Here the researcher is a teacher in a pre – school. In this pre – school kids of different ages are admitted. Children of different ages are not kept separately. The range of the age is between 2 years and 5 years. All the children are kept together. They are allowed to communicate with each other and also to play with each other. Here the researcher, being a teacher of the pre – school, wants to know how young children’s investigations through play can facilitate and extend their understandings of mathematics, science and technology. There are total 25 children in the pre – school. A group is made for understanding the children’s investigations through play can facilitate and extend their understandings of mathematics, science and technology. In the group only 16 children are selected. All these 16 students belong to the age group of 3 to 5 years. This particular group is chosen because they are of almost same age and they are found to be very friendly with each other. They also communicate and play with each other daily. The group contains both boys and girls. The number of boys in the group is 10 whereas the number of girls in the group is 6. The group is classified into 4 sub groups and each contains 4 children. The observation will be done for two weeks. The children are given different 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes ( of different sizes ), few magnets and magnet sticks, clean water, cans or vessels of different sizes and shapes and other relevant objects with which they can play. Different toys and objects ( definite those that will not affect the children ) are also provided.
Summary of the children's interests and understandings:
While observing the children for two weeks, it has been found that the children construct different shapes with the objects that are given to them. Some of the children have a lot interest in this. Some of the children like to play with the magnets. They understand that magnets can attract some objects and at the same time they do not attract some objects. While playing they also understand the repel and attraction properties of the magnets. They are very much interested in building long poles with the help of magnet sticks. Some children are interested in interacting with different materials. Among the 16 children some are very interested in dropping an object from a height. They do not understand gravity, but they do understand that if an object is dropped from a height than it will definitely fall. Children also learn to count through this process. Some children are very interested in counting the number a particular object among different types of objects. They even love to arrange the scrambled numbers and thus they understand the numbers and their proper orders. Some children are also interested in finding the matched objects among different types of objects. Thus the children understand the processes known as grouping, classifying, comparing, counting, detecting and other similar processes. Children also learn to add and subtract while playing. The children learn addition as the term of joining and subtraction as the term of “ taking away ” or finding the difference ( Montague and Price, 2012 ). An idea regarding the size and shape of the objects also come to the children through this method. Some children are very interested in playing water. They understand that water makes the hand or object wet. They also learn that water always moves downwards and different types of waves can be created in water.
Learning Experience Plan:
From the two week observation of this group of children, a learning plan will be made in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of the children on science, mathematics and technology while playing. The learning plan is performed with the help of the given Learning Experience Plan Proforma.
In this segment the name of the experience is written along with the date on which it will be performed. This plan is for each of the small groups that are made. In this segment the ages of the children are also included.
The focus of this procedure will be to understand the interest, weakness and strength of the children. The developmental progress will be checked. The learning ability of the children will be measured twice, once at the beginning and the other will be done at the end of two weeks. This group is chosen because the children of these ages can learn efficiently if they are taught in proper manner. This is the age when the children start to learn effectively.
EYLF / VEYLDF Outcomes:
The outcomes are given below (Aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au, 2016):
Outcome 1: children possess a very strong sense of identity
Outcome 2: Children are linked with their world and they also contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children also possess a very strong sense regarding wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are involved learners.
Outcome 5: Children are confident learners.
Requirements and procedures:
Four trained teachers are selected for observing the children and also for guiding them, when required. For this first of a large room will be selected. The walls of the room must be painted with different colours and attractive designs must be drawn on the walls so that the entire room becomes attractive. A chart will be arranged that includes the name of the children and other description. It will be used to evaluate the performances done by them in these two weeks. A feedback chart will also be made. It will be given to the parents of the children after one week in order to understand if the parents can feel any difference in their babies or not. It will be done in order to understand if the learning capabilities can be improved or not. In the room, different objects and materials will be kept for the children to use. The room will be designed in such a manner that it will look as a play room instead of a class room ( Davis and Keller, 2009 ). First of all, in order to understand the intuitive thinking of the children, a white space will be provided to the children along with different colours. (Amy, 2015) Few puzzle pieces will also be provided to the children in order to understand their intuitive thinking. Along with the puzzles blocks will also be provided in order to understand the spatial thinking of the children. Different shapes of different sizes are also provided. Among the shapes, some are regular shapes whereas some are irregular shapes(Amy, 2016). Counting materials will also be provided to the children so that they can learn counting, adding and subtracting. The children are to be provided different types of colourful books that contain songs, rhymes, pictures and other similar things( Davis and Keller, 2009 ). Few number games will also provided to the children so that they can learn the numbers and the counting while playing. The children will also be provided different types of shells, ribbons and transport toys. The colour of these objects will be different. Different types and sizes containers are also to be provided along with clean water. The children will also be provided a certain amount of sand. A set of cars will also be provided to them. The teacher will help them to play with the items that are provided. But this will be done only once, or in some cases twice, but not more than that. The children will be allowed to play with the objects by their own in order to understand the interests and learning capabilities of the children. Different musical instruments will also be provided to the students (Amy, 2015). A lot of toys and sot toys like teddies will also be provided to the children. The teachers will discuss on a topic with the children in order to see who can explain better. It will also help to understand that which child has better capability of copying others. A fruit festival will be arranged in the second week. In this festival different types of fruits will be provided to the children. The children will be asked to identify the fruits. From the identification capability of the children can be understood. In order to understand the capability of identification, counting and other results of learning methods, few experiments will be performed. The teacher will intentionally make mistakes in counting in front of the children, in order to understand which children can detect the error and answer the proper result of the counting. Similarly the teacher will intentionally detect wrong colours so that the children can identify the proper colour and name it. A sand box will also be provided to the children.
