University of Mount Olive Int

  • Based on your understanding, describe how the idea of powerful interactions (info in powerpoint attached) is supported through intentional teaching practices (info below)

INTENTIONAL TEACHING—- To be intentional is to act purposefully, with a goal in mind and a plan for accomplishing it…. Intentional teaching is not an accident.” Ann Epstein

Intentional Teaching

When you are “intentional” you act with purpose. You have a goal in mind and a plan for how to accomplish it. Intentional acts are carefully thought out with much consideration for their possible results.  So an “intentional teacher” makes an effort to have clearly defined learning objectives for children, uses instructional strategies to assist children in achieving those objectives. This teacher continually assesses children’s progress then modifies the strategies based on that assessment.  A teacher who can explain precisely why she is doing what she is doing is acting intentionally no matter whether she is cautiously using a strategy for the first time or instinctively from experience and practice, or as part of a purposefully planned interaction or spontaneously in a teachable moment.

“Intentional teaching does not happen by chance; it is planful, thoughtful, and purposeful. Intentional teachers use their knowledge, judgment, and expertise to organize learning experiences for children; when an unexpected situation arises (as it always does), they can recognize a teaching opportunity and are able to take advantage of it, too.” (quote from “The Intentional Teacher:  Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children’s Learning by Ann S. Epstein) All the domains of learning (social and emotional, cognitive, physical, language and communication, approaches to learning or creative development) contain important skills and knowledge that young children need and desire to master.  This means that an intentional teacher plans activities to meet specific goals or outcomes while integrating and promoting meaningful learning across all learning domains[s1] .

Learning in All Domains

An intentional teacher has extensive knowledge regarding how children typically develop and learn. These teachers must have a collection of instructional strategies. They know when to use a strategy or combination of strategies to accommodate individual children’s learning style and the specific content they are learning. Purposeful planning is in the pieces and an intentional teacher will understand to add all of them up so as not to neglect a part and keep the focus where it needs to be-on the whole child building their competence, success and ability. Your goal as an intentional teacher is to learn what current and future developmental steps the infants and toddlers in your care are taking, and use that information to meet the individual needs of each of each one of those children on a daily basis.

Knowing child development helps with the WHAT (what are they getting out of it), WHO (who they are right now and what stages are next), and WHY of planning. That is the way to intentionally plan and provide materials and interactions to meet these needs in all children. Remember also that children learn at their own pace so we must be flexible with our plans as each child grows through the stages individually.

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