Child: Anton and Jack Date: 25/10/11 Observer: Catherine
I set up a café/shop corner, with a coffee machine, cash register, and café accessories. They were also given clipboards and paper.
Observation: ‘What would you like sir?’
Anton really wanted to be the waiter and convinced Jack to swap and be the cook. Jack had already sat down and wrote out a menu. Anton really enjoyed explaining the menu and noting down on his clipboard what you wanted.
‘What would you like sir?’, he asked Benji
‘Potatoes and tomatoes’, Benji replied
‘I’ll take your order and tell the chef what you want’, said Anton.
It was really positive how both the boys and the girls were drawn to this corner and explored happily together. They were quickly engaged in different role plays and enthusiastically negotiated their personal ideas and desires in a positive fashion. The level of communication in this corner was really inspiring in both their verbal understanding of their own personal experiences eating out and also in their enthusiasm for the written component of writing menus and taking orders as seen in these photos:
We decided to immediately extend on the literacy component seen in this learning experience and while the children were outside set up a menu writing extension. We put out coloured paper and pens along with food catalogue cut outs. The children enjoyed the cutting, pasting and assembling of the menus and in particular communicating with the teachers about what they wanted to eat off the menus.
Child: Ari, Harrison, Bailey, William, Tom Date: 24/10/11 Observer: Catherine
The boys were playing in the sand pit and using a number of tools in their play.
Observation: “Steam sand!’
Ari found a box of tools and called out ‘let’s fix things!’ They ran off to the sand pit with the tools. They then mixed up ‘poisonous cement’ in the wheelbarrow. Harrison, Bailey, William and Tom collected ‘worms and snails’ (tanbark) and made ‘steam sand’ by mixing all the ingredients together.
The finding on the tool box sparked a whirlwind of activity. They were all quickly engaged in co-operative play and communicating some amazing ingredients into their concoction. The boys really enjoyed manipulating the tools, cooking utensils and shovels. A big part of this play was the communicating and negotiating what should go into the mixture, a great example of emergent language and social skills.
Setting up a gadget box, with tools, old machines and different hardware materials to be explored by the children.
Child: Bonnie, Ella, Zoe and Daisy Date: 18/10/11 Observer: Catherine
A small loose materials table was set up. Gum nuts, seed pods, cotton balls, small bits of wood and small squares of material.
Observation: “The Little Family”
Bonnie, Ella, Zoe and Daisy were the first to have a go on the table. The quickly realised they wanted to construct using the materials so they added masking tape to the table. Zoe set about sticking a dress onto one on the small sticks and then a jacket on top of that. Ella constructed a little treasure box using the containers the loose materials were in and black felt stuck to the bottom. The girls then went on to create a whole little family that was placed in the treasure box. They made little baby cots with the seed pods and cotton balls and constructed little babies with wrapped up material and scotch tape.
The girls were immediately interested in the table and quickly jumped on to have a go. As the activity was so open-ended they first enjoyed exploring the different shapes, textures and materials. Once Zoe had established she was making a person several of the other girls decided to do the same. Ella became frustrated while trying to make a pod baby but persisted with a little help from myself and was proud of the end result.
This table was very popular and very quickly the materials had been transformed into many different things and put away in their lockers. More loose material activities that can be used in construction might be of interest.
Child: Elias Date: 18/10/11 Observer: Catherine
Setting: Elias was rolling around on the mat on his own with a couple of marbles and gum nuts. He was not sure what he wanted to do.
Observation: “Elias and the marble”
I showed him how to flick the marble with my fingers and he immediately wanted to engage in a game of marbles. We spent at least half an hour flicking the marble back and forth trying to hit the gum nuts with the marble and then using them as goals to shoot between. Elias was really keen to demonstrate his amazing counting abilities by counting out loud each time he scored a goal. He was very confident with his counting and never forgot which number he was up to.
‘I’ve got 10 goals and you’ve got 2, after 10 comes 11’. He told me.
Elias needs a lot of stimulation to stay engaged in an activity but once he has found this stimulation he can stay engaged for an impressive length of time. He was immediately interested in the new flicking of marbles and did not hesitate to have a go. He was often frustrated by his technique and occasional misses but continued to persist with his difficulties showing self control. His verbal communication was clear and his love of maths and in particular numbers was demonstrated many times. He clearly has a strong logical and mathematical intelligence and once this was stimulated he persisted at the activity for longer than most adults would.
Various mathematical games and activities might be of interest to him. He also might like challenging his fine motor skills through manipulation of small objects and materials.