Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Process-Oriented Summer Activities for Early Childhood

The summer season provides children across the country with an opportunity to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. This is a great time of year to look for opportunities to incorporate more open-ended and process-oriented activities into the curriculum. 

Activities are considered process-oriented if they provide children with the opportunity to:
  • Determine the end result
  • Focus on the exploration of the materials
  • Express creativity
When children engage in process-oriented activities, the end result (product) is less important than the steps the children worked through to accomplish the task. There are no samples, or teacher created models. It requires simply providing children with a variety of materials and tools and encouraging them to explore.

Summer is an excellent time to incorporate these activities because one of the biggest barriers to process-oriented activities is the fact that they can be messy.  Introducing this type of activity outdoors gives both children and teachers a chance to experience the benefits of process-oriented activities before bringing them indoors in the fall.

Here are some examples of process-oriented activities that you can try:
  • Provide children with pails of water and paint brushes of different sizes. Encourage them to “paint” the side of the building or a wooden fence.
  • Children can create collections of natural items.  Create a collage filled with items from nature, paint with them, or paint on them.
  • Hang a sheet at the children’s level.  Provide spray bottles filled with watered down paint. See what happens next.
  • Make mud pies. If you are not ready for mud pies, introduce different types of clay (not Play-Doh) to the children.
  • Encourage children to create their own games, mazes, or relay races.
  • Make sand art.
  • Encourage children to create structures or sculptures out of sticks.
  • Introduce weaving by providing a variety of fabrics, yarns, and ribbons. Encourage children to decorate the playground fence.
  • Add washable paint to ice cube trays and then let the children paint with the melting cubes.
  • Finger painting, foot painting, elbow painting, etc.  Not the foot prints that teachers later decorate – allow children to create an original work of art with their feet.
  • Provide wooden blocks and wood glue. With close supervision, children can even make wooden structures using screws and screwdrivers.
This is just a quick list to get you started; there are hundreds of different ideas and variations available if you follow these rules:
  • Allow children to take the lead
  • Avoid pre-determined end results or samples to follow
  • Provide a variety of materials and see what children come up with
  • Provide guidance and suggestions on different ways to use materials
  • Make observations and provide positive feedback about children’s efforts
  • Each child’s work should be unique! 

Check out the CCEI Pinterest page for 25 Process-Oriented Learning Activity ideas!  

CCEI's June Newsletter Edition also covers topics on Enhancing your Outdoor Learning Environment you don't want to miss!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that young minds will undeniably need and utilize well beyond their school years. Critical thinking skills are essential for good decision making and long-term academic and professional success. Childcare experts agree that in order to keep up with the constant changing technology advances, students will need to obtain, understand, and analyze information on a much more efficient scale. As educators, it's your job to promote critical thinking to the best of your ability. However, keep in mind that it will take years for children to develop into true "critical thinkers." For more information on Critical Thinking, read CCEI's August Newsletter!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Transportation Safety

Transporting children in a vehicle is a huge responsibility that must be taken seriously. Traffic accidents are unpredictable, but precautions can be taken to ensure the safest environment possible for children and other passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for persons between the ages of 5 and 29. While not all vehicle accidents are preventable, many can be avoided with proper training and attention to detail. For more information on Transportation Safety, read CCEI's May Newsletter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CCEI Achieves New Recognition Status

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a nationally accredited distance training institution dedicated to the child care industry is proud to announce a new recognition status with the National Workforce Registry Alliance.

CCEI has achieved status on the Training Organization Recognition List with the National Workforce Registry Alliance. The criteria for this list address the organization’s design and structure of training. To meet this criteria, organizations must successfully demonstrate the following: instructors have knowledge of adult learning principles, instructors have professional knowledge and qualifications to teach in the content area of the training, training provided has clearly stated learning outcomes for the participants, training content is appropriate to and designed for early care and education or afterschool workers, the hour or CEU value of training is consistently and properly calculated, and training completion is properly documented and stored.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CCEI Announces New Partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a nationally accredited distance training institution dedicated to the child care industry is proud to announce a new partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Effective immediately, CCEI will provide early childhood training in English and Spanish to fulfill responsibilities of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) to provide professional development opportunities to all early childhood family-based providers serving families and children receiving subsidies under the OEC’s Care4Kids program. CCEI will provide a range of online CEU-based professional development opportunities for early childhood family-based providers in Connecticut, through annual unlimited online professional development subscriptions to its catalog of professional development courses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Technology and Interactive Media

Technology and interactive media are everywhere in today's society. Young children live in a world where computers, tablets, smartphones, music players, gaming devices, and more are readily available, including in their classrooms. The use of computers and other interactive technologies is on the rise in early childhood programs. As we become an ever increasingly technological society, it's important to consider the effects of technology on early childhood development. For more information on Technology in the Classroom, read CCEI's January Newsletter!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Promoting Wellness in the Classroom

Good hygiene in early child care settings is essential for reducing the risk of infection between children and adults, and helps young children develop healthy habits that they will use throughout their lives. Infection can be spread through direct physical contact between children, airborne through coughing and sneezing, or from contact with various surfaces. While it's impossible for child care providers to prevent the spread of all infections, it's important to promote a healthy and hygienic environment to minimize the spread of harmful bacteria. For more information on health and hygiene in the classroom, read CCEI's December Newsletter!