Plan for review:
A feedback form will be given to the parents of the children. It will be given at the beginning of the observation in order to understanding the condition of the children. Then it will be again given to them after one week in order to see if the parents can find any improvement in the children. Finally the feedback form will be again given at the end of observation. Then the results will be compared. A chart will also be maintained by the teachers so that they can also analyse the changes in the learning capability a children.
Evaluation of the teaching and learning:
It has been found that the children painted the entire space with symmetries and patterns. Children have made different and repeated strokes with different colours. It has also seen that the children have slide the puzzle pieces ad tuned it (Amy, 2015). While doing this, they have learned to flip it in order to fit the pieces. It has also been seen that some of the children have expressed in – efficient approach especially when they have found that some children are doing the same work comparatively quicker than they are doing it. It can be seen that the children have learnt to detect similarities and differences among the shapes. Some children have also learnt about the position and orientation. It has also been seen that the children have learnt to sort objects. They have also learnt to classify the objects. Children have also learnt to compare different objects (Amy, 2015). The children have learnt to play with water and sand. They also learnt that these can be put into different containers. The children have learnt to arrange the objects according to their sizes (Knaus, 2013 ). It can be seen that the children have also learnt to group the cards according to colours or symbols that are drawn on them. They have also learnt to arrange those cards in proper sequence. It is also seen that the students have learnt to find the missing piece in a pattern or in a picture and attached it properly. With the musical instruments that are provided to them, it has been found that the children have also learnt to brain storm different types of rhymes or counting songs. The children have also learnt that by providing a force i.e. by pushing or pulling an object can be moved (Amy, 2015). Though they do not understand the term friction, but they have learnt that sliding an object along a smooth plane requires less force whereas in the same object is moved by sliding on a comparatively rough plane. While playing with water and sand they understand the terms full or empty. While playing water they also understand that some of the objects sink in the water whereas some objects float on it. It has been seen that the “ acting out ” concepts or science drama helps the children to use proper language. It can be seen that different children have different interests, and they also have different types of ideas. Some like to construct a shape with the materials that are provided to them whereas some like to destroy those shapes and like to watch them fall. Some like to see an object floating on water whereas some like to see an object sinking in the water. It can be seen that some children have performed some tasks spontaneously whereas some children have copied them and have done the same activities in the similar manner. It was expected that all the children would improve their learning capabilities effectively; unfortunately, two children were found who were not interested in any of the paying items that were given to them. The main reason behind this is pointed out to be the insufficient planning method. The planning must be more effective. The duration of the observation is also not adequate. If the children can be observed for a longer time period, then the result could be different. By staying with other children, these two children may also learn to have interest in the playing materials that are provided to them and at the same time they would definitely learn different aspects of mathematics, science and technology. It can be seen that in the sand box, some children are playing sand; some are constructing shapes with shape whereas some children are making figures in the sand and some are destructing the shapes that are constructed by other children. Hence, it can be found that through playing, children can understand and extend their knowledge of mathematics, science and technology.
Reflections and future practice:
From the observation and the results it has been found that children can learn quickly and effectively if they are taught by playing. If the children the studies as play, then they will learn it faster than others. If the students understand that study is a different thing than playing or other enjoyment, they may become a slow learner and may also not have proper enthusiasm. Therefore, the planning must be done such a way that the children can have interest in learning and they can learn while playing. The teacher must behave as a friend with them. The children must be allowed to do brainstorming on any topic they like. From this the constructive idea of the children can be understood and it also can be improved (Amy, 2015). Depending on the feedback of the parents the methods of teaching and the learning plan will be altered in order to improve the efficiency of the plan. For the children who are not interested in any of the playing items provided to the children a different approach must be applied. The parents of these children should be called for discussion and the reason behind for not being interested must be identified. After identifying the proper reason, the children must be taught in a more friendly manner ( the method that they would prefer the most ) so that they can have interest in learning. The feed backs and the result of the observation are very important in the future investigation so that in future the methods that are going to be applied can be more effective and efficient. In future, while planning is to be done for similar works, then the planning should contain day to day activities and the observation must be done for at least one month in order to have a better understanding and analysis. The planning may contain some practical experiments ( Seefeldt et al., 2012 ). It will help the children to understand about the different sciences i.e. physical science, chemical science and life science. From this the children may also learn about the state of an object. Finally, from the report it can be concluded that the children can learn about mathematics, science and technology through playing effectively. It is a quicker and efficient learning process.
Amy, M. (2015). EMC305: Investigation: Mathematics, Science and Technology. Investigating mathematics: Patterns and space.
Amy, M. (2015). EMC305: Investigation: Mathematics, Science and Technology. Acquisition of a mathematical, scientific and technological identity through language and play.
Amy, M. (2015). EMC305: Investigation: Mathematics, Science and Technology. Investigating mathematics: Number.
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