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Interesting obs 29-7-20

Today I applied the sand timer idea by another educator to use when kids were waiting for the swing. I used a digital timer on the phone, which was super cool. Here they got to decided what was a good time for the time on the swing which started at 20 mins and when I prompted them to look at the sand falling and whether it was fast or slow. They replied slow. Next we had a look at 3 mins as suggested by another child where they saw that the sand was moving faster so they all agree that 3 mins was a good amount of time on the swing. The other thing we need to work out is turn taking and how to empower the children with deciding themselves rather than relying on the teacher to say, “so and so came here first”. I do like the idea of names and the children democratically deciding who got there and then arranging the list of names. Another idea could be chalk on a blackboard which will help with practicing writing their names. A magnetic board with names to take turns is a good thing but again it will be outside and will most likely be left out in the elements and be ruined. Finding a solution to this is interesting as the options need to suit the developmental level of the children as well, something to think about.

As I was hanging with L in the class we were singing 5 little monkeys but instead of monkeys we had dinosaurs that he had arranged and was taking away each time we sang a line of the song. We did the song multiple times and when I said to him to do it himself he went ahead and sang the song himself. Next I suggested that I be the doctor he went and grabbed the stethoscope and the phone so I could play the doctor in the song. He had laid out all the dinosaurs and even had a mama and a Dr dinosaur. It is amazing to see his progress with taking the song that he really enjoys and applying it to different toys he plays with in the classroom.

Later in the day we were watching a child climb a tree really high and it was a bit precarious and we managed to work it out with him scooting his body down the tree like a cat travelling backwards. I feel it is important for children to have the freedom to take risks and climbing trees is something that they truly miss out on these days with so many safety rules. It is important to trust in them so they have the confidence to do things themselves and feel empowered.

Overall as I am getting to know the children it is such a great experience to see them each week and watch them develop and with familiarity as a regular person they encounter they start to trust you a little more too. I could not have asked for the most perfect job that sits so well alongside all my work at University.

Another fun song and a cool EYLF resource

Aligning EYLF outcomes to what children do in kindergarten

Great EC song from my co-teacher – Ain’t that funky now.

Today was a lovely day with my co-teacher S who was a relief teacher from ANZUK and we had such a great time together chatting and playing with the 4 year olds. They are so ready to learn and are happy to follow modelling especially when we were taking turns on the swings and counting up to 26 or saying the alphabet for the next person. There was one little girl on the swing who wanted to stay but she was happy to be pushed by another friend in class. I had to ask her to share and she did not want to and suggested the boys go and play somewhere else for a while. I had to say maybe we can count and then it his turn. She did this and left so the boys could have a go and she turned around and said to me “You’re so mean!” to which I responded it is really important to learn to share with others.

If this is the grief I get from children in my job, I will take it. I am enjoying myself especially when we do imaginative play and the children get so excited when we are on a boat travelling to take a toy pig to Antartica or a toy bunny to South America we explore together in our imagination. It is a wonderful way to connect to children and explore their imagination. Also we travelled in our boat / spaceship to Jupiter, Uranus and Mars and put on our heavy lead boots so we would not float away – this is the best when the children really get into the imaginative story with you and take upon their roles of captain of the ship or scientist or explorer. This is the creative side of early childhood education that I love.

Entertaining preschoolers on the mat!

Today was a last minute call in to work for signing out the kids to their parents for pick up. As it is COVID times the kids are out in staggered dismissal for an hour, so I was working with an experienced teacher who had this amazing repertoire of songs to keep the kids busy while I was at the door looking for the parents for a whole hour! This can be a very long time at the end of the day. She had a bunch of songs but one that stood out was the popcorn song and I have found some variations here where the kids can be little kernels and pretend to pop – it was so fun to watch.

Also there were some great transition songs such as using clapping on their bodies while on the rug and hands on top it’s time to stop. Entertaining kids for an hour you really need to have a repertoire of songs or activities to keep the kids engaged and my experienced co-teacher had an amazing collection! I reckon I have to have a little folder or playlist to use in times of need that include movement, singing and dancing in the children’s little bubbles.

Do not be afraid of failure

Notes from The Creative Brain by Dr David Eagleman

  • Try something new
  • Get off the path of least resistance
  • Push boundaries
  • Don’t be afraid of failure

From my overall experiences with the Arts Education unit (edits from my essay on reflection towards Arts Education):

I realised that the creative human within me can be a part of the presence I bring to the classroom and that it is OK to get off the path of least resistance and open up to limitless possibilities with my teaching.

Following the organic flow of life and using your awareness.

  • visual thinking strategies
  • kids learn differently (Gardner)
  • creativity is at the heart of every subject
  • creative mindset
  • push boundaries
  • try your best
  • take risks
  • make mistakes – that way you learn
  • process of understanding the world around them
  • become better humans
  • creative ethos – arts empowers everyone

“creativity belongs to all of us and it is the most potent, transformative tool at our disposal, it changes peoples lives and it can transform the world – cultivate creativity, produce something that has never existed before”