When you go and observe a children’s classroom, there will always be one or two active child that participates in the room discussions. They seem to be always ready with their answers; be it math, science or grammar. While the rest, they are meek and silent as if they are just waiting for the class to end. The teachers with their best efforts will try to encourage everyone’s participation but they can only achieve so much. Is your child one of the active ones or are they among the silent crowd?While parents want the best for their children, not many parents know how to provide for it or know how to do it. This makes educational toys to be the perfect go-between with your kids and their bright future.Parents have always wanted the best for their children. They dreamt of them being great pilots, high tech engineers, famous inventors, devoted doctors, brilliant lawyers and so on. Yet early on their schooling days, parents begin to sulk because they realize that their dreams for their kids are starting to crumble. The children being kids don’t have focus on knowing what they want for their future. All they want is to play, play and play. Forcing them to study with just scare them off of school. And it may be too late for them to realize that they have lost their chance for a brighter future.Educational toys are meant to be fun, but it is also designed with the child’s future in mind. It is made for the kids to learn without full knowledge that these toys are teaching them. Learning is a side effect of using educational toys. It makes problem solving fun, making math exciting, making science a start of discovering the world, making music an expression of self being. With educational toys being fun, kids would ask for more and more and parents will be happy to provide them.Puzzles and board games for example, are educational toys that come in different variations which makes them challenging and fun. A scrabble board game broadens your child’s vocabulary. Picture puzzles on the other hand excite their imaginations as they find ways to complete the puzzle. The closer they are to completion, the higher will be their eagerness and focus to complete it. Other board games like monopoly teach kids to do their basic math and learn how to spend wisely on money at hand. Charade would help kids express themselves better as they learn how to act out what they want to convey enough for their teammates to identify.Normally, kids will play with whatever they have at hand, it will be your responsibility as parents to provide the right toys for your kids and have the gain of learning from these toys. The sooner that you get your kids to start playing educational toys, the sooner we give them the head start for their studies. The closer you are to fulfilling your dreams for them. Of course, later on, they can have and fulfill their own dreams. The good thing is that you have prepared them for it.So invest in education toys for your kids now before they get left behind by their peers.
As teachers and counselors, you know that the elementary school years are important. During the elementary school years, your students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to the workforce. With your help, your students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. As you work with your students, your students do not make premature career choices or career preparations. For your students, elementary school is a time to build awareness.As elementary school teachers and counselors, you use career education to promote self-worth, skill development, and decision making strategies. Your activities are designed to build self, family, school, community, and career awareness. You use age-appropriate materials that match your students’ developmental levels. These activities expose your students to a variety of different jobs, career information sources, and the reasons why people work.When you prepare to develop age-appropriate materials products, tests and tools, you use career models like the National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) have domains, goals, and indicators. Each domain represents a developmental area. Under each domain, there are goals or competencies. For each goal, indicators highlight the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the goal. The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) prepares you to make materials that are suitable for your students.As a elementary school counselors and teachers, you create individual career plans and portfolios. Individual career plans (ICP) –
Identify initial career goals and educational plans
Increase employability and decision making skills
Individual career portfolios summarize career awareness activities and experiences that occur during the school year. In addition to individual career plans and portfolios, you use a variety of resources -Career days
All of the career activities and tools combine academic work with career pathways. Career activities serve as foundations for future skills. As teachers and counselors, you help students build connections between academics and real life situations. You use career education activities to stress the importance of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.You show students that Language Arts have many uses in the work force:
You provide examples that show how people solve problems when they use Mathematics. Different types of Mathematics include:
In Social Studies, your students learn how skills that are necessary to be successful in the global marketplace. In Social Studies, your students learn about –
Your students learn the importance of Science gaining skills to solve problems. You show your students how applications of Science are used in different industries, such as –
The connections between academics and real life situations reinforce, develop, and expand previously learned skills. In summary, as a elementary school teachers and counselors, you help students:
Know and value self
Build self-esteem and confidence
Learn and apply the academic material
Identify interests and build relationships between the school environment and the work force
Build academic, communication, problem solving, and social skills
Increase awareness of the need for future jobs skills
See the connections between learning in school, academic skills, job related skills, and careers
See career possibilities
See themselves as a future contributor to the job force
