Throughout this course you have gone on a journey to becoming a Whole Teacher as is discussed in Chapter 16 of the course textbook. To help you along your journey you participated in discussions and created assignments delving into each of the five pillars that support being a Whole Teacher. Now, you will build upon the work you have already completed in this course to develop a presentation, using either PowerPoint or Google slides. In your presentation, you will synthesize your learning by explaining how you will create a classroom environment that incorporates evidence-based and developmentally appropriate strategies that promote optimal learning and development in young children.
Final Project Scenario:
The educational setting in which you work will be holding an open house to recruit prospective early childhood teachers to work at your center. As the administrator, you have been tasked with developing a presentation for potential employees to help them understand the vision of your center which is “Developing the Whole Child by Becoming the Whole Teacher” and the five core values of your center or school: Practice Intentional Teaching, Incorporate Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Develop an Integrated Curriculum, Encourage Child-Centered Active Learning, and Focus on Teaching Happiness and Joy in Learning as Much as Skills. In your presentation you will explain this as the philosophy of your center or school by providing specific examples that focus on each of your five core values:
- Mission Statement (2 points):
- Philosophy Statement (2 points):
- Create your philosophy statement regarding how you believe children learn, including the leadership traits you believe are needed and how your center or school aligns with your philosophy. Refer back to your work and the feedback you received in the Week One Discussion forum, Week Two Discussion One forum, Week Four Assignment and Week Five Assignment to guide the development of your philosophy statement.
- Practice Intentional Teaching (3 points):
- Explain how you will implement an anti-bias curriculum in order to meet the needs of all learners. Refer back to your work in Week Two to assist with this.
- Discuss the expectations you have for your staff regarding professional development including 21st century learning, current issues, theories, trends, and research related to child development and developmentally appropriate practices.
- Incorporate Developmentally Appropriate Practice (3 points):
- Explain how you evaluate the effective implementation of developmentally appropriate strategies in the classroom for play, transitions, and disruptions. Refer back to your Week Three Assignment to assist with this.
- Discuss how the center or school specifically focuses on children as active participants rather than passive recipients of information. Support your discussion with NAEYC’s Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth to Age 8
- Develop an Integrated Curriculum (3 points):
- Summarize your expectations for developing an integrated curriculum that incorporates both research-based and developmentally appropriate lessons across all the developmental domains. Refer back to your work in the Week Four Discussion Two forum to assist with this.
- Explain, using examples, how your school or center incorporates Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (Links to an external site.) to develop an integrated curriculum that meets the needs of all learners. Make sure to support your examples with current research.
- Encourage Child-Centered Active Learning (3 points):
- Discuss your expectations for designing a classroom environment that is based on developmentally appropriate strategies and tools to promote optimal cognitive development and learning in young children. Make sure to include a copy of the classroom you designed for your Week Four Assignment.
- Explain the curriculum approach you use and how it supports child-centered active learning and aligns with your philosophy.
- Focus on Teaching Happiness and Joy in Learning as Much as Skills (3 points):
- Explain your expectations for engaging in self-reflection in order to foster the development of 21st century knowledge and skills. Refer back to your Week Five Assignment to assist with this.
- Analyze how your philosophy of teaching promotes teaching happiness and joy in learning and the leadership role you will take when fostering the professional knowledge and skills of your employees in this area.
Research and Resource Expectations:
- Source Requirement (.5 points):
- At least two scholarly peer-reviewed sources
- At least one professional credible sources
Writing and Formatting Expectations:
- Title Page: Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Academic Voice (.5 points): Academic voice is used (avoids casual language, limited use of “I”, it is declarative).
- Purpose and Organization (.5 points): Demonstrates logical progression of ideas.
- Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Writing displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- APA Formatting (.5 points): Papers are formatted properly and all sources are cited and referenced in APA style as outlined.
- Suggested Assignment Length (.5 points): This assignment should be 16 slides in length (not including title and reference slides).
NOTES TO USE:
The design is set to fit all domains of learning setting quality, such as suitable physical space, groupings, learning materials, instructions, health, and children’s safety. These strategies and tools enable the learning environment promotes optimal cognitive development and learning in young children. The room is spacious, well-furnished with the necessary equipment to support interactions with the teacher. Classroom design is one way to contribute to changing the way teaching and learning take place in our classroom. Figure 1 below is an illustration of the design of the classroom environment and upgrading the classroom that would be created using the grant money.
Figure 1 classroom environment design:
According to research, optimal classroom environments include both child-to-child interaction as well as the teacher to child interaction. Emotional support domains such as positive climate, teacher sensitivity, and the concern for the perspectives are essential during the development of the child (Early et al., 2018). Nevertheless, the classroom organization domains include productivity, management of child behavior, and instructional learning formats. Other considerations include concept development, quality feedback, and language modeling. Hence, the design of this teaching environment is in line with and is under the support of various literature on optimal classroom environments.
The design ensures flexibility concerning the age of the children at their developmental stages. For instance, this design continually provides children with lifelong learning and curiosity. Also, books and music will be provided to ensure daily interactive reading. In this approach, children can ask as well as answer questions. Hence, the design of the classroom environment enables the children to pay adequate attention as well as extensive reading. Also, this improves their interest in learning activities as well as other physical activities. The floor provides enough space for various activities with an allowance for sinks, doorways, among other excluded areas. Children have an area for meals and snacks, taking a nap or rest, playing, literacy, among others. Lastly, the design of the classroom floor is outfitted with other necessary furniture equipment.
The layout is designed with partitions, each prepared and aligned with the equipment for physical, learning, or other cognitive development materials. The new design also helps the children in learning important social skills such as sharing. Moreover, they can learn numbers, letters, pattern recognition, colors, among others. The children report to various activities in the corresponding sessions. Thus, the design is likely to support creativity among the children in each section of the learning environment.