The way staff programme for children seems to have done a complete circle. Practices of days gone by have meant that the wow moments in daycare are often overlooked.
With the Early Years Learning Framework now live as of January 2012, staff have had to relook at how they were planning for the children’s learning. They use to focus on ‘what the children couldn’t do’ and plan activities to assist them in developing these skills. A lot of the time the children found it difficult developing these new skills set out for them as they were not ready nor interested.
With the pressure on the staff to assist the children in gaining these ‘age appropriate’ skills, the ‘WOW’ moments were being missed and real understanding of concepts looked over.
So more research has been done, learning styles revisited and here we are back 20 or so years allowing the children to tell us what they want to learn and how they want to learn, and with the skilled knowledge our educators have they can guide the learning down a path developmentally appropriate to the individual children.
I’m sure there are many ways out there to capture children’s learning (‘WOW’ MOMENTS), but 1 way I have found that does this is through Learning Stories.
A Learning story is just that, a story, a narrative; it has a beginning, middle and an end. It tells us over a period of time what has been taking place. It documents the really important events and learning that is happening, not the second by second detail. Learning stories tell us what is happening in the surrounding environment so the reader can visualize the story. The beauty of a learning story is the writer can include the ‘feel’ of the story. Photos also play a part in telling the story as they assist the readers visual imagery. Photos should be included in every story. Over time your child’s learning stories put together, show development and progression through wonderful experiences they have been involved in.
From the stories that are documented learning can be extended and reinforced through the children’s play.
Next time you are in the centre ask the staff to look at your child’s learning stories. What ‘WOW’ moments have been captured for you to treasure for a lifetime?