The few years that I have spent in the world of education – initially as a Teach for India Fellow and later as an Early Learning & Education Expert, one thing if I have realized that works great with young kids is a Print-Rich learning environment. Even before a kid starts to speak or read, he starts to recognize objects he sees around either in pictures or physically.
A print-rich learning environment doesn’t necessarily mean only pictures. Flash cards, Handmade books, Posters & charts, word wall & word cards, Labelled objects, story charts, maps etc all contribute in making a print-rich learning environment for young kids. These bright, colorful & versatile learning tool ensure that kids have a better & faster language development.
As a teacher, everything my students learned in classroom, I ensured that there was constant reminder of it around us in the form of posters, prints, charts etc. This made sure that the lower order kids who were not able to remember the objectives we covered at one go had a help or reference to refer to & to be able to master the objectives we have covered. This also applied to the class values we followed.
The value wall was a constant reminder for students on how their conduct needs to be when in the classroom. For eg. If a student is stuck at a problem & doesn’t know how to reach at the solution, his friends would remind him that our class values encourage us to Ask Ask Ask!
Well, nothing has changed much now that I am a mother. I now have a Value Wall at my home for my kids too. Although they can not read, but every time I need to reinforce a value, I point towards the wall & remind them that they are expected to be respectful or say Thank You & Please when required etc. So now they also understand that the writing on the wall means a code of values we need to follow.
The biggest resource that we have discovered in the journey of parenting are the Flash Cards. I introduced flash cards as a learning resource at an age as young as 18 months. Since then we have come a long way in last 14 odd months. we have learned to identify objects, animals, birds, insects and a lot more that we might not see in our day to day life. We have learned a lot of concepts of language as well as Mathematics using charts & flash cards. I am and always will be grateful to print-rich concepts that hepled me keeping my daughters informed about a lot more than they have a physical access to.
Prints & print-rich environment is a resource that came along my life as a blessing – for the teacher in me as well for the mother in me. So, what is the resource that you use & value the most in your life?
Suggested Reading – Whether it be as a teacher or as a mother, I always emphasis on the value of Structured Learning through play & fun activities. Read my blog about Structured Play HERE (Click for direct link)