The third element in the IB has to do with behaviors. The IB labels these as attitudes and they are linked to IB learner profiles. In this unit, we are looking at the learner profiles inquirer, knowledgeable, and communicator.
Our second area that we look at is skills. This is where we see the most growth in toddlers. What is amazing is that all this growth happens through play and interaction!
Sustains attention to complete a task
Understands how objects can be used
Social skills (also PSPE)
Trusts known caring adults
Interacts with peers
Learns to be a member of the group
Expresses and manages feelings
Self Management Skills
Collects objects for play
Puts things away
Keeps hands to self
Uses appropriate behavior
Use stairs with little help
Picks with pinscher grasp
Pours drink with minimal spilling
Beads on a pipe cleaner
Gains knowledge through repetition/ trial
While we talked in conferences, this is the list we referred to most. It is amazing to see the daily changes that happen in these skill areas.
When we are planning a unit, we focus on the five elements of the PYP: Knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. What we are looking for in each area depends on the age group with which we are working. Trust and Caring children are between 1-2 years of age. Do you know what knowledge they have/ can learn?
Uses number words
Compares and Groups by attributes- color, size, shape
Says 2 word phrases
Join in familiar songs and rhymes
Recognize that people speak different languages
Shows interest in books
Differentiates between pictures and writing
Responds to different forms of art
Explores different forms of art (music, drama, dance, visual)
plans ways to use objects to perform tasks
shows a beginning understanding of cause and effect
uses problem solving strategies
Recognize that people speak different languages
Each of these bits of knowledge is usually learned around/before the time the students move to Joy and Confidence. Isn’t this amazing? so much to learn!
This week we will be celebrating Loy Krathong. We will be making krathongs on Friday in the morning. We are scheduled to float them at 9:40.
This Wednesday (Nov 1) at 2pm the Loy Krathong Committee and parent volunteers will be folding and preparing the banana leaves that students will need for their Kratong-building on Friday. They are hoping to have as many volunteers as possible so that the work goes quickly and isn’t too difficult.
If it is possible for any Trust and Caring member to help, that would be wonderful. This will allow us to make our krathongs quicker and easily in the early years program, as our children are not ready to fold the leaves themselves.
Our students have become quite independent in the last few weeks.
In fact, some are in the process of not having mommy in the classroom all day. This is amazing!
This has led our school to think about how to foster more English language with these in self motivated students. MYIS has decided to pull our friend Nune out at times during the day. This will allow students to bond more with Ms.K and speak more English. We will be doing this as a trial run for the week, then revisit it when we return from our week holiday. Nune, of course, is sad to not see our students as much. She understands that she is also needed elsewhere in the school.
We hope this change is positive and promotes growth in our young learners.
Magic years includes Trust and Caring in the same things a fifth grader would be included in! We are blessed to be able to go to specials with these little ones. The current specials are gym, swimming, and music. MYIS respects children and believes in their abilities to learn and grow, so the school ensures that each child gets time in these classes. Of course, ours are scaffolded so that we can partake in the experiences safely.
This allows us to get used to routines, new places, and new faces. We move from one class to another and are introduced to new teachers through out the day. Children in Trust and Caring learn to clean up, line up, put on shoes, walk to the correct classroom, take off shoes, and care for themselves by drinking water during each transition.
The children love our specials teachers: Ms.Bee and Ms.Fon. They set out provocations and help us learn new things (like drumming and sommersaults). Each class is interactive and guided by these teachers.
The children are very independent during specials. They really enjoy the movement activities and play. This helps them build motor skills as well as confidence. We are happy to watch these little ones grow and blossom!
Elementary teachers are taught about waiting time when asking questions. We are taught not to move on right away or answer the questions ourselves. Give the students time to think, we are told.
This is the same in early childhood classrooms, only our kids don’t necessarily answer our questions, but answer their own. Here’s an great example of this:
Thames decided to create some artwork. This is great because he enjoys it, and he is working on essential growth skills at the same time.
He tried to open the pen. It was difficult, and I could have easily jumped in and opened it for him, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I respect him. I can trust that he will try until he needs help, then he will ask for help if he wants it. I watched and waited while he pulled on the marker. He looked at me, I modeled how to open the lid with another marker, showing him and using words like “pull hard”. He watched me do it, then returned to his own marker and opened it all by himself. Had I not waited for him to work it through, I would have ruined his chance to succeed at something difficult for him. I watched him open two markers, a purple one and an orange one, he colored, then put the lids on. I noted that he put the correct lids on the correct color. This is my job as the teacher…to wait, watch, model, and note.
