DAP in the Early Primary Grades
You are here
DAP in the Early Primary Grades, Ages 6-8
Best practices in first, second, and third grades involve balancing children’s need for focused instruction with their need to build on what they already know. Primary grade children benefit from concrete hands-on experiences. They need to see and make connections, especially across subjects.
An integrated curriculum not only fosters connections between concepts and areas of learning but also makes learning fun.
Let’s see what DAP in the early primary grades looks like:
The first graders sit in a circle, squeamishly watching their teacher pick up a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Katrina explains that the class will be hosting the new pet for several weeks. She takes the insect around, giving each child a chance to have a good look. “OK, what questions do we have?” Katrina asks. “One at a time so I can write them down. Maybe we can find the answers to all our questions if we study our new pet.”” The children have a lot of questions and over the next few days, as they observe the insect, come up with even more. Intrigued, the class eagerly undertakes the new research project.
It’s good practice for early grade teachers to set aside time blocks for specific skill and concept study. Having time to focus helps children learn. Teachers know the children are eager for and need
- illustrative information;
- direct instruction on/about a new concept, word, or event; and
- opportunities to practice a new skill.
Given the time to apply what they’ve learned, children make gains in every domain—from language to science to emotional development.
The classroom example above is adapted from the March 2005 Young Children article, “To Run, Stomp, or Study: Hissing Cockroaches in the Classroom,” by Katrina Korte, Laura Fielden, and Josephine Agnew.