The Roadmap

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.

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23 responses

  1. Teachers have to balance teaching content and social skills equally, using whatever “road map” gets the job done. It is unfortunate that there isn’t a way for districts to measure how well a student has evolved in the social circles, teachers need to get more credit for that! I liken it all to Mr. Miagee in the Karate Kid movies….he teaches his student the skill of Karate, but uses non-traditional road maps like waxing his car or painting his house to teach Daniel about life and about Karate!Rebecca M. TL1010

  2. That kind of classroom planning sounds a lot easier to manage than following a strict, unchanging regimen of what the children will be learning each day. It makes complete sense to adapt the plan to the group of kids you are teaching.Jerry P. TL 1000

  3. I think it’s very important to use a “roadmap” of skills to make sure that you are teaching skills to your students in the proper order. This doesn’t have to become mundane as you can offer your students activities that interest them but on the same note make sure it is within their skill level and appropriate for the developmental age they are at. Skills need to be introduced in the proper order and never plan an activity just for the sake of doing an activity, make sure it corresponds to a current skill you are working on. Pam K FCS 5170

  4. I think by keeping the kids interested in the classroom at a young age, we are better preparing them for academic success throughout their school years. There’s no law saying teachers can’t be flexible and learning can’t be fun! By using a roadmap, we can ensure all students are learning necessary skills while taking more control of their learning. Sarah S. FCS 5170

  5. I think this is very important and true. When following a strict schedule students often get bored. It is a good idea to have developmentally appropriate activities to go along with the core curriculum and to know your students.Kara L. TL1010

  6. I definitely agree that using a “road map”, is the key to teaching well. It helps get you to where you are trying to get to. And it will help students along the way. Having a set curriculum that meets children’s needs is very importatnt. It will make the environment of the classroom a more efficiant working area also.I agree with you, and your methods!Jessica R. FCS 5170

  7. I agree with you completely!! I love the idea of developmentally appropriate activities with a strong curriculum. Children need a teacher that can communicate on all different levels, and they need a teacher who can adapt to each child’s learning habits. This will also help keep the children engaged as well as improving test scores. ~Melissa TL 1010

  8. I do believe that it is tough for teachers to be able to find a way to teach more the students they have in their classrooms. That is why I think that the adults that love to teach are more then willing to help and make sure that their students understand what is going on in the classroom. I agree when teacher’s have a lesson planned for the classroom and watch to see if the students are reacting do what the teacher’s lesson is about. I found that in the classroom I was helping the teacher had to change some of her lessons because her 8-9 year old students were not catching on, and instead of getting frustrated and making her students listen to her she just asked them what they were willing to do. Having a relationship with a teacher like that helps both teacher and student teach and be taught. Jing H. TL1010

  9. I do believe that it is tough for teachers to be able to find a way to teach more the students they have in their classrooms. That is why I think that the adults that love to teach are more then willing to help and make sure that their students understand what is going on in the classroom. I agree when teacher’s have a lesson planned for the classroom and watch to see if the students are reacting do what the teacher’s lesson is about. I found that in the classroom I was helping the teacher had to change some of her lessons because her 8-9 year old students were not catching on, and instead of getting frustrated and making her students listen to her she just asked them what they were willing to do. Having a relationship with a teacher like that helps both teacher and student teach and be taught. Jing H. TL1010

  10. I have loved your class this semester. You have taught me a lot about DAP curriculum and kids in general. I like what you said in your last blog about making sure children are engaged; and if the children are getting restless- make sure you adjust the activity. Teaching children and being a nanny, I have seen just how important these two concepts are. Thank you for making class entertaining and a learning atmosphere. My favorite class!Ashleigh F. FCS 5170

  11. Man, I cant beleive the semester is almost over. I’ve loved both your classes. They have taught me a lot and got me really excited about early childhood education.Braden McKennaFCS 5170 and TL4430

  12. From the classes that I have taken I have realized it is very important to be flexible in the schedule you have planned for the children. Like you said, if the children are restless you must change what you are doing in order for the children to get the education they need.Thank you so much for your class this semester. It has been a wonderful class and I have learned so so much about creativity and assessment.Michelle W. FCS5170

  13. I believe keeping the students interested is essential in any classroom to learning. Adapting from class to class with your lesson plans to engage certain skill sets makes a lot of sense. The “road map” idea is a great way to reflect on your teaching.Elliot J. TL1010

  14. I think that a roadmap is crucial for teaching children. Especially young children. Gearing activities to keep their interest is also important because learning happens naturally when it’s fun and engaging and I think that it is retained a lot more in that fashion as well than when we are made to memorize something or do something we are completely bored with or hate. Keeping it interesting and being able to be fluid enough to change activities accordingly is also something that I hope I will be able to do because of that rule we learned in class. One minute of attention for their age. Everything else is earned. Jenny N. FCS 5170

  15. I think that creating supportive activities to the “road map” based on the individual class is very important. A teacher cannot always use the same activities and ways of teaching year after year as classes and individuals can vary in their learning methods and what keeps the students on task and engaged throughout the course of the year.Alicia M. TL 1010-002

  16. I completely agree. As children get older in elementary school, it is all the more important to engage their interest by providing “cool” and “neat” activities. I’ll never forget my 5th grade teacher who when teaching us about outer space and solar systems decorated our classroom and had us go on a “space mission” so we would be really involved. It definitely made what would have been a boring subject (to me at least!) much more fun!Caitlin T TL4330

  17. I have enjoyed your class semester! I like to see that you apply the road map outside of the classroom!amy mfcs 5170

  18. I agree to your concept and i am very impressed to read about your concept of ‘road map’.

  19. I find great guidance in your post. I am a preschool/K teacher and I am getting ready to develop a new curriculum this Summer for the school year to come. I like that you talked about the specific curriculum, while validating the needs and developmental differences of each child/student. I want to meet all of their needs and still have a fun teaching experience. Not just cram down “the things they should learn”. I really like doing hands-on activities with them especially in science activities! They really seem to love it. Do you have any good recommendations or resources I could check out? Thanks!!!Amanda C. 4330

  20. Thanks for a great class and great insight. After taking your class i wouldn’t drem of have a lesson plan with out a “roadmap” thanks for all the great ideas.Lori Peterson TL 4330

  21. As we come to the end of yet another semester, I would like to thank John for all of his great advice and words of wisdom. Becoming a teacher is hard work, and I know I will use the information I have obtained in John’s classes a million times over. Thanks for everything!!! You are a great inspiration to us all.Sandra SherwoodICAL

  22. I think that it’s important to capture a child’s interest because being interested in a subject boosts intrinsic motivation. Children are naturally curious about interesting things and because of that they will WANT to learn.. not just HAVE to learn. Jenny N. TL 4330

  23. I think it is important to have road map for teacher to develop and make interest of kids at early age. Teachers should develop some activities like Kids games, behave like a mother eetc..

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