Cognitive & General Knowledge

Cognitive & General Knowledge2017-01-05T23:38:41+00:00

Cognitive & General Knowledge

San Luis Valley Early Head Start School Readiness Goals:

Goal 1: All children will demonstrate positive approaches to learning.

Expectant Families will receive information regarding early learning. They will be encouraged to talk to their baby before and after birth, and as the child grows to provide daily activities that stimulate their child in an active way. They will receive information that encourages them to be their child’s first teacher and advocate.

Infants will have opportunities to be stimulated with encouraging activities that inspire them to explore and manipulate. The staff will mimic what the child does and wait for the child to respond. Young infants will be provided with pictures, mobiles, brightly colored objects to look at, reach for, and grasp. Staff will play naming and hiding games such as pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo, this includes the process for remembering that people and objects exist even when they are out of sight (person or object permanence). Infants will be provided with rattles, squeak toys, and other noise-making objects for babies to hear. Staff will move or carry around non-crawling infants so they can see different things and people. Staff will describe actions and events for the infants that provide opportunities for hearing descriptive language. Teachers will discuss with parents, and then utilize, the outdoors as a learning environment, by taking daily walks and using language to comment on additions or changes, and use comments regarding the weather, with the infants, one at a time or in groups. For example: “Do you see the leaves blowing in the breeze?” “See the bird flying in the sky?” “Can you hear the water dripping off the roof?” “Would you like to touch the water?” “Did you see the chalk on the sidewalk?” “Did you see the little ant?”

For Older Infants, staff will build on children’s internal motivation to help them make sense of the world and acquire competence. Staff will encourage and exhibit a spirit of inventiveness, curiosity and ingenuity. Staff and families plan learning activities for children based on assessment of individual needs and interests. Developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available for infants: Rattles, squeak toys, music, cuddly toys, teething toys, mobile, unbreakable mirrors, bright objects, pictures, crawling area, sturdy furniture to pull themself up, cause and effect materials, gross motor equipment (e.g. slides, tunnels), Push-pull toys, stacking toys, large wooden spools/beads/cubes, sturdy picture books, music, shape blocks, simple puzzles, telephones, dolls, creative toys, sturdy furniture to hold on-to while standing and walking, sand and water equipment, toys large enough to prevent swallowing or choking. Sitting on the floor, or at the child’s eye level, staff will interact with older infants in ways that encourage them to explore their surroundings. (I.e.; “Did you see the red circle? It fits in the round hole of the shape sorter.” “If you push the dog away on its wheels, you can pull it back to you. Watch, can you do it?” “Did you need the blue car, I see you reaching for it.” “What does the cow say?” Teachers will discuss the importance of outdoors as a learning environment with parents, then, by taking daily walks and using language to comment on additions or changes, they will use language regarding the weather and other outdoor attributes. With older infants one at a time, or in groups, they will describe and interact using the elements of outdoors. For example, “Do you see the tall tree? This is a short tree. Is it a momma tree and a baby tree?” “See the stop sign? It is red and white.” “Listen, do you hear the bird?” “There goes a cat.” “Oh, look, see the rain?”

Toddlers will be provided with opportunities to have developmentally appropriate materials and equipment available to them. For example, push-pull toys, stacking toys, large wooden spools/beads/cubes, sturdy picture books, music, pounding bench, simple puzzles, telephones, dolls, creative toys, large paper, crayons, sturdy furniture to hold on-to while walking, sand and water equipment, toys large enough to prevent swallowing or choking. Sitting on the floor, or at the child’s eye level, staff will interact with toddlers in ways that encourage them to explore their surroundings. They will offer experiences that encourage children to investigate their world. For toddlers, this includes attending to the properties of things that cannot be seen, such as time, cause, or loved ones who are not present. They use an understanding of spatial relationships to solve problems; remember where to find their jackets or certain toys; and ask questions such as “Why?”, “When?”, and “Where?” Staff will encourage understanding of the words “on”, “under”, “over”, “through”, “next to”. For toddlers, this includes saying what will happen next in a familiar story; knowing the words to songs; remembering a game played the day before; and showing interest in the idea that they were small and are now growing. Teachers will encourage games such as “Ring-Around-the Rosie”, and incorporate the idea of turn taking into the daily routines.

