Let’s Move & Let’s Reflect

Introduction

Welcome to Week Four! During Week Four, we continue to examine the importance of aligning assessment, curriculum, and instruction by creating a curriculum plan that aligns with a specific goal. We also reflect on learning from the course thus far. Please note that there is no assignment or journal for this week. The workload for this week is lighter than past weeks to give you the necessary time to further plan for the comprehensive Week Five Final Project. It is strongly recommended you look ahead now to the Week Five Final Project instructions and contact the instructor in the Ask Your Instructor discussion if you have any questions about this Final Project.


Required Resources

Required Text

  1. Jaruszewicz, C. (2013). Curriculum and methods for early childhood educators. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
  • Chapter 8: Physical Development, Wellness, and Creative Movement
  • Chapter 9: Social and Emotional Development and the Social Studies

Website

  1. Let’s Move! Active Schools (http://letsmoveschools.org/)
    • This website is part of a national program to encourage schools to increase physical activity and nutritional awareness in their students. This resource is required for use as part of the Week Four Discussion 1.
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Recommended Resources

Article

  1. American Psychological Association (n.d.). Tips for acting boldly to change diet and exercise for kids. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/children/healthy-eating.aspx
    • This article provides information on the benefits physical activity and healthy eating can have on a child’s ability to learn. This resource is recommended for use as part of the Week Four Discussion 1.

Websites

  1. Dairy Council of California. (2014). Health + nutrition books. Retrieved from http://www.healthyeating.org/Schools/Tips-Trends/Health-Nutrition-Books.aspx
    • This resource provides examples of literature that can be used to aid in teaching children about proper nutrition. This resource is recommended for use as part of the “Let’s Move” discussion.
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  2. The Imagination Tree. (2013, September 3). 40 fine motor skills activities. Retrieved from http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/09/40-fine-motor-skills-activities-for-kids.html
    • This resource provides examples of activities that can be used to enhance a child’s fine motor development. This resource is recommended for use as part of the “Let’s Move” discussion.
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Discussions

 

  1. Let’s Move!

    There have been many initiatives in the United States implemented to encourage schools to not only promote physical activity for young children, but to also increase awareness in students about proper nutrition. In this discussion, we will explore the development of curriculum, assessment, and instruction for physical activity. Begin preparing by reviewing the website about the Let’s Move program. Now, imagine that your school or center is considering becoming part of the Let’s Move program. Recall the five key elements of the Let’s Move program, along with initiatives for promoting proper nutrition; these elements are physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement.

    Now, further imagine that in an effort to achieve school-wide change, your principal or director has asked all teachers to brainstorm ideas on how they will create an active classroom, thus addressing the second Let’s Move key element (i.e., Physical activity during school) and how the teachers will promote healthy nutrition. For this discussion, you will create a plan for how you will address these topics. Remember to review the Instructor Guidance and other required readings for this week to further prepare for this discussion.

    Initial Post: Create an initial response in which you

    • State the age/stage of children your ideas are best suited for.
    • Explain the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition, and the positive impact each has on learning. Support your explanation with at least one scholarly resource.
    • Describe at least two ways you will encourage development of gross motor skills for this age group on a daily basis. Make sure to include how you will assess learning, as well as all materials you will need and how your classroom design or outdoor environment will support these activities.
    • Explain your stance on the following debate, making sure to consider which category you would place yourself in and why. Support your decision with at least one scholarly resource.

    Debate: In the United States, there has been significant debate about the role that schools and childcare centers play in ensuring children are receiving enough time to be physically active. One side of the debate feels that schools and centers should focus more on academics and promoting social and emotional growth, placing more emphasis on parents promoting physical growth at home. The other side of the debate feels that physical development and being active is just as important as academics, and therefore should be given equal time in schools.

    Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers’ posts. Imagine you are co-teaching with your peer and need to come up with a way to promote healthy nutrition in order complete your director’s request. Together you agreed that using literature was a great way to teach this important topic. In your response, suggest at least one scholarly resource your peer can use to teach children about good nutrition. This resource could be a book, such as from the Dairy Council of California (2014) resource for this week.

    Additionally, in replies, be sure to explain why your peer might consider using this book in the classroom and address their stance on the debate – does your peer’s stance vary from yours? How might you convince your peers to change their perspective? Aside from the book or other scholarly source you recommended, what resources might you provide and why? Remember, continued interaction beyond the minimum two replies will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with the topics of physical education and nutrition curriculum design, assessment, and instruction.

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    1. DISCUSSION 2

 

  1. Let’s Reflect!

    As teachers and caregivers of young children, it is important that we take a step back and reflect on our practices. Reflection allows us to regroup and make any necessary adjustments to our curriculum, assessment, and planning practices. Reflection is also an important part of the learning process for students and so this discussion is your opportunity to take a step back and look at your learning over the past several weeks. To prepare for this discussion, review the Week Four Instructor Guidance.

    Initial Post: Create an initial response in which you

    • Discuss the three most significant things you have gained from this course. Try not to limit yourself to only listing knowledge you have gained. It could be a resource you have found, a strategy that you connected with, a peer as a resource in your professional learning network you will rely on going forward, or anything else related to the field and your current or future service to young children in an educational setting.
    • Explain one challenge related to the course content or an assessment that you overcame during this course and describe what supported your success in overcoming that challenge.
    • Describe one accomplishment you achieved during this course that you are proud of and that led to your achievement.
    • Explain how you now view the relationship between assessment, curriculum, and instruction, having studied these topics throughout the course thus far.
    • Describe how prepared you think you are to excel on the Week Five Final Project. What have you done to complete that assignment thus far? What additional support might you need to succeed?