I had such a fun day yesterday with our nursery children. The sort of stuff that makes me remember why I became a teacher!
Just before Easter we went on a bug hunt. Children took photographs, video, recorded sound. Today was the day to review that work. The children were super, completely absorbed, watching themselves looking for bugs, identifying them, taking pictures and video of them. They were fascinated, watching and absorbing everything on the large IWB.
I asked the children to help me record their experiences using talking postcards, to record information for their parents to tell the what they had been doing. After all, as I expained to them, the children are the experts, as they had been on the bug hunt, unlike the teachers in the room!
The responses I got were amazing, and amazed te teachers too. I had children come and draw who would never choose this type of activity. I had children with English as an additional langauge want to record their ideas into a postcard. Children drew the most amazing pictures of slaters under logs, bees with them chasing. They wre running around the garden dressed as bats and ladybirds, the bats trying to eat the ladybird… “because that’s what bats do isn’t it?” (yes the teachers replied and extended discussion on food chains) Children were keen to examine plastic mini-beasts and rehunt for more real bugs.
But would the children have done this anyway? Did ICT really enhance learning? Well we think the answer is a tentative yes. Staff in the room believe the watching of the work undertaken before easter was important in the following ways.
- Children watched it very carefully beacuse they had made it and they were in it.
- Children remembered what they had done and wanted to talk about it again, reinforcing previous learning
- Children were keen to draw/talk/play to extend their experiences even further. Vocabulary and concepts were visibly stretched, perhaps due to their second bite at the cherry?
Anyway, I left a happy room. I felt energised, staff were full of smiles and the children were making me invites to their next playdough tea party !