by Ashley Moisdon, EYFS teacher at LCIS
Our teachers never know what the day ahead will offer. What they do know is that the students will lead the way. By seizing the children’s attention in the right moments, and asking the right open-ended questions, the lesson plan for the day unfolds. Every child is at a different place in their learning and development – and by knowing the children well, teachers know which questions to ask to propel each child forward with this child-led approach to learning. This is called Planning in the Moment – and such planning ensures that teachers identify what has captured the children’s attention and join them in that moment to learn together.
The children might be role playing that they are driving a bus “Oh, we are travelling! – where are we going? How much is the bus ticket? Where are you from?”asking the children those questions stimulates their dialogue, language and play forward in relatable and teachable learning opportunities. It is so important to take the time to observe the children and know as the adult when to speak to provide quality interactions with the children. We have to join their world and work together, child and teacher, to take the conversations or actions to the next step for effective in the moment learning.
To the untrained eye, it could look just like simple playing, but by tuning into and following the students’ curiosity, interests and imagination, joining them in their moment, and guiding opportunities to teach something in that context, new skills and discoveries are made. It is important to allow our students to see the world creatively and not just the world inside the classroom.
Every week, classes enjoy trips to our local playground or to the lake or forest, giving different contexts for new learning opportunities. For example, at a recent trip to the lake for the Foundation 2, the class read the story Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis. This sparked the idea for the children to find their own sticks on the ground and act out with their imaginations, while finishing the sentence "This is not a stick, it's a ..
We suggested the stick could be a pencil and each child searched for a handheld stick to use as a writing utensil to form letter symbols in the sand and dirt. Foundation use the White Rose Maths method, which transitions through into Primary. It introduces the students slowly to a few numbers, comparing weights and lengths and other basic principles. The children lined up their sticks in order of length and while carrying them compared “heavy” vs. “light”. With only a stick at the lake, the class covered Phonics, Maths and Imaginative Storytelling.
What does your child see in their stick?
If you are interested to read the story, this outing was inspired by ‘Not A Stick’ by Antoinette Portis.