Sunday, 16 March 2014

Exposure..............It's all about Exposure !!

Being a child should be all about fun. There is a great push to learn, learn, learn these days and while learning along the way is important, this is the time when learning should be all about fun.

No pressure, no expectations.......just exposure.

I hear a............. What do you mean by that?

Well children will all have different interests and all have different strengths, and it is our job as Educators and as parents to help them achieve their full potential, but this does not have to be done at the sake of enjoyment.

To me it's all about exposure. A child who has heard and seen something several times will know more about it that someone who hasn't. No one is too old or too young to be involved and each person will take something different from the experience.

This is where the no pressure, no expectations come in.

If you place for instance, a basket of coloured counters out, will all children play with it? Maybe....
Will all children do the same thing.........most probably not
Will all children learn something...............yes.
Will they all learn the same thing from the

And that is a good thing. Even in a mutli age group all children can have access to the same resources and gain skills and knowledge through their exposure.

I 1 year old..............learning from this experience, may simply be that these counters are colourful and although they look good, they don't taste good and I don't eat them.

A 2 year old................learning maybe that these round counters roll when I throw them on the ground, and they are really hard to pick up when they are flat, but if I throw them, I need to collect them too.

A 3 year old................learning may be, I am smart and I know that there is red counters, I can collect all the red ones. I am clever, what colour is this one?

A 4 year old.........................learning may be, you can make pictures out of anything including these counters. Can you see what I have made.

A 5 year old.......................learning may be grouping the counters my size or colour, counting how many of each colour they have, or even counting out counters to share evenly with their peers......

and they can do this all because since they were 1, they have had exposure to counters, they have learned from their peers, what else you can do, and they have conversed with their educator and parents and each time broadened their knowledge of what we can do with these round things called counters. This is all a natural progression and fun, because there was no expectation that the group of children were going to learn how to count to 10 or the colour green.

Each child had access to the same materials and their peers and the educator, they had access to the wealth of knowledge around them, and found it fun and interesting because it was at their own development stage, and their own interest.

Now sure as the educator, it is your job to enhance and use those teachable moments, but most times those teachable moments, are those moments with you. Your conversations, that is why I think it is also important for educators to be a part of the play.

For example if you are on the ground with the children playing with counters you can see if the baby is thinking they are good food, and the baby can see your facial expressions, saying yuk, they don't taste good !!
 You are there to help the 1 year old find the pieces they dropped and watched them roll, and offer support when picking up the little pieces becomes a little frustrating.
You are there to high five little Miss 3 because she knows the colour red and you are there to answer her when she asks what colour is this one?
You can make pictures with master 4, and be there to photograph his masterpiece and help redirect the baby from messing his wonderful picture,
And you are there to listen and help your 5 year olds count and group and show you all that they know, you can even ask them if they would like to add some paper and pens to write down their discoveries or you can write it down for them................

I am hoping you can now see that learning is fun, no matter what the age, and learning is all about exposure....................and most importantly exposure to YOU !!

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