I have completed a number of assignments in my education at Chico State University that are related to the topics that are important to the profession that I hope to be going into.
1. Assessment in Research Studies
The hypothesis of this study stated that identical twins would have higher levels of prosocial behavior scores than fraternal twins or singletons. Through ANOVA testing, it was found that identical twins had the highest mean score of prosocial behaviors, followed by fraternal twins, then singletons. The results of the ANOVA test found a statistically significant difference in mean prosocial behavior scores between the three groups, thus supporting the hypothesis.
The information found in this study would be most useful for parent education purposes. Educators and parents are always looking for ways to better understand children. Relationships between twins are often difficult for outsiders to understand and information from this study will benefit the outsiders.
2. Assessment in the Classroom
The only thing in this classroom that seems a bit odd to me is some of the vision-lines in both the indoor and the outdoor environments. The bathroom is hard to monitor unless an adult is the in the bathroom with the children. This makes it difficult to properly scaffold the children, because you are not providing them with the freedom they may need. In the outdoor environment, the large play structure is difficult to monitor. The children like to tie ropes on the back of the play structure and jump off, but it is nearly impossible to watch them unless an adult is behind the play structure as well. But then the adult cannot see the patio once he or she is behind the play structure.
3. Theories in Child Development
The information processing theory helps to describe how humans are able to store, transform and retrieve information. Using particular strategies, the human brain is able to store information they are given and retrieve it when needed. Some important skills that are used in this process are automatization, generalization and elaboration. The use of these skills help children learn and understand new information by organizing the information into existing schema. Two very useful skills that help all people store information are rehearsal and organization. Rehearsal is defined as "a memory strategy in which one repeats a number of times the information one wants to remember" (327). This strategy relates to the phrase "practice makes perfect". By repeating the new information over and over, either mentally or orally, the child or adolescent is more likely to remember it. For example, when children are learning new spelling words, repeating them out loud or practicing writing them down can help the child recall the information later on. Organization is defined as " a memory strategy that involves putting together in some organized form the information to be remembered" (328). Using this strategy, the child or adolescent can group new information in ways that will make it easier to remember. The example used in the book displayed a list of words such as "sweater, hat, apple, jeans, sandwich, milk" (328). Using the organization strategy, a child or adolescent would group the words in two different categories: food and clothing. By relating some of the new information to each other, the whole of the information becomes less confusing.
4. Lesson Planning
Because I was only able to do my response with four children, I was able to give more individual attention to each of the children. The children were able to ask me questions and interact with me better because of the small number of students there. One of the children seemed to enjoy the lesson more than the others. He was asking me questions during the learning of the song and made sure he sang enthusiastically. The children had a bit of trouble following the moves at the beginning but as we practiced the picked up the moves and the words quite well.
In order to help the children learn the new song, I used strategies from a previous course I took here on the Chico State campus. These strategies prepared me for the experience I would have doing this curriculum response. The biggest challenge I faced was the amount of children I was able to do the response with. Although the response did go well, I think the children may have been more excited if there were more participants doing the song with them. This response was developmentally appropriate because it provided the children the opportunity to develop their fine and gross motor skills.
Through this experience I became more comfortable with dealing with situations that arise spontaneously. When I arrived at the preschool that morning, the fact that the children were going on a field trip was sprung on me. My ability to roll with the punches has increased tremendously because of my experience at the preschool.
5. Research on School Age Children
Divorce can bring on many changes in a family, which directly and indirectly influence the children involved. This website describes some of these changes and emotional adjustments, as well as ways to help both the child and parents cope. There are a variety of exercises suggested that involve both the parent and the child, such as drawing, playing, writing, time capsules, exercising, and communicating. These exercises were suggested to help build relationships between family members and assist children with adjustments in their lifestyles. Drawing, writing and time capsules can help children express their feelings through a creative outlet. A history timeline was specifically suggested, this can help the child deal with the concerns he or she may have about the future, as well as understand what had happened in the past. Furthermore, playing was an important creative way for the child and parent to deal with the divorce. The types of play that were suggested were puppets and role-playing. These games can promote healthy interactions between both the parent and child, while acting out scenarios in a positive way. These activities are all good ways to help build or keep a healthy relationship with your child. They can also be modified and used in a classroom.