Sunday, September 24

WHAT IS A LEARNING STORY?



Learning Stories are a widely used technique to assess children’s learning in New Zealand's, Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum, child care centres.

The technique requires teachers to observe children and write narrative ‘stories’ to interpret the learning that is occurring in particular situations. A learning story is a written record of what an eduator has seen a child do, or what a group of children have done in the program.  

The written story can be as short as a one paragraph, one page or longer, but usually focuses on a specific incident or episode (like an anecdotal) or snapshot of time (i.e. 10 minutes at the art table) or a group activity (a nature walk or visit to the fire station).  

A record becomes a learning story when the educator adds their interpretation of the child's competencies and attitude toward learning (courage, curiosity, perserverance).

New Zealand educators match up the strands of their early childhood curriculum to the sotry to try to explain what the child (or group) has learned.  Other programs can match learning to their own curriculum, i.e. ELECT or How Does Learning Happen?  
 
  • A learning story generally captures a moment in time to illustrate the child’s learning. 
  • A learning story can also capture a child's learning over a longer period of time which provides a holistic picture of the child as a learner.



CREATE A LEARNING STORY IN 6 STEPS
It is essential to have at least one picture of the child, or group of children. However, more photos convey more of a story.
  1. BEGIN with something the child has taken the initiative to do. 
  2. DESCRIBE what the child does and says from your personal perspective; listen closely to discover what is happening. This is the heart of the story.
  3. USE a “What it means” to write about the significance of what was observed.   
  4. OFFER “Opportunities and Possibilities” to describe, as an educator what can be  provided next for the child or children.
  5. FINALLY, offer a blank page for the family to respond with their view.  Make sure to find a way to draw the family in (e.g. I am wondering what you would say to your child about this. What do you see happening? What delights you?)
  6. MAKE two copies of the story, one for the child and one to add to the child's portfolio.
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REFERENCE WEBSITES:

Saturday, June 24

BLOGGING 101 FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS ~ GET READY FOR SUMMER PROGRAMMING



LET'S START - What is a blog?



A BLOG IS A PERSONAL JOURNAL PUBLISHED ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB.  Like a typical journal, entries are a chronological account of events and goings on that are deemed important by the writer.  Entries are entered in reverse order, with the latest date of events appearing first.  

A HIGH QUALITY BLOG WILL BE INTERACTIVE.  People can come to a blog, learn new things, keep up to date about information, and provide input and thoughts toward the content.  The social networking aspect of a blog allows the blogger and visitors to build and maintain a connection.  This make a blog similar to a face to face, informal discussion group or seminar, but online with potential participants from a very wide reaching and diverse group.  


MOST BLOGS PROVIDE A WRITTEN OR VISUAL COMMENTARY, OR DIARY LIKE ACCOUNT ON A FOCUSED SUBJECT. People visit or read blogs because they have an interest in, or want to find out about a certain subject or person.  Like picking up a specific magazine, or reading a certain journalists articles, a blog allows a reader to do more than just read, they can ask questions and provide ideas. 

GOOD BLOGGERS WILL INCLUDE photos, images, links to other blogs and/or Web pages to combine and create a network of information that visitors to the blog can access.  This keeps the blog material fresh and interesting for visitors. 
(Wikipedia. April 10, 2012)

BLOG USE IN CHILD CARE

BLOGS USE IN CHILD CARE IS REPLACING THE TRADITIONAL PARENT INFORMATION BOARD OR NEWSLETTER. 
·         They are bring used to keep parents informed of centre events and activities, and to gain parent input and feedback on various centre issues.


BLOGS ARE ALSO REPLACING ART AND OTHER PROGRAMMING VISUAL DISPLAY PANELS.  
·         Educators are using blogs to display the children's activities: art work, field trips, gross motor play etc.  In addition, blogs are being used to inform parents about the why's of programming: why we encourage free play, why messy or tactile play is important, why play based learning works for young children.  


BLOGS HELP PARENTS GAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF A CENTRE'S DAILY PROGRAM;
·         beyond speaking to the teacher at the end of the day, hearing from the child about how their day was, and seeing the final production of art work that comes home.  


BLOGS ALLOW PARENTS TO CAPTURE THE EDUCATOR'S IDEAS AND PASSIONS ABOUT THEIR PROGRAMMING FOR CHILDREN.
·         Because a teacher can put so much of themselves into a blog, and parents can read and interact with the information and material a teacher posts, teachers and parents build a fresh communication network.


   HOW TO SET UP YOUR BLOG

DECIDE UPON A FOCUS FOR YOUR BLOG.
·         What are your regular creative arts hobbies?  Music.  Knitting.  Painting. Mixed media.  Pets/pet care.  Gardening.  Stamp collecting.  Photography.  Sketching.  Cartooning.  Cooking.


RESEARCH OTHER BLOGS AND WEBSITES THAT FOCUS ON YOUR OR SIMILAR CREATIVE ARTS.
·         Bookmark website pages that you like, ones that provide more information on the subject.

SEARCH THROUGH PHOTOS THAT FOCUS UPON THE SUBJECT. 
·         Take some photos that focus on or capture the idea of the subject.



START TO JOURNAL YOUR IDEAS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. 
·         Why do you like the art form, how long have you been doing it as a hobby, when do you find time to do it, if you had more time when would you do it more, what materials do you need for it?

THINK ABOUT PROGRAM ACTIVITIES YOU'LL SHARE. 
·         Which type of activities could you do with children to introduce the art, discover more about the art, maintain an interest in the art, expand upon the art to other ideas?


IDEAS TO INCLUDE IN A CREATIVE ARTS BLOG:

·         How you define creativity.
·         Why you think it's important to nurture children's creativity.
·         What you consider the creative process.
·         How you nurture or intend to nurture the creative process with children. 
·         What you consider your role is in the child's discovery or creative arts process.


THINK ABOUT NOT EVEN USING A BLOG:  Will a Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram page or Twitter feed work?
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