Learning Skills 4 KidsRecently I was lucky enough, along with 2 other colleagues, to attenda course that focusses specifically at the 'Skills and Knowledge' that apre-schooler or NE child should have before formal learning like writing and reading can even begin. Yes...my head was swimming!
This was only the introductory course but we have signed on for training at the end
of the year. This course made a lot of sense and tackles our 'thinking' about meeting
'criteria', 'National Standards', 'moving the child on because planning dictates this so' and of course the child must follow where we tread.

Thousands of teachers around the country battle daily with repititious activities aimed at
ensuring the child learns about 'letter size and shapes, sounds and names', 'using these
to write stories'... the list goes on but, there is a BUT... we all know that when that particular child is ready to learn, he or she will learn! Alas, even though we know this and try, hard as we might to practice this and stick to our guns ... many of us don't and we try as hard as we can to move these children on, and of course, through our panic, they may begin to fail and slip behind the lines ... the little ones, of course, prove to us,

"we will move on when WE are ready to move on!".

The course I went to, "The Building Blocks to Literacy" made a heck of a lot of sense
and of course re-affirmed what we endeavoured to learn while teacher training but
have laid to rest in actual practice. 'Children need to have the fundamental elements, skills and
knowledge instilled prior to formal schooling, otherwise we are wasting their young lives teaching
them new knowledge and skills when they are not equipped to process this information!'.
We can't even start the teaching process to recognise letters, names, write and read if
they can not even do the basic stuff...know one direction from the other, follow simple 2 and 3 statement instructions, listen to instruction, do the 'Gross' motor skills which then leads onto the 'Finer' motor skills activities such as cut 'n paste, therefore write letters that involves isolating fingers to holding, the pencil and moving in controlled movements!

Have you got a sore head yet??? I have!!!

Sooooo, what did I (we) decide to do?

Myself and my 2 others have of course signed on to actual training (which of course will
better the children and the next teachers in line for our children) and we invited our
course facilitator, Barbara Brann, to visit my class and to even speak to the pre-school
teachers who will be visiting for 'NE transition visits', about 'the skills and knowledge...
A.K.A. the building blocks to literacy'. I will keep you posted but be 'rest-assured' we are
very interested in what this lady has to say, especially since it makes a lot of sense!