Do you want to sit or do you want to PLAY?
My Capstone Project is developing a Kindergarten curriculum that is based on the constructivist philosophy.
Constructivism is a philosophy of education. It is based on experimental learning through real life experiences and hands on activities that will “construct” and condition knowledge. During the early years of school, children need to play and make sense of the world around them. Play and hands on learning is a natural thing for children. It is only fair for children to be in an environment where the philosophy of education is aimed at the benefit of the child. This is where constructivism comes into play. A curriculum for early childhood education, in particular Kindergarten, where children are free to learn from real world experiences will not only prepare children for the coming educational years but most importantly, it will prepare children to be the best they can be and offer real life social and emotional learning. Children are natural movers and explorers, and therefore it is only natural to prepare a curriculum for them that is based on their needs, desires and interests. The philosophy of constructivism can be a solid foundation for productivity and growth in young children. Constructivism encourages discovery. It also encourages hands on, experimental and task based learning. A curriculum that is based on constructivism is something that children naturally depend on in order to succeed in their environment.
Jorge Juan had a blast at school with his belated Valentine’s Day party. He came home with a homemade bag filled with cards and candies. It was really cute. The other night, out of the blue, he wakes up and starts crying that he wants his bag. He has not done this type of thing for a very long time. He use to wake up and cry for a specific toy if he could not find it in his bed. He used to fall asleep with small toys in his hands every night. The good thing is that he did not cry long and I told him that he can have his bag the next day. This was easy. I remember the nights where he would just not settle for anything, any toy would not do. It had to be the exact one or nothing. He has really come a long way from that.
He has been enjoying his homework and really working hard on projects and staying focused and busy. He is always on the go and eager to learn new things. He asks hundreds of questions each day. He wants to know each detail and specifically step by step. I would not have it any other way. Thank God that he is able to speak and vocalize his needs.
I am very happy with his progress. He is blooming. I am always thinking of different activities and hands on lessons for him to do. He loves tinkering with tape, glue, scissors, paper, clips and all that good stuff. Luckily, I do too and we have all the school, arts and crafts supplies that can entertain us for a very long time.
It is all about play based learning. Hands on learning, involving all the senses is imperative. I truly believe in a constructivist philosophy of education. By the way, that is what I am working on for my Capstone Project to obtain my Masters of Education degree.
Back to Jorge Juan..He is a little five year old boy who loves to play and adores other o children. He loves to read and enjoy all activities that any other child would and does. He does not know he is different but he knows that autism is his super power.
Jorge Juan finally is back in school after have a super long weekend. The children had no school last Thursday or Friday and also no school Monday or Tuesday. He was happy to be going back although he has enjoyed his lazy days in the house. He played a lot, watched some TV, cared for his pets, colored, worked on projects and played some games. He also had so much fun playing with children at the playground in the mall and at my mother;s house when she was babysitting. He loves the interactions and enjoys the company very much. He brought his Valentine cards to school and is hoping to still have a party seeing that school was canceled due to the snow. Anyway, I hope he does. After school I have some fun in the snow planned for him. Our backyard is covered and untouched, so I am sure he will be thrilled to play outside. He has been doing very well. He has this new thing now with mimicking everything that we are saying. I do not know where that came from. Other than that he has been taking his vitamins and fish oil and has been very calm and relaxed.His symptoms are not visible. I always wonder where has Autism gone? He stims once and a while but NOTHING like before in the previous years or even months. We always keep faith and never give up hope, ever. His report card was super. He is doing very well academically and reaching all points set on his IEP. He is a great kid with a spectacular imagination. Love him to pieces!!!
I just completed my 11 page Capstone Project Plan draft for my EDU 698 class. I spent a whole lot of time on it. I know that it will all be worth it. There was some performance pressure but not so much since I know that it is a draft. With the wonderful professor that I have, I am anticipating great feedback that I can incorporate into the revision of the plan.
I am in now week seven of the module. By the end of next Saturday, this module will be over and the new module will begin that Monday. That module I will be in my last MEd course which is EDU 699. This is where I will develop my plan and put together a product that will be published at the end of the eight weeks. This is a very exciting time. I am passionate about my project and really excited to share it with everyone.
In the beginning,, it was more nerve wracking but as the time passes, it seems to get easier with the understanding and development of everything. It is a lot of work and that can not be stressed enough but you learn to appreciate everything more when you put your heart and soul into it.
My project is going to be awesome. So many ideas. It will all come together and that is something to look forward to. As well graduation this May. Graduate school is not for the weak. Sometimes the work load may make one week but in reality you end up stronger.
I am waiting on my black belt.
