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When it comes to children with developmental disabilities in your classroom, you may have to make adaptations or provide supports that will enable these children to succeed. In general, children with special learning needs may need adaptations to the curriculum, classroom environment, and daily preschool activities.

Consider a child with physical disabilities who may have a hard time reaching for art materials or moving during music and movement. Arranging your environment, for example, by changing the location of particular items or moving furniture to facilitate movement, will ensure that this child is able to actively engage in experiences just like his or her peers. A child who is experiencing challenges with attention may have a hard time staying focused during lengthy experiences, and allowing that child to take breaks may enable him or her to be successful.

A child who seems to get easily over-stimulated may prefer working with fewer materials and may be more successful during structured experiences. What are some things you are currently doing to support the creativity of all children in your classroom? Remember the following:.

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Keep in mind that some children may need special supports. Some children may need some help, guidance or modeling when using new or unfamiliar materials. You can help families of children in your classroom learn about creativity, and you should encourage them to extend the creative work you do in preschool.


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Ask families of children in your program to donate household items they no longer use or items they plan to recycle for use in your classroom experiences. Include information about creative activities on your classroom bulletin board, in class newsletters, or in other forms of communication with them. Lesson Four Fostering Creativity: The Preschool Teacher will provide additional ideas as well as resources on how to engage with families of children in your classroom and program about creativity.

Displaying art is a way to allow children to share their creative work. There are many benefits to displaying art work such as:. A few examples are:. When displaying work, give children the chance to create a nameplate with their name and the title of their piece. This will show that you value their work and allow them to feel proud of their creative accomplishment. Watch this video to learn how materials promote creative expression in preschool.

What materials do you provide for children to engage in experiences that promote creative expression? In this lesson, you are asked to do the same, but focusing on materials rather than activities.

Reflecting Children's Lives: A Handbook for Planning Your Child-Centered Curriculum

Download and print the Reflecting on My Classroom Materials activity. Then, share and discuss your responses with a trainer, coach, or supervisor. As you hear preschool teachers share reflections about purposefully choosing toys for creative classroom play, think about the ways you make choices about classroom toys and materials. Use the attached Materials that Promote Creativity document to learn more about this study and for suggestions of preschool creative materials. Your co-worker suggests asking each family to purchase a different color of paint for the art center.

How do you respond? True or false? Cameron, a 4-year-old, has been diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Which of the following would be an effective way for you to help Cameron enjoy creative experiences in your classroom? Berk, L. Child Development 5th ed.

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Gay, G. New York: Teachers College Press. Curtis, D. Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming early childhood environments. Module 1: Understanding Culture and Cultural Responsiveness. Schickeadanz, J. Understanding Children. Trawick-Smith, J. Van Hoorn, J.

Play at the Center of the Curriculum. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. Weisman Topal, C. Beautiful Stuff! Learning with found materials. Secondary tabs Objectives :. List examples of developmentally appropriate materials that promote creativity. Define culturally responsive creative materials. Discuss materials that address the creative needs of all children.

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The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Materials that Foster Creativity A variety of carefully chosen materials can foster creativity in children. Insightful classroom stories, assessment tools, checklists, comparative charts, and activities encourage new approaches and self-reflection as you plan your curriculum and put it into practice.

Supporting Children's Individual Needs

Addressing new standards in early education, two new chapters focus on teaching academics in a meaningful way and guiding children as they play and learn. Have opinions and thoughts on this book? Have a tag to suggest that will help others? Have a book we should add to our recommendations? Find a typo, bad link, or mis-categorized item? Share it all in the comments! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content.

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In our last article we discussed the importance of reflection. We said that the ultimate purpose for being a reflective practitioner is to become an intentional practitioner; in other words, teachers or caregivers who regularly think about what they do can be purposeful in the choices they make with children, families, coworkers and supervisors. Early childhood education ECE professionals have often been viewed by society as glorified babysitters. To be an excellent teacher means… being intentional.

In everything that good teachers do — creating the environment, considering the curriculum and tailoring it to the children as individuals, planning learning experiences and interacting with children and families — they are purposeful and thoughtful. As they make myriad decisions, big and small, they keep in mind the outcomes they seek. An intentional ECE professional, however, may choose a particular book because she has observed that the children expressed interest in its topic or because it illustrates her current curricular math or literacy goals of patterning or sequencing.

She may then intentionally follow the book-reading by inviting the children to act out the story, with a goal of increasing the cognitive benefits for her more kinesthetic learners children who learn more by doing than by seeing or hearing.


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Intentional acts originate from careful thought and are accomplished by consideration of their potential effects. Thus an intentional teacher aims at clearly defined learning objectives for children, employs strategies likely to help children achieve the objectives and continually assesses progress, adjusting strategies based on that assessment. Epstein outlines some of the key indicators of intentional ECE professionals. She says that intentional teachers:.

To be intentional, it seems, is to be proactive; to plan ahead in order to make sure that the teaching choices we make will be most effective. Intentional teachers in child-centered programs have certain qualities that distinguish them from teachers who depend on curriculum activity books, follow the same theme plans year after year or struggle daily to get the children involved in anything productive. The knowledge and skills of master teachers are not necessarily different from those of other teachers. Rather, these professionals have become improvisational artists.

They have developed a set of attitudes and habits of mind that enable them to respond readily to the classroom dynamics and multiple needs of children. Intentionality is about all of the above and so much more.