Monday, November 26, 2018

Developmentally Appropriate Classrooms


Have you ever wondered what your classroom says about you and your students?  What would an outsider's first impression be of your classroom? Is your room filled with engaging materials?  Is your curriculum appropriate? Do you plan for transitions? Do you use positive guidance with the children?

All of these factors work together to build a classroom that is developmentally appropriate - a place that is comfortable, safe, and secure. The developmentally appropriate classroom is a carefully planned room where children can initiate learning. It is a place that meets the needs of the children and provides materials that are age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate.

Research has shown that children in developmentally appropriate programs are less stressed, less anxious about tests, better creative thinkers, and better communicators. However, children have a number of limitations depending on their developmental level.  Educators must ensure that children are provided with an age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate environment.
There are many aspects involved in making a classroom developmentally appropriate, including: the physical environment, curriculum, teacher involvement and parent involvement. These aspects should be integrated so children get the best experience possible from their classrooms.

The developmentally appropriate classroom is a safe, secure, and stimulating place where each child can grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Classrooms should consist of developmentally appropriate materials and learning centers for the children to explore. The general
atmosphere of the classroom should be relaxed because children learn more when they feel psychologically safe.
Describe a developmentally appropriate activity that you have observed your mentor teacher use in their classroom.

Write your response in the comments by 11:59 pm on Friday, November 30th.

28 comments:

  1. One developmentally appropriate activity I have observed my mentor teacher use in her classroom is show and tell. Every couple of weeks or so, one student gets to bring in an item for show and tell that shares with the class something about themselves that's important to them. One week a boy brought in a bunch of drawings he drew of dragons, and another week a girl brought in her ukulele to play for the class. After they are done presenting, the student would call on other students raising their hands and answer the class' questions about the item they brought in. While show and tell wouldn't really be appropriate for every age group, for the third grade class I go to it is very developmentally appropriate because it allows them to present what they brought to the whole class, share something about themselves, and learn to take turns sharing as well as asking/answering questions. For these reasons, show and tell encourages creativity (such as sharing their artwork, music, etc.) and communication (through presenting to the class and forming and asking questions), making it age appropriate, individually appropriate, and developmentally appropriate.

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  2. A developmentally appropriate activity I have Observed my mentor teacher use is spotting good reading habits. In this activity students recognize each others reading habits and each student gets my teacher to take a picture of them reading, and on te picture students write good reading and learning habits the student has, after this students get to hang the picture in the hall and show other passing students the reading habits they have built. This not only brings the class together to recognize each others good habits, but gets them to know other good reading habits they can start trying if they felt comfortable. This activity is not too above the students capabilities or below. All students can pick up others good qualitites and expresses there thoughts on reading habits, while spreading positivity. Overall I thought it was an age appropriate, individually appropriate, and developmentally appropriate.

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  3. Kallie Lopez
    One developmentally appropriate activity I have observed my teacher use is in her classroom is math solving buckets. Every day when it's math time my teacher reminds each kid to use their super skilled math tools in their math buckets. In these buckets she taught each kid how to count with tools such as a track that has 2 rows of beads that allow kids to count by 10s in order to achieve each their math problems. I think this is a very good way to help the students develop those skills of using tools provided and also problem solving skills in order for them to succeed.

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  4. one acitivty my teacher does that is a developmentally appropriate is counting bags. each day they get a new bag and they count. they can go up to 80. each bag has different objects in them. like one has buttons, crayons, markers. after they finish counting they go and tell the teacher. they can choose to count by 2's or 5's if they wish. as long as they get through the whole bag. I like to sit down with one kid each class and help them count if they need assistance.

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  5. An activity that my teacher does is she makes simple songs and the students get to sing and play it on the drums she has in her classroom. The recent one my teacher did is a thanksgiving song she made and the students learned the song then were able to play it on the drum and it is a great way to make the students want to participate.

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  6. Something my teacher does in her classroom everyday is an activity called "Daily 5." When the students come back from specials, they do their Daily 5--getting any work completed that is due soon or that day. This provides a stress-free environment for the students. They know they are able to get their work done during this time if they don't complete a task earlier in the day. For students that have finished all of their work, they get to read or go to the library. Which, to most of them, is a reward because they are a classroom of readers.

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  7. One activity my mentor teacher does that is developmentally appropriate is a "starter" which is like a warm up. Each day when the students come in, their first activity is to do the starter, and it helps them with what they're going to learn that day. It gives them a chance to learn a little bit more of a topic, so they can use it later on in the unit. She also always has sort cards out for the students to use if they need a little extra help with vocabulary. My teacher always has resources that the students can use to be successful in her class.

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  8. Something developmentally appropriate that my teacher does is this thing called a "Wish Well". At the beginning of the day right when I get there, they're doing it after they watch the school news. Basically they all gather around on the floor and the teacher asks the students who they want to "wish well", which basically means who they are thinking of, or who they want to want to send good wishes to. So most of the time the students wish well to kids that are home sick that day, or people struggling in the world. So for an example, recently the kids have been wishing well to everyone in California because of the fires. This teachers the kids to be kind and caring and puts them in a nice mood for the rest of the day.

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  9. Tori Azuara
    A developmentally appropriate activity my teacher does is "helpful hearts". when a student is being helpful in class, sharing, or listening to their teacher, they are allowed to move a Velcro heart onto a picture of a tree. The students love getting to move hearts because they are getting recognition for being kind, helpful students. It also teaches them about positive consequence and that doing a nice deed can be very easy.

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  10. Natalie Neidig

    One developmentally appropriate activity my teacher does during circle time is when she reads a story, she has the students touch parts of the book when she asks them to. Since most of my kids are nonverbal, this shows that they are still engaged in what she is saying. For example, if the book is about a lion, she'll show her kid the book and ask them to point out the lion on the page.