Goal 2: Children will use all of their senses to investigate their environment to discover what objects and people do, how things work, and how they can make things happen.

Expectant Families will receive information regarding the development of children and the importance of interactions that include naming the child’s body parts and sensations such as soft and hard, smooth and rough, sweet and sour, bright and dark, loud and quiet.

For Infants this includes sucking, holding, looking, touching, throwing, dropping, vigorously moving toward or away from objects and people. As children develop ability infants will be encouraged to finger-feed themselves. I.e.; holding their bottle. As a part of this goal, a balance of activities from the following dimensions will be included in the daily written schedule: indoor/outdoor, quiet/active, individual/small group/large group, large muscle/small muscle/child-initiated/staff-initiated. Developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available for infants: rattles, squeak toys, music, cuddly toys, teething toys, mobile, unbreakable mirrors, bright objects, pictures, crawling area, sturdy furniture to pull themselves up, cause and effect materials, gross motor equipment (e.g. slides, tunnels), toys large enough to prevent swallowing or chocking. Staff will evaluate the different senses children might use with the objects provided for play and stimulation; hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting. Staff will also discuss with parents, and then utilize the outdoors as a learning environment, by taking daily walks and using language to comment on addition, changes, and the weather with the infants one at a time, or in groups. I.e.; “Do you see the leaves blowing in the breeze?” “See the bird flying in the sky?” “Can you hear the water dripping off the roof?” “Did you see the chalk on the sidewalk?” “Did you see the little ant?” “When the cloud covers the sun, it gets darker.”

For Older Infants, staff will evaluate the different senses children might use with the objects provided for play and stimulation; hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting. Older infants will be encouraged to finger-feed themselves foods such as Cheerios, and they will be introduced to eating utensils that are child sized. As a part of this goal, a balance of activities from the following dimensions will be included in the daily written schedule: indoor/outdoor, quiet/active, individual/small group/large group, large muscle/small muscle/child-initiated/staff-initiated. Developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available for older infants: rattles, squeak toys, music, cuddly toys, teething toys, mobile, unbreakable mirrors, bright objects, pictures, crawling area, sturdy furniture to pull themselves up, cause and effect materials, gross motor equipment (e.g. slides, tunnels), toys large enough to prevent swallowing or chocking. Staff will provide noise-making objects for older infants to hear. Staff will also discuss with parents, and then utilize the outdoors as a learning environment, by taking daily walks and using language to comment on addition, changes, and the weather with the children one at a time or in groups. Music that is culturally diverse will be included in the environment. Staff will use language with a child that describes sensations. For example: “Do you see the black cat?”, “Can you taste the watermelon? Yummy”, “Listen, can you hear the baby cry?”, “Do you feel the soft blanket? Touch it.”

Toddlers will be encouraged through activities that reassure them to use their senses. I.e.; washing hands and teacher’s asking them if they feel the water. By teachers providing a stimulating, safe environment in which toddlers can explore and manipulate. Teachers will provide pictures, mobiles, brightly colored objects for children to look at, reach for, and grasp, and otherwise manipulate for themselves. Play naming and hiding games such as peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, Ring-a-Round-the-Rosie. Staff will provide noise-making objects for toddlers to hear, as well as culturally diverse music being played in the room. They will evaluate the different senses children might use with the objects provided for play and stimulation; hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting. For three-year-olds beginning to dress themselves should be included and, picking up materials themselves. A daily written schedule provides a balance of activities in the following dimensions: Indoor/outdoor, quiet/active, Individual/small group/large group, large muscle/small muscle/ child-initiated and staff-initiated. Developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available for toddlers: push-pull toys, stacking toys, large wooden spools/beads/cubes, sturdy picture books, music, pounding bench, simple puzzles, telephones, dolls, creative toys, large paper, crayons, sturdy furniture to hold on-to while walking, sand and water equipment, toys large enough to prevent swallowing or choking. Teachers will discuss with children the different senses they use during the day. I.e.; “What do you see out the window?” “Can you smell the rain?” “Listen, do you hear the dog barking?” “Is this blanket soft or rough?” For toddlers this also includes attending to the properties of things that cannot be seen, such as time, cause, or loved ones who are not present. They use an understanding of spatial relationships to solve problems; remember where to find their jackets or certain toys; and ask questions such as “Why?”, “When?”, and “Where?” Examples of language the staff use might include the following: “What do we do after breakfast, wash our hands?” “Would you help put the plates on the table? Find a picture of our friends, and put the plate under it.” “I like the way your eyes helped you to color the picture you made. Did you use green or red?” “Can you taste the applesauce? Yummy, tasty.”, “Listen, can you hear the wind blow/”

Goal 3: Children will begin to develop and demonstrate the ability to remember and connect new and known experiences and information.

