based. Our 3 and 4 year olds were making playdough, cooking chicken strips and making pancakes and popsicles, and our parent engagement increased. Teaching via Zoom is not ideal, but it has helped to stay connected to our students and their families throughout the pandemic.

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    Jonathan Navarrete
    Preschool Director
    Even Start Preschool- Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach
    Dana Point CA
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  • 5.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 08:56 PM
    Hello Jonathan, I was wondering what type of items you included in your "supply bag" for each student.

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    Jicell Taylor
    EC Director
    Greater Miami Adventist Academy
    Miami FL
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  • 6.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-31-2020 08:11 AM
    YES! Please share - the supply bag is a great idea and wonderful that you were able to provide it to all students. 
    :) AMR





  • 7.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-31-2020 09:41 AM
    Yes, please share Jonathan.

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    KATHLEEN HERRINGTON
    Whitsett NC
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  • 8.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-03-2020 12:57 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    In our supply bags, we include: pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons, markers, kid scissors, glue sticks, elmer's glue, construction paper, writing practice paper, cardboard tubes, pom pons (multicolor fluffy puffs), fabric scraps, playdough, bubbles, a few of the books that we will be reading throughout the weeks, and anything else we anticipate the children using for our planned activities. The only thing we do not include is food/ingredients for our cooking activities. I sometimes email out activity packets for the children to practice writing their name, letters, and numbers or I post a link to downloadable PDFs on our webpage.

    I also send out an email every Friday or early Saturday with a list of supplies the children will need for each day that upcoming week so that the parents can have it prepared. It also allows time for a shopping trip, especially for the cooking activities, if it is needed.

    It has worked out pretty well for us. We also partner with the local Assistance League, and they fund the tangible supplies that go directly to the kids whether it be for the classroom or for home.

    I hope this helps.


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    Jonathan Navarrete
    Preschool Director
    Even Start Preschool- Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach
    Dana Point CA
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  • 9.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-04-2020 12:26 AM
    Hello members of this list:

    I've been following the discussion about whether distance learning is developmentally appropriate for young children and wanted to share these resources that our organization developed and has made available to anyone interested:

    Using Technology to Support Learning At Home:
    https://www.edc.org/using-technology-support-learning-home

    Integrating Technology Into Early Learning and also Supporting Emergent Bilingual Children in Early Learning using Technology:
    https://www.edc.org/early-ed-tools

    The resources are available in English and Spanish, with the second two also available in Chinese, and all are available in easily downloadable and printable format.  The information is based on current research and best practices for supporting developmentally appropriate technology use for young children.  We developed these resources before Covid 19, but are hoping they can help educators and parents make good decisions about how to support their children's learning during this challenging time.

    I am regularly inspired by all the educators on this list who are working so hard to support children and families during this very challenging time,
    Naomi Hupert
    Center for Children and Technology/Education Development Center

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    Naomi Hupert
    Center for Children and Technology/
    Education Development Center
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  • 10.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-04-2020 03:42 PM
    Thank you Naomi for those resources!  They are very informative and helpful.

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    Jicell Taylor
    EC Director
    Greater Miami Adventist Academy
    Miami FL
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  • 11.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-05-2020 12:20 AM
    Hello

    I want to thank you for the resources- I will share them with my clients.

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    Doris Pineda
    Service Coordinator
    South Central Los Angeles Regional Center
    Van Nuys CA
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  • 12.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-05-2020 10:36 AM
    Thank so much Naomi.... These resources are so helpful.  in these times when teachers must connect with children through technologies.

    In March 2020, Early Childhood Educators across the country had to face the challenge that  their School buildings and many childcare centers abruptly closed for the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers were expected to quickly ramp up distance learning and family supports for the young children in their classes, using their school's existing technology tools.

    Through a Mini-grant funded project through the NAEYC Technology and Young Children Interest Forum, Bonnie Blagojevic, Kelly Dalsemer. Diane Bales, and I supported four educators - Kelsey, Juana, Noelle, and Katie (PreK, K, ESL, Migrant Education) in culturally diverse programs to share their experiences through webinars and a Wakelet *  They focused their intentional teaching focused their intentional teaching with guidance from the NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media (2012).

    • putting the child first; ensuring that caring relationships take precedence over technologies
    • carefully selecting materials to promote collaborative rather than isolated uses

    While hands on learning is the way children learn, the switch to digital communications required teachers to rely on the supports from families. Through interactive technologies, teachers provided direct instructional support and continued rich conversations with children. These digital resources encouraged children to think-aloud to clarify, extend, and explain how they utilized hands-on home resources.

