If you glance into my classroom today, you will see evidence of research-based strategies and practice gained from experience teaching in public, Montessori and charter school settings. I am fortunate to have experience teaching in classrooms with preschool aged children - 3rd grade, as I understand the importance of building a strong foundation in literacy and mathematics, while instilling a love of learning into each child through play, art and music. Though academics play a tremendous role in early childhood education, it is important to focus on the whole child. Providing experiences that support each student’s social, emotional and physical development will ensure that we meet the needs of our children in these critical stages of their early lives.
Creating thematic units based on student interest allow for some of the greatest learning experiences to take place. Children are eager to dive into various cultures through art, music, dancing and more. Showcasing student work and inviting parents to be a part of our leaning allow students to take ownership and pride in their projects and education. Whether our learning takes us into the wildly fascinating mind of Salvador Dali or on a space exploration journey to Mars, there is room for all subject areas as well as higher-order thinking to take place. When creating a unit, it is important to keep student interest in mind, while involving as many different learning styles as possible. Maintaining this balance will keep student engagement level high, with minimal room for distractions that could possibly hinder students from new discoveries. Featured below is a unit I created with a co-teacher in a Montessori Kindergarten classroom. Grab your passport as we island hop through the Bahamas, and I take you through an example of an International Fair our classroom put together for our families.