WHY IS EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SO IMPORTANT?
WHY IS EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SO IMPORTANT?
Every year, tens of millions of parents enroll their children in early childhood education programs. These programs vary widely, with some parents putting their children in religious academies and others receiving the go-ahead to enroll their children in low-income programs, but does early childhood education actually make a difference in terms of educational attainment?
Parents often wonder why young children need to be enrolled in preschool. Some assume their kids are only learning the names of the letters or numbers–concepts they feel they could easily teach on their own. However, a wealth of recent research points to a great need for mental stimulation between the ages of 2 to 5, as this is when children make the greatest gains in learning. For example, toddlers are barely able to put a sentence together, but by the time they enter kindergarten, kids can have long, complicated discussions with adults.
According to a 2007 publication from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, children build more complex skills from the basic, foundational capabilities (often fostered in early development curricula). Children placed in preschool programs are given greater opportunities to develop a wide range of skills, thus better preparing them for the additional challenges that will be presented in kindergarten. And with the ever-increasing push for high test scores, children not enrolled in preschool risk being incredibly far behind from the moment they begin grade school.
Ms. Peace Udemezue
CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING
Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops in relation to being physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.
Understanding the stages of child development helps Teachers know what to expect and how to best support the child as she or he grows and develops.
Principles of Child Development and Learning that Inform Practice
- All areas of development and learning are important.
- Learning and development follow sequences.
- Development and learning proceed at varying rates.
- Development and learning result from an interaction of maturation and experience.
- Early experiences have profound effects on development and learning.
- Development proceeds toward greater complexity, self-regulation, and symbolic or representational capacities.
- Children develop best when they have secure relationships.
- Development and learning occur in and are influenced by multiple social and cultural contexts.
- Children learn in a variety of ways.
- Play is an important vehicle for developing self-regulation and promoting language, cognition, and social competence.
- Development and learning advance when children are challenged.
- Children’s experiences shape their motivation and approaches to learning
Certain cognitive skills, and both emotional and cognitive self-regulation are important for children to be able to exercise learning competencies. although certain skills and concept knowledge are distinct to developing proficiency in particular subject areas. A child’s security both physically and in relationships creates the context in which learning is most achievable across all of the domains.
From very early on, children are not simply passive observers, registering the superficial appearance of things. Rather, they are building explanatory systems—implicit theories—that organize their knowledge.
In conclusion, a child’s development is a multi-faceted process comprised of growth, regression, and change in different domains. Development in certain domains may seem more prominent during specific stages of life, yet kids virtually always experience some degree of change in all domains.
Charlotte Ukwuoma :Teacher.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. I bet, you’ve heard that a lot of times, haven’t you? But it actually is. Let’s find out why your first meal of the day is the most important.
- Having a healthy breakfast is like refueling the tank of a car. It gets you started for the day.
- The best time to eat your breakfast is between 6am and 9am.
- Kids who eat a healthy breakfast have more energy throughout the day.
- Eating a healthy breakfast will keep your mind sharp and alert.
- A healthy breakfast contains a mix of carbohydrates and proteins. You can also add some fruits and vegetables in the mix.
- Eating a healthy breakfast also helps get your digestive system started for the day.
So, if you’re rushing off to school, don’t rush off without having your breakfast. You can ask your parents or guardians more about having a healthy breakfast.
One of the main reasons people find sport interesting is because of its connection to play. But how is sport connected to play? As one philosopher of sport has observed, sport is a game of physical skill where participants “voluntarily attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles”. The “unnecessary obstacles” of sport are things such as manipulating a ball using the legs, feet, chest and head through a goal more times than an opponent (soccer); hitting a little ball with clubs until it gets in a hole and trying to do so in as few strokes as possible (golf); and striking a ball over a net and into an undefended area on the floor more times than an opponent (volleyball).
