Posts in March 2023

What is Kindiedays made of?

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Everyone must know the good old nursery rhyme:

What are little boys made of? Frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails. What are little girls made of? Sugar, spice, and everything nice.

I thought to update this rhyme to:

What is Kindiedays made of? Planning, playing, and collaborating. What more is Kindiedays made of? Managing, messaging, and photo shooting.

You see, Kindiedays is not only pink or blue, but it represents all the colors, as it has so many qualities and features in it!

A kindergarten, preschool, or any early childhood education center can cope very well with Kindiedays as it has all the needed facilities included. Kindiedays consists of three apps: Kindiedays Educator, Kindiedays Family, and Kindiedays Manager, so there really is something for everyone connected with early childhood education.

Kindiedays is made of...

1. Planning

  • You can include a curriculum of your choice in the Kindiedays App (for example Finnish or EYFS) → makes planning much easier!
  • Learning areas and learning objectives of the curriculum are inserted in the Kindiedays App → makes planning much easier!
  • You can get ready-made Lesson Plans from Kindiedays that connect with the curriculum → makes planning much easier!

2. Pedagogical documentation

  • Take a photo of a child participating in an activity/playing/climbing...
  • Add learning area + learning objective(s) to the post
  • Add your own notes, child's comments, or other info related to the learning moment
  • Save and post on the child's profile
  • Share with families in real-time and discuss the day upon pick-up time
  • Collect all meaningful learning moments on the child's digital portfolio

3. Assessment

  • Assessing and following every child's learning and development is efficient
  • Managers and educators can get visible data on each child's or group's learning
  • Takes planning, assessing, and teaching to the next level

Kindiedays strongly supports children's holistic learning. That is why points 1, 2, and 3 focus on children's learning only. Planning, pedagogical documentation, and assessment all play an important role in learning - all have their own vital part in it.

Continue reading and see what other three things is Kindiedays made of!

Plan with Kindiedays

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Planning with Kindiedays - or planning 'solo' without Kindiedays? What is the difference?

1. Lesson Plans

Kindiedays has launched its own lesson plans. Kindiedays Lesson Plan Package is designed to guide and support educators to provide lessons and activities based on a curriculum.

Each lesson plan is carefully planned to match the learning areas and pedagogical learning objectives outlined in the Finnish National Curriculum for Early Childhood and Care. Kindiedays lesson plans can also be used with any other curriculum, as long as playful learning is close to your heart.

The first difference is, that planning with Kindiedays gives you ready-made lesson plans that last a whole year.

See a Lesson Plan sample here!

But wait a minute - educators are creative, so coming up with activities is not the issue. What makes ready-made lesson plans so special?

2. Pedagogically planned, holistic activities that have a purpose

The important part is here: Can educators justify the chosen activity pedagogically? Why is that lesson useful for the children? What do the children learn from this?

Advance lesson planning is the main step in securing quality learning. Planning pedagogically high-quality and overall holistic lessons is not everyone's cup of tea.

I bet every educator can come up with nice activities for children – for example, “Let’s take finger paints and paint! That is fun!”. But not every educator can justify why she/he is organizing that activity at this time for these children.

If early childhood education activities do not have a pedagogical base or a curriculum behind them, they serve no real purpose. If the educator does not think of the reason why she or he is running that activity or lesson, there is actually no point in doing it (in the long run at least).

3. Planning with Kindiedays has a quality guarantee

So, what makes planning with Kindiedays better, faster, and better in pedagogical quality is that every single one of the activities has a set learning area and set learning goals.

All Kindiedays Lesson Plans are based on a curriculum = they have meaningful learning goals. Having a set learning area and learning goal(s) give the activity a purpose.

What is different to planning without Kindiedays is, that most probably educators run also lessons or activities that are 'nice' and that miss the real learning goal, the real purpose. Therefore, the level of quality education is not that high.

4. Pedagogical documentation

Children's learning should be documented systematically. With systematic documentation, educators are able to understand what the children have learned, what are their strengths and what are their personal needs for development. Educators can also assess if there are some learning areas that their teaching has not yet covered.

If educators do not keep track of what the children knew at the beginning of the term and what they know now, the educators have no possibility to assess what the children have learned, what they should learn, and what type of activities or lessons the teacher should plan next! In other words = without documentation quality early childhood education does not exist.

Kindiedays gives educators useful tools for pedagogical documentation and therefore helps educators to maintain high quality in education.

5. Planning process

Below, in the picture, you can see the planning process of how activities or lessons get their pedagogical frame. There is a path with Kindiedays and without. Generally, the planning process goes like this:

How to plan pedagogical and holistic activities for children?

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Educators are creative, so coming up with activities is not the issue. The issue is: Can educators justify the chosen activity pedagogically? What do the children learn from this?

First of all, before anything else, I would like to remind you about some important terms. These terms are the base of quality educational activities.