Jorge Juan loves doing his homework lately. He is really into it. It is math. He has always loved numbers and been very good at counting. He uses foam blocks and dominos to count. I am really impressed at a wonderful job that he is doing and the improvements that he is making. He is comfortable holding a pencil with the correct tripod grip. His writing, in general, is more controlled and very neat and understandable. He is having fun and enjoying the learning process with less frustration and meltdowns. He is excited when he is doing hand son projects and sensory activities. The point for me is to make a strong connection between fun and learning. I want Jorge Juan to grow up loving to learn. I have been blessed that he really loves school and loves books. I read to him when he was in the womb. I would always go to the library and pick up books to read to him. I really believe in this.From before he could speak as a baby and toddler, he loved to read and look at words from a book. Also, when I was pregnant with Jorge Juan, I did Sudoku puzzles, so many of those Sudoku puzzles every day, in a book and on Nintendo DS. This is also a part why I believe he is good with numbers and enjoys math. I believe that him being on the Autism Spectrum is a huge blessing. It took a lot to get use to but I would not ever change him for the world. My husband and I are blessed as parents and very proud of the achievements that he has made in his 5 years of life. He started his first year of Pre K without speaking and in diapers. He was in diapers for the whole year of first year Pre K. He went to pull ups and eventually out of diapers towards the middle to end of second year Pre K. The toilet training was a battle in which we overcame. Never give up.
He is loving, caring and empathetic. He is curious and loves to be creative. He loves God. he loves babies, animals and people. He is healthy. He is learning. He can see, walk, talk…why would i ever want to change that? Autism is just a label, that is all. Never give up. If you go back and read the start of Jorge Juan’s journey, you will see what he has been through, overcame and made it out the other side. It can happen. Never give up.
Jorge Juan had karate class today and he just was not into it. He did all of his high kicks and did his jogging around the mat but each time he kicked, he would fall down, on purpose and crawl to the back of the line. Waiting in line for his turn, Jorge would zone out, stare into space and do a little flapping of the hands, jumping in place and other ASD type movements. Overall, class went okay and he got his tiny lollipop at the end, but he just was not focused. He slept well and all. He still enjoys going to karate but I am guessing it is like when we were younger and would kind of waste a day in class or at school because we were day dreaming and could not remember most of the day.
He was very happy today because we went to my sister’s house today for lunch. She has a dog and Jorge loves to play with him. Actually he loves all animals and is very loving but was very excited to play with Buddy because he gets to run around and chase him unlike George and Zebra, his guinea pigs.
Jorge is becoming more independent. Tonight at bath time, he was washing his body and his hair. I want him to always know that he is capable of doing anything he sets his ind to. Of course I want him to learn important life skills that he is able to do on his own. He has come a long way and is coping very well. He puts on and takes off his own socks and shoes, only sometimes needing help. He can basically dress himself now. He feels good being able to do so too. That is important for children. They need to feel that they are contributors to this world.
Jorge Juan continues to take his vitamin and fish oil, in which he does not object to. He says he is growing stronger and turning into a teenager, as he shows off his muscles.He is getting better with his eating but one day I want to visit him in school during lunch time to see how he eats and interacts. Mostly I want to make sure he is not rushing, wasting food or things of that nature. He has been doing well with homework and I am so grateful that he enjoys school and creating projects. His writing and fine motor skills have advanced and he can cut very well now. He has been reading a lot this past week and is getting excited for Valentine’s Day!!
It was a great productive snow day for Jorge Juan. He was so excited to complete his project about Martin Luther King. He picked out the famous Black American from a whole list. Mind you, he is in Kindergarten. He told me why he chose Dr. King too. The project will be displayed at school for the month of February. He really likes that part. I printed out a few pictures for him of MLK, but he chose which ones he wanted. He then cut out the pictures by himself and pasted them onto colored paper. He chose the colors of the papers himself.
He decided that he wanted to make a book, so that is what it ended up being. He wrote his sentences by himself. He copied my writing on another paper to do so. He put cool stickers on his project. He chose the colors of the pipe cleaners to make the rings. I made the holes from a 3 hole punch but he placed the pipe cleaners in. He was so proud of himself and very happy. It was along project but it was fun and he stayed focused and interested in it. This is a big deal and a great milestone. He even explained to me and my husband who Martin Luther King was.
It was very touching. Patience and discipline has been gained through some times. He has been perfecting his fine motor skills and becomes engaged in the learning process.He has been improving all the time.He is very healthy and I believe the fish oil that he has been taking is assisting with many things in his path way. I have not seen him flap his hand sin a very long time and he has been very mild mannered and behaved.Yeah he still leaves his hat at school, but that is nothing compared to the great advances that he is making. I am so proud of him.Autism is his super power. He has come a long way.
He also read a lot today. He was active and accomplished a lot. He played, watched some quality TV and he learned.Tomorrow he has school and karate.He is excited about his project and to show to his teachers.