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A Day In The Life Of An Early Years Educator - Fiona Casey

 

Picture1.pngMy name is Fiona Casey and I work in the Butterfly Preschool Room at Scamps & Scholars, Killorglin, Co Kerry. 

 

Our daily routine for the preschool room is as follows: firstly, the children arrive and we sit together to take roll call and then I encourage discussion in circle time. Through this discussion I learn about the experiences the children have had outside of the preschool.

 

For instance, one morning many of the children in the group were talking about rainbows they had seen on their way to school, as it was a particularly showery and sunny day. I wanted to expand on this experience the children had, by incorporating it into the curriculum under emerging interests. 


Picture2.pngAnother of the children’s emerging interest I incorporated into the curriculum was their sighting of the moon in
the morning as they came to school.  I expanded on this by facilitating the following experiences so as to deepen this interest: moon collage, making a space station with a cardboard box and model rockets made out of junk. 

 
We discussed the weather and made a weather chart together to record and see how it changes. I noticed the children talking about the weather and it featured frequently in their drawings and art work. Through observing the children at play and getting to know their interests I was able to support and provide resources to encourage and develop their learning.



Picture5.pngAnother of the children’s emerging interest I incorporated into the curriculum was their sighting of the moon in
the morning as they came to school.  I expanded on this by facilitating the following experiences so as to deepen this interest: moon collage, making a space station with a cardboard box and model rockets made out of junk. 
 

In order to know exactly what the children were interested in, I guided discussion about this interest during circle time in the morning and planned accordingly. I found that this interest continued in the children’s play as they made their own space stations out of blocks and were drawing rockets on the chalkboard.
 

 
Picture7.pngAfter our discussion at circle time, play begins and a range of materials and equipment are on offer to the children in the different areas in the room. I have included some natural materials into the room, which has been popular with the children. This has provided the children with more choices for open-ended play and brings a sense of the natural outdoor environment into the room.
 
 
 
For the younger children, including natural open-ended materials, exposes them to numeracy indirectly through play, while also presenting the opportunity for the younger children to observe the older children sorting, matching and categorizing. Connecting these symbols and quantities to other areas in the room that display similar elements of numeracy provides opportunities for the children to link and make relationships
and to construct their own learning.

 

Picture9.pngI have incorporated small group snack time into the routine of the day. This means that small groups of children have snack together whenever they wish. This freedom prevents any disruption to the flow of play and gives the children more choice as to when they stop play in order to eat. They also get a choice at snack time and serve themselves whenever possible. This allows for play to continue both inside and outside right up until home time. Before the end of the day all the children gather together to discuss what they did. This time gives
me an opportunity to know what engaged the children that morning and what to plan for the following day.

The observations, listening skills, and the ability to expand the learning and thinking of children so as to provide rich and extending experiences link to Aistear’s Themes. 

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Please Note:
Quality development goals and actions developed with the support and guidance of a Better Start Early Years Specialist should always take account of the ages, stages and individual characteristics of the children attending the service and the staffing arrangements present in the service. A thorough risk assessment should be undertaken before introducing new materials and/or practices taking into account the above considerations.  
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