CURRICULUM = The main guide for educators. The curriculum shows the essential contents for teaching so that every child has opportunities for diverse learning experiences. Educators should use all the areas in their teaching equally. Curriculum = learning areas + learning objectives.

LEARNING AREAS = Guide educators when planning and implementing activities together with the children. Wide entities. Choose the learning area you want to focus on during the specific activity or project.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES = The starting point for creating activities. Choose the learning objectives you want to go for in this specific activity or project. 1-3 learning objectives per activity is enough.

CHILD-CENTERED ACTIVITIES = Children are the starting point and the ultimate reason for creating activities. The activities should be based on children's interests, capabilities, needs, and/or developmental stages.

Why do the activities need a pedagogical base?

Advance lesson planning is the main step in securing quality learning. Every educator can come up with nice activities for children – for example, “Let’s take finger paints and paint! That is fun!”.

Educators are creative, so coming up with activities is not the issue. The issue is: Can educators justify the chosen activity pedagogically? Why is that activity useful for the children? What do the children learn from this?

Doing nice activities one after the other is fun and makes the days go by. Children probably enjoy and families get to see nice crafts – but these types of activities do not have a pedagogical base behind them. These nice little activities come and go, but they serve no real purpose if the educator does not think of the reason why she or he is organizing that activity.

Get your free lesson plan sample from here!

It is okay to organize nice activities just for fun sometimes. The main focus should anyway be on pedagogically planned activities. It is also important that educators keep in mind to plan activities from all the learning areas - that is what makes teaching and learning holistic and fair for the children.

Educators should focus on planning activities that:

I grow, move and develop

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Last but not least! After this, fifth learning area, we have gone through all five learning areas that Finnish early childhood education follows in their curriculum. Yay!

The learning area of I grow, move, and develop includes learning goals that include physical activity, food education, health, and safety. The purpose is to create a stable foundation for children so that they learn to value health and overall well-being. Another aim of this learning area connects to children's physical activity. Improving children’s physical activity, body awareness as well as control over their bodies. Also, the development of gross and fine motor skills is important.

Get a free lesson plan connected to I grow, move, and develop learning area!

Children are naturally curious to move in different ways and try different things. The level of courage, self-confidence, and speed varies according to the child's temperament and character. Some children are fearless; they ride a bicycle at 100km/h even though they fall every other minute! Other children take it easy; they observe, test a little, practice carefully, refuse to go on the bike, observe a bit more, try once or twice, and take a break...they learn little by little once they have the courage and confidence to do it!

Whatever the style, character, temperament, speed, or level of confidence is - the goal is that every child gets to experience the joy of moving! Moving can happen inside or outside, in winter or summer, with adult guidance or freely without it.

 Subscribe and get one free lesson plan a week!

Three subareas: physical activity, food education & safety

Moving and being physically active gives a boost to a child's self-confidence and self-knowledge. Group activities like football, dancing in a group, or playing tag gives children a feeling of belonging and improves also skills of interaction.

Food education gives children knowledge about healthy and nutritious foods. Eating should always be a nice and easygoing event, without rushing or pressuring. Children learn about the daily mealtimes, eating together, discussing over the lunch table, and good table manners.

The area of safety is also important. It means, for example, explaining to children the dangers of traffic, teaching some traffic rules, and showing them how to move safely in traffic. Also encouraging children to ask for help in case of danger or getting lost is a good one.

Lesson plans by Kindiedays

Learning subareas one by one

Exploring and interacting with my environment

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Our journey taking a look at all the learning areas of early childhood education goes forward! This week we focus on the fourth area, Exploring and interacting with my environment.

This learning area is important for children's development as it gives children various tools for thinking and operating in our environment. The learning area "Exploring and interacting in my environment" includes also specific learning objectives that are listed below. It makes it easier for educators to plan activities when the specific learning objectives are listed clearly.

Exploring and interacting with my environment

This learning area focuses on mathematical thinking, technology, nature, and the environment. Children are encouraged to analyze, think and apply their knowledge. These are important skills in today's world and those skills are enhanced through playful exploration and experimentation. Children are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, look for answers, and make conclusions together in a team. Of course, children do this also spontaneously and it is part of their development, sometimes it seems that children's questions are never-ending and super tricky!

With mathematical thinking, children are encouraged to pay attention, especially to shapes and numbers. Children are helped to learn about numbers and quantities. Also measuring, comparing, building and causalities are part of this learning area.

Learning about the environment includes learning in the environment, learning about the environment + sustainable development, and doing good things for the environment. Nature (such as forests or beaches) and nearby built environments (such as parks or marketplaces) can be used as learning areas.

Technology education is a must in today's world. Children's relationship with technology starts developing quite early. As simple as observing a parent who is pressing buttons on the laundry machine or changing tv channels is part of technology education. Children can also, for example, practice simple coding and search for information from iPad.

 Subscribe and get one free lesson plan a week!

Learning objectives one by one

Each Learning Area has its own objectives that work as a tool for educators' planning and assessment process. Below, you can find all the learning objectives for "Exploring and interacting with my environment".