Pre-Primary or Social Pedagogy?


We were asked what suited us better as Educators… Pre-Primary or Social pedagogy?

Children Around the World

Children Around the World

With this in, The ELECT Document stresses more on Social Pedagogy rather than Pre-Primary.

Pre-primary is often understood as a foundation to organized instructions,

“Traditional Pre-primary programmes are often understood as the initial stage of organized instruction” (ELECT, page 80).Pre-primary is more of a teacher directed approach, “Group sizes are large, ratios are high, programmes are mainly teacher directed, the emphasis is on standards and the evaluation of same” (ELECT, page 81) and whereas Social Pedagogy is structured, but also is “freely”.

For example, you can see the difference between Pre-Primary,

“A focus on learning standards, especially in areas useful for school readiness. Teacher child relationships tend to be instrumentalized through reaching for detailed curriculum goals” (ELECT, page 107)

and Social Pedagogy,

“Focus on broad developmental goals as well as learning are stressed, interactivity with educators and peers encouraged and the quality of life in the institution is given high importance” (ELECT, page 107).

Healthy Planet

Healthy Planet

“Traditionally, the Nordic countries have benefited from strong structural supports (desirable child-staffratios, adequate training, resources and materials) that have allowed them to fully engage in the SocialPedagogy approach. Those countries exemplifying the Social Pedagogic approach tend to have ratios ofapproximately 1:5-8 for the 3-6 year old age group, maximum group sizes of 20, high levels of trainedstaff, staff trained on an equal par with primary school teachers; i.e., 3-4 yr. university degrees” (ELECT, page 81).The ELECT just doesn’t focus on the education aspect, but instead also focuses on the child as a whole (Their family, community, culture, etc.).

Pre-Primary or Social Pedagogy?

Social Pedagogy

Social Pedagogy

Overused Describing Words?


LinkedIn

LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn, has scanned about 187 million of their members and came up with a list of overused, useless describing words.

Such words can be an instant  turnoff to a recruiter who sees them constantly because they show you, as an individual, isn’t “dynamic”  nor “creative”.

“You wouldn’t mention how disorganized or irresponsible you are, and their antonyms (organized, trustworthy, etc) are wasted words too,” explains LinkedIn’s Nicole Williams. If you are using any of these describing words, head on over to your LinkedIn profile immediately and erase them right away! Here they are, in order of how overused they are:

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive Experience
  • Track Record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Problem Solving

A few other describing words made the list for countries outside the United States. No matter where you live, consider ditching these from your profile, too.

  • Experimental (a describing in Brazil)
  • Multinational (a describing in Egypt and Indonesia)
  • Specialized (a describing in Spain)

With the addition to all the words listed above, you may want to ditch these ones as well:

  • Communication skills
  • Dynamic

Read more here.

Halton Hills Childcare Centre


Halton Hill Childcare Centre

Halton Hill Child Care Centre

For the purpose of this posting, I’ll be critiquing a Child Care centre’s website.

Halton Hills Child Care centre is a non-profit organization which offers full and part time childcare services to children who are 6 months to 12 years old and they are currently located in Georgetown. Halton Hills Child Care Centre’s philosophy states,

“Here are Halton Hills Child Care Centre, our goal is to provide a safe, clean, nurturing environment where all the children can learn, have fun, and grow to their fullest potential” (HH Childcare, 2012).

Halton Hills Child Care Centre

Halton Hills Child Care Centre

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 11.27.06 PM

Navigation

When you first enter their website, you get bombarded with clashing colours, limited image depictions, poorly placed flash banner, and a white border around the navigational menu which either means it’s meant to be like that or it’s poorly sliced using Photoshop.

Although there are some negatives, it’s very good that the website is cross-browser compatible. Heidi and Sylvie are both support staff for the centre but also can be contacted through their website by heading over to: Staff –> Support Staff.

The site is very straightforward and simple that is good for a lot of visitors who like simplicity. The site has over 5 navigational menus which may be an issue to certain people because there is psychology background information regarding having over 5 navigational menus,

“One thing to remember:  the human brain sees five or less items as a single group, but when it encounters  more than five items, it breaks them down into “subgroups”  to process them” (Tuck M., 2003).

With this in mind, visitors who come to this site must find their way around the site easily,

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 11.59.05 PM

Drop-Down navigation

“Everyone needs to be able to find their way around your site with ease. The choices you make in providing navigational  assistance on your site will often make the difference between a site that users frequent, and frequently  use, and a site that gets visited once and promptly forgotten” (Tuck M., 2003).

Since the organization is non-profit, their website isn’t really appealing and attractive compared to if you were to go to some for-profit organization websites, however, just because the site doesn’t look good doesn’t mean their programs and curriculum is awful. There are a lot of for-profit centres where their websites may look very appealing but when it came to their programs and curriculum, it lacked. So, don’t let the websites fool you.