He decided to cut. He picked up the scissors and opened and shut them with two hands. You can see this in the third picture. In the fourth picture he realizes that his fingers fit into the holes of the scissors. I react to this positively and model how to open shut them with my own scissors. I held his paper and he cut by himself. I was astonished because children don’t usually do this until they are about 3 years old and they don’t master this until they are six. Thames’ curiosity has helped him develop early. Again, my job was to just watch him grow, patiently.
Teachers learn about the zone of proximal development. It means the area between what children can do, and what they can’t do. This zone is a great place to be, because this is where we learn. We might need help like encouragement or modeling, but we never need someone to just do it for us, how will we learn? I enjoyed seeing Thames grow this day. His zone is now a bit higher because he figured out how to open pens and use scissors by himself.
We teachers have been reading up on the benefits of child-led play. We’ve been taught from the first classes we took as caretakers that play is the most important thing for children to do. Piaget talks about how children make necessary connections, develop skills, and grow in all facets by play alone.
“Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical,
intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages.
This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured,
self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate
their own games and even invent their own rules.” Dr. David Elkind
Here at Magic Years, especially in the early years classes, we are focused on play. Teachers are trained and continue training with the focus on creating environments that nurture child exploration and creativity.
I’ve recently found a blog about being a learning ally in play with infants and toddlers. http://www.nature-play.co.uk/blog/the-adult-role-in-child-led-play-how-to-become-a-learning-ally. If you have time and are interested, please read it.
Here are some excerpts that summarize how I view my role as a teacher in play:
“As adults and guardians of these young ‘learning sponges’, it is our job as a ‘learning ally’ to –
· offer a safe learning environment
· let them follow their own play urges
· support them without interrupting
· watch and wait as they discover, invent and explore ”
” The more you stand back and enjoy observing their deep play concentration, their independent play ability increases. ”
I look forward each day to see what new things these wonderful toddlers want to explore. I am amazed by their creativity and growth. I love to watch their faces in deep concentration; you can almost see their brains making connections. I look forward to a year of observation, socialization, and nurturing.
One of the joys and benefits of taking your child to school is that they get to make a big mess! At Magic Years, we believe messes are part of learning. This week, we spread rice everywhere, took toys out of baskets, and rolled balls across the gym. We also may have dropped some food when we showed how we could feed ourselves.
Trust and Caring teachers are happy to see a messy room, this means the students are learning. Please continue to allow your little one to play without worry, and to eat messily. Children need to experience everything with all senses and without concern.
The Joy and Confidence children have tuned into their final unit by identifying ways in which they can explore the Earth’s natural resources. They have been using their thinking and research skills to make new connections with the world around them by building on their prior knowledge of plants, weather elements, farm animals, see creatures and recyclable materials.
Later they have started to communicate the topics they were deeply interested in by asking questions such as:
What is rainbow?
Why is it raining?
Why is it not sunny?
Why does the water disappear when I pour it on the sand/soil? Where does it go?
Where do fruits come from?
Why do fruits grow under the ground?
How do walnuts grow on a tree?
Why do plants need rain?
What are these seeds for?
Most of them chose to express their interest by creating an artwork individually or collaboratively with their friends. To start with they have composed beautiful cloud and raindrop collages as well as have expressed their understanding of how the ground and the Earth’s atmosphere are connected by creating a beautiful landscape in a form of a collaborative art work.
Next they have designed leaves, different fruits and vegetables using recycled papers and other collage materials.
After they were satisfied with their art pieces, they started to place them on a background based on their understanding of where they grow from.
Meanwhile they were busy practising some of their favourite songs for our assembly, thinking about how they could communicate their love for Mother Earth. They have enjoyed cooperating with their friends while using a parachute for the songs ‘The rain is falling down’, ‘I like the flowers’, ‘The Sun goes up and the Sun goes down’ and ‘Sally goes round the Sun, Sally goes round the Moon’ as a form of a music and movement activity that is based on the Orff approach.
Then the big day come…and they made us very proud indeed! They have demonstrated being confident communicators and enthusiastic risk-takers by not ‘just’ performing in front of a big audience but even introducing themselves to the whole Magic Years community!
Here is a video of our Assembly for you to enjoy!