Expectant Families will receive information about the importance of children hearing them tell about things that happened before, things they are going to do, and experiences that are meaningful to the child.

For Infants, this includes remembering that people and objects exist even when they are out of sight (person or object permanence). They will be encouraged to recognize familiar persons when they are named. Caregivers can use family pictures to show infants who is in their family, and name the people for the child. “Look, this is a picture of mommy and grandma.”, “I will start your bottle heating and it can warm while we change your diaper, I am going to pick you up now. Here we go.”, “Oh, is the water cold? Burr.”

For Older Infants, this includes using an understanding of cause and effect to predict events and solve problems, e.g., building a block tower and knocking it down; using a jack-in-the box; and dropping objects repeatedly off the side of the table. When children demonstrate separation anxiety, teachers can reassure them by hugging the child and expressing an understanding that the child is fearful. “I know it makes you sad when daddy has to leave you, but he will be back when he is done working.” Older infants will begin to connect places, objects, and actions from the past; recall 1 or 2 items removed from view. They will begin to remember the sequence of personal routines and experiences with teacher support. “Now that we have had our breakfast, we will wash our hands and you can go play.” “Oh, look, it’s time for us to change a diaper.” “Can you help me pull the stairs out so you can hold my hand and climb up? Up, up, up here we go up.” “I like how your eyes helped you reach and grab the chair.”

Toddlers will be encouraged to say what will happen next in a familiar story; know the words to songs; remember a game played the day before; and show interest in the idea that they were small and are now growing. They can tell about an experience in order, and provide details and evaluate the experience. They will be able to recall 3 or 4 items removed from view. Toddlers remember the sequence of personal routines and experiences with teacher support and will draw on everyday experiences and apply this knowledge to a similar situation. Staff can discuss everyday experiences with toddlers; for example, “If you are ready to go outside, please go find your jacket in your cubbies.” “Are you ready to eat? Let’s go wash our hands.” “After the story what are we going to do?” “I know you would like to have the car, can you ask Miguel if you can have a turn when he is done? Can we find another one like it?”

Goal 4: Children will learn and begin to use math concepts during daily routines and experiences.

Expectant Families will receive information about the importance of sharing math concepts with their child. They will be encouraged to provide opportunities to count and categorize with their child, in order to build a foundation for mathematical development. Refer to examples included “For Infants” below.

For Infants, staff will help them understand that many of their body parts can be counted. For example; as the staff gently touch the child’s hands they say, “Did you notice you have two hands?”, or touching the child’s fingers one at a time and asking, “Can you count your fingers?”, and then counting them quietly.

Older Infants will be encouraged to recognizing the difference in the number of small sets of objects, such as being surprised when watching two objects dropped into a box but finding only one object in the box, counting Cheerios as they eat them. Having the staff count their fingers and toes, or matching two cows or horses, finding their shoes and counting them. Staff might also show the child that stacking toys come in different colors, or matching colors. Staff will share language that helps children identify and experience positive learning of numbers and things that go together. “See the socks and shoes; does an apple go on your foot?” “I noticed you put all the chickens in the basket.”

For Toddlers, this includes categorizing, matching, and ordering some objects such as piling toy animals together; matching socks or mittens; putting red blocks together; organizing three objects from small to large with help; and using tools to solve problems. This includes sorting the circles separately from the squares, even though each comes in red, blue, and yellow; setting a plate at each chair at meal time; and understanding spatial relationships to solve problems. Caregivers will acknowledge the children’s attempts or success. “I see that you put all the cows in the barn. Where would the pigs go?” “Did you notice that the red and blue circles are the same size?” “What goes with the fish, a cow or an octopus?” “Help me count the Cheerios, one, two, three, four, five. Yeah!”

Sources: Office of Head Start National Resource Center; Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold; Early Childhood Council, Early Head Start of the San Luis Valley School Readiness Goals; Colorado Department of Education, Quality Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education Services