Whole Class Teaching
Whole class teaching provides a way to get a concept or idea over to the whole group and can be used for every subject, from maths to art. For example, if the teacher wants to introduce colour mixing, she may give a simple demonstration first, and then have a discussion with the whole class, after which the children can go off to experiment for themselves. Some will get on straight away, doing wonderful things, recording their results etc. while others may have difficulties that require the teacher's help. What is important is that all children enjoy the process. In this way the teacher can use their time more effectively; allowing some children to progress on their own, while giving additional help, encouragement, and support to those who might need it.
HighScope is a method developed in America in a study called the `Perry Preschool Study´carried out from 1962-1967 and the HighScope Study through age 40 (2005). The system was proven to postively encourage independant learning skills, team building skills and a postive influence on long term education. In brief the child plans their own sesion from the activities set out in the environment, (how they do this is age related and the information is in the groups section), the children can and do change their mind and this is fine as it re-inforce the descion making progress .This choosing has two main functions re-inforcincg childrens decision making skills which are vital to early learninig and allowing children to learn in their own style. It also helps children understand they have an impact on their world.
The teachers role is to make sure the children have a balanced day and have the full experiance of our system. Our teachers will assess the childs learning and development, using observations of children using the environment. This insures the individual child is planned and catered for in every area of their learning and development. The teachers need to make sure that every area is filled to its capacity with equipment, and available to all the children.
the areas that should be available are:
- drawing and writing area
- painting easel
- home corner and shop
- role play
- maths and science
- nature table
- games and puzzles
- book/library center
- sand and water
- music wall/center
- sticking table - where child centerd (childrens choice) and adult centered (adult directed for instance Autumn leaves)
All these areas should promote active spontainious learning, which in turn encourage creativity and imagination
The deffintion of creative is that it is somthing that `comes from within´ so not something that you are asked to do by someone else. For example the teacher asks the children to paint using Autumn colors is not creative it is an informative adult directed activity, which is fine and a good adult led activity. When a child aproaches the painting easel and spontainiouly creats Autumn colours they are being creative. This creativity should be availble in every area of the center; junk modeling, writing and drawing, maths science, role play, ICT, music and drama etc. It is only through this creative spontaineouse learing that we can truly assess the child.
This creativity under pins the whole of the ICEC curriculum and goes hand in hand with our teaching methods and philosophy.
Multiculteral Curriculum and Stereotypes
This is a vital part of our curriculum and dictates a lot of what we do, along with this we support tackling steriotypes of all kinds including gender. and blended families. We actively bring childrens home culture into the center both the cultural identity as well as the every day life in that culture or lifestyle. For example we do look at National costumes and where and how the culture developed, which is known as `tourist multiculturalism´ but along with that we need to look at the modern day culture and how the family are living and working in Finland. We usualy recognise the following festivals as a routine; Chinese New Year, Dival, Honika as well as Christmas and Easter. We keep them simple and keep to the most generic symbols like, rabbit and chicks at easter.
The more serious forms of multiculturalism and diversity go deeper, we have books from all cultures and steriotypes, equality issues (childrens books), blendid families. Posters and pictures displaying people from all over the world working together. Teachers working in a respectful manner towards colleagues, parents, (being good role models). Projects and topics based around equality. Aprooching diversity in this way the insures that the ICEC Center becomes a place where multculturalism and equality run deep and are part of the overall ethos.
Teaching and Curriculum Methods
These methods are used with all age groups but geared to their specific developmental needs
Sooner than the teacher giving the lesson, setting the work, and marking it, his/her job is to work with the children as part of their group within a well-planned environment. It is vital to listen to and observe a group, so that the teacher knows when they need help and guidance and when they don't. In this way the children can progress at their own pace; therefore a child experiencing difficulties can be helped, while the activity can be extended for those who have already achieved the concept. In group situations it is sometimes possible for the help to come from a friend as well as the teacher.
This means teaching the curriculum around a central theme. For example, the concept of colour mixing can be reinforced using Music (Rainbow Song), Science (prisms), History (cloth making and dyeing), Maths (proportion of different colours), Art (tie-dyeing) etc...
The 'High scope' method is explained in more detail in the Preschool section. Briefly, it is a way for the children to maintain freedom and control of their environment, while at the same time, through making a written plan of the activities they would like to do, plan their own day and thus make decisions in a more structured way.
ILD online Portfolio
During the term, your child will be building up a portfolio of work on their online portfolio system ILD which will include; photos or video clips of their activities and play along with teachers comments. We hope that this will give you a good idea of how your child has progressed through the term and what stage they are at. You can access the e-portfolio by your parent app at anytime. For the under sixes we do assessment charts for the children covering all aspects of their development. These are not check lists for ability, but rather a way in which the teacher can better plan the right sort of learning environment for each child. Children develop different abilities at different times and by using regular assessment and observation techniques each child can have an individual learning programme.