Sunday, 28 February 2010

Improving The Learning Environment

Last month at the childminding group we audited Inclusive Practice, but it was a bit dry and heavy so this month I put together a more interactive session.  The yellow strips had aspects of the Indoor environment printed on them, orange covered the Emotional environment and green was for the outdoor environment.  the three columns were headed 'Things I do well' 'Things I can improve' and 'Things I might need help with'.  It focussed everyones minds on the task in hand and there was some discussion about what a few slips as minders debated which column they wanted to put it in!

We then took it in turns to read out something from the 'Things I can Improve' column, and shared ideas about how we each achieved it or how we would like to improve it.

After that we wrote a plan:

  • One thing to change today.

  • One thing to change by next week.

  • One thing that needs more planning.

  • One thing we can all do together.
It was really great because it made it seem achievable rather than just another huge to-do list!  The things we decided to do together covered slips that appeared on everyone's charts - supporting children to recognise and label their own and other's emotions, so the next meeting we will look at some best practice ideas and make some resources together to help us do that. 

The thing I chose to change that day was to make outdoor access more child-friendly and to voice it as an option, instead of waiting for the children to suggest it, which in this grey and cold weather, they hadn't really been doing!

One thing to change by nest week was to have my groundrules up on the wall..... we all know what they are, I remind them umpteen times a day but they have never made their way onto paper!

One thing that we all agreed needed more planning was using ICT with the children.... it was something that we didn't know much about and needed to look into more, we will probably do that together too, and might try to access some funding to build a set of resources that can be rotated around the group members.

I was thrilled to have some really positive feedback about the session, such as:
"It helped me to put a label onto what I was already doing"
"It will help me to show parents and Ofsted what I am doing to improve my practice"
I will be writing blogposts about the things we and I are improving upon so watch this space!!!

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