    *Links to webinars, additional mini-grant activities and related resources can be found in the "Children and Families as Digital Creators and Storytellers" Wakelet Collection. https://wke.lt/w/s/7ELzSR

    Educators:

         *Noelle Chung, Title I Pre-K teacher from Knollwood Elementary, Salisbury, NC

         *Katie Gardner, Kindergarten ESL teacher, from Knollwood Elementary, Salisbury, NC

         *Kelsey MacLeod, Kindergarten teacher at Whispering Oak Elementary, Winter Garden, FL

         *Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator, Mano en Mano, Milbridge, ME



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    Lynn Hartle
    Professor of Education
    The Penn State Univ. Brandywine
    Media PA
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  • 13.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-04-2020 09:04 AM
    Hello Barbara,

    You are the most important part of the early learning environment. Offering young children calm, nurturing, and predictable social and emotional environments, and promoting their self-regulation skills, helps them feel safe and secure so they can learn, play, and grow. We can provide meaningful alternatives screen time to children ages of 2 and 7.  This age group are in the preoperational stage, and it is developmentally inappropriate to expect their learning to be entirely screen-based. Parents and families can invited children to continue their exploration after their virtual learning by building automobiles using cardboard boxes.  Families can share photos or videos of their children's creations. I hope this will help and it is awesome what you all are doing to promote ECE learning.

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    [Sandra] [Phillip]
    [Office Administrator]
    [Jersey City Day Care 100]
    [Jersey City] [NJ]
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  • 14.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-04-2020 11:15 AM
    In my own opinion I think Learning on zoom is inappreciate for pre-school kids because when they stay watching the screen and all that go on in it; some of their motor skills appreciate for that age will be lacking.  There are time for everything. Time to play, socialize with their age group , interacting with each other become jeopardized. I encourage classroom learning and observing all the sanctions placed due to cove19.
    Thanks Sister Mary Paschaline
    Director Love and Laughter 
    Early Childhood Learning Center
    Irvington NJ





  • 15.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 12:28 PM
    Hi Barbara,
    We've definitely included some short fun videos of music/movement activities and teachers reading books to children, but mainly we've focused our distance learning efforts on modelling for parents how they can help their children learn through fun activities and everyday routines /chores. Since distance learning is definitely less effective for young children, we're really trying to empower parents to understand how important their role is in teaching during this time, and how they can have fun with their children but also promote skill development at the same time.  Have to sort the socks?  Involve your kids and teach matching skills, describing, color and design words, etc.  Need to make a grocery list? Include your child and show them that those squiggly lines you're putting on the paper have meaning.  Want to teach math?  Count with your children throughout the day, and play patterning games with everyday objects.  That sort of thing.

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    Ellen Luna
    Education Coordinator/Site Director
    Brattleboro VT
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  • 16.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-30-2020 01:31 PM
    I'm with Barbara! It's a hard pill to swallow! While I have seen some great sessions between teachers and students, it isn't what we know is best for kids. I, too, am concerned about their futures if they have too much online at these ages.  Let them play!

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    Marie Baroody
    Sterling VA
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  • 17.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 07-31-2020 05:16 AM
    We can't forget the screen was how children met Mr. Rogers

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    Connie Gretsch
    Director
    umbrella tree
    Madison TN
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  • 18.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-03-2020 09:15 AM

    My husband is 55 and was in the first group of children to enter kindergarten that had watched Sesame Street.  The teachers didn't know what to do with all of these children who had already learned their alphabet and numbers. :D

    Our director is modifying our classrooms only if we have a quarantine again.  It will look like this:

    15-20 video from one teacher everyday.  The lessons will be a sort of field trip, showing the students a cooking lesson, art lesson, walk around a butterfly garden, singing our preschool songs, perhaps a silly dance, etc., an art/craft box- distributed with two weeks worth of materials.  We would reduce our monthly fee as well, but the children have the option of watching everyday, where as our classes are two or three days per week.  



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    Melissa Denton
    Danville United Methodist Preschool
    Jamestown IN
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  • 19.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-05-2020 10:22 AM
    My name is Darlene and I serve as an Asst. Education Manager for a Head Start. Thank you for the great ideas! The Head Start teachers and I created videos for the families during  Week of the Young Child that included art, cooking, and exercises. Please continue to share your ideas with hard working and devoted teachers!
    Darlene


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    Darlene Ingram
    Assitant Education Manager
    PCDC
    Newport News VA
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  • 20.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-03-2020 11:55 AM
    I'm so glad this topic is being discussed. I'm so impressed by how hard teachers and programs are working to be there for the children electronically, and it's important to remember, this is also how extended family members stay in touch during these times.

    But we all know how important visceral learning is for development. My clients include many parents working from home and I remind them, this time may be one of the most special for their children. There are so many ways to keep that visceral learning going at home, in ways that work well for parents. Please message me if you would like some of the info I have been providing to parents, to inspire, and to enhance what the children are learning online.

    Best of luck with what you are doing - we can never forget the difference we make in children's lives.

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    Hazel Osborn
    Consultant
    Loveland CO
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  • 21.  RE: Developmental Appropriateness of Distance Learning

    Posted 08-04-2020 10:05 AM
    Hello,
     I would like to request more info that you have been providing to parents, to inspire, and to enhance what the children are learning online.

    Thanks so much,


    Karen Sykes