Learning how to teach the little ones

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News (From left): Beloit Memorial High School students Fa'Niya Garrett and Tanaya Clardy practice their skills with kids in a childcare simulation with Marionna McEachin.

BELOIT - Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) students taking a child development class have been making lesson plans, doling out snacks and challenging their wee students in a childcare simulation.

The two-week project, part of Family and Consumer Science teacher Deb Brovick's child development class, helps students prepare for child-related careers. High schoolers were responsible for carrying out lessons to teach 1- to 3-year-olds math, science, music, movement, art and fine motor skills. All the lessons as well as snacks had to be tied to an overarching theme.

"Today's theme was fruit so they had fruit snacks and apple sauce," Brovick said.

Although students were allowed to ask Brovick questions last week, they were on their own at the simulation.

"Once they start teaching they can't talk to me at all because they are in charge," Brovick said.

In an interview on Wednesday, students Tanaya Clardy and Fa'Niya Garrett discussed the month of careful planning the endeavor required. With a theme of summer, they came up with two weeks worth of lessons. One day, for example, they were planning to do a science experiment, make pipe cleaner puppets and to decorate a beach ball as an art project.

They explained how students were broken into four teams, with the groups switching off between teaching and observing.

Clardy said the project was like running a daycare. She said she enjoys working with kids and one day hopes to become a child psychologist.

Garrett said she plans to become a child social worker, noting she never forgot the social worker who helped her when she had family problems.

Brovick said the project is a great way to learn how a daycare operates and helps students decide whether to pursue careers with children.

Brovick said she teaches five early childhood classes at the high school and students can earn up to 18 college credits in her classes.

Retired educator Judy Stogsdill started the childcare simulation and Brovick has been offering it for six years.

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