CDA Resources and Tutorials
Unit 5: Competency Goal #2
Competency Goal 2: Steps to Advance Children's Physical and Intellectual Competence
Steps to Advance Children's Physical and Intellectual Competency
Candidates will provide a variety of equipment, learning experiences, and opportunities to promote the physical development of children through play and other teacher-guided experiences.
You should know the typical developmental accomplishments of large muscle and fine motor development for children from birth through age 5. Recognize appropriate and inappropriate large-muscle and fine-motor activities for different age groups.
Understand that fine motor skills, like "coloring" predrawn forms or reproducing letters within prescribed lines, are acquired gradually, and you should know how to introduce age-appropriate learning experiences to build such skills. You should be prepared to plan opportunities for children to develop their senses: notice colors, smell odors, distinguish sounds, feel and touch a variety of objects, and taste different foods.
Candidates will provide learning experiences and opportunities to encourage curiosity, exploration, and problem solving, appropriate to the developmental levels and learning styles of children.
Understand "play" as the most important medium for the development of children's physical and intellectual competence. You should know how to plan play activities that take into account children's levels of development and their diverse learning styles.
You should understand the basic ideas about cognitive development: that children think differently from adults, and that children are active learners. Understand the kind of important foundational learning that goes on during the early years in the areas of language, literacy and mathematics - and how the skills, knowledge, and attitudes children acquire in these areas are the forerunners of conventional reading, writing, and arithmetic.
You should be convinced that active play and exploration are effective context for children's learning. You should understand how the adult facilitates, expands, and challenges children's active learning during play and other teacher-guided learning experiences.
You should use the environment and everyday, real, hands-on play activities to encourage children's cognitive development, both indoors and outdoors. Through these activities, the concept of how to make the most of the teachable moment will become clear.
You should know a range of teaching behaviors to use in the contexts of both child-initiated and teacher-directed experiences. You should make modifications and adaptations for children with special needs.
You should now how children learn when you talk about your own experiences and observations. You should encourage children to ask questions and find ways to respond appropriately to those questions. Learn to ask open-ended questions that help children wonder, predict, and explain their ideas, thus, enhancing children's language development.
Recognize appropriate and inappropriate practices to facilitate cognitive development. For example, learn to use intentional teacher-guided learning experiences without relying on worksheets, workbooks, or flash cards. Continue to build your repertoire of appropriate play activities and materials designed to promote the learning of young children from birth through age 5.
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