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  11. A developmentally appropriate activity that my mentor teacher does is whenever one of the students go up to present work, the other students compliment them. This helps build confidence in the students. It shows that people were listening to what they saying and that the other students liked what they did. Anytime the students have to present something, like their pilgrim dolls, my teacher selects two-three students to compliment their work.

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  12. One developmentally appropriate activity my mentor teacher does is that she lets the students choose where they want to sit every morning. First of all, the seating she uses is very diverse. There are floor chairs, stools, regular chairs, regular desks, and more comfortable seats. Allowing the students to choose their seats creates a more comfortable environment. If a student doesn't feel comfortable around a certain student, they can easily not sit by them the next day. This helps the classroom community by ensuring that everyone is feeling secure. When a student is more content they are more likely to succeed and learn better.

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  13. One developmentally appropriate activity my mentor teacher does is utilizing her flexible seating and encouraging writing buddies. First graders are SUPER antsy and her flexible seating gives them an opportunity to choose where they sit and sit in different types of areas. During writing workshop, the kiddos write alongside their assigned writing buddy and when finished with a story, they must read it to their buddy and talk about the story with them. This activity and flexible seating creates a comfortable environment and the writing buddies encourages collaboration and creativity. It is super effective for them.

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  14. A developmentally appropriate activty I have observed in my classroom with my mentor teacher is reading spots. Everyday they have a stamina reading time which is about 20 minutes and it is right before they go to lunch. They have a chart on the wall with all the different special spots they are allowed to use when reading. Some of the places are reading pillows, the beanbags and the star chair. This flexible seating allows for the students to get comfortable while reading and shows them that it can be fun to read. It feels less forced when they get to choose where they get to read at. The whole 20 minutes every one is reading so I feel this activity is extremely efficient.

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  15. A developmentally appropriate activity that I have observed in my internship is how my teacher has starters for their class. Starters are warm ups and opportunity to review what was learned last class. On occasion starters also require group/partner help giving students time to communicate.

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  16. Allison Garcia
    A developmentally appropriate activity I have observed my mentor teacher use is tickets and writing partners. During writing workshop, the students sit by their writing partner. When finished with a story, they read it to their partner and talk about their story. The writing partner help by making sure it makes sense and fixing little mistakes they made. Such as capitalization, periods, and spelling. This benefits both of the students. Also throughout the day, Ms. Harlow does tickets. When a student is being helpful, listening to their teacher, or working hard during the day. They receive a ticket from Ms.Harlow. The students love getting a ticket because they can get a prize from the treasure box. It encourages the students to always try their best.

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  17. During our physical fitness days for my 6th grade dance class last week we let our students create their own work out circuit and they found a partner who they worked with to collaborate on a new one until they "presented" it and were now in the process of using each one on our remaining physical fitness days

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  18. A developmentally appropriate activity my teacher uses in her classroom is their quick write. Everyday Ms. Larkin gives the students a writing prompt. This allows them to be creative in their own way and think outside the box. During the quick write she gives the students specific vocabulary words to use in their writing which also allows them to expand their vocabulary. She chooses to do this in the begging of the class so it can get the students thinking so they can be ready for what their assignment if that day.

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  19. Lea C
    In the library, my mentor teacher has to come up with lessons for the younger grade levels and for the older grades. An example of making it more appropriate is when Mrs. Barr will read the same book to PPCD, kindergarten, and first grade but adjust the questions she asks them according to grade level and even sometimes according to class. The activities for the lessons are altered to make them more appropriate for each class and grade level.

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  20. One thing that I have observed my mentor do as a developmentally activity, is that once their done was the class work they were given to do individual, or with their reading buddies, is that she reinforces them to get a book and read. This is good because it keeps their brains stimulated and keep them busy.

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  21. Andrea A.

    One environmentally appropriate activity I have observed is reading a book of their choice in Spanish that have different levels of difficulty. Because the students are the ones choosing the book, they are able to read a couple pages and decide whether the reading is too challenging, too easy, or the right amount. Every book that is available to them ranges from beginner to intermediate level, so just about everybody should be able to find a book that matches with their level of mastery in the language. The students read their books everyday for about 8 to 9 minutes. After reading time is over, they turn to a partner and tell each other something they learned. This could be a new vocab word or a story line that is just now making sense to them. This is a developmentally appropriate activity because it challenges everyone not on a standard level, but individually. It lets students go at their own pace, setting records always beaten by themselves instead of others.

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  22. A developmentally appropriate activity I have observed my mentor teacher do is separate the students in the way they learn, visual, auditory, and hands on. So when the students do their assignments they are given assignments based on their way of learning. I believe this helps the students learn because they are capable of comprehending it. The visual learners will have an assignment that has more pictures to have them be able to understand it. The auditory learners have an assignment that has either Ms. Beck and I read to them. The hands-on learners have an assignment that they cut out words and write them to learn them.

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  23. A developmentally appropriate activity I have sen my teacher do is flexible seating. The students can sit where ever they feel they would be most successful. They choose who they sit beside but if they are talking more than working, Ms. Guerra has the option of moving one or both of the students.

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  24. A developmentally appropriate activity is like a warm up. Everyday the students come in and get their math folders and open to a clean page and start the warm up. It helps them get started for the day by showing and preparing them for the lesson they are going to do that day.

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  25. Celicia C
    One developmentally appropriate activity my mentor teacher does that is once their done was the class work they read independently or with their groups that they sit in. I think its good that she reinforces them to get a book and read. This is good because it keeps their brains stimulated and they can imagine it like if they were a character in the story.

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