I appreciated all the comments from my last entry about teaching children not subjects. I do sympathize with the constant pressure for teachers to follow the standards, as I think they should. Our challenge is to organize learning experiences that meet the needs of the children and support each skill. I am a firm believer in looking at the core curriculum and creating a ‘road map of skills’ in the order that supports development and learning. It is like having a GPS system for the year. Each week when I did my lesson planning I looked at my road map to see which skills needed support. Then I chose activities that suited the group of children I had at the moment. In the early childhood years, you can adapt almost any activity to provide support for a certain skill. This kind of planning kept me on track with the core curriculum and it also helped me choose developmentally appropriate activities for the children in my class. I also read my class. If the group (or individual children) was restless or bored, I adjusted the activity. The test scores were high because the interest level was kept high. Children do learn more when engaged in the learning experience.
Manager of Educational Programs, Excelligence Learning Corporation
University Clinical Instructor
Credentials and Accolades:
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education
1996 Utah Teacher of the Year
1998-1999 President, Utah AEYC
2011 Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Utah
John Funk has worked in early childhood since 1979. He taught preschool, 1st and 2nd grades and kindergarten. He worked as an early childhood specialist for a large school district and managed early childhood services for Salt Lake CAP Head Start. He is past president of the Utah AEYC. As an early childhood, reading, and literacy consultant for the last decade, he has written on early childhood subjects and products for McGraw Hill and Leap Frog. He served on the editorial panel for Young Children magazine published by NAEYC.
Currently, John is the Manager of Educational Programs for Excelligence Learning Corporation, and he teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management, reading methods and supervises student teachers at the University of Utah.