Saturday, August 29, 2009
Dessert in Dannevirke
Dannevirke Kindergarten have been exploring the ways they can encourage whanau to participation in the programme. Over the year the Team has made great efforts to manaaki all whanau into the kindergarten. They find whanau spending more time there and when a learning story is shared the whanau is alerted to it immediately so an opportunity for conversation and feedback can be created.
Not satisfied with feedback alone, as Early Childhood Teachers we have always sought partnership with whanau... what does this look like? in my opinion its shared decision making, then a joint effort to respond to children with meaning, so how would this happen?
Notice the magic-a child shares something really important to them, an interest, a theory, a question, a continuous disposition...
Co-author the story-write a narrative with the child that captures this, ask the child to title it, read it through, do they want to change/add anything?, what do they want to say to each picture?... Comic Life is a great publishing application that makes this easy for Children and Teachers to do IN session, why do we continusly do this away from the child who it is for?-are we going to really understand what they want to know more about by osmosis?
Interview the child- Its ok to ask the child, what they like about the story, the interest, what do they want to know more about, if you have some ideas share them and ask the child which ideas they would like to try.... WAIT six seconds for an answer, research shows we wait 1-2 seconds and children need alot longer than this, if you really struggle with this, count it out silently on your fingers beside you he he :)
Whanau involvement After you have told the family about their child, and the ideas you and that child have for a follow up learning experience/s ask the whanau for their help, what other ideas do they have, make a plan for them to be involved, expect it, you will get it, even a very busy parent will WANT to talk about their child and be involved in a big or small way with that is being planned for their child.
Do what you say you are going to do - follow through on your planned response in the teachable moment or a soon as possible, keep your promise and keep realistic, a good plan is achievable.
NOTICE RECOGNISE RESPOND - I would really like to see Teachers strengthening their response to learning, that is where the true teaching and learning deepens. There is alot of pressure to produce learning stories like property sales in real estate, I would much rather we approached them like art. A great Learning Story tells me about the child, the teachers passion and skill in co-construction the love, support and interest of the family and like a great painting is a treasured masterpiece of a very important moment in time.
If you have a work of Art to share or talk about from your service, please respond to this post, alternatively let me know if any of these strategies work for you :)