Preschool Teaching: a Learning Aid for Increasing Classroom Interaction

Introduction

Interaction is defined as the experience of utilizing and applying course material in solving a given problem. Interaction can be in the form of solving practice questions and performing hands-on exercise.

The goal of the project is to develop a training material for teachers to carry out the instructions in ways that will be better understood by preschool students. The instructions provided to the students will consist of subject topics in areas of math and English. Math will consist of basic addition and subtraction. English will include learning the alphabets, and basic grammar and sentencing that are used for simply communication of correctly transferring one’s thoughts.

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Project Objectives

General Objective of the Project

  1. Develop a prototype that can be used for the training materials in the subject topic of teaching math and English.
    1. When learning a subject matter, need to keep the learners interested and engaged in the overall of subject and the learning material(s) used.
    2. Design and create prototype of the learning material to be used in class.
      1. The prototype created will be used to enhance the learning interest in the subject matters.

Objective Directed to a Specific Subject Matter

  1. In the case of teaching math
    1. Create a business game system that will invoke the student’s inner interest in exploring the world they live in, outside of the classroom environment.
    2. Example themes of the game system includes
      1. Selling apple juice
      2. Purchasing toys from a toy store

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Significance and potential benefits

1) Selling apple juice

In this case, students are encouraged to change the apple juice to other varieties of fruit or juices they have more interest in. The scenario will include the process of gathering the resources to form the final selling product (e.g. apple juice). The calculation of expenses throughout the process of gathering the resources and the income of selling the product are the focus for teaching subtraction and addition.

2) Purchasing toys from a toy store

Similar to selling apple juice, the scenario changed from a seller’s point of view to a customer’s point of view. This scenario may be more relevant in the daily lives of a child. In this case, the child will be making the purchase instead of their parents. They will be given an amount of money and a variety of choices in toys. Based on the amount of money given, students will be tasked with purchasing a toy or toys of their liking without over spending. This process of pick and choose will aid in deciding to make, of which, also involves adding and subtracting the amount of money needed to make the purchase based on the toy or toys the student ends up with.

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Methodology

Plan

Using the first example of selling apple juice. Prototypes to be made includes a juice selling stand, apple, juice maker, currency, and figures representing the seller and the customer(s). The figures may be in the shape of a person or cute animals. These prototypes will be created from laser cutter (e.g. juice stand) and 3D printer (e.g. apple).

Challenges

The smaller the prototypes, the harder it will be to create them. Especially in the case of 3D printing an apple or similar toy-sized objects. It is possible to calculate a certain size where the apple won’t be too small to print, and also not too big to play with as a toy without the game system.

Limitations

Limitations in this project may include availabilities in resources (e.g. physical materials, software) for creating the prototypes. Another limitation is in creating detailed prototypes, such as carving details for currency in both paper and coin forms because it will be too small to show on a toy sized currency.

Deliverables

A prototype of a business game system for preschool teachers to better present learning materials in the subject of math will be created. The prototype items included are mentioned above.

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References

Coolahan, K., Fantuzzo, J., Mendez, J., & McDermott, P. (2000). Preschool peer interactions and readiness to learn: Relationships between classroom peer play and learning behaviors and conduct. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(3), 458-465. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.92.3.458

McDermott, P. A., Leigh, N. M., & Perry, M. A. (2002). Development and Validation of the Preschool Learning Behaviors Scale. Psychology in the Schools, 39(4), 353.

Fantuzzo, J., Perry, M. A., & McDermott, P. (2004). Preschool approaches to learning and their relationship to other relevant classroom competencies for low-income children. School Psychology Quarterly, 19(3), 212-230.

Supplies:

  1. Pencil
  2. Eraser
  3. Paper
  4. Wood (1/8 inch Baltic Birch)
  5. 3D printing material (i.e. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene a.k.a. ABS)

Digital Downloads

  1. Adobe Illustrator
  2. Autodesk Fusion 360

Tools & Equipments

  1. Laser cutter
  2. 3D printer
  3. Sand paper (or similar functionality tools)
  4. Pliers

Step 1: Brainstorm Prototype Designs

Laser Cutting & 3D Printing

  1. Brainstorm design

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Laser Cutting

  1. Brainstorm design
    1. Design in your head and then flatten it out
    2. Thinking 3 dimensionally but designing 2 dimensionally
  2. Sketch design on paper

Step 2: Design Prototypes - Laser Cutting

Laser cutting

  1. Use Adobe Illustrator
  2. Line for cutting: 0.072 points (may vary depending on cutter)
  3. Use RGB colors (i.e. red, green, blue) for drawing

Step 3: Design Prototypes - 3D Printing

  1. Use Autodesk Fusion 360
  2. Frequently used feature/function: CREATE
    1. Used CREATE for individual shapes (i.e. circle, square) and for creating new shapes and designs through combining them


NOTE: The apples were taken/modified from an free online downloadable source.

Step 4: Prototypes - Laser Cutting

  1. Using notches or keys to hold the flatten pieces together to fold up and create 3D objects
  2. You can cut wood and fabric
  3. Can buy cheap wood materials from Home Depot or nearby wood-shop
  4. Use cardboard or cheap and machine applicable materials for draft cutting before using wood or final product material

Step 5: Prototypes - 3D Printing

  1. Used the 3D printers at the school's makerspace
  2. Use the plastic/applicable material for 3D printing as instructed
  3. Prototypes printed took over a sum of six hours

Step 6: Final Product - Laser Cutting

  1. Assembled the corresponding pieces for the juice stand.
  2. Sand corners and surfaces as needed.

Step 7: Final Product - 3D Printing

  1. To remove the extraneous materials, use pliers and sand papers (or similar tools) as needed.

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