Here’s Why You Should Never Underestimate Play in Preschool

Many parents send their children to school even at a young age. They believe that the earlier their children attend school, the better it would be for them. There are some parents, however, who are hesitant to send their kids to preschool. They think that their children are too small or young for it. While it is true that kids largely depend on their parents, a high-quality preschool serves as a strong foundation for them to learn academically, emotionally, and socially for their future success.

Parents usually worry about their children’s performance at school – on how they are going to handle assignments and answer their teacher’s questions. This should not be the case though, for preschool involves activities that enable children to learn while playing. Forget about the idea that preschool is rigorous, because in reality, it is playful. And here are some good reasons why your child should go to preschool and how important play is.

It is well-settled that, by nature, children are playful. This is the main reason why play is a main activity for preschoolers. There are different types of play that your child may experience, namely creative, dramatic, manipulative, and physical.

  1. Creative. It takes place when kids use art materials like clay, pencil, paint, etc., to form or draw a certain thing using their imagination.

  2. Dramatic. Students are given specific characters and they will act out and take on the roles of adults, animals, and the like. This enhances their social skills as they need to interact with others.

  3. Manipulative. Kids love playing with toys, whether small or big. Doing this allows them to control on how to hold and handle them.

  4. Physical. Play in preschool helps children to become healthier. Doing sports games, such as basketball, relay race, or mini-obstacle course seems as if they are performing exercises. Also, it helps them to grow strong, joyful, and stress-free.

The value of play, therefore, should never be underestimated. It provides benefits that can be really helpful to your children as they grow and study further. For instance, children learn best when they are physically engaged. Imagine your child playing basketball or any other physical sports with his classmates. He will push himself to win and even start building motor skills. This goes the same when your kid participates in a dramatic or cooperative play. His language and vocabulary abilities are improved. As the teacher gives students instructions on what to say and how to act, the latter begin communicating on their own and express their thoughts and emotions.

Another major advantage of play is self-confidence. Your child starts to feel confident about what he is doing when his teacher acknowledges him for his accomplishment, no matter how big or small it is.

Play in preschool promotes social and emotional development. If you want to prepare your child for the future, the best way to do that is to send him to school, be it local or international preschool.


Source by Shine Manson

Preschool Language and Literacy Development Activities

Here are some great activities that parents and caregivers can easily work into their preschooler’s day to help with language and literacy development.

What do you do?

Have your child draw pictures and tell stories of things they do in the morning or at night. For example, I get up and eat breakfast, then I brush my teeth. This works on sequencing and memory.

Snowflakes

Show your child how to fold and cut paper to create a snowflake, circle, or heart using instructions that he or she can follow. Then allow the child to follow the instructions to make his or her own snowflake or other shape. This activity helps with memory, following directions, sequencing and hand coordination for writing.

Picture Stories

Using a book or magazine, show your child pictures and ask him to make up a story about the picture. Encourage your child by asking W questions…who, what, when, where…and why. Again, this develops sequencing as well as observation and imagination skills. Write your child’s story down to illustrate that words can become permanent records of stories.

Quirky Questions

Ask your child a silly question like, why do frogs hop? As your child answers, have fun by asking additional how, where and other open-ended questions to build language. Take turns asking quirky questions and making up answers.

What Happened Next?

Read a story to your child, or tell your child a story. Then ask your child to tell what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. This helps with memory and sequencing.

Grocery List

Have your child make part of your grocery list, then allow him or her to get the items at the grocery store. Even if the child cannot write the words for things, he or she can draw a picture to represent the items that need to be purchased. This helps with developing a connection between written words and real items and ideas.

Letter Search

Using an old magazine or newspaper, have your child circle the letters of his or her name in the magazine or newspaper. This helps with developing letter recognition. When your child starts to recognize different letters, also have him or her search for those letters.


Source by Loretta M Gilbert

Bringing Dinosaurs Into the School – An Aid to the Creative Curriculum

With the roll out of the Creative Curriculum within the United Kingdom, giving teachers and administrators the opportunity to be more flexible in the delivery of core teaching programmes, new opportunities have emerged to motivate and enthuse young people, particularly when it comes to the science subjects. After all, one of the key aims of this new development is to help young people, in fact students of all ages from reception/foundation right up to key stage four, gain the capacity for original ideas and actions. In effect, to help students learn about science, the environment and other related science subjects such as mathematics; through personal exploration and enquiry.

