Dr. Jana Urban – Educational Blog
Infant Room Goals
1) Gross-to- fine motor activities:
We will develop activities that allow infants the opportunity to develop the ability to:
Look up, look across, look down, crawl “to”-reach “for”- grab onto- grasp/ hold for a period of time- pull/push flex and extend arms/ legs, pivot, sit up, sit prone, etc.
They will also have activities that give them an integrated ability to concentrate while using these motor skills- in order to move from exclusive attention of infancy to selective attention needed in reading readiness ( This prepares them to work their way up to the selective attention, “readiness skill”, needed for ages 4-up)
2) “Multiple Intelligence”:
Infants will be exposed to a variety of materials and activities that allow them to integrate the gross to fine motor skills- with the process of learning-while they also gather and store information that leads to the development of new brain cells.
Skills to be worked on here introduce beginning experience with, and concepts of:
a) The motor coordination abilities needed to: “Reach for”, grab onto, grasp (take hold of), Hold on “to” (for an extended length of time), crawl to- look at- look up, look across – To implement these- we will use elements of simple items pertaining to:
Colors, shapes, and related items that initiate the math-science concepts of weight/ volume/mass/ depth/width.
Staff will also implement motivating the infants to eventually hold their own bottle, Sippy cup, and to develop the ability to feed themselves
Also integrated will be tangible items pertaining to Social Studies positional concepts (meaning skills such as here-there, near-far, object permanence relationships being integrated with skills such as “reaching for” and holding on to”- looking up at, etc.)
Also included here will be holiday and community items that are visual symbols (to look at- hold on to, reach for –etc.) integrated with phonemic awareness and oral language skills.
The integrations of the various elements with motor coordination activity and the spoken oral language clues are meant to promote “multiple intelligence skills”. The materials are “elements of a set”- meaning they are a set of items related to a theme- such as hearts for Valentine’s Day, “flowers” for Spring,-etc.- Thus these are a “math awareness “feature- related to “combining like terms” and “elements of a set- leading to the ability to sort and classify later on!
b) To initiate infant speaking abilities – Oral language and “beginning “phonemic awareness will be introduced to infants by the staff’s implementation of such “follow me” activities to include singing “DO, Re, Mi,”, and the use of tambourines, triangles, bells- etc.
Staff will attempt to attract infants to the sounds, thus motivating them to begin to mimic those sounds or to turn to look to the area the sounds come from.
We will also include a variety of music for these same purposes, as well as for pleasure.
The children’s names will be spoken to them and staff will attempt to get them to identify themselves to their names when called.
These will also be integrated with activities that reinforce motor coordination and other skills. (For example- reach for the musical noisemaker- look at the place where the sound is coming from- etc.)
The oral language/sounds and music activities integrated with motor coordination- lead to an infant’s ability to develop more brain cells- through the process of interactive exploration of sound and movement, and visual/auditory concentration/ stimulation.
c) Math, Science and Social Studies integration with motor coordination skills for “multiple intelligence”:
Infants will interact with: “elements of sets”-
“elements of sets” of items that revolve around the previously mentioned shapes, colors, positional concepts and Social Studies/science /math themes.
This is a math-concept feature that allows us to be able to integrate other themes with this reading readiness concept
These “elements of sets” also help to introduce the ability to “combine like terms”, and “contrast and compare”.
All of these help initiate the ability of children to think independently, in order to be creative and problem solving.
Integrated with these will be materials with related concepts pertaining to scientific exploration and discovery. Examples of such- are items that change color when squeezed, items that are shiny, dull, rough, smooth, crinkly, “waxy”-etc. “Textures” are a science component that integrates interactivity and motor control- so the use of familiarity with textures is also our implementation of “multiple intelligence”-the world is not a flat- one dimensional monochromatic place…Life is also more then what is on a computer screen…things need to be touched by children in order for them to develop sensitivity, emotional intelligence and creativity.
There will be some mathematical components (such as introducing children to size- shape- volume- mass- weight or measurement as well as quantity.)
For Social Studies- activities will have some positional value (such as here- there near far- reaching for- walking or crawling “to”-etc.) The implementation of these goals will enhance infant ability to gather and store information in the “hippocampus of the brain”, thus promoting brain cells to multiply!
Brain cells only multiply until the age of 7- after that brain development slows down… What cells are there by age 7-then determine your ability to learn new information, and make decisions! These “elements of sets” also help to combine like terms, and contrast and compare that introduce think for themselves in order to be creative and problem solving.
Integrated with these have some concepts pertaining to scientific exploration and discovery, and have some mathematical components (such as exposing children to size- shape- volume- mass- weight or measurement as well as quantity. For Social Studies- activities will have some “positional “components- as per “Head Start” goals. (Such as here- there, near- far, reaching “for”- walking or crawling “to”-etc.) We also incorporate items that have cause and effect, such as encouraging infants to crawl to or reach for items we have that have knobs to turn, levers to push to the side , and buttons to press that “do’ something when moved- such as play music.
Children reinforce their strength and ability to judge distance, such as how much of a length to reach out their arm to push a button, or how much force to exert to move a switch.
All of these actions require a multiplicity of brain areas to function at one time, and once used- they add yet more cells when we use a variety of items that require this type of action!