Teacher Feedback

In Ghana

I have been conducting workshops in Ghana, Africa for the past four years, but this past year (2010-11) is the first time teachers received in depth training in Every Child’s Path. Rose Ofari, the Primary Co-ordinator in the Acropong region had monthly meetings with the teachers, then visited them to see how they were progressing. These are her comments:

This program is wonderful. It is here to stay. We want it to be extended to all the schools in this district so that all our children can enjoy good education.
With each lesson in Every Child’s Path, the children are expected to answer many questions about what they see on the Noticing Mat. Because they get frequent practice in how to respond, they are able to answer questions in sentences, using English. They are ready to do everything with confidence. The praise that is promoted, motivates the children. With feedback, even if they are incorrect, they try once more and are able to correct themselves. The way the program is planned, they notice many things and analyze what they notice. They see details, similarities, differences and pick out the most important things. It carries over to other subjects and makes teaching easier. You can’t believe it. The schools using Every Child’s Path are called the Noticing Mat Activity schools.

Youth Hope International School

Selassie Kodjo started the Youth Hope International School for underprivileged children who were not attending school in Accra, the capital city. Initially he had children meet in a church, then built a small, make shift school of boards and tin in a small common area behind houses. When Every Child’s Path was introduced to Selassie four years ago, he decided to make it the school’s core program. Together, Selassie and his young teachers, who have high school education, studied and followed the lessons outlined, as they introduced Every Child’s Path, to Ghana. The following are Selassie’s comments.

Every Child’s Path is the best thing that has happened to our school. We are now ranked among the best pre-schools in La, Accra. Prior to the programme we had 87 pupils. Soon word went round as to how our pupils were doing. The number of pupils tripled and soon we needed an additional classroom, and have a waiting list. It is the state of affairs to date.
The simplicity of language, the common vocabulary between teacher and pupils, and the practical nature of the programme make each session an exhilarating experience for both teachers and pupils. This is what every school needs.

Tina Gogo, has used the program in Selassie Kodo’s school for three years. She was instrumental in this year’s training of teachers with Rose Ofari. These are her comments:

I teach 59 children who are three and four years old. This program is enlightening. My children have learned how to notice many things and have responded very well. They are always excited about the mat and are interested in what we will be doing. The children have learned how to answer questions in  sentences and are learning how to write. Teaching this program is very easy and enjoyable. It has much impact on the children. Children who move on to the next school have great achievement. One child had to be moved up from class one to class two.
[Tina’s teaching will be featured in a video that will soon be available on this website.]

Other teachers at the Youth Hope International school have said the following:

I have 59 children who are three and four years old. The children have learned a lot of things.  The program itself is very very exciting. It keeps them concentrating, calm and quiet. My children performed very well when they moved on to their next class. [They have Every Child’s Path the next year.]
Lydia Laryea
[Lydia’s’s teaching will be featured in a video that will soon be available on this website.]

Whenever I take the mat out, the children  [35 who are two and three years old] want to know what exercise they will do. They sit down and are quiet. They put on their Noticing Glasses and repeat what others said they noticed, so they become good listeners. The whole program develops children’s skills and minds.
Vera Mensa

I have been using this program for a year. [She has 55 children who are four and five years old] This program gives tremendous support. The children notice many things. They know where to start writing and can speak in sentences.  They have fun and want to participate.
Theresa Adjetey

Teacher trainers from the Acropong District have provided the following feedback:

I have been teaching for 24 years using other programs, but I prefer this one. It is very good. My children are able to grasp whatever I teach in class because what they have learned in Every Child’s Path helps in other subject areas. They answer and speak in simple sentences. They notice sounds of the alphabet. [We made a Ghanain alphabet where the letters look like something the children would know that began with that sound.  s is a snake, t is a tree etc.] They have learned how to put the consonants and vowels together to make simple words. They know how to compare things they notice. This program has made a big difference.
Vivian Opare

This program is easy to teach now, but I found it difficult at first because it was so different. My children are responding very well. They like to talk about the Noticing Mat and speak in sentences. I teach the children in groups. Every Child’s Path is very good. It is good for the children because it helps them do many things.
Joan Siaw

The children are happy to see the Noticing Mat. They are quiet because they all want to be on it. There is not enough room for the mat in my class, so we sit outside under a tree. My children have learned how to speak in simple sentences in English and they know their prepositions.
Gloria Ametawo

In Canadian Schools

I believe this program should be taught before most others because it provides a solid foundation for spatial relationships, directionality and related language across the curriculum. Its many connections give the children a better sense of how these necessary, basic concepts fit into their world. Apart from that, the children are totally engaged, and I enjoy teaching it.
Linda Jackson, Bonaventure Meadows P.S., Thames Valley

I think your program speaks for itself.  It is great having a powerful math, literacy, and PRINTING program all in one.  I isolated the printing last week, and am teaching it in lessons according to your lesson plans.  I think that every child, even the ones with weak fine motor skills, can learn confidence AND proper printing form, using your idea and plans.  In fact, during interviews I showed the parents your book and reviewed with them what we were doing, and how to continue at home. All of them were very positive about it.  On Thursday, I gave everyone a new whiteboard from the dollar store, and went on to stroke 2, the straight down stroke, with its letters.  It went so well.  No one said I can't because they could all make the right starting stroke, and it was then so much easier to make it like the model. I am very excited about the concept of the 4 starting strokes, and wish I had done this program years ago.  It makes printing lessons so effective, so quickly!
Donna McMullen, Queen Victoria P.S., Trillium Lakes

Every Child's Path is well organized and easy to use. The great interaction and use of the mat itself keeps the children’s focus. They can’t wait for an opportunity to participate when I bring out the mat. They love the program and are 150% involved. Behaviour isn’t an issue because I can involve my children throughout the lesson.
Kirsty Hill, Meadowbrook P.S., York Region

After Christmas I joined Kirsty’s class for Every Child's Path. Since she had started the program in the fall, I could see a real difference between the classes’ responses to questions. Her children knew all the vocabulary, and knew how to use that vocabulary to answer questions.
Linda Zalac, Meadowbrook P.S., York Region

Although we have just started using the Every Child's Path program, I can already see that it is very practical. When I tested the children on Concepts about Print, (Marie Clay’s Observation Survey in Early Literacy Achievement) without hesitation, they explained the concepts shown (in literacy) because they had already been introduced to similar concepts in Every Child's Path. When writing, the children all knew that we begin in the Starting Corner.
Carol Mitchell, Queen Victoria P.S., Trillium Lakes

This program is just what my children need. I really like the fact that it is so language-oriented. This is really good for our immature, needy little guys. Insisting on using complete sentences throughout the program is wonderful and carries over to show and tell and story writing. The sequence of questions is great because it keeps them thinking.
Donna McMullen, Queen Victoria P.S., Trillium Lakes


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