#09 Shine as an Educator – Programming, Play based learning!

Early Childhood Educators


Over the last few weeks I have received many questions about programming and play
based learning…
My aim today, is to share an insight into my program; A bit about how my thinking
works and how I often hop from one thing to the next – led by the children and
following and facilitating their interests and curiosities…
All of next weeks program has been developed from our one show this week – A show
called Spotty bear. That was fantastic!!

Critical Reflection Question…

What steps am I taking to ensure my program is child focussed and play based??
Through out this year – On a Wed I have a 2yo, two 4 yo and my Lach who is 5 yo.
One of my favourite times of the day is interacting with the children over lunch.
We have the most amazing conversations, sometimes totally mystical and others very,
very serious and down to earth, especially for under 5s.
So we went to the spotty bear show and I wanted to know what they recalled and what
their take on it was – and what they thought about many of the messages shared.
So we spoke about spotty and the journey he went on to try and remove his spots.
Did we think spotty should of been able to remove his spots? All the people that tried to
help him? He didn’t realise how special he was?… Im sure you can imagine the
discussion I was encouraging but it is important to me that at this age the children steer
the conversation themselves. I try to be a guide to that conversation not the leader as
such… to guide in a nonintrusive way…

Our Challenge…

Truly set about discovering three child based experiences your children will love next
week!!
I will share with you how we got to child based programming – and you can share with
me whether this is were you would go too? Remembering that as unique as our children
each are – we as educators are also unique and will bring different experiences to each
of our journeys.
Ok so we are at the table they have been tossing around the ins and out of what they
saw…
And off they went – did you see they held spotty by the legs; that wouldn’t get his spots
off that would hurt; hmm no you can hold me by the legs and it wouldn’t hurt; we
practice when we do wheel barrow races. We could do wheel barrow races after lunch; I
think I would rather use real wheelbarrows; What would you use the real wheel barrows
for? Well we still have planting to do; Yes we do we still have beans to plant.
Do you know they covered spotty in snow he would of got very cold; cold as ice; the ice
would of melted on spotty; what makes ice melt; not a spotty bear.
From listening – and this tiny snippet of these beautiful children conversation – have you
got an idea where my program is heading?…
1.We will be creating an obstacle course outside – having some wheelbarrow races
– maybe visit time and stop watches – thus visiting gross motor, pattern building,
numeracy skills as well.
2.We will be getting out the wheel barrows and small garden utensils, planting and
mulching the beans that are still to plant. Using our literacy skills to make tags
for the beans.
3.And we will be freezing some wonderful big blocks of ice to melt and experiment
with. Maybe paint and use salt to test our understanding and science skills.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

Top Tip…

Children that are nurtured in a truly child focussed, play based program will be
an amazing sponge ready to soak up the learning opportunities that are offered
to them.
As an early childhood educator this is one of my main aims – to facilitate and create
a space that is safe and encourages the children to share their ideas, likes, dislikes,
feelings and thoughts so that we can support them within their ongoing learning journey.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#08 Shine as an Educator – Transition to school

Early Childhood Educators

It’s start of term 4 and if you are like me you are thinking about our beautiful
little munchkins going off to school next year and what else we can do to support their
transition.

Critical Reflection Question time…

What experiences can I plan to build strong resilient children transitioning to school?
As a caring Early Childhood educator I have spent the last few years progressively,
step by step, building children skills towards being independent, confident socially
and emotionally and full of all those wonderful skills we want them to have heading off
to school. We reflect, plan, support, build self help skills, resilience and fostering
children’s love and curiosity to learn.
It is important, to me, that I do every thing I can to help them be as ready as they can
be!! But what do I mean by ready?