As counselors and teachers, you build self-awareness, family awareness, school awareness, community awareness, career/ work awareness, attitude development, skill development, decision making strategies, and self-worth. You use age-appropriate materials that match the developmental levels of the students. Examples of activities include individual career plans (ICP), individual career portfolios, career days, career fairs, field trips, information interviewing, and library book reports.After completing career education activities, your students are prone to get higher grades, academic achievement, school involvement, and interpersonal skills. In addition, your students are more adept to complete more complex courses and have higher graduation rates from high school. As your students get older, they will achieve their career visions and goals.References1. American Counseling Association, Office of Public Policy and Legislation. (2007). Effectiveness of School Counseling. Alexandria, VA: Author.2. Angel, N. Faye; Mooney, Marianne. (1996, December). Work-in-Progress: Career and Work Education for Elementary Students. (ED404516). Cincinnati, OH: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention.3. Benning, Cathleen; Bergt, Richard; Sausaman, Pamela. (2003, May). Improving Student Awareness of Careers through a Variety of Strategies. Thesis: Action Research Project. (ED481018). Chicago, Illinois: Saint Xavier University.4. Career Tec. (2000). K-12 Career Awareness & Development Sequence [with Appendices, Executive and Implementation Guide]. (ED450219) .Springfield, Il: Author.5. Carey, John. (2003, January). What are the Expected Benefits Associated with Implementing a Comprehensive Guidance Program. School counseling Research Brief 1.1. Amherst, MA: Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research.6. Dare, Donna E.; Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn. (1999, September). Career Guidance Resource Guide for Elementary and Middle/Junior High School Educators. (ED434216). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.7. DuVall, Patricia. (1995).Let’s Get Serious about Career Education for Elementary Students. AACE Bonus Briefs. (ED386603). Hermosa Beach, CA: AACE Bonus Briefs.8. Ediger, Marlow. (2000, July). Vocational Education in the Elementary School. (ED442979) Opinion Papers9. Gerver, Miriam, Shanley, Judy, O Cummings, Mindee. (2/14/02). Answering the Question EMSTAC Extra Elementary and Middle Schools. Washington, DC: Technical Assistance Center, (EMSTAC).10. Hurley, Dan, Ed.; Thorp, Jim, Ed. (2002, May). Decisions without Direction: Career Guidance and Decision-Making among American Youth. (ED465895). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Ferris State University Career Institute for Education and Workforce Development.11. Maddy-Bernstein, Carolyn; Dare, Donna E. (1997,December).Career Guidance for Elementary and Middle School Students. Office of Student Services Brief, v9 n1. (ED415353). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.12. Ohio Department of Education, Division of Vocational and Career Education, Ohio Career Development Blueprint, Individual Career Plan, K to 5 (ED449322). Columbus, Ohio, 200013. Splete, Howard; Stewart, Amy. (1990). Competency-Based Career Development Strategies and the National Career Development Guidelines. Information Series No. 345. (ED327739). Columbus, Ohio: ERIC Clearinghouse on Education and Training for Employment & Ohio State University14. U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. (1994, 2004). National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG). Washington, DC: Author.15. Williams, Jean A., Ed. (1999, January). Elementary Career Awareness Guide: A Resource for Elementary School Counselors and Teachers. (ED445293). Raleigh, NC: NC Department of Public Instruction, NC Job Ready.16. Woal, S. Theodore. (1995). Career Education–The Early Years. AACE Bonus Briefs. (ED386603). Hermosa Beach, CA: AACE Bonus Briefs.
One of the most controversial education issues today is the continuing decline in student learning standards at state schools throughout Australia, which is an issue of concern to both the public and the government. Hardly an election, be it State or Federal, goes past without the education band wagon being wheeled out, with promises of reform and greater spending to cure the problem.Yet the problem persists despite a myriad of “solutions” being applied ranging from increased spending, shifting the focus onto e-learning and various curriculum and assessment frameworks.Why is this problem so persistent? Despite intermittent efforts by the media to make teachers the scapegoat for the drop in standards, the blame lies neither with them nor with the students involved. At present, students can only be kept from progressing to the next year level if the parents of the student give permission. This sounds fine in theory, but in reality this permission is rarely if ever given. In the ten years I have worked as a teacher in Australian government schools, I have only seen one case of this.This means that students are promoted to the next year level regardless of their skill level. The students are aware of this and as a result the completion of set work in the classroom has become optional. It is worth noting that private schools are not subject to this ridiculous situation.Since there are no standards for moving up to the next year there are many students at any given year level that are well below the expected standard. This not only increases the workload of the teacher taking the class, but also diminishes the learning opportunities of those students who are interested in the work.Behavioural issues go hand in hand with a poor skill level in a subject, as the student who is behind the expected level is frustrated by work they do not understand due to not having a good grounding in the subject from previous years.Various solutions to these problems have been put forward including individual learning plans, open classrooms, task based learning and assessment, the list goes on and on. Most of these so-called solutions mean endless work for the teacher while producing no noticeable improvement in student outcomes. But the fact remains that none of these reforms address the basic problem of students not being required to pass to a specified standard. There will be no significant improvement in student academic achievement in core subjects such as English, Math and Science until minimum pass standards are re-introduced. Everything else is simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.