Another great week where I spent most of the day teaching. Being so young, the children have only two explicit sessions throughout the day. The first session occurs after play and morning tea at 10.00. This runs for approximately 1 hour and usually includes a literacy or numeracy session followed by rotational play based activities that the students are encouraged to join in with. Many of these activities are centred around fine motor development. There are also opportunities to develop their gross motor with outside game activities also incorporating the new learning. In the afternoon the students also have another small window of learning experiences such as reading conventions, show and tell and/or recapping of earlier learning experiences.
I have had a really great week where I have planned and delivered 5 engaging lessons. My mentor has given me nothing but positive feedback and has been hugely impressed with the plan and the activities that I have created to support their new learning. Although the students are young, there have been many opportunities to incorporate some form of ICT to amplify their learning. I have really loved the teaching experiences in this environment. The children are old enough to sit appropriately, engage in discussions and actively learn from the experience. I have ensured that all of the lessons are hands on and accompanied with bright and colourful concrete materials and multi modal presentations to engage.
One particular student named Ella (5) stood out yesterday. Over the course of the week, I have been teaching the students the conventions of reading. They have learnt that books have Authors, spines and titles. I have read a couple of Jeannie Baker books to them and had explained that many authors use similar themes and if they like a book they can find others by noting the author. Ella brought a book to me after quiet reading and said ‘Did somebody make this book’? All of a sudden there were another 4 children around asking about the authors so I showed them where they could find their names on other books. Then we decided that we could help each other to make a book next week. I also showed them the the iBooks App where they could make a book online and print it out. They loved drawing lines and faces on the App I had downloaded. This intentional teaching episode has prompted me to organise activities and lessons next week around the creation of their own book where they will become authors. In the The Early Years Learning Framework Professional Learning Program newsletter, ‘Intentional teaching is thoughtful, informed and deliberate’.
I am really fortunate that my mentor incorporates some form of ICT to amplify the learning each day. With only 1 smart board and 2 iPads, she really does make use of the limited devices. It is a shame that, as Karey mentions, many early years facilities do not utilise the tools as much as schools. This week I have used the following ICT tools to amplify learning by using:
- Graphic organiser of the lesson objective and activities
- To project multimodal presentation of song and rhyme (Olives rhyme and story) about letter ‘Y’
- Used to project the beginning of the story ‘Where the forest meets the Seas’ by Jeannie Baker. Children loved listening to sounds of the bush and sea and enjoyed seeing the bird fly around. After playing the first minute, I then read the book. It was great to prompt prior knowledge about the sea and forest which many had not experienced. We also had a discussion about different ways of reading a book.
- Projecting a slide I had created for the children to come up and place their object (foam shape) onto the correct same shape column in a ‘sorting into groups by attributes’ maths activity.
- Used to present a fun, engaging episode of children’s yoga (10 minutes) after we had discussed and sorted ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ food we can eat.
- Used to practice writing their letter of the week (G)
- ICT lesson (Active learning QKLG): Discussion of how to hold and use safely and explain safe use of Apps.
- Literacy (Communicating QKLG): Children practiced drawing faces and writing their names as authors on iBooks, learning about conventions of print.
- Used in Maths lesson (Communicating) in a rotational activity to engage in sorting experiences using several Apps after a lesson.
- Queensland Handwriting App used to invite individual students forward to practise writing letter of the week (Y). (Communicating)
- Used to hold steady and scan QR codes of alphabet names of fruit/veges I had created and embedded. (Active Learning/Communicating)
- Used to take photos of each other to place on their Kindergarten Story Park blog.
- (Active Learning) Used to show different means of reading a book and safe use (ask your Mum and Dad if you can use – don’t just take!)
- Used to QR scan codes