The whole purpose of sport is to pursue an artificial challenge that is outside the boundaries of real life, a challenge that is totally contrived. As a result, sport feels like a second or make-believe world. Both its nature and the attitude one needs to engage in it are deeply rooted in play. As a general rule, people do not pursue the goal of sport because they have to but rather because they want to. It is a fun, absorbing and exhilarating challenge. They choose to engage in sport for its own sake, as an end in itself. In these ways (among other ways, too), sport and play are closely related. In a world where boredom and monotony are not uncommon, people turn to sport as a way to enliven and refresh themselves. Without question, people are interested in sport because — at its best — it is a form of play.
In addition to sport’s connection to play, there are a number of other “goods” that can be experienced or obtained as a result of sport participation or involvement. The quest to acquire these goods is also a key reason why people play sport.
Sport is popular across the world. While the appeal of sport may vary across cultures and individuals, there are clear reasons why sport is interesting to so many people. Ideas from the philosophy of sport, such as the connection between sport and play and the external and internal goods of sport, offer insights into the allure of sport. It is very important that Physical Education teachers accept and embrace the challenge to help students of all ability levels become lovers of sports.
Over the years, the performance of students in high school Mathematics has not been impressive. This is traced to wrong notion that Mathematics is difficult. As one who has taught Mathematics for years, I make bold to state that the easiest subject to learn and pass in examination is Mathematics, if teachers will employ the right teaching-learning methods.
The fear of Mathematics from most students is not because they cannot solve it but because they were taught Mathematics in its abstract form. The role of the teacher in demystifying Mathematics can never be overemphasised. Research has shown that the teacher and his/her teaching methodology affect the learners’ understanding and performance in Mathematics. Teachers should always engage the students with starter activities that are brainstorming and problem solving in nature. Learning activities should always be linked to practical events and happenings around the students. Teaching should be differentiated to carter for the smart, average and weak students in the class. The mode of learning of the students should be identified and teaching should be molded base on the learners’ preferences. The learners should be allowed to play active role in teaching-learning process. Teaching should be learner centred and methods such as demonstration, problem solving, inquiry, interactive and group learning as well as discovery learning should be employed in teaching Mathematics. Follow up activities should always be given to the learners to ensure they do not forget what they have learnt. This will go a long way in improving learners confidence and their overall performance in Mathematics.
Although, there is substantial evidence that collaborative learning and mathematical discussions between students goes a long way in improving learners’ capabilities, it is still not common for most teachers to encourage students to explain their own work in the daily practice of their classes. Teachers should therefore encourage group learning and discussions in the class.
The teacher should also be willing to help the learner perform optimally. They should be able to provide more explanations to students when the need arises. Teachers should not just concentrate on students passing exams but should help the learners understand some basic concepts that will aid further understanding of the concept being taught.
Parents and guardians should avoid making statements such as “Mathematics is the hardest subject” or “Mathematics is difficult” as this will affect the mind-set of learners towards learning mathematics.
It is of utmost importance to note that teacher’s optimism about the learners’ performance and there capabilities will improve the teacher’s willingness to deliver. When the teacher’s mind is made to believe that a learner can never do well in Mathematics, such learner will always be neglected by the teacher hence denying the learner that opportunity to improve.
“I CAN SPEAK” Does not equal “I CAN WRITE”
As a child, I always believed anyone who speaks well automatically writes well. That narrative changed while studying English in the university; you meet people who are very articulate with poor writing skills. Yes, writing is a skill that needs to be consciously developed.
In English language, there are four communication skills that are divided into two categories: Listening and Speaking -Oral skills; Reading and Writing- Literacy skills. The oral skills are concerned with the innate ability an individual is born with. For instance, it does not cost a person an extra effort to speak or listen to others speak and most times it happens unconsciously. Literacy skills on the other hand is concerned with those skills which are consciously developed and learned. For instance, a child will not just pick a book to read neither will they understand what they are reading except they have been taught how to read.
Now, you could speak English very well because of your environment but writing like every skill that is learned has its rules; you have to abide by the rules if you want to have an interesting piece. What then are the rules?
- There must be concord. This means that, your sentences must agree with grammatical rules. If you do not know how to use a particular word in a sentence, consult your dictionary.
- Spell your words correctly. It is appalling when you read a piece of writing with poor spelling because you will find it difficult to understand what the writer wrote.
- Proper punctuation. Make sure you punctuate your work properly.
- Paragraphing or proper arrangement of ideas. When writing, make sure each idea is given a particular paragraph. It makes your writing easy for your readers.
Finally, if you want to be good at writing, you must practice writing. Whatever you do on a regular basis, you master.
By Ms. Rosemary
WHY NIGERIAN STUDENTS FAIL ENGLISH LANGUAGE EXAMINATIONS
Language, according to Advance English Dictionary is a systematic way of communicating by the use of signs and symbols. This implies that language can be spoken or written. Nigeria is a multilingual society with over 400 languages, communication among people of these languages pose difficulty; hence, the adoption of English as the official language.
Being the official language in Nigeria earned English its place in the core curriculum as one of the major subjects in Nigerian schools. Learning and mastering the rules of a second language[L2] when there is a first one[L1 or mother tongue] is not always easy. Let us evaluate some of the causes of failure in English among Nigerian students:
- Mother-tongue interference
Learners in a bilingual society have to process information in one language, interpret it before translating to another language. This is a herculean task as learners tend to encounter problems in sentence and word stresses, vowel sounds and consonant sounds as well as the general structure of the second language.
- The problem of pronunciation
When a learner makes use of some linguistic items to replace difficult words or sounds in the target language, Some also spell based on their pronunciations without considering the spelling variants, it becomes a problem for the examiners to mark as appropriate which often results in failure.
- Incompetent teachers
Some teachers do not spread their tentacles to find out new trends in their fields of study, therefore feeding the learners with archaic information and preparing them to fail with their legs hanging upward.
- Social media influence
Some learners are used to the different signs and symbols used to represent some words and spellings while they chat with their friends and peers on the social media platforms, such learners unconsciously use these signs during their examinations and end up with bad grades.
- Bad foundation
A child’s academic foundation goes a long way to determine the child’s academic success or failure. Learners with proper exposure to the basics of English Language do not struggle to excel in their examinations.
- Lack of orientation
A learner who does not realise the importance of a subject will not burn the midnight candle to pass it. Learners should be oriented on the importance of the subject.
- Lack of seriousness on the part of learners
These days, learners are no longer ready to work hard. Studying has given way to other social activities like dancing, hanging out with friends, partying and seeing movies. Learners have become cold and passive towards studies.
- Peer influence
Having friends with minimal interest in a subject can influence a learner’s perception of that subject either positively or otherwise.
- Inadequate information from examination bodies
Every examination body has expectations that must be met, sometimes these bodies release information on their expectations late, misinform or withhold information from institutions.
- Malpractice in schools
Some schools and examination centres encourage learners to participate in examination malpractice by offering them assistance for some monitory benefits. Students who fail to study and hope to pass via the extra-connect end up failing woefully.
Conclusively, a learner who has a sound foundation, orientation, preparation, support, information, materials and motivation [ both intrinsic and extrinsic] from a qualified and well-informed teacher, guided with the right activities, in the right environment will definitely yield fruits of excellence in examinations.
Joseph Blessing [BA. ed] English]
Teacher of English,
Merosa Academy, Kubwa.
FIRST GRADE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Are you new to first grade? I have SO many first grade learning tips for you that break down absolutely everything you need to know to get started on this new adventure!
First of all – get excited! First grade is one of the best grades ever. Whether you are a brand new first year pupil or parent, transitioning from another grade level, I think you are going to love 1st grade! It is such a fun grade and you are laying the foundations for so many math skills and you get to learn HOW TO READ. It is the best feeling ever when it clicks for each one – some take longer than others but it is a magical feeling every, single, time. You will go from sounding out cat to reading real books by yourselves (some even chapter books!)… You will go from counting to 100 to adding and subtracting 2 to 3 digit numbers. It is a huge year of growth that is amazing to watch and be a part of!
Learning First Grade Numeracy/Math
Okay, let’s get right into it! Learning math is probably going to be your most time consuming ongoing project, or at least it can feel that way. You will be introduced to SO many concepts in first grade and a lot of times it is the first time you are ever seeing anything like it so. You will notice instruction has a lot of different components. Not to worry, though! Once you get into a groove and have the materials you need, it’s actually a lot of fun. In fact, I think it’s the most fun subject because there are so many awesome math center games and small group activities that make learning each concept so much fun! Math is actually by far my favorite subject now (and I didn’t love math as a kid)!
Learning First Grade Reading
You get to learn how to read! A skill you will use every day of your entire lives…
I believe first grade reading is all about phonics and learning each new sound in a consistent, fun way.
This is so important because you can focus on learning the new sound, NOT having to spend time and brain energy figuring out how to do it. (For the whole year!!) Which is magical… absolutely magical, I tell you.
First grade reading has 4 parts:
1) Phonics Sounds – the foundation of all of the rest of the parts is learning the sounds within words
2) Sight Words
3) Reading Fluency
4) Reading Comprehension
Thank you so much for reading!
The Shrimp Mantis
Studying Some Sea Creatures.
The Shrimp Mantis also known as Stomatopod a small, aggressive marine Crustacean that inhabits tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans between Eastern Africa and Hawaii.
They are beautiful and vibrant in colour, but also deadly, able to club prey with the force of a bullet, or spike them with their sharp claws.
They are members of the order Stomatopoda and taxonomy group Crustacea, which are hard-shelled animals, such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and more.
The mantis shrimp is notorious for their striking force, and have the nickname ‘thumb splitter‘, due to the painful gashes they can cause if handled without care by humans.
There are around 450 species of shrimp mantis worldwide, and their colours range from shades of brown to bright, green, red and blue. The most infamous species is the Peacock mantis shrimp (also known as harlequin mantis shrimp, painted mantis shrimp, or clown mantis shrimp), and is one of the larger, more colourful mantis shrimps commonly seen.
They typically grow to around 10cms (4 inches) in length, but some have been recorded to be as large as 46cms (18 inches). The shrimp mantis shell (known as a ‘carapace’) covers only the rear part of the head and the first for segments of the thorax.
While they are relatively common, they are not particularly well understood species as they are solitary and territorial sea creatures, spending most of their time hiding in rocks and burrowing in the sea bed.
They are most commonly found in U shaped burrows at the base of coral reefs. Depending on the species, they can be active during the day or entirely nocturnal.
Mantis shrimp are a violent predator and their diet depends on the species. They typically eat fish, crabs, clams, snails, worms, shrimp and squid. They can also prey on animals much larger than themselves, due to their significant power.
Shrimp Mantis is not considered to be threatened or endangered by the IUCN.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SHRIMP MANTIS
- All mantis shrimp species can be divided into ‘spearers’ or ‘smashers’, based on the types of claws they have and tactics they use to kill the prey.
Spearers have spiny appendages with barbed tips that are used to stab soft-bodied prey, such as different types of worms and fish. Smashers have more developed club-like appendages that are used to bludgeon and smash their prey to pieces.
- Smashers can punch at same velocity as a gunshot from a .22 caliber rifle.
Smasher mantis shrimp have two raptorial appendages (called ‘dactyl clubs’) on the front of its body that it uses to punch its prey. These fists are spring loaded, able to accelerate from their body at over 50 mph, delivering a force of over 1,500 newton’s, enough to smash through crabs and clam shells.
That’s 2.5k times the force of the shrimps own weight, if a human could do that they’d be able to punch through steel.
- Their punch is so fast it results in ‘cavitation’ bubbles. This is a super-heated bubble and small flash of light, which for split seconds also generates temperate of 4,400c (which is nearly as hot as the sun) in the surrounding water.
When the bubbles collapses they cause an intense shockwave which is like a double punch and can stun, dismember or kill prey instantly – even if the mantis shrimp misses the target.
- They can crack and punch holes in aquarium glass.
While they are highly desired, they require special stronger aquariums. When they encounter an obstacle they wish to move, they often try and punch their way out. They have also been known to attack their own reflection through the glass.
- Their clubs have a special shock absorbent core which stops them from breaking.
Beneath their hard coated clubs, mantis shrimp have special layers of elastic polysaccharide chitin, which are positioned in a way to act as shock absorbers. This structure is called a bouligand structure, and it keeps small cracks from becoming a full break. Researchers have even studied their cell structure for advanced body armour for combat troops, car frames and aircraft panels.
- They are not actually shrimp Or Mantis.
The shrimp mantis is not a shrimp, and it’s not related to the praying mantis, either. Instead, shrimp mantis has mantis 450 different species belonging to the order Stomatopoda.
- Shrimps mantis gets their name from their appearance. They have a second pair of prey-catching arms that are greatly enlarged, like Mantises.
They are shaped like the large grasping forelimbs of the praying mantis insect, which captures prey.
- Eyes of mantis shrimp are located on the long stalks that can move independently.
Each eye has ‘trinocular vision’, which means it can gauge depth and distance on its own by focusing on objects with three separate regions.
- They are thought to have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom and have the most complex visual system ever discovered
They can see a special spiralling type of light called circularly polarised light that’s not been documented in any other animal. They also have a structure in their eyes that’s similar to technology found in DVD players, only much more advanced.
- The mantis shrimp has 12-16 different colour photoreceptors for colour analysis in their retinas. Three are times more than a human.
While they have significantly more colour photoceptors, research suggests they are actually worse at differentiating colour than humans. However, scientists believe this is because their eyes are operating at a different level, functioning more like a satellite. It’s believed Mantis shrimp can take all visual information into their brains immediately without having to process it, allowing them to react instantly to the environment.
- Mantis shrimp can detect cancer cells with their eyes.
Researchers from the University of Queensland believe that the compound eyes of mantis shrimp can detect cancer lesions and the activity of neurons, because they have the ability to detect polarised light that reflects differently from cancerous and healthy tissue – before they appear as visible tumours. It’s inspired a group of researchers to build a proof of concept camera sensor, inspired by the mantis shrimps ability.
- They are older than dinosaurs.
Stomatopods began evolving independently from other members of the class Malacostraca nearly 400 million years ago, about 170 million years before dinosaurs.
- Some mantis shrimp species are monogamous, remaining with the same partner for up to 20 years.
They live to together in the same burrow, and both male and female take care of the eggs.
- Mantis shrimp are eaten in Japanese, Cantonise, Vietnemese, Mediterranean, Phillipino and Hawaiin cuisines.
After cooking, their flesh is closer to that of lobsters tahn shrimp. In Asian culture, they are often deep fried with garlic, and chilli.
Research studies have shown that quality education before the age of eight in children is key to providing long-term benefits and retention. When children are able to participate in preschool classes or receive education before the age of eight, they are more likely to have success in adapting and socializing with others.
The first several years of a child’s life are spent perceiving their surroundings and learning to adapt. Children’s brains are continuously developing, and it is crucial that their learning has a positive affect on their developmental process. How and what children learn at a young age has the potential to support them throughout their whole life.
Typically, most learning begins at home, before a child would even enter kindergarten. When a child begins kindergarten unprepared, it sets them up to continuously fall behind. Early childhood education has many proven benefits including improving children’s cognitive, social, and emotional functions. Beginning education at a young age has the potential to improve overall school performance such as increasing language and math abilities, and refining attention and thinking skills. Children who have been introduced to education at an early age often have a lower school drop out rate. Early childhood education has the potential to improve students’ interaction with peers, and supports exploratory behavior. Studies have shown that children also have decreased rates of teen pregnancy, and increased academic performance and earning potential.
Education during developmental years has been proven to be beneficial in many ways. However, formal training may not always provide the best results for all children. Training performed at home by parents or guardians can have beneficial effects as well. For some, enrolling in a private pre-school financially may not be an option. Parents or caretakers can use creative strategies and activities for introducing education to young children.
Education specialists say that for a child to perform well and learn best, they shouldn’t be pushed into doing so. Instead, given an atmosphere where they are encouraged to learn and interact with others. Pre-school programs are most effective with experienced teachers and small classroom sizes. Early education begins the developmental process to ensure children are prepared when they decide to begin school. Motor skills can also be enhanced at a young age. When children become aware of motor abilities, they are then able to develop interpersonal skills. Children begin to practice listening skills, verbal and non-verbal communication, reading, and problem solving.