Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

From: Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 on Howard Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Ted's father, Theodor Robert, and grandfather were brew masters in the city. His mother, Henrietta Seuss Geisel, often soothed her children to sleep by "chanting" rhymes remembered from her youth. 

Ted credited his mother with both his ability and desire to create the rhymes for which he became so well known.

Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School

Monday, February 22, 2016

Feb. 22, 2016

Critical thinking is a term that is given much discussion without much action.  K-12 educators and administrators are pushed to teach the necessities as dictated by the standardized assessments in order to catch up the students to students of other countries.  In this push for better test scores, many students are leaving the K-12 education system lacking the critical thinking skills that are necessary to succeed in higher education or in the workplace.
There are several reasons that critical thinking is not being focused on, and the need to have better scores on assessments is just one of them.  Issues such as how to define critical thinking, how to teach critical thinking, and whether critical thinking should be taught or learned through social interaction plague educators who think about enhancing the critical thinking skills of their students.

“In order to engage students in critical thinking, the educator needs to act as a facilitator to allow for discussion and encourage a freer thought process … “

Critical thinking can be infused in lessons throughout all disciplines by utilizing in depth questioning and evaluation of both data and sources.  Having students track patterns in information forces them to look at the information as a process instead of simply information to be memorized and helps them develop skills of recognition and prediction.  

Ms. Nora Sierra
EC Assistant Principal
Discovery School

Monday, February 8, 2016

Feb. 8, 2016

The term "cognitive style" refers to the way a person processes information in his/her head in a way that is distinctive to that individual. A person is set in a particular cognitive style from birth. In contrast, learning style is a manner in which a learner interacts with and responds to the learning material or environment. A person's cultural background may influence his learning style. The student may also use a different learning strategy depending on the task.

Teachers can tailor learning experiences to differentiate among the individual needs of students in the classroom. There are many learning styles, yet some of the most common are: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Cognitive Learning Styles of Children describes the characteristics of these learners as well as the types of activities in which they best thrive, with the caveat that it is only learning styles being described, to be distinguished from cognitive styles (holistic, analytic, field-dependent, etc.). Cognitive styles and learning styles are important concepts in the study of education. For a time, people used the two terms interchangeably, but experts today study both types of styles individually to determine the best methods for educating children in the classroom who may learn or process information differently from their peers.

Teachers can also differentiate by matching assignments to readiness levels, offering appropriate intervention or extension activities as required. Allowing children to select activities based on areas of interest is another great way to differentiate. Offering choices is an excellent motivator for kids.
Small-group work is one of the most effective ways to meet the needs of diverse learners in large class settings.

Ms. Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal

Discovery School

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

The Value of Art for the Preschool Child

Art is basic. Of course, every subject area is important, but no program for young children could succeed without emphasizing art. Through making, looking at, and talking about their own artwork and the art of others, three-, four-, and five-year-old children are doing the following:
  1. Expressing their feelings and emotions in a safe way. They learn to control their emotions and recognize that they can express and handle negative as well as joyous feelings through positive action.
  2. Practicing and gaining fine muscle control and strengthening eye-hand motor coordination. By holding paintbrushes and learning how to control paint, crayons, scissors, and other art tools, children gain the skills necessary for later writing activities as well as a feeling of control over themselves and their world.
  3.  Developing perceptual abilities. Awareness of colors, shapes, forms, lines, and textures result as children observe these and try to replicate them through art.
  4.  Being given the opportunity to make choices and solve problems. How do you get the legs to stick on a clay figure? What color should I use? Making art offers children a multitude of choices and many decisions to make.
  5. Seeing that others have differing points of view and ways of expressing these than they do. Comparing children’s drawings, paintings, or models gives children concrete, dramatic examples of how different people express the same thing in different ways. While learning that their way is not the only way, they learn to value diversity.
  6.  Becoming aware of the idea that, through art, culture is transmitted. Becoming acquainted with the art of the past, children are involved in learning something of their origins and themselves.
  7.  Experiencing success. Because art leaves the end open to the creator, all children experience a measure of success. This is why art activities are appropriate for children with special needs. Regardless of the physical or mental need of the child, there is some art media and activity through which he or she can experience success.
  8. Making connections between the visual arts and other disciplines. Art integrates the curriculum. Content from every subject matter can find form through art.

Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)9500-1720(school cell)

April 20, 2018

Wrapping Up the School Year The end of the school year brings the expected joy at finishing another year, and perhaps some sadne...