Posts in January 2023

Are all the learning areas included in your lesson plans?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Children are eager, open-minded, interested and their developing brain is hungry for new experiences! Children need as many and varied experiences as possible in order to develop and grow to their best potential.

For example, if Matt is interested in sports and he gets learning experiences only in sports and motor skills, his exceptional talent in music might stay unnoticed. Or if Lucy's kindergarten activities are mostly arts and crafts, she may not be able to practice her language and interaction skills to the extent she would need to, in order to become a self-confident speaker. It is sad if children do not get a chance to learn and practice their skills equally.

Kindiedays Lesson Plans

Therefore it is vitally important to take notice of children's strengths and also their developmental needs. Children should not just play along with what they choose, but they deserve also new, rich and inspirational learning experiences from different areas of learning.

How is it possible to teach children in a diverse and rich manner, covering all subjects and giving enough possibilities for learning? The answer is planning activities in early childhood education according to all learning areas.

In other words, children need free play (when they get to choose their play themselves), but they also need guided pedagogical activities (when the teacher plans and takes all the learning areas into consideration).

Kindiedays Lesson Plans

How to include all learning areas in lesson plans?

Brand new set of experiential lesson plans available now

Sunday, January 22, 2023
For quality education, teaching activities must be goal-oriented and systematic.

That is why Kindiedays Lesson Plans combine the pedagogical objectives from the Finnish curriculum with hands on experience from the classrooms.

Launched now

Kindiedays Lesson Plan Package is designed to guide and support educators to provide lessons based on experiential and playful learning. 

Kindiedays Lesson Plans includes:

  • 300 experiential lesson plans divided between 3 levels for children aged 1 to 6
  • 5 Learning areas including a total of 152 pedagogical objectives, derived from the Finnish National Curriculum for Early Childhood and Care
  • Lessons for Special Occasions

Watch video to see how it works

Our web shop offers subscriptions for individual teachers and centers. Go to the web shop and discover the joy for learning!

To the web shop

Team Kindiedays

PS The lesson plans can be used with any curriculum, as long as playful learning is close to your heart.

Looking for new lesson plans?

Friday, January 13, 2023

Kindiedays brand new lesson plan package is launched this week. 

Meet Stella Giota the face behind the plans! You can also get a free sample of Stella's work ahead of the official launch.

How to assess teaching and learning?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Early childhood education is a lot about planning, but the truth is that without assessing the plans, children's learning, and educators' teaching methods - everything just stays still and there is no development and no clear path where to go.

All workplaces assess and measure their success, and explore how to do things better. In all businesses, it is key to:

  1. Set clear objectives
  2. Do the work
  3. Measure the results
  4. Create a feedback loop for developing the way of working

In the world of early childhood education, all this feels a bit strange and distant, but actually, when you think of it, it makes perfect sense. In the preschool world, the same thing "Assessment wheel" means:

  1. Set clear learning objectives
  2. Plan and run playful pedagogical activities
  3. See the results and make assessments
  4. Develop teaching methods in a consistent way throughout the term

After you have done all steps 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, you can start all over again. The assessment wheel will help you with many occasions year-round!

Assessment methods in early education

Assessment practices are evolving away from the examination of physical products of learning, such as worksheets and standardized assessments toward examining the process of learning. Sometimes concrete paper worksheets can still be practical and relevant, but their importance is descending.

In early childhood education learning happens mostly through play. Play is a continuum of activities including child-initiated free play, play with adult guidance, and teacher-directed play. Play often does not produce concrete documents to be assessed by educators.

But how to assess play? How to assess children's learning?

This is based on collecting pedagogical documentation of children’s individual growth and how learning unfolds within different classroom activities. Observations are done during the learning moments to provide an authentic understanding of children’s learning progress.

→ For example; if a child is making a puzzle, a teacher can take a photo of the child's learning moment in order to remember that the child succeeded and completed a puzzle of 24 jigsaw pieces in January! The photo can be shared with the child's family and put in his portfolio/learning folder.

Later on, the observations are reflected with the children, peers, and parents during the term. Everyone can see how the child succeded with the puzzle of 24 pieces in January, what will he be able to do in June? Linking observations to the learning objectives creates a continuous feedback loop to improve children’s learning and the quality of the center.

Learning assessment is continuous work, educators must observe children's play and learning moments regularly in order to see the change, growth, and steps in development.

If it seems like children do not learn new skills, achieve their learning goals, or gain knowledge that is suitable for their age, it is a good idea to rethink the educator's teaching methods and modify them to better suit the children's needs. (Often for example playing and doing activities in small groups is more beneficial for children's learning than being in a big group of 20 children.)

Technology strongly supports the assessment process

How to organize your calendar for 2023?

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

A new year and new ideas! Even the greatest ideas are nothing if they are not well organized and marked down.

  • Brainstorm with the team

When thinking of activities and events for the coming year, it would be nice if every member of staff had something to look forward to. A good system is to brainstorm together with your team and think of what everyone would like to include for the coming term.

It would be great if everyone said their own ideas out loud, this way every staff member gets a chance to participate equally and bring out their individual interests and strengths.

Maybe one teacher loves puppet theater and wants to organize a puppet show for children on Valentine's day? Or one is eager to bake with the children and would like to organize a cake buffet at the kindergarten for all the families to enjoy? Whatever the teacher's personal passion, it can surely be adjusted to your early education center's plan!

Kindiedays Lesson Plans support all learning areas!

  • Ask from families

It is also nice to ask for ideas from the families, about what would they like to see during spring term 2023. Perhaps they would be eager to join a theme week of professions? Some parents could prepare a short presentation and tell about their own work for the children.

  • Find out children's wishes

And of course, also children's wishes need to be included! Organize for example a "children's meeting" where you go through the agenda for 2023 and write down ideas that come from children. Or have a crafting session so that every group makes their "dream board" full of activities and things they would love to have in their preschool or kindergarten.

Perhaps children would love to have a pajama day? Or go to see a concert? Disco party? Children surely are full of ideas once they get to share them.

  • Mark down yearly celebrations

Every season brings also yearly celebrations along, which can be included in your preschool's calendar. Depending on traditions, seasons, and cultures, the traditions may vary between schools a lot. It is a smart idea to combine celebrations from different cultures into your preschool's calendar so that children learn about diversity.

Here are some examples of celebrations during the first months of 2023: