Purposeful Curriculum Plan: Observation

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For the Purposeful Curriculum Planning, I observed the newborn and toddler classroom at the Vineland Tri-County Head Start. The teacher, Mrs. R, along with her teacher aide, were lining up the children to step outside for playtime around 11:00a. As the children lined up, the teacher conducted a head count and, after doing so, led them out to the play-yard. The weather was very warm and somewhat humid that day. Outside, there was an enclosed area dedicated for playtime that contained two small gyms, one was a climbing apparatus that had a slide attached, and the other was a tree yard, which also had a small slide, a play window and entrance, and attachments. Once the children were all outside, some began to run around the yard, while the others decided to play on the gyms.

As my observation continued, I took notice to the way Mrs. R would interact with each of the children in her class. She would show each of them affection and attention, whether by hugging them, swinging them, kissing them on the forehead, or just talking to them about what they did the day before. At times, there were children that would act out or almost hit another child while running around and Mrs. R would bring them aside and explain to them that it wasn’t safe to run around without regard to the other children. I also observed the teacher and teacher aide playing with the children on the toy sets. They would help the children that were having trouble climbing up the ladder for the slide, would direct the children through the tree yard and delegate whose turn it was to go through.

What was being learned in playtime was language development, character building, and motor skills. Mrs. R was helping the children build both gross and fine motor skills, by en...

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...to John Dewey’s insight of child development. What was learned and expanded on during this activity was language development, creativity and imagination, interaction and socialization, and movement. Language development, along with creativity can help in making conversation as well as understanding spoken language and becomes essential for creating relationships. Interaction is also needed to form bonds and in being introduced to society. Playtime has fulfilled several of Dewey’s concepts towards progressive education of children. For one, this activity was completely child-centered, and the adults made sure the needs of the children were met. Secondly, the activity was planned to stimulate the interests of the children and to discover what they like. Last of all, the interaction between the adults and the children help both parties to engage in socialization.

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