The Mindstretchers Academy Blog — child-led planning and documentation

TRANSITIONS - CREATING A PROCESS RATHER THAN AN EVENT

Posted by Claire Warden on

TRANSITIONS - CREATING A PROCESS RATHER THAN AN EVENT

Children are constantly involved in transitions that involve a change of thinking or behaviour. Adults often do not even give them a passing thought until a child shows they cannot cope, we look at the large transitions from home to centre, from centres to schools as being worthy of note. All the work we do is about developing in children the skills, attitudes and knowledge they need to make sense of the world. Taking children through the small changes, builds up to an understanding and preparation for change. Children can then develop the inner resilience to meet new challenges, wherever...

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RE-ENGAGE CHILDREN WITH FLOORBOOKS

Posted by Claire Warden on

RE-ENGAGE CHILDREN WITH FLOORBOOKS

Floorbooks are a part of the Talking and Thinking Floorbook Approach®, as developed by Claire Warden, and discussed in Claire's book "Talking and Thinking Floorbooks" (3rd Edn., 2015). Floorbooks are a child-led approach to documentation and planning which give children a place to write down or draw their thoughts about a topic, or for an adult to accurately record children’s voices. The Talking and Thinking Floorbook Approach can be adopted by any educator working with 0 to 11 year-olds. A common problem for educators is trying to re-engage children who have lost interest either in a specific topic or, occasionally,...

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SHARED VISIONS AND VALUES FOR OUTDOOR PLAY IN THE EARLY YEARS

Posted by Claire Warden on

SHARED VISIONS AND VALUES FOR OUTDOOR PLAY IN THE EARLY YEARS

The vision for all young children is that: All children have the right to experience and enjoy the essential and special nature of being outdoors from a very young age. Young children thrive and their minds and bodies develop best when they have free access to stimulating outdoor environments for learning through play and real experiences. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic adults are crucial to unlocking the potential of outdoors. We believe it is essential to underpin the vision and, in particular the values, with a rationale for how this thinking came about, and more detailed information on what each value means...

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IT'S NOT THE BUILDING, IT'S THE PEOPLE!

Posted by Claire Warden on

IT'S NOT THE BUILDING, IT'S THE PEOPLE!

Why do we see learning as an indoor thing? We still frequently see relatively large new nursery buildings with comparatively small outdoor areas. It always makes me wonder… Why are we so attached to buildings in the UK? Historically learning took place outside. The Victorian era saw an increase in schooling for children and with that we started to put children into school buildings. The legacy of this is still here in the UK, both within the formal curriculum and the informal experiences of a more play-based experience which often take place inside. If we were to put as much...

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HOW TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE, REFLECT AND RECORD!

Posted by Claire Warden on

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY ENGAGE, REFLECT AND RECORD!

TIP: You'll need a Floorbook... Floorbooks are a staple tool used in most of our work at our award-winning Auchlone Nature Kindergarten. They are a simple concept, but when used correctly they can be highly effective. Floorbooks are a genuine record of a child’s thinking. Children's ideas and thoughts are recorded without re-framing or interpretation, so that they are a genuine record of their thinking and their expression of it. "When children give a response to a question or contribute an idea that is far removed from the rest of the group thinking, the idea can be recorded as evidence...

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