Friday, 19 February 2010

Early Years- nursery, P1, P2

Here is a link to a video on vowels. I think children would enjoy this as it is very upbeat and stimulating to watch. The repetition of hearing the vowels and seeing the letters should help to make the vowels memorable:

Monday, 15 February 2010

Good videos on Education

I want to know more about Nurseries to be ready for starting our 2 week placement next week. I have decided to watch videos on Early Years on the Teachers Tv website and I am filling in a viewing log. This log will help me to record everything I have watched and makes notes about the videos, which will help me to become reflective! :)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Different perspectives on Nurseries

In class, we were asked to look at international perspectives on Pre-school education.

Catriona and I compared an outdoor pre-school in Finland to one in Scotland.I was amazed to discover that the school was billingual and the children worked with an English-spoken teacher and a German spoken teacher. I discussed this with a peer and we felt that foreign language teaching in Scotland has got a long way to go before it reaches the high standard of some European countries like Germany and Holland.

One of the groups looked at Forest Kindergarten, which our findings were examples of. "Forest Kindergarten" originated in Sweden in the 1950's and have spread to many countries since. At these pre-schools, children 80% of their time outside. The initial Forest Kindergartens found that children enjoyed the freedom of being outside and their was a lot they could learn from being hands-on. In Denmark, some children who were previously very timid and lacking in confidence were seen to move away from the reliance of adults.

The benefits of Forest Kindergarten:
  • using their imagination
  • learning about their environment
  • children enjoy being outside
  • promotes healthy living
  • helps their sense of balance and perception

I wondered if children working outside would limit opportunities for readings and songs but teachers would take books outside with them. Also:

The child's knowledge and understanding of the world, language, mathematics, creative, physical, personal and social development underpin the whole forest school philosophy (Pound, L. 2008.p71)

Froebel strongly believed that learning should "begin where the learner is" and he encouraged the children to experience the outdoor environment. He tried to change teaching from formal to allowing the children to choose what they wanted to do.

After learning about forest schools, I now can see the real benefits of using the outdoor environment in learning. It is less formal giving children the chance to be free, creative and active.

However, I do wonder how the transition between pre-school and primary school would work as the children would not be used to being in a confined environment. Hmmm...

What will this blog include?

I am taking ICT as my elective and have realised how beneficial writing in Blogs is! My personal reasons for Blogging are:
  • It makes my own thinking clearer to me
  • I enjoy reflecting on different tools we use in ICT
  • I like reading other peoples blogs and getting a different viewpoint from my own
  • I like leaving other people comments and reading one's written for me

I have decided to start this Blog about different aspects of learning and teaching, current news in Education and add any website links which I could use whilst teaching in the classroom!