Friday Five - January 1, 2016

I'm going to try something new starting today. I guess we could call it a resolution?

Friday Five is going to be a weekly post where I highlight some of the best articles I've read during the week. I'm hoping to reduce posts on Facebook (because who really wants to see 8 million posts from one person?) and concentrate on sharing only the best of what I read.
Here we go! In no particular order:

Parents are buying their kids all the wrong toys

Favorite quote: Good toys are " designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do."

Reflection: Toys are meant to be played with, provide a medium for interactions, and are most fun when shared.  Toys that seclude, hinder communication, and reduce variety of experience are probably not providing the most educational experience.
Favorite quote: "Kids who ... can’t hold this position, you are likely to see developmental delays and issues with balance, sensory integration, behavioral inhibition, and coordination. These kids spend a lot of time fidgeting, struggle to sit through a teacher’s lecture, show signs of clumsiness, exhibit signs of a Sensory Process Disorder (SPD) and may fall behind in subjects such as reading and writing."

Reflection: Although this article discusses a singular physical skill that affects later abilities, overall physical strength and ability is a precursor to later academic skills. Students who are unable to sit at a desk without fatigue are not going to be able to sit and write an essay. Students who are thinking about how uncomfortable they are sitting "criss cross applesauce" are not going to be active participants in circle time. 
Favorite quote: "Who we learn with is as important as what we learn."

Reflection: Social and emotional development is just as important (if not more so) than academic skills learned in school. The ability to work well with others, understand an execute social pragmatic skills, having empathy for others, and an understanding of your own emotions are key to being part of society.

Favorite quote: "Play is the primary engine of human growth; it’s universal – as much as walking and talking. Play is the way children build ideas and how they make sense of their experience and feel safe."
and also....
" Children in low-income communities are enduring play deficient classrooms where they get heavy doses of direct teaching and testing. They have to sit still, be quiet in their seats and comply. Many young children can’t do this and none should have to."

Reflection: Play is a necessary part of child development. Remember that article up there ^^^ about children being able to "superman?" That can't happen unless they have time to play. And I'm not talking about a 15 minute "recess" that happens once during the day. Young children need HOURS during EVERY day to climb, jump, roll, push, pull, build, knock down, dance, scream, and get dirty. Sitting at a desk writing their ABC"s over and over isn't going to help.
Favorite quote: "Since the program began, Finland’s infant mortality rate has significantly decreased from 10 per cent of babies dying before the age of one to just 0.3 per cent."

Reflection: I am so flip'n jealous that Canada is getting this program before the United States (that and the other 30 countries through the world that have adopted it). If you don't know what it is, basically it is a "baby's first essentials" box that also serves as baby's first bed. It is a great way to get started on the right foot, especially for those who are less fortunate than others.

What have you read this week?