Posts in September 2021

Practical tips: How to plan an effective lesson?

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

An effective lesson gives children

  • Something to think 
  • Possibilities to interact
  • Possibilities to ask questions
  • Information based on their background knowledge
  • Possibilities to build new skills

"A lot of approaches to lesson planning are content-driven, giving teachers some boxes to fill in," says Peter Brunn, director of professional development at the Developmental Studies Center in Oakland, Calif., and author of The Lesson Planning Handbook. "While these approaches include what we want to teach, they don't often contain HOW we're going to teach it." It's the "how," says Brunn, that makes all the difference in whether children actually learn.

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Effective lesson planning requires the teacher to determine three essential components:

  1. Objective
  2. Body
  3. Reflection


To start, come up with an active objective. Try to create it so that the lesson seems engaging.

"Today we'll explore the different styles of jumping" gives a signal for the children that they get to test it out together with you.

Brunn encourages teachers to create lessons that allow children to investigate various possibilities—even wrong answers—so that they truly understand why something is right. "You can't wing that kind of lesson," he says. "You have to set it up intentionally."

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Once you have an active objective, it's time to plan the body of the lesson. Brunn suggests writing down open-ended questions and deciding how you will ask them and what you will do if your children don't or can't answer these questions. How will you probe their thinking? You need to continually facilitate the lesson to keep children focused.

During a jumping themed lesson, you could ask children questions as:

  • Can you teach me to jump?
  • Which animals or insects know how to jump?
  • Are frog jumps and bunny jumps different? How?
  • Can you jump down from objects?
  • Can you jump up on objects?
  • Can you jump over objects?
  • What muscles you need for jumping?
  • How many times you can jump? 5? 10? 20?
  • How far are you able to jump?
  • What is the smallest jump you can make?

Have some materials ready, for example a pillow that children can jump onto. Or a stable chair that children can jump down from. A measure is interesting too, in order to measure how far the children can jump.

And check before jumping that the gym floor is not slippery or ask the children take socks off! This lesson can be easily organized outdoors too, for example in a forest.

Allow children to move, test, try, investigate and have fun!


Next, it's reflection time. Ask children what they learned and what they think you could have done differently. Brunn says the answers will help you end the lesson thoughtfully.

During reflection time, you can have a relaxation moment and for example give a little leg massage after all the jumping.

For quality education, learning activities must be goal-oriented and run in a purposeful manner

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

How to get there depends on your starting point and the state of guidelines for early childhood education in your country. Often this is referred to as the “curriculum”, but the term itself has different meanings in different countries or even between professionals themselves.


In Finland the national / city / kindergarten specific curriculum means a guideline of how to work and sets the pedagogical objectives. It doesn't specify milestones for children's learning or lesson plans that should be run.

Some other countries consider the word curriculum as a syllabus consisting of preplanned lesson plans for a term. While other countries see curriculum as a set of milestones / learning objectives that children should get to practice and reach.

None of these alone gives a complete answer for how to go ahead to provide quality education!


No matter what curriculum means to you or in which country you live in:

For quality education, teaching activities must be goal-oriented and organized in a purposeful manner.

Building on your starting point and expanding it, you should take the whole learning process into consideration:

  1. Set the pedagogical objectives for children’s learning.
  2. Plan the lessons to match the objectives, taking children's interests into consideration.
  3. Observe and document the learning moments and engage families.
  4. Assess and reflect on the learning and plan future learning.



Kindiedays supports the whole learning process in a flexible way so you can build on what you already have in place.

First, Kindiedays can offer the Finnish curriculum’s pedagogical objectives that in addition to children’s own interests guide the activity planning. But you can also use your own pedagogical objectives as starting point.

Concrete tips for better pedagogy

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

High quality pedagogy helps for example when children get restless or when situations need more focus for learning. But what is pedagogy in practice?

You might understand quickly that you need to promote pedagogy for exaple when children are queuing to wash hands or while they wait for story time to begin.

Simply, pedagogy is - or at least it should be - present in all moments of the day that a teacher spends with children. Pedagogy does not play a part only during circle times, pedagogy is there all the time, all the way from morning to afternoon.

Pedagogy can be seen in guided activities, when supporting children's play, in transition moments, when eating or resting and in all other moments that teacher encounters children.

Test and wear 'pedagogical glasses' for a day

It is worth while to stop and think through your day with 'pedagogical glasses' on. You can assess and notice the weak points of the day and start to develop them. Think for example:

  • What moments are stressful?
  • When are the children restless?
  • Are there moments when sensitive interaction with the children does not come true?

Discuss with your team and search for solutions together. You might understand quickly that you need to promote pedagogy for exaple when children are queuing to wash hands or while they wait for story time to begin.

How to enhance restless moments and add high quality pedagogy to the day?

  1. Use poems and songs when children are in the queue - time goes faster when you sing and children get to practice new songs and participate.
  2. Add pictures and visual sings to the walls where children can see them, for example on how to wash hands properly, so that children can practice handwashing moves while they wait.
  3. Add more adults' presence to the hectic and stressful moments.

The core idea is to understand the child's point of view. How does the child see this situation? What means versatile and safe early childhood education to the child? How can we support the child's wellbeing, growth, development and learning throughout the day? Teacher can see the child's side by observing closely, interacting in a sensitive manner and helping the child to name and show his feelings.

What is then the worst thing that prevents pedagogical early childhood education from happening?

The absolute NO's in early childhood education are:

  • Educator's closed mind that only follows everyday routines as changing diapers like a robot.
  • Treating all the children similarly without noticing their personalities and unique needs and different ways to communicate.
  • Doing the job similarly as it was done 20 years ago.

→ This kind of thinking does not support high quality pedagogy nor children's learning.

High quality pedagogy is based on warm and sensitive interaction with the children. <3 The core idea is to understand the child's point of view.

Happy encounters!

References: Liisa Ahonen & Piia Roos. 2021. Untuvikot - alle 3-vuotiaiden pedagogiikka. (Untuvikot - pedagogy with children under 3y.)