ADRIAN — Adrian College students enrolled in the teacher education department at the local institution of higher learning brought a little bit of beach life to the Adrian District Library on a Michigan December evening last week.
Six AC sophomore and junior students currently enrolled in Dawn Milner’s TED 356 Early Literacy and Language Development course provided a number of beach themed activities for local children, ages 5-9, as part of the teacher education program’s required practical experience hours working with younger children.
The AC students Wednesday, Dec. 6, staged a puppet show, a charades activity, an interactive read aloud and then offered the children several beach stations where games could be played, and crafts could be created. Each event had a focus on improving early literacy skills.
The program provided attendees with one last blast of indoor beach fun before winter arrives. Participants were encouraged to dress for the indoor beach elements with beachwear outfits and accessories such as shorts, beach shirts and sunglasses.
“This was our community partnership event,” Milner said. “It’s good for our students to be able to get some practical experience working with actual children while also helping the library out by providing a community event.”
There was no cost for children to participate in the beach party at the library and registration was not required.
The beach theme, Milner said, was something her students collaborated on with the library and retiring youth services director Cathy Chesher, who sported her own beach attire at Wednesday’s program. This time of year, Milner said, a majority of people long for that summer beach weather with a cold Michigan winter on the horizon.
“It starts to be that time of year where it’s dark and dreary and we want to remember sunshine and warmth and better, nicer days ahead,” she said.
As part of the teacher education program requirements, TED students need to log a certain number of hours working with students before they can graduate. The AC students were excited to plan the event, Milner said, where they could get out into the community and produce something that was hands-on and interactive.
“They get tired of practicing skills like this with each other,” Milner said. “It’s a lot more engaging and a lot more meaningful if they get to practice with actual children versus pretending to be children and trying things out in the classroom.”
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Upon their graduation, the teacher education students will be certified to teach in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms. The library beach program was designed for preschool through fourth grade students, although the beach party was open to the public.
“It was a good chance for them to have some classroom management practice, as well as see what is developmentally appropriate in terms of activities for this age of students,” Milner said. “Also, it was a good way for them to start to get their teacher voice and how they should interact with young people. It was a good chance for us instructors to give them some coaching and feedback before its high stakes.”
— Contact reporter Brad Heineman at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on X, formerly Twitter: twitter.com/LenaweeHeineman.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Adrian College teacher education students stage beach event at library