Challenge…

Create three experiences that will help promote excitement and happy thoughts,
towards going to school…
I hope you weren’t expecting a list of what children should or shouldn’t know going to
school! Because between you and I, that most definitely should of been looked at many
months ago!!
But I now want us to take a little bit of a different tack here…
If your special little person who has all these wonderful skills, going for them – hasn’t set
eyes on the school until the day they go for orientation – how confident do you think
they will stay. If they have not been prepared for lets say being in a class of 20+ instead
of 4 – will they keep that spark and excitement for the day?
My challenge to you is think about how you can go above and beyond, how can you
create three experiences, to help this special little persons transition??
Is it a drive past the school and some exciting chatting or maybe a photograph of the
school, that could be added to the block corner. Going to the park with another educator
who also has a child going to that school next year? Getting their school hat to wear
this term to start discussions, oh my goodness the possibilities are endless…
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

Top Tip…

Discuss your plans with your parents and explain to them the value to their child on why
you are doing it!!
This is a time when clear communication is so important – parents can create a level of
anxiety that children will pick up on and be greatly effected by.
Be proud of the difference you have made in a child’s life. Celebrate the guiding hand
you have offered to a family. This special little person has come so far and learnt
so much, take time to reflect on the difference you have truly made.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#07 Shine as an Educator – Coping with schoolies

Early Childhood Educators

How did you go with episode 6 did you find time to exam what works for you when
starting a new child. I hope you spent time giving yourself a great deal of credit because
it can be challenging.

Critical Reflection Question time…

How do I instil the sense of belonging with my schoolies?
This weeks Critical Question is all about these two weeks we are in now – yep school
holiday time, and I want to know from you How you set about making sure your
environment is inclusive to the over 5s or schoolies that you have come into your
Family Day Care and how you build their sense of belonging.
An interesting question, when a lot of educators I speak to, are struggling to cope
and just get through the holidays.
They will get very bored if they are not kept interested, engaged or challenged
in some way.

Challenge…

Spend time with your schoolies planning at least three new experiences they would like
to do.
Now these are not just any experiences and this is what I love to do…
Get a big piece of paper at the start – markers – make sure each child has their say –
this is about listening, being inclusive and really nutting out what they are interested in.
Now you can brain storm and right down crazy things like hot air ballooning Im sure
they would all laugh at that but after you have a page full of crazy ideas maybe you will
be able to funnel them into a few ideas that are doable and they are actually excited
about.
So to help I try and shuffle things into three categories and Im hoping sharing these with
you will help look at the way you engage schoolies a little different.
1…I encourage my schoolies to make something for themselves.
2…Something they can do outside generally with the smaller children.
3…Being a meaningful helper – this one is the best, I encourage the children to choose
something from their list that they can make solely to help me…
So each holidays the children make something that can be used the next term by the
younger children – my schoolies love to be helpers, they love to be needed and it
builds the sense of belonging that we know is so very important…
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

Top Tip…

Do you remember my top tip from last episode
Making a child feel safe and connected is the way to truly settle in a child.
Building that sense of belonging, being connected to our special safe place and
feeling that schoolies are wanted and needed will go a long way to us copping with
school holidays.
School holidays are also great for the bank balance. If you can rise to the challenge
of having schoolies in your family day care, it will not only be a great place for the
school children to enjoy their holidays but you will have a little extra income to do
something special with your family as well.
So involve your schoolies in planning their holidays, keep my three challenge tips in
mind and I hope your school holidays are as exciting and enjoyable as mine.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com

#06 Shine as an Educator – Starting a new child

Early Childhood Educators

How did you go with episode 5 did you reassess how you are accessing training
and networking opportunities.

Question Time…

What are my personal goals when starting a new child?
Does this questions sound a bit self centred? Shouldn’t starting a new child be
focussed on the child??
Yes I agree – but the way we approach – support – plan – invite – a new child and their
family to start with our Family Day Care, has the greatest effect on the success of that
new family and precious child.
The important process is building trust, confidence and clear communication.

Challenge…

Examine the children who have started care with you, what has worked and what
hasn’t? How could you offer more support?
Offer at least one provocation or small world play set up that will appeal to this child
right from the start.
It will take 5 to 10 visits to develop a connection, and trusted understanding of this
precious new child.
Every child is an individual and this is where consistency, predictability and great
communication is an absolute must.
I will ring parents if a child does not settle and discuss with them their child
– not necessarily to come and pick them up – but to keep them informed and included
in the process and new skills that their child is developing.
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators

Top Tip…

Making a child feel safe and connected is the way to truly settle in a child.
With thoughtful preparation, consistency and confidence in your own ability. You will be
able to guide a new family into a trusting, safe care position for their child hopefully
for many years to come.

I would love to hear from you

Kath


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Links for this Podcast:

simpereflect.com.au
shineasaneducator.com