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 DUE IN 16 HOURS – DISCUSSIONS ARE ATTACHED TO REFER TO

Course Reflective Journal

[WLO: 4] [CLO: 2]

You have come such a long way since Week 1! You should be proud of your accomplishments over the past four weeks. Now, take some time to reflect on your experience in ECE 205. For this journal, address three or four questions such as the following in your reflection:

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  • What has impacted your learning the most throughout this course?
  • What was your favorite discussion and favorite assignment, and why?
  • What did you learn in this course that surprised or inspired you?
  • What will you take from this course that you will use in your current and/or future profession?
  • Do you feel like you are ready to work with children of different developing stages? If so, why? If not, why not? What additional information will be helpful for you in order to feel prepared?
  • Add anything else you feel is relevant about child development and this course that is important to you.

Suggested Assignment Length

  • One to two double-spaced pages (not including title and reference pages).

Research and Resource Expectations

Writing and Formatting Expectations

  • Syntax and Mechanics: Writing displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Next Steps: Review and Submit the Assignment

Weekly Food for Thought…[Pick a Date]
Dear room 108 familiesInsert a brief introduction to play here…Uninstructed play is a common phenomenon among humans and animals of various species such as dogs and monkeys. Among humans, play is shared by children of all races and genders across each generation. Furthermore, scientific research has proven that play promotes a child’s early learning and development. Thus, the free and guided play offers learning tools that encourage joyful learning.Insert a quote or saying about play here…According to research conducted by Pellis, Pellis and Himmler, (2014) play has been shown to promote early brain development. As a result, the brain is more adaptable to social skills and executive functions in adulthood (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..Insert research about play being developmentally appropriate (and support it by citing it) here…According to Toub et al (2016), there is a substantial body of research that has shown a link between play and how a child will learn and progress through specific areas of child development. The research has shown that play characterizes the appropriate context to enable learning (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..Play in our classroomProvide specific examples of how you use play in your classroom here….There are various ways that an early childhood professional can introduce free and guided play within the classroom environment.First, the educator can introduce guided instructions in guided play fostering learning of vocabulary among children. The children will first participate in a shared book reading, followed by guided play where the teacher will facilitate directed learning activities to emphasize vocabulary words.Secondly, the educator can introduce guided play to foster learning about geometry and shapes. The teacher can observe children as they play with shaped jigsaw puzzles and scaffold the interaction with instructions that build their spatial skills.Insert a quote or saying that supports how you use play in your classroom here…According to Verdine et al, guided play can foster spatial skills among children contributing to their future mathematics success (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..

Your name here (you can also include a name for the Lead teacher)

Discuss how play is integrated into learning by showing how your above classroom examples of play specifically meet the needs of children in this age group (age 3) in each domain of development (include at least one example for each domain)…

The first example of guided play within the classroom environment fosters cognitive and language development which advances the children’s communication skills by offering rich interactions and experiences as they communicate with the educator. Similarly, guided play reinforces ideas and concepts learned earlier through language. Guided play also fosters social-emotional development since during play, children can quickly gain the skills needed to function among peers. The skills include; sharing, sympathizing with others, and compromising. The second example of guided play also nurtures motor development as the children gain more control of their small muscle movements while grasping and fitting small pieces into the shaped jigsaw puzzle.

References

Groark, C. J., McCarthy, S. K., & Kirk, A. R. (2014). Early child development: From theory to practice. Bridgepoint Education.

“The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC. (2017, May)” Www.naeyc.org, www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2017/case-brain-science-guided-play.

Weekly Food for Thought…[Pick a Date]
Dear room 108 familiesUninstructed play is a common phenomenon among humans and animals of various species such as dogs and monkeys. Among humans, play is shared by children of all races and genders across each generation. Furthermore, scientific research has proven that play promotes a child’s early learning and development. Thus, the free and guided play offers learning tools that encourage joyful learning.According to research conducted by Pellis, Pellis and Himmler, (2014) play has been shown to promote early brain development. As a result, the brain is more adaptable to social skills and executive functions in adulthood (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..According to Toub et al (2016), there is a substantial body of research that has shown a link between play and how a child will learn and progress through specific areas of child development. The research has shown that play characterizes the appropriate context to enable learning (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..Play in our classroomThere are various ways that an early childhood professional can introduce free and guided play within the classroom environment.First, the educator can introduce guided instructions in guided play fostering learning of vocabulary among children. The children will first participate in a shared book reading, followed by guided play where the teacher will facilitate directed learning activities to emphasize vocabulary words.Secondly, the educator can introduce guided play to foster learning about geometry and shapes. The teacher can observe children as they play with shaped jigsaw puzzles and scaffold the interaction with instructions that build their spatial skills.According to Verdine et al, guided play can foster spatial skills among children contributing to their future mathematics success (The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC, 2017)..

Catherine “Diane” Baulkman

The first example of guided play within the classroom environment fosters cognitive and language development which advances the children’s communication skills by offering rich interactions and experiences as they communicate with the educator. Similarly, guided play reinforces ideas and concepts learned earlier through language. Guided play also fosters social-emotional development since during play, children can quickly gain the skills needed to function among peers. The skills include; sharing, sympathizing with others, and compromising. The second example of guided play also nurtures motor development as the children gain more control of their small muscle movements while grasping and fitting small pieces into the shaped jigsaw puzzle.

References

Groark, C. J., McCarthy, S. K., & Kirk, A. R. (2014). Early child development: From theory to practice. Bridgepoint Education.

“The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story | NAEYC. (2017, May)” Www.naeyc.org, www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2017/case-brain-science-guided-play.

Developmental Domains: Piece by Piece  [WLO: 2] [CLO: 1]

One of the keys to working with young children and providing them with the best care and education possible is our individual understanding as caregivers and educators of how young children grow and develop. Only with this understanding will we be able to foster appropriate development of the whole child. As Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk (2014) mention, “It is essential that caregivers understand typical human development because that understanding assists them in predicting how a child will learn and progress through specific areas of child development, or developmental domains” (Section 1.1, para. 2). The purpose of this discussion is to help you gain the necessary understanding not only of what the major developmental domains are, but also how each are intricately pieced together.

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Chapter 1: “The Importance of Studying Child Development” in the course text.

· Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  Developmental Milestones (Links to an external site.)  web page.

· Complete the  Developmental Domains (Links to an external site.)  interactivity.

· Based on your current or future career goals, choose which age range you would like to use for your discussion.

· Infancy: Birth – 12 months

· Toddler: 1 – 3 years

· Early childhood: 4 – 8 years

· Middle Childhood: Age 9 – 12 years

· Adolescence 13 – 18 years

· The specific age range used in this discussion is Early Childhood which incorporates children aged between 4 – 8 years.

· Developmental milestone comprises of a set of skills that children within a shared age group are expected to have achieved. The millstones are classified according to their distinct developmental domain. Five domains are used to characterize typical human development which enables caregivers to gain insight into how children will learn and progress through the various developmental domains.  With appropriate knowledge of developmental domains, caregivers can facilitate optimal development of the child by providing proper support and direction thus influencing the child’s social skills and academic competency Developmental milestones are only considered a framework as they are only a guide for caregivers to compare each individual child with predetermined human development expectation across different ages. However, since each child is unique, there are variations in the timing of the developmental milestones due to intrinsic and extrinsic influences (Groark et al, 2014).

· There are five domains characterizing child development. The first is motor development which entails the utilization, harmonization, and growth of muscles by a child. This domain is further classified into how a child uses ad synchronizes both small muscle movement and large muscle movements. The second developmental domain is cognition which encompasses skills related to how a child learns and processes information, solves problems, reasons, and recalls information. The third developmental domain is communication. This domain classifies how a child makes use of both verbal and body movement to communicate and express themselves. The fourth developmental domain encompasses social-emotional development which explores how a child controls their emotions and behavior, interacts with both children and adults, and resolves skirmishes with peers. The last development domain is self-help skills which encompass abilities that make a child independent and not rely on adults for daily grooming, feeding, and dressing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

· There are several developmental milestones across the five developmental domains that children within the early childhood age group are expected to share. The milestones for motor development characterized by children in this age range include; ability to stand on one foot for more than 10 seconds, able to hop and skip, the ability to climb on to swing sets, and the ability to do somersaults without self-harm.

· The milestones for social-emotional development characterized by children in this age range includes; the child wants to please their friends, the child also wants to please their peers, the child is aware of their gender, the child is interested in singing, dancing, and acting, and finally the child can display cooperative and demanding behavior on different occasion.

· The milestones for cognition development characterized by children in this age range includes; the child can count around 10 distinct items, the child can draw the figure of a person with more than 5 body parts, the child can write numbers and letter, the child can copy and draw various geometrical shapes and finally the child is more aware of items used every day by the caregiver such as food.

· The milestones for communication characterized by children in this age range includes; the child can speak very clearly, the child can also converse in full sentences, the child can converse using the simple future tense, the child can recall the names of people they have met and finally they can recall and say the addresses of places visited.

· The milestones for self-help skills characterized by children in this age range includes; the child can use a fork and spoon to feed themselves, they can use a toilet on their own, the child can dress themselves and undress without help, the child can brush their teeth and finally the child can wash and dry their hands without help.

·                                                             References

· Groark, C. J., McCarthy, S. K., & Kirk, A. R. (2014).  Early child development: From theory to practice . Bridgepoint Education.

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017).  Developmental milestones (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

Typical or Atypical Development? Children are considered to be developing typically when they reach developmental milestones according to chronological age. This does not mean that a child always reaches milestones on time. A child could demonstrate slight variations with respect to when or how she or he reaches a milestone since all children develop differently and experience varied influences on their development. However, a problem may be indicated when extreme disparities from the typical expectant age of a developing skill occur. How do we check for these disparities? What do we, as professionals, do when we find large variations? Those are some of the questions we will answer through this discussion. As Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk (2014) highlight, “Early identification is known to lessen future delays…” (Section 1.4, para. 2). As early childhood professionals, ensuring the best possible growth and outcomes for young children is the foundation of what we do.

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Chapter 1: “The Importance of Studying Child Development” in the course text.

· Read the article  Understanding Developmental Delays (Links to an external site.) .

· Read each of the  Developmental Checklist  downloadCase Studies and choose one.

· Review the  Developmental milestones (Links to an external site.)  for the specific age range.

For your initial post,

· Include the name of the case study you chose in the first line of your discussion post.

· Based on your review of the developmental checklist case study, explain whether you feel the child would be considered slightly delayed in meeting their milestones or might have a significant delay that needs to be further investigated. Support your rationale with specific details from the case study developmental checklist (e.g., what areas are causing you the most concern and why?).

· Based on your opinion of the child having a slight or possibly a more significant delay, explain the steps you would take to support this child and their family, providing your reasoning.

· Alex Smith

· Age 3 months

· Alex Smith has a significant delay in meeting his communication milestone within the broad range of what is considered normal for a child at 3 months. The child has however exceeded expectations by meeting their motor, cognitive and social-emotional milestones for a 3-month-old child. In regards to the child’s significant delay in meeting his language milestones, the delay is an isolated incident that appears to affect his communication, particularly how he expresses himself verbally and his inability to respond to others and loud noises. Thus, the child’s communication development must be investigated by a physician since it is not common for a child at three months to experience communication delays. At three months the child should have begun to react in response to loud noise and human voices (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). 

· Since Alex displays a significant delay in communication, further investigation is warranted. Since the communication developmental red flags have been identified at an early age, the child should be referred to an appropriate physician who will perform a screening process to determine whether a full assessment of the child is necessary. Foremost, Alex’s caregiver needs to approve in writing that they are willing to refer the child to undergo screening and assessment. Thus, I would advise them to approve for Ale to undergo the procedure. Screening must be conducted by an early intervention specialist in the caregiver’s presence. I would also advise them to be present during the entire screening process. I would also advise them to get an assessment from a developmental psychologist before enrolling the child in any early intervention service. The developmental psychologist will offer the caregiver sufficient insight into their child’s individual characteristics and offer solutions that will address his needs appropriately  (Groark et al, 2014).

·                                                             References

· Groark, C. J., McCarthy, S. K., & Kirk, A. R. (2014).  Early child development: From theory to practice . Bridgepoint Education.

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017).  Developmental milestones (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

Developmental Theory: Your Toolbox  [WLO: 1] [CLO: 2]

In previous courses, you studied various learning theories and the role played by theory in our ability as caregivers to support the developmental needs of the children in our care. Now that you have further studied developmental domains in this class, it is time to connect theory to the more individual needs of children within these domains. According to Groark, McCarthy, & Kirk (2014), in viewing one’s knowledge of developmental theories as somewhat of a tool box, an early childhood professional can identify which theory or theories can best help to make sense of the current circumstances. In identifying these theories, the caregiver can identify which approaches might work best to support the growth and development of the children in his or her care, based on the unique characteristics of the situation at hand. (Section 3.11, para. 3).

Identifying those specific approaches or strategies is the goal of this discussion.

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Chapter 2: “Influences on Child Development.”

· Review Table 3.5: Summary of developmental theories (Section 3.11: Integrating and Using Developmental Theories).

Review your assigned child development influence and text section from below.

Last Name Begins WithAssigned Child Development InfluenceSection from Text
A – EGenetics/Biological InfluencesSection 2.1
F – JEnvironmentalSections 2.2 and 2.4
K – NCulture and SocietySection 2.3
O – SAbuse/NeglectSection 2.5
T – ZBrain DevelopmentSection 2.6

Then imagine you are working with a child whose growth and/or development has been impacted in some way by the influence you studied.

For your initial post,

· Summarize, in your own words, the influence on child development you were assigned from above and its impact on a child’s growth and development.

· Specify the age range of the child you identified.

· Tell which domain (s) you are supporting specifically (i.e., cognitive, motor, language, self-help, and/or socio-emotional).

· Describe at least two strategies you can use in the classroom to support

· Several biological influences play a role in influencing a child’s growth and development. The first is gene inheritance, which proposes the traits responsible for a child’s growth and development are passed from both parents through hereditary. Thus, the parent’s biological code plays a role in determining the personal traits of a child which include their characteristic behavior, ability, and talents. Similarly, genetic modification can either lead to a child having a healthy biological system that will create positive health outcomes throughout their life. When genes undergo negative genetic modification, the event exposes the child to unhealthy outcomes that risks both their physical and mental wellbeing (Groark et al., 2014).

· The second biological influencer is prenatal and intrauterine influences. During growth and development in the womb, a fetus is most vulnerable as they are relying on the mother for all their energy resources and nutritional requirements. Women engaging in dangerous and inappropriate habits during their prenatal period can expose the fetus to substances that will heavily influence the outcomes of their pregnancy. Agents such as drugs, alcohol, and chemicals release toxic chemicals into the mother’s body leading to children born with birth defects, cognitive and physical disability, and low birth weight. During the prenatal period, women are advised to take a healthy and natural diet that promotes the fetus growth and development. Thus, a healthy habit during pregnancy is responsible for the growth and development of limbs, organs, and bodily functions (Groark et al., 2014).

· The third biological influencer is temperament. This influencer plays a major role in determining various inherent traits that a child possesses from birth such as their activity level and behavioral style. The difference in temperance can be observed in a child through how they respond to different events in their lives. There are three distinct categories of temperament for children namely; easy, active, and cautious. Each category determines how a child will respond to different situations and people determining how they adapt to new environments. Thus, temperance is crucial to cognitive growth and development (Groark et al., 2014).

· The age range of the child identified is 4 years. The domains that have been affected by biological influences include language and cognitive development. The child does not meet the development milestone checklist for a child between 3 to 4 years. The language development skills observed by the teacher include; the child is unable to master some basic rules of grammar, the child is unable to speak clearly enough to be understood and the child is unable to construct a sentence of 5-6 words. The cognitive development capabilities observed by the teacher include; the child is unable to follow simple three parts commands, the child is unable to understand the concept of simple and difference and the child is unable to engage in fantasy play (Groark et al., 2014).

· Several strategies can be employed by the teacher within the classroom environment to support the child in their cognitive and language development. Foremost, the teacher can discuss everyday events with the child and ask them a lot of questions so that they can develop more sophisticated cognition. The teacher can use simple statements which will lead to the child developing a series of what, why, and how questions about the world around them. Secondly, the teacher can introduce interactive media and other technology into their early childhood program. This will enhance the child’s imagination and increase the child’s interest in learning.

·  

·                                                             References

· Groark, C. J., McCarthy, S. K., & Kirk, A. R. (2014). Early child development: From theory to practice. Bridgepoint Education.

· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Developmental milestones (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html\\

Developmentally Appropriate Practice: The Key [WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 4]

Since you are enrolled in this course, it is hoped that you understand early childhood education is valuable for promoting the well-being of children and families. The ever-increasing support for early childhood programs is a testament to this. Now let’s consider what is key to ensuring early childhood programs and professionals have a positive and long-lasting effect on children and families. While there are several pieces to this puzzle, one of the most important aspects is the use of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). DAP involves educators meeting the needs of children based on their stages of development, “both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals” (NAEYC, n.d., para. 1).

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read  Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) Introduction (Links to an external site.) .

· Read  Developmentally Appropriate Practice: National Association for the Education of Young Children (Links to an external site.) .

· Complete the  10 Effective DAP Strategies interactivity. (Links to an external site.)

For your initial post, describe what, in your opinion, would be the ideal developmentally appropriate classroom environment for an age group you desire to work with. In your description, address the following questions:

· What is your ideal age group of children to work with?

· What does the actual classroom environment look like and have in it?

· How is it developmentally appropriate?

· What are the qualifications and dispositions of the educators or caregivers in the classroom?

· What types of learning experiences will children have? Why are they developmentally appropriate?

· As an educator, the most ideal age group of children to work with comprises children aged between 6-8 years. I consider this an ideal age group because at this age children are most susceptible to classroom environment influences that have long-term implications on their development and learning. This can lead to either positive or negative effects in promoting their lifelong success.

· The classroom environment aims to foster learning and maximize the opportunities for all children to achieve their full potential. The classroom will feature various distinct centers that provide the educator with opportunities to develop a curriculum that offers learning experiences that strengthen a child’s skill in each domain. The classroom will look to draw upon the strength and resources that the educator brings, creating a rich learning environment that stimulates, motivates, and extends each child’s current skills, abilities, and interests. Similarly, the classroom setting will have an early education program aimed at supporting children’s joy and marvel in learning. The early education program will feature various developmentally appropriate practices that I will develop using three core considerations aimed at nurturing optimal development and learning for each child. The first consideration making the classroom environment developmentally appropriate is commonality. As an early childhood professional, I will fully support the development and learning within my classroom by acknowledging that learning and development occur within a specific social, cultural, linguistic, and historical context. Secondly, I will consider each child’s individuality within the classroom environment context and thus develop a diversified environment that will support their development and learning needs. Third, I will consider is the social and cultural contexts that shape my experiences and as a consequence, the education program that I will decide to develop. To maintain a connection between the children and the education program I have developed, I will understand the consequences of various contexts and thus make adaptations to the educational program ensuring that they support the positive development of all children (NAEYC, n.d.).

· To fully support each child’s ideal development and learning within the classroom environment, the educator must possess a variety of professional qualifications making them fit to establish learning environments that promote the development of knowledge. The educator must possess subject area knowledge as well as an understanding of learning progression within each subject area. Furthermore, they must possess pedagogical knowledge of academic disciplines to teach each subject area effectively. Secondly, the educator must have a mastery of the core structures for all academic subject areas. As a result, they will be able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach and communicate the subject content appropriately to all children. The educator should possess skills that make use of strategies to promote children’s understanding and mastery of new and progressively more advanced challenges. They should also be capable of providing children with the assistance that allows them to succeed at tasks beyond their current level of understanding (NAEYC, n.d.).

· The learning environment that I will create will provide the children with various types of learning experiences. First, the children will feel the need to succeed in new tasks since they are constantly motivated to overcome challenges. Even if they fail, they will feel like they can go on to use the knowledge gained to develop a mastery of the discipline. Secondly, the children will feel encouraged to reflect on their experiences and concepts learned over time. Finally, the children will learn powerful lessons about social dynamics through the interaction they observe their educator having with them, other children, and their peers. The environment will enable the children to develop a social identity that does not privilege one group while discriminating against another. These learning experiences highlighted above are developmentally appropriate since they are in line with principles for early childhood education professional practice (NAEYC, n.d.).

· References

· NAEYC. (n.d.). Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) introduction (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/dap

· NAEYC. (2020). Developmentally appropriate practice: National association for the education of young children (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)  [Position statement]. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/position-statements/dap-statement_0.pdf

· NAEYC. (n.d.). 10 effective DAP teaching strategies (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/dap/10-effective-dap-teaching-strategies

·  

 Importance of Play: Interactive Newsletter  [WLO: 2] [CLOs: 2, 3]

“If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” – Vince Gowmon

Many skills are developed in a play-based curriculum. Setting up centers in the classroom provides the opportunity for you to plan for learning experiences to strengthen skills in each domain. In addition to this type of structured play, there are also many opportunities for children to learn through play in the form of unstructured activities. However, you may come across parents or other professionals who do not understand the importance of play in supporting early childhood growth and development.

To prepare for this discussion,

· Read Chapters 7 and 8 in your course text.

· Read  The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story (Links to an external site.) .

· Review your post from the Developmentally Appropriate Practice: The Key discussion in Week 2.

For this discussion, imagine that you are a teaching assistant for a 3-year-old classroom and are helping the lead teacher with the yearly open house. As families are touring the classroom, you overhear several conversations regarding how much playing children do in this school, and the concerns families have about the academic growth of their children. After everyone has gone, you talk with the lead teacher about what you overheard. The teacher comes up with a plan to send home a one-page informational letter that highlights the importance of play and why it is essential to this classroom. The teacher has asked that you take the lead on this project and create the letter.

For your initial post, develop a one-page informational newsletter to educate families about the importance of play in learning. You may use the  Weekly Food For Thought  downloadtemplate provided or you can create your own using Word Newsletter Templates or another format of your choice. Your newsletter must include

· A brief introduction that explains play as it pertains to early learning.

· A general quote or saying about play.

· Research that supports play being a developmentally appropriate practice for young children.

· Specific examples of how you use play in your classroom (what types of activities children engage in).

· A quote or saying that supports your classroom activities.

· A discussion of how play is integrated into learning by showing how the classroom examples of play you chose specifically meet the needs of children in this age group (age 3) in each domain of development (include at least one example for each domain).

Upload your newsletter to the discussion board as an attachment.

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