The Creative Curriculum and the Teaching of Science Subjects

In our experience, as teachers the creative curriculum has allowed us to act as facilitators to learning, we have found that the greater flexibility in being able to teach core subjects and national curriculum principles has been a very positive experience both for those teachers delivering the lessons and also for the pupils.

Being more creative has led to the abandonment of many of the older lesson plans and schemes of work we had. Others have been modified and adapted to make them work within the context of having greater teaching freedoms. In particular, being able to introduce new term topics such as a study of dinosaurs has brought real benefits to the delivery of the teaching programmes.

Whilst we accept that modifying existing lesson plans, topics and schemes of work made more work at the beginning of this new teaching style, the outcomes have more than made up for this with a more motivated and enthusiastic group of students, who do, genuinely seem to be able to apply key skills and demonstrate learning.

Why Choose Dinosaurs?

The choice of a study of dinosaurs and indeed other prehistoric animals as part of a themed topic for a term or part of a school term is a really good idea in our opinion. Firstly, most children go through a phase of being fascinated with these prehistoric creatures, this will ensure a willingness to participate in the lessons and activities. Secondly, dinosaurs these days are rarely out of the media what with television shows, cartoons and films so most children are very aware of them and already have some knowledge. Perhaps, most importantly of all, the subject of dinosaurs or to be more precise a study of the Order of reptiles known as the Dinosauria provides enormous scope for developing a range of exciting lesson plans across a range of subject areas.

Subject areas that can be covered include the sciences, mathematics and geography but also with some creative thinking, areas of teaching as diverse as music, physical education and dance. For example, utilising the subject of dinosaurs for a term topic gives teachers the opportunity to explore themes such as changing environments and extinction. When delivering such a scheme of work we have incorporated many different subject areas all loosely based around the mass extinction event that occurred sixty-five million years ago that led to the death of the dinosaurs. Science areas can be covered by exploring the possible reasons for the extinction event, the breaking down of food webs, the impact of volcanoes and changing climates. This can permit teachers to explore current themes and issues related to subject areas such as global warming and the impact of human population growth on the planet. By being creative, the extinction motif can be applied in other subject areas such as composing a piece of music to reflect change and the death of a whole group of prehistoric animals. This enables teachers to tap into other learning styles of the pupils. With music and movement in mind, we have helped create dance classes where pupils try to interpret the death of the dinosaurs through creative dance and other performance works.

Most children have some knowledge of dinosaurs, indeed, in our experience there is usually at least one very knowledgeable person in the class, perhaps a budding young palaeontologist that can be relied upon to help enthuse and inform on the subject area. When wanting to encourage independent learning we hung a washing line complete with pegs across the classroom. We then asked the pupils (in this case key stage two students), to think of questions about dinosaurs and write them on a piece of paper with their name on them. We then examined the questions that had come out and grouped them (another useful exercise involving word association and spatial awareness). Once the question areas were grouped, teams were selected and each team given the task of researching a question and reporting on their findings to the rest of the class. This encouraged independent problem solving and research using a range of resources and then each team made a presentation to their class mates and wrote up their findings for display on the “resources wall” that we had created to help theme up the room for the dinosaur topic.

As teachers, we found the delivery of a topic associated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals a joy to teach and found our own curiosity and interest ignited. There were certainly many key benefits for putting dinosaurs into the classroom, a summary of the benefits we found are listed below:

1). Pupils were more involved in their learning and took greater responsibility for their learning. There was a real sense of ownership when being taught this subject. For example, the sense of pride when designing their own prehistoric animal, working out where it lived, what it ate and what name it should have.

2). Students were more enthusiastic about the subject areas and there was greater motivation. For instance, exploring the concept of averages with a key stage 3 class using some dinosaur footprints to make a trackway and measuring the average distance between steps.

3). As teachers, we too were more motivated and enthusiastic about the subject area of dinosaurs. It was a “fun” aspect of the curriculum and it was more rewarding and personally satisfying to see how the children responded to the more creative teaching methods employed.

