Lab Article 2022 Vol.1
Transferable Skills in the Early Learning Center
Looking back at our older resources, practices and policies, we can’t help but notice how far our school has come with raising the quality of learning and teaching in all settings to improve outcomes for our students.
The way we live in the world is constantly changing and our school is well aware that education needs to change to provide students with transferable skills that will hold up to this rapidly changing world.
What exactly are transferable skills in education?
This includes skills of :
- active learning,
- problem solving,
- critical thinking,
- social-emotional development.
At first, we may think it’s too complicated to teach these skills to children at an early age. But it’s absolutely achievable! Children in their early years need to begin to develop the early foundational skills that will help them reason, think creatively, analyze data, and work collaboratively in the future.
Research during the past decade has revealed that the experiences and interactions children have in these early years significantly affect brain development and helps establish the foundation for lifelong learning, behavior, and health. Therefore, the need for high-quality early childhood education has never been greater.
How exactly are we applying these skills into our daily practices in the Early Learning center?
The Early Learning Center puts a strong focus on developing supportive, trusting relationships with children in a safe and nurturing environment. Throughout the day, our teachers provide playful experiences and stimulating interactions that scaffold development by supporting what children already know while gently extending their learning.
Children have an innate curiosity and desire to explore, question, and experiment. We believe children gain confidence when they have opportunities to try new things through the process of trial and error and experience success and failure in a supportive, inclusive environment. They learn independence when they have opportunities to practice self-help skills every day. And they develop empathy when they observe caring adults interacting with others and encouraging children to consider different perspectives.
At our classroom, children:
- Expose to different background music that enhances children's quiet and active play.
- Use different writing materials and various tools in art projects.
- Use recycled and natural materials and modeling clay or play dough.
- Play music using real and home-made instruments.
- Role-play various jobs and situations using dramatic play props.
- Keep track of their own belongings and find things they need (older children).
- Participate in resolving conflicts and problem solving with the help of adults.
- Participate in the set-up and clean up of their spot at lunch time and feed themselves.
- Use verbal and non-verbal communication to express their needs and thoughts.
- Practice taking turns during Circle Time and other daily routines.
- Can feel, study and manipulate different types of materials during sensory play hour.
- Use tools to measure, sort, and classify objects by their characteristics.
How parents can support children’s learning in the everyday routines from home:
- Provide meaningful and appropriate choices about food, activities, clothing (stick to 2 choices at a time).
- Let your child help with simple routine chores: putting dirty clothes in a laundry basket, etc.
- Phrase things positively: say “Roll the truck,” instead of “Don’t throw toys!”
- Encourage them to do things that they can for themselves: walk, feed, find toys, etc.
- Follow their lead when they play and narrate their activities.
- Verbalize their struggles and victories: say “You are stuck in the tunnel, do you need help?” / “You built this house all by yourself.”
- Label their feelings and help clarify frustrations when they cry.
- Let children work through their tantrums rather than trying to soothe them.
- A lack of sleep will bring down your child’s immune system. Building a set bedtime routine helps to ensure that your child is well-rested.
Before you get started, understand that mastering a new skill takes time and requires practice - for everyone. The most effective way for children to learn is to engage sensory input from the environment whether through sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. Multisensory learning helps children make connections to concepts and skills being taught and helps children to retain more information. Through repetition, children will improve speed, increase confidence, and strengthen the connections in the brain that help children learn. We hope you find this information useful and we look forward to working with you and your child in the exciting year ahead.