For effective early childhood education, research has identified developmentally appropriate practice as the best approach in teaching and learning of children. Teachers need to have a good knowledge of how the child develops, learning, as well as the best practices and such tools that allow the child to make sense of the vast information. This will enable teachers to make an informed decision on the best way to meaningfully differentiate children to allow the provision of high-quality education and care. The teacher can meet the children where they are and assists them through challenging and achievable goals. As the teachers adopt teaching practices, they should be appropriate to their age and status of their development including viewing them as unique who are responsive to the social and cultural context in their environment. Thus, it is essential that the teacher observes the motor, cognitive, language, social, and emotional changes during the development of the child.
While watching the child observation video, the child was a toddler who belongs to between 12 months and 36 months age bracket. Her name was Lauren Holder, and her exact age was 23 months. During the observation, the child indicated all the development milestones including gross motor, fine motor, language, self-help, cognitive, and social responsiveness. Under the gross motor, the child could walk alone at the same time pull toys behind him and carry them whether they were significant or severe as he walked. The child could be seen to begin running stiffly, sometimes climbing furniture without the support and making ways up and down the stairs as he held supporting tools. The child showed ability in the way he turns on the container and pour out content and time could complete simple knobbed wooden puzzles of 4 pieces. In his language development, the child could be able to say ‘no’ while meaning something as well was able to speak various single words. While conversing, he could be heard repeating words overheard. He portrayed incredible cognitive ability where he could find hidden objects, could identify parts of the body, listen to the short story, and could sort colors and shapes. The child was observed feeding himself with the spoon, wear shoes, play with food as he eats and could open the door on his own. In the social set-up, the child could be seen imitating the behaviors of others and sometimes could show actions that are defiant. Finally, he increasingly began to show enthusiasm about the company with others.
The child also portrayed some developmental concerns where he could not shows changes in some areas. One of the areas of interest was that the child could not follow a single instruction even at this age and probably when told to do something, he could not exactly do the same as told. At some point, this child could not recognize the names of people who are familiar or even those objects that were familiar. When told about body parts such as the hand, it would be difficult for him to recognize next time when reminded to speak. Either, it was difficult for him to point to a picture when named even though; such a picture had been mentioned earlier. Similarly, he found difficulties with stating two-word sentences and beyond. The child had problems to put on shoes on his own and did not show signs that his independence was increasing. Though, on developmental concerns, language development was the most affected area whether he experienced much difficulty. This expresses the importance of the teacher’s intervention in the learning of the child.
Various supporting methods and practices can adopted to best support this child through his learning. Having identified that child has much of the language developmental concerns, the next important thing is to consider the most effective strategy that will help the child through effective learning. First is to encourage the child in what he can do best like saying several single words as he slowly develops into combining the single words to become two. The child should also be encouraged when repeating words during the conversation that will lead him to repeat even sentences. The demonstration can also help this child remember objects and parts of the body and this needed to be done on a daily basis. For instance, to support the child through recognizing objects or parts of the body, such objects can be made available and demonstrate while the child observes. Asking this child questions will automatically provoke his thinking and would sharpen his brain and make him get used to remembering things. Always assist the child through instructions or when recognizing things to make him get used to them.
Developmentally appropriate activities can be used to support physical and social-emotional developmental domain of this child. The toddler can be assisted to grow stronger and become more dexterous by manipulating stacking blocks sets and have them rearrange them or manipulate any other items that are stackable. The toddler could also be provided with writing or scribbling activities or have running toys for the child to play around with. Similarly, supporting social and emotional domain involves modeling social behaviors that are appropriate and allow the child to copy. One can as well engage the child in playing to let him learn how to play roles when the group with others. Having children play with others by going out helps improve his social and emotional growth.
After identifying the developmental concerns of the child, the class environment should consider the needs of this child. The classroom should have pictures including symbols that show various directions that students can follow. This will improve the ability of the child to learn how to follow instructions. Similarly, the classroom should be equipped with objects that for children to recognize and these objects should stay there over a long period that students can see them daily. Students need to be allowed to work in groups to improve the group enthusiasm of this child.
In Conclusion, therefore, developmentally appropriate practices are effective in helping teaching and learning of children. They allow the teacher to understand how a child develops, learning the ability, and how he can make sense out of vast information. The Child observation video of the toddler allowed learning about how the child is doing through various developmental domains. The child showed the good developmental process in motor, cognitive, self-help, and social-emotional domains but the major concerns were with language learning. However, developmentally appropriate practice strategies such as encouragement, demonstration, and question asking would help improve in these areas.
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