4). Greater parental involvement. One benefit of teaching about dinosaurs that was not foreseen was the greater interest shown by parents and guardians. Adults too, also seem to have a fascination with dinosaurs, we encouraged the children talk about dinosaurs with their parents and guardians when at home and we saw a marked improvement in the attitude of many parents towards teaching when they began to see how creative we were in delivering teaching plans and programmes. One thing we would recommend is to have an “open afternoon” permitting the pupils to show off their work and studies involving dinosaurs. We set up a “mini- museum” that showcased the work and the experiments the children had done. This was very well received by the parents and guardians that attended.

Bringing dinosaurs into schools is certainly recommended. It enables teachers and educationalists to tap into the enthusiasm of the pupils, it motivates learning and provides a rich environment for developing lessons and learning. We even learnt a few things ourselves – would definitely recommend.


Source by Mike Walley

5 Reasons Why You Should Teach Your Child to Be Helpful

As a parent, you have the responsibility of teaching your child important life skills they will need later in life. One such important skill every child needs to learn is how to be helpful. Lots of parents either don’t recognize the need to teach their children this lesson, or they don’t want to bother with it because they are too busy. If you don’t think it’s important, here are five points to consider:

1. They learn how to do things on their own. When a child is required to help, they begin to learn how to do things on their own. It is imperative that every child begin to gain their independence at some point, and by teaching them at an early age how to help, they start to figure out how to do things on their own.

2. They learn how to do things for others. As your child starts becoming helpful, they not only learn how to do things on their own, but they also learn the importance of doing things for others as well. Remember to share with your child the importance of giving to others, but not giving beyond their means. You don’t want them to become doormats to others, but you do want them to know the importance of helping others.

3. They learn the importance and reason for being helpful. As your child becomes helpful at home, they will quickly grasp the importance of helping out. Being a good helper makes Mom’s afternoon less stressful. Helping Dad with the yard work means they’ll get that Saturday morning fishing trip they’ve been wanting to go own with Dad.

4. They understand how helping others creates a more positive environment for everyone. As stated above, helping around the house means a lot less stress for everyone, and a lot more fun for everyone, too. By being helpful, they will come to understand the give-and-take of daily life.

5. They will use this experience to build upon as they grow older, as they learn how to become self-sufficient and helpful in more areas of their life. When you teach your child how to help out at home, even if it is something as simple as setting the dinner table, this is something they can build on as they grow. Letting your kids help out in the kitchen will eventually lead to them learning how to cook their own meals. Life skills like this one are essential to living a full life as an adult.


Source by Hope Wilbanks

Sex Education: Its Importance and Need in the Society

Sex Education, as the term clearly indicates, refers to education which is based on human sexual behavior. Parents, schools or caretakers offer it in some parts of the world to educate the children, who are stepping into their adolescence. If formally received, sex education is either taught as a full course at high school or junior high school level or in biology, health, home economics classes. Teaching sex education is rather a controversial issue; debates have been going on for several decades discussing if it should be taught formally in schools or not. Sex education in schools should exist without any doubts and apprehensions as it offers many benefits.

Adolescence is called the “age of storm and stress”. The young teenagers, during this phase of life are under deep psychological pressure. Mainly, this psychological pressure is the result of one’s growing sexual needs and the biological changes and hormonal effects on the individuals. During this time, most of the children are observed to become easily irritable. They find it difficult in most situations to deal with the family members. They might not want to talk to them about the natural changes taking place in their body and mind. In such circumstances, one highly suitable option is that of the teachers who are able to teach them to control their urges until a proper age. In schools, trained teachers would help the students to know how to deal with their sexual impulses. This role can not be replaced by parents or other entities. A classroom discussion and lesson would make them feel it is natural, and they would also feel that they are being understood by someone. However, taking them individually to psychologists or other trained educators would not help. In such a situation they might consider themselves to be different and misunderstood by family and people around them. Therefore, it becomes crystal clear that the best way to offer sex education is always in school.

It is a psychological phenomenon that children at young age are under an immense peer pressure. Something that they learn in the class with their peer group is what makes a better impression on their minds than otherwise. They are more focused in the lessons that teachers offer and are more eager asking question to clear their ambiguities. They might feel embarrassed and uneasy questioning their parents about it, but it always differs in case of the teacher in the class. This is because everyone in the class is going through the same stage. A class discussion becomes healthy source of learning as it helps in enhancing the knowledge on the subject.

Many people advocate that sex education should only be restricted to families, that is, that parents should personally educate their children. This view is totally illogical and holds complications and questions. The first point is that not all the parents would be willing to do it or would be able to do it. Secondly, this education needs a proper channel through which it should reach its required learners. There could be many possible problems in the families so they might not be able to take the role of a teacher in educating their children regarding sex. The demand of annulment of sex education from the schools is highly conservative.

Most importantly, there are many single parents, how would they take up this challenge of educating their children on their own? Parents can not properly educate their children about sex also because they lack details that qualified sex educators convey in schools. Thus, the stance of abolishing sex education in school is not a favorable thought. In many observed cases where parents or children are embarrassed about talking over sexual matters with each other, it is most likely to be uneasy situation at both the ends. This keeps the children from learning the answers to the questions they might have in their minds. This can be a great flaw of shifting the duty of sexual education from teachers to the parents. It will leave the children only half or less educated about the issue and as they say “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, this might end up in grave situations.

According to research, most of the parents also feel uneasy because they know that they are not equipped to provide the apt sexual information to their children. They also fail to comprehend what details and information should be concealed and what should be revealed, keeping in mind their children’s age. On the other hand, there might also be parents who would feel comfortable talking to their children about sexual matters, but only when the children bring the matter up.

Most parents, around the world, may also lack role models to look up to as they would not have talked over sexual issues with their own parents in their adolescent. This makes them inefficient to trigger their roles of educating their children in an effective way as the assigned teachers are able to do in schools.

Sex education is not limited to only a single branch of knowledge. This education focuses on a number of significant sexual matters that are offered with especially designed courses and programs. Sex education covers the education of relationships, sexual abstinence at a certain level and teaching to practice safe sex to the level of children who are thought to be sexually active. Therefore, its claim for being appropriate and guiding holds strong base.

At a certain age of adolescence, growing children have problems facing relationships and controlling their personal emotions. Conflicts related to such matters persuade many youngsters to commit suicides or take part in other immoral activities. Proper sex education in schools also concentrates in making the youngsters emotionally stronger and in educating ways to cope with relationship problems. This argument strongly shows the immense benefit of sex education in schools.

Sex education is an important health strategy and this cannot be denied. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can only be controlled if people are aware of precautions and have a vast knowledge in this case. This knowledge is conveyed through sex education, and if sex education is banned in schools and if parents have to educate their children, then it would not be as beneficial to the individuals and the society on the whole as teaching in school could be.

Sex education does not exist in all parts of the world. Asians are commonly regarded conservative when compared to westerners. It is not a part of their course in schools; this does not in any way mean that their teenage pregnancy rate is any lower if they are not exposed to sexual matters openly. In fact, this is one way how peers can mislead most of the youngsters and persuade them to bask in young age sexual relationships without any attempts for safety. This has resulted in serious problems such as the spread of fatal diseases like AIDS and has also increased rate of illegitimate births.

Researches have shown that the cause for ramification of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) in the eras of 80s and 90s in the US and the UK is the lack of knowledge and information provided about sex in schools or home. Home and family has never and will never play an integral part in conveying sex education to teenagers, therefore to rely on the option of home, is to deceive your own self from the expected exigency in the future.

Some conservative groups assert that to discuss sexual issues openly is to devalue religion. No religion in the world abstain its followers from spreading the information that is so essential for human lives. Sexual behavior is natural and takes place through biological changes and this cannot be questioned as this is a part of human life. Thus people who take refuge under the religious shelter, to make their arguments strong, are misinterpreting religious ideas and laws.

Modern time is the time of internet and powerful media. Teenagers are exposed to Hollywood, TV and internet. These sources offer demonstration of sex which is highly thoughtless and casual; in this situation it is almost illogical to leave the teenagers on their sexual choices. They are young and fully excited; therefore they can not make a favorable choice. Sex education in school offers the information and knowledge they need to understand to know the responsibility that is accompanied by sexual relationships. The teacher in school helps the students to know the difference between a thoughtless and thoughtful sex. Having an urge for sex is not a problem; it is a natural process showing that the young people are developing to become adults; however the problem is having unsafe sex and hurting people through sexual choices.

People who claim that sex education in schools have more cons than pros, often come up with the statements suggesting that sex education in classroom should be avoided because the most effective tool for offering sex education, according to them is TV, films, magazines and media. Such people fail to understand that trained sex educators under especially designed programs teach sex education to children in schools. They are thus able to handle children’s problems and clear their ambiguities in the best possible way, whereas magazines, films, TV and other channels and mediums of providing sex education are be reliable. They are most of the times urging the young people by encouraging their sexual promiscuity rather than effectively teaching and educating them. This wrong approach damages the society and the individuals in disguise of ameliorating them.

People contradicting the notion insist that sex education always makes the learners have sex and experience it personally, once they learn about it in school. The reality is that sexual urge for any human being is a natural occurrence. When children reach to a certain age, whether they find people to educated them about sex or not, they do have natural instincts about it, and therefore if provided a chance they would surely want to satisfy their urge. This natural reaction can not in any way be related to the outcome of sex education in schools. In fact, the best time for letting sex education play its role is when the sexual urge increases and the teenagers want to find a source for its satisfaction. It offers individuals with the required knowledge so that they are careful. It is only then that they understand the consequences of sex leading to child birth as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Thus sex education is basically a warning and a caution for such children who are stepping into the phase of life where they would need to know all this.

Some people who go against the topic also argue that even though sex education exists, it has still not decreased the rate of teenage pregnancies. I would rather not go deep in to the moral issue of the topic, but it is important here to discuss and point out the shortcomings of our society. Social values that insist that being single, pregnant and teenagers is fine, is what has to be changed. Through educating the children and making them aware that it is just not ‘cool’ to be pregnant when single or teenager, and just because ‘others are also doing it’ does not in any way justify their actions, this change can be achieved. There are many sexual education programs that teach the learners about the grave consequences that can result in having early sex. This type of sex education in schools is helpful and makes the learners responsible and mature enough to understand the difference between morality and immorality.

People, who are against the notion, repeatedly state the question that why sex education is given so much importance when there are also many other issues connected with juvenile delinquencies such as drugs, drinking and aggressive bullying. No doubt, there are also many other issues to consider important enough to be taught in school for awareness but psychological researches show that behind most of the juvenile behavioral problems, one main reason is always the active sexual urge which drives the young people to indulge themselves in harmful activities like drug abuse and alcoholism. It is also commonly observed that young teenagers who indulge into such activities are unaware of proper sex education. Once they are given a true picture of sex and its consequences their mental status relaxes and they are easily able to cope with other social taboos.

Parents, who believe that sex education pollutes the minds of their children, have in large number taken their children out of schools promoting sex education. In this process of instilling in their minds their religious and family values, they forget that the media, their children are largely exposed to can also lead them astray. Sex education in schools does not in any way offers them an invitation to have open sex by making them aware of the risks; it just educates them about the matter in the best way.

Apart from educating the students about safe sex, sex education in schools is also helpful as it helps students to learn proper terminology for reproductive system, STDs and birth contraceptives rather than the street lingo that is commonly used by laymen. Sex education classes are gender based and that is why the young learners are not embarrassed and are only taught what is related to their gender. Early inclusion of classes also helps the teenagers to either become abstinent for some time or to become responsible if they are already active. Therefore, many sexual problems that occur in adulthood can be controlled if effective and apt sex education is given at the right time.

A proper sex education which is holistic, nonjudgmental and comprehensive never misleads or misguides the teenagers. Such a curriculum should be imposed in all schools around the nation; it is an answer to many social problems and conflicts. Would any parent leave their kindergarten kids to walk alone on the streets without letting them know how to walk safely? No parent would actually do that, in the same way, letting your teenager children socialize with their peers and fellows without any proper sexual education is nothing contrary to the analogy mentioned above. It is hazardous and risky for their lives. Thus, proper sex education in schools should be encouraged so that they learn all the significant facts through trained teachers, who help and supports them in these matters of highly crucial value. Sex education should be taken as a positive aspect which promises healthier and better life for the youngsters. It therefore should be taken as a subject taught in schools to enhance knowledge on the subject matter; something merely as human anatomy or biology class. Sex education should be given in all schools to educate the children for their betterment, avoiding it will only result in emotional, social and health problems.


Source by Amna Tariq Shah

Treasure the Early Years! Don’t Rush Into Education

When I read about those overzealous parents scribbling their unborn child’s name onto a waiting list for that “hot new preschool” it bugs the heck out of me. Now I know that these parents have only the best intentions, after all, they’re trying to get an early start on ensuring a top of the line education for their child. What’s wrong with that?

Quite a few things actually.

#1 – Your child is not a product, nor a hot new trend to show off as of ____enter scheduled cesarean date here____

#2 – Education IS important, but getting him into “the best of the best school” is not the sole purpose of your child’s existence

#3 – How can you predict what may happen or where you’ll even be three or four years from now?

#4 – You’re already putting high expectations on your child and she’s not even born

I could go on but you get the idea. The point I’m trying to make is that you should not rush your child into a formal type of education while they are still very young. I believe that three years old is a ridiculous age for preschool. Is the ABC’s really more important than exposing your child to your full attention, your love, guidance and life lessons? What is your child going to learn at circle time at the age of three that you can’t show him at home?

If it’s the socialization issue here’s a little tip. At three years old a child is moving from parallel play, or playing “beside” other children with no real interest in interaction, to associative play, or seeking out other children to play with. Engaging and actively playing with other children doesn’t really kick in until around four years of age. If play dates are your preference, schedule a play date once or twice a week, let your child play with the other children at the park, take your child to story time at the library. There are so many different options for exposing your child to other children. Preschool at three years old is just too young. There are no real lessons that your child can learn, or any life skills he will pick up by starting a method of traditional education so early in life. Intelligence is not a race to the finish line. You shouldn’t rush into early enrollment or unboxing that curriculum because you’re afraid that your child will “fall behind.”

That goes for us homeschoolers as well. Holding up flashcards in front of those angel eyes and trying to master motor skills with lesson plans are not beneficial for such a young child. Why do you want to rush through these beautiful years of discovery? Bonding, guidance, praise and security are all your little one needs to develop the essential skills that every child masters at the young stages. Baby Einstein isn’t necessary to grow and connect those neurons, a simple story and a walk through the park will do more for your child than “A-A-An-Annn-Ann-t-t-t-ANT!”

Young children need so much help with understanding and learning how to handle all those feelings that swarm throughout their bodies every minute of the day. Parents are the safest and most qualified individuals to help young children understand their feelings. Your child feels safer and more trust with you than they’ll ever feel with a teacher, daycare provider or peers. It’s critical for children to develop a sense of empathy and to learn how to handle those intense feelings that they can’t control while young. Spending the early years shaping those feelings, manners and morals that you want your child to have is more important than the ABC’s and 1 2 3’s. When your child becomes frustrated with something he doesn’t quite understand, would you rather he throws a huge tantrum, screaming about how he can’t do it, or would you rather he approaches you calmly and politely ask for help in solving this problem he can’t figure out by himself? By forcing your child to focus solely on drills, memorization and exposure to “a normal educational setting” you’re losing critical moments of emotional growth and understanding.

If you really want your young child to learn the basics, here’s something you can do from the comfort of your own home!

When it comes to the alphabet, colors, letters and numbers, matching games are the easiest and most fun introduction. I did this with my daughter when she was around two years old and didn’t try to force anything or rush her into learning anything. I just gave her these sets a few nights a week, matched everything myself while she watched and then cleared the board and watched as she tried to figure it out. Over a couple of weeks, she started figuring it out and began matching the cutout letters onto the sheet of letters perfectly. The same with the colors and numbers. Before my daughter was four years old she knew all her letters, colors and numbers up to twenty.

We should never forget that children need our love and attention. Schools and flash cards can’t replace that special bond parents have with their children. Rushing into education is never a good idea. You’re only given so many years of those joyful baby and toddler years. Treasure and cherish these moments because once they’re gone you can’t get them back. With plenty of love, encouragement, motivation and most importantly, your attention and praise, your child will have no trouble learning everything he needs to know to be just as “smart” as those elite academy preschoolers who has parents more obsessed with status and labels than the pure joy and satisfaction that come from simply enjoying every moment of those early years.

Children don’t need fancy schools with professors at the head of the room. They just need their parents, plenty of hugs, kisses, attention and guidance to get a head start on life. Nothing more, nothing less.

What early educational activities have you used with your child? I’d love to hear about it below!


Source by Courtney M Jones