When we talk about collaboration, we can be doing this with anyone we work with. For this post I want to talk about collaborating with our peers and or colleagues. It is so important that grade levels meet and talk with one another. Colleagues should also share important topics, ideas, themes, and objectives that may need to be covered in the grade you teach. If you teach Kindergarten, talk to the Pre-K teachers about what they are teaching and give some objectives that they should or could include to help children for the next year. Kinder teachers, go to the First Grade teachers and ask what you can do to help children to get ready for the next year.
Collaboration can mean so many different things. Just remember when you collaborate you are putting children first. You are doing what is best. If you don't have grade level meetings in your building, ask your principal if this is something you could start.
Based on research there are seven components of literacy instruction for ages 3-5.
Increased vocabulary and language
Knowledge of Print
Letters and words
Understanding books and other texts
Literacy as a source of enjoyment
(Dodge, Colker, Heroman, 2009).
You must also provide many opportunities for children to develop vocabulary and language.
Songs, rhymes, fingerplays, or movement activities
Children's literature can become a huge part of introducing lessons in the classroom. There are so many things you can do to use engaging children's books to introduce lessons, teach concepts, etc. This article does a great job giving ideas on things you can do! :)
In my opinion, play is becoming extinct. I think that "we" are focusing on so many other "academic" things and ideas and totally forgetting about how children really learn---through "play". Play is a child's work. As teachers we need to stand up for what we believe is right.
And time at home to play
Children are on computers, social media, other forms of "play" and physical developmental play is becoming left behind.
Read this article I have written on play
In today's world we must think of every possible way to connect with families and decided how to build a reciprocal relationship with them.
I believe that we, as teachers, can use social media to connect with families.
1. What I am doing here: A classroom website and blog.
2. Professional twitter: Meaning ONLY things that relate to classroom practices or how to help families.
3. Professional YouTube Channel: This can be to help parents with activities, new things learned in your classroom, or ideas on things to do at home with children.
4. Professional Pinterest: Only early childhood ideas that can help families.
Here is my most current article that provides all of these areas that I have created to communicate with teachers.
As you develop relationships with families you will want to share practices, ideas, and information on developmentally appropriate practices so that families know what they are and they can use them at home too.
Invite parents into the classroom to tour the classroom emphasizing the features that reflect DAP such as displays that are at a child's eye level, labeled materials, centers etc.
Provide resources and information about DAP to parents, in a family library section or in newsletters, e-mails, websites, and in conversation.
Post information in your classroom about DAP and what you are doing in your classroom.
Create printed labels and materials that briefly describe how activities promote development in different ways and for different levels. This will help your parents and administration to understand.