1. Describe Shared Visual Attention. Describe some effective storybook reading strategies.
Shared visual attention applies where two individuals focus on the same objects. This is more common among children and their parents across the world. The child looks at an unfamiliar object and points at it while asking the parent to identify the object. Researchers have found that shared visual attention is necessary for the development of children (Vukelich et al., 2016). In one case, a researcher was seeking to test a pair of conditions. The researcher used two items, both of which were unknown to the child.
In the first scenario, the researcher named the unknown object while sharing visual attention with the child. In the second scenario, he labeled the object while looking away from it. A few hours later, the researcher asked the child to identify the object from a group of similar objects. The child was only able to identify the object that the researcher labeled while they shared visual attention (Vukelich et al., 2016). From these findings, I understand that children need to be taught using specific techniques that increase their chances of remembering what they learned. I feel that children whose parents or teachers pay attention to such details while helping them have a chance to learn faster than other children.
Dialogic reading is a situation whereby the child gets the help of an adult while reading a story. In this strategy of reading, the adult listens and questions parts of the story that the child is telling. In my opinion, this is a very effective technique of helping a child learn how to read. After all, when learning how to play the piano, we do not just listen while the other person plays. We have to get involved in playing the piano. In the same manner, a child can only learn to read by getting involved with the adult in reading. PEER sequence is the easiest dialogic reading method that parents can use to help their children to learn. P, E, E, and R stand for Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, and Repeat respectively (Vukelich et al., 2016). Prompt involves the child saying something concerning each page of the book, for instance, identifying the picture of a dog. Evaluate involves responding to the answers of the child by saying "that right" when the child is right. Expand involves improving the understanding of the child by rephrasing his answer and adding words to it. Repeat involves saying the prompt again to ensure the child has understood the expansion.
A "Read-aloud" session is also an important strategy of storybook reading. For many children, story ideas become easier to understand when they are read aloud (Vukelich at al., 2016). It helps he children sharpen the skills of active listening. When a proficient reader reads a story, it helps the children to become fluent readers. This strategy helps to take the focus away from the teacher and bring it to the text. In my own experience, the "read-aloud" strategy is often used because it helps the child learn how to pronounce words and new vocabulary. Therefore, they are an essential part of the development of a child.
2. Our society is becoming more diverse. Discuss several factors teachers must consider regarding diversity in their classrooms.
Learning in schools is increasingly becoming diverse especially in preschool and kindergarten. In that regard, teachers need to consider a number of factors concerning the diversity of children in classrooms. The teacher should create a balance between noisy moments and silent moments, as well as moments when movement is allowed and moments when children should be seated (Vukelich at al., 2016). I feel that at such a young age, children are still accustomed to the freedom they enjoy at home. Therefore, the teacher needs to create that environment where children can learn and at the same time feel comfortable being in a new environment.
Additionally, the teacher should allocate more time to children in their individual and small-group capacities compared to whole groups (Vukelich et al., 2016). In giving personal attention to children in their individual capacities small groups, the teacher can get to know the feelings, behavior, and mood of children hence she will be in a better position to handle them when a problem arises. Also, this enables the teacher to identify the weaknesses and strengths of each child and respond accordingly. I feel that in the long-term such a close relationship between the children with each other and with the teacher creates harmony in the learning environment.
I also understand that the teacher has to consider the children's need to work independently at times, while others can work with peers and others in whole groups (Vukelich at al., 2016). Some children have a tendency to enjoy their own company away from the rest of the children, which means that the teacher should not feel the need to force them onto groups. Others like to work with their peers because they share the similar interests. Lastly, there are children who do not have a limit as to who they can associate with. They are very social and enjoy the company of everyone regardless of whether they are their peers or not. In my opinion, the teacher needs to consider such attributes of the children before placing them in certain positions and classroom creating schedules.
Some children have a way of structuring their personal time (Vukelich et al., 2016). The teacher needs to value the diversity of children regarding their time. For instance, there are children who sleep when they are hungry. In such circumstances, the teacher should know that the child needs to be given time to eat before they can resume learning. Other children like to play after learning consistently over a given amount of time. The teacher should consider such factors when creating classroom schedules. Overall, I feel that the ability of the teacher to adjust the classroom schedule to the personal timing needs of children can create a balance that will improve the learning experience.
Vukelich, C., Christie, J., Enz. B., & Roskos, K. A. (2016). Helping Young Children Learn Language and Literacy: Birth through Kindergarten, (4th Edition). Boston, MA: Pearson
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