Early Childhood Center Assignment

Early Childhood Center Assignment
Introduction
In this assignment students will observe, assess and analyze data from a learning center or activity area in their practicum classroom and use the data collected to make evidence-based improvements in the environment or materials available to children. Students will implement the improvements, observe, assess, evaluate, and report their findings. In addition, they will create a sample of a parent education resource, sharing ideas about how to replicate similar learning opportunities at home.
Assignment: Collaborate with your Supervising Teacher to identify an existing learning center or activity area in the classroom or outdoor environment that could be enhanced to further extend children’s opportunities for exploration and learning. Any proposed modifications or change in the classroom must be approved by your Supervising Teacher prior to implementation.
There are 5 parts to the LCA assignment.
1. Center Assessment 2. Center Plan 5. Center Report
Part 1: Center Assessment (2-3 pages)-(NAEYC Standard 1c, 3b) a) Choose a center. Must be approved by your mentor teacher. b) Spend some time observing children playing and interacting in the center. Document your findings in detail including the times you observed. Observation notes should include three separate 15-minute time periods. These should be in the form of detailed anecdotal records. Include your observation notes with this part of the assignment. c) Take pictures of the center and the materials to provide documentation “before” improvements are implemented. d) Write a 2-3 page assessment and analysis paper responding to each of the following prompts: ✓ Identify the learning center or activity area you will use for this assignment. ✓ Describe the center in extensive detail! • How big is the center (include measurements?) • Where is it located in the room? What centers are next to it? What divides or separates it from other centers? • List all the materials, including furniture and ALL materials. Describe how the materials are stored. • What additional materials are available for use by the children? Are there any materials that are on rotation? ✓ Use your observation data to respond to the following: • How and when do children use the center? • How does this center support development in each of the following domains? Provide evidence from your observation records to support each response. 1. Biological development 2. Cognitive development 3. Language development ✓ Attach your pictures and observation notes (not a part of the 2-3 page count).
Part 2: Center Plan (2-3 pages)-(NAEYC Standard 4b, 4c, 4d, 6e) a. Using the resources listed below, research best practices for teaching the content area(s) within the center that you chose.
Early Childhood Center Assignment
b. Identify various ways to enhance children’s exploration and learning in the identified learning center or activity area. Discuss your ideas with your mentor teacher. c. Create a 2-3 page implementation plan that describes the enhancement or changes that you will make to the center. Your plan should response to following prompts: • Briefly summarize your research findings on best practices for teaching the content areas(s) within this center. Provide citations in APA format for each source. • What is working now in the center? What are the strengths? What are children learning? • What is not working well in the center? What are the difficulties of use? Do children with special needs have full access to the center? How do they use it? • What would you like to see children learn from the center that they are not currently learning? • What are your suggestions for improvement? (This could materials, size, location, guidelines for use of materials, storage, access, etc.) • How and when do you plan to make the improvements? List each specific improvement and assign a due date to it.
Part 5: Center Report (2-3 pages)-(NAEYC Standard 6c) Write a reflection paper about this assignment. Respond to the following prompts: • What did you learn? In your reflection, make connections between prior knowledge/experiences and new learning by giving many examples. • What do you see as the benefits to using anecdotal notes in planning for changes in the center? How did this form of observation support your thinking of appropriate teaching strategies when making changes in the center? • What previous experiences and course work helped you with this assignment? • What resources did you use to research best practices? • What worked? • What did you find that you had to change along the way? You don’t have to follow your improvement/creation plan exactly if you find that something in the plan didn’t work. • Who did you collaborate with (classmates/cooperating instructor/families/other professionals, etc.) and what did you learn in the process? What do you think is the value of collaboration? How will you use what you’ve learned in your future work with children and families?
Early Childhood Center Assignment

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