I’ve taught four and five year old children for many many years. I love this age group because I believe that that foundation for learning and the love of learning is firmly established at these ages. Seeing them light up with their accomplishments makes my day. The challenge of a teacher is to keep them challenged. To encourage them to progress without discouraging them. To teach them to keep trying, which can be difficult in a time of instant gratification and giving up is so prevalent. You need to have activities that are challenging yet meaningful and fun.
Most of all you need to present with the right words.
Cutting with scissors is a simple but effective activity. You need to hold them correctly, you need to concentrate. Start with something simple like just cutting paper up. Then move on to cutting lines then shapes. With this activity they build fine motor skills and increased attention span.
Introduce art that isn’t finished in one day. Multiple steps over days increases patience and the level of involvement in the activity.
As you increase the difficulty of the activities you will start to hear the negative inner dialogue of the child verbalized. I can’t do it, I’m bored, It’s to hard. This is the most important part of teaching. Being there to walk and talk them through it.
So what’s my favorite phrase? You can do it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect just try your best. When I have said this it is amazing to see the pressure just melt away and they are re-energized. They push through the frustration and accomplish the goal.
As a teacher and a parent we need to remember it is always about the product but about the process. Allowing then to try without fear of failure always results in a win!
Here’s to a brand new year of growth with our kiddos!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher