Education

little boy holding flowers for teacher to smell

From the basics to beyond!

The phrase “back to basics” is often heard in our field. However, a more motivational approach for teachers would be “toward the basics and beyond!”

 

“The kinds of traditional play that children have done naturally for generations is still at the foundation of the work that we do with children,” writes Deborah Murphy. “We have the wisdom of the sages through the ages, but we also have the wisdom of the children right here, right now.”

 

“‘Teacher! Look!’ they say to us. It is good advice. Let’s watch and appreciate their deep engagement, singular focus, and creative innovation. We often discuss modelling behaviour for children. What about flipping that paradigm?” Read more.

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girl stacking Outlast wheels

Maths in the great outdoors

“When you look closely, the everyday living world is intriguing and magical, and full of awe and wonder: think of the excitement when a child finds their first ladybird; how many times as a child did you count the dots on the ladybirds back? Young children feel this need for exploration, discovery and creative learning strongly and we will have done our job if we can help them to retain this throughout their lives, ” writes Michelle Wisbey.

 

Looking for ways to expand the range of mathematical activities in your outdoor environment? Michelle outlines the importance of these activities and provides some suggestions. Read the article.

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boy on a rope swing outdoors

Rae Pica: The 3 things that have changed

“Early childhood educators tell me lots of stories when I keynote or train,” writes US early years consultant Rae Pica. “Since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine how many stories I’ve heard. But lately I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers, repeatedly. It’s disturbing—and it needs to be addressed.”

 

If you’re in the early childhood field you can probably guess what these three issues are. Read Rae’s take here.

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little girl removing or returning carry crate to its shelf

Every moment matters

Much of what occurs in a child’s day may seem trivial or monotonous from an adult’s perspective: going out, coming in; jacket on, jacket off; choosing a toy, putting it away… However, because children live intensely “in the moment”, it is precisely within the context of these seemingly ordinary routines that learning happens.

 

As early years educators we need to find ways to capture and celebrate the regular rituals in a child’s day and “turn the ordinary into the extraordinary”. To get started, try these ideas from Dr. Sandra Duncan: The power of everyday moments.

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children and adult sharing storybook on outlast benches outdoors

Encouraging literacy in children with SEN

A child's first experiences with books and stories, paper and crayons build the foundation for language, reading and writing.

 

“Teaching language and literacy via the use of books demands the highest quality teaching. This in turn requires knowledge, insight and curiosity about how children learn and develop alongside their unique interests and needs,” writes Kathryn Solly. Kathryn explains how children with SEN can become inspired about books and reading.

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