References

HH Childcare (2012). Halton Hills Child Care Centre: Home. Retrieved from http://www.hhchildcare.ca

Tuck, M. (2003). Practical Web Design – Fundamentals of Web Design. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pCB8wo2_gyOd0zPToEiaXmtitazSm5Auz973s2MsRAs/edit

Motion Math: Hungry Fish


Hungry-Fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish is a software that is developed for iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, the New iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. It focuses on getting children excited to learn math in a whole new different way; by playing!

mmg-logo

Motion Math

“Your fish is hungry – hungry for numbers! This fun addition and subtraction game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has instant addition: touch two numbers together to instantly add. Most addition games teach in the form 3 + 4 = __; Hungry Fish challenges players to find different ways to make a 7 (1+6, 2+5, 3+2+2, etc.). There’s 18 levels of challenge (for 4-year-olds to adults) and bonuses to customize your fish with new colors and fins. Play this wonderful game with your students, family, and friends” (Motion Math, 2012).

Software Overview

Motion-Math-Hungry-Fish

Fish eating bubbles

I’ve chosen to evaluate this software because I love finding new ways on how to learn simply just by playing! When I looked at this software on the iTunes page, I figured it could be a fun and exciting game to get children to learn math at such a young age.  This software offered opportunities for practice and review. For instance, the child can practice as many times as he/she wants to by adding the numbers to match the one shown on this fish and then, by ‘feeding’ the fish in order to progress. It will allow the child to learn what number he/she will get when they combine two different numbers.

The child can review his/her own endeavour and review their points or levels that they achieve at the end of the game. I also enjoyed the graphics the software had to offer children. The 2D components consist of the words, title, the actual fish, and the various images given throughout the software. The 3D components consist of the corals, tube corals spitting out the bubbles, and the background images in the different levels. There are a lot of animations throughout the software such as the fins of the fish moving, the tube corals,

mzl.kwjhdehz.320x480-75glowing bubbles, corals moving as they spit the bubbles out, the eye of the fish and fish move, fish growing as it gets fed, fish shrinks when it doesn’t, and the sunlight shining through the water (glowing and dimming). In addition to these components, the software also has practice for children including the tutorial phase, but also in the standard levels. Within the standard levels, as soon as you lose, you get a message that pops up, “Uh-oh. Your fish needed more food. You earned 0 points!” and under the sentences, there is a circle that is an arrow and once you hit it, you restart the level. No matter the amount of times you lose in a level, there is always this hypermedia that will allow the child to begin the level again.

Software Recommendations & Limitations

motionmathhungryfish4

Hungry Fish

While playing the game, I’ve observed, experimented, and explored the game, and began writing down different recommendations to help improve the software; these recommendations are based from what I’ve seen and our personal experience with the software. Firstly, the graphics in the software are nice and vibrant, however, it could use more “real” colours or sea creatures. Such colours can be actual colour seen in the ocean to give the software a more “realistic” approach or life like sea urchins because the game doesn’t only focus on math, but your game also makes children learn about the environment in which fish live in. When it comes to the corals, you can provide some actual texture and pattern on

Customizing your Fish

Customizing your Fish

them rather than just having a flat solid colour. Secondly, the gameplay gets more exciting when children are able to gain a “reward” after they complete the level that is then used to customize their fish. Although they reach the reward when they complete the level, it’s limited to that one reward whereas maybe you could add a variety of different other rewards so that children can stay interested in the game because children will lose interest when seeing the same reward. Finally, the free version is very limited to what children can actually do with the game. Even though you’re a company and need to make money, you can provide the addition and subtraction levels in the free version or you could provide different “themes” or “levels” in the addition stage where we can choose which ocean “theme” we want to play in; by doing so you are enabling children to have multiple choices which then

Coloured Hungry Fish

Coloured Hungry Fish

gets them more interested in the game. There is also no voice audio for children to establish a relationship between the number and the way it is said. This would be great for those who are four and are newly exposed to numbers. For example if the child selects the bubble five the software could use audio and state “Five” so they can hear it. Lastly, another recommendation to improve this software would be to place the equation on the fish instead of the answer, for example 2 + 2=  and the number four would float around in the bubble amongst other numbers. This could be a setting that children could set if they find it easier for them to find the correct answer which would encourage more children to take part in the game.

My classmates and I did this software evaluation together and we managed to do a ScreenCast about it as well.

With the evaluation on the software, my group and I contacted the developers from the software and we were excited to have gotten a reply back from them. Such a reply meant so much to us just knowing that they read our evaluation and responded back to us.

Notice: parts have been blurred out due to confidentiality purposes.

Email from CEO

References

Motion Math (2012). Motion Math: Hungry Fish. Retrieved from http://motionmathgames.com/motion-math-hungry-fish/