Play-based learning is a type of early childhood education based on child-led and open-ended play. The educators will program and create an environment based on the children’s interests. From there, it is the child’s choice to play, it is their choice on how they will play, and for how long they will play. The educators will initiate play, by inviting or suggesting play, but it is the child who determines the rest.
For example, the children in Preschool found caterpillars outside…
Their interest in caterpillars took off, and the Preschool teachers followed their lead by providing materials to help the children follow their heightened curiosity.
Meanwhile, the other Preschool classroom had their focus on Safari life. The environment the educators create, allow the children to explore and learn how the world works around them. Play-based learning is providing the tools, but allowing the children to determine how they use them.
“Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori
It was a short week at the House, but it was action packed – outdoor learning, bike riding, mud kitchen fun, fine motor skills building, gross-motor skills strengthening, scissor practice, letter and number recognition, name tracing, gardening, science experimenting, painting and loose part discoveries…just to name a few things that happened this week.
Outdoor learning experiences like gardening, biking, exploring and playing in the mud kitchen are proven to: – develop reflective and inquisitive thinking along with problem solving approaches in “real-life” situations – encourage holistic development of children (intellectual, mental, physical, emotional, and social abilities in a child) – develop resilience and adaptability in occasionally adverse circumstances – allow children to become more able to identify risks and hazards – develop an appreciation and respect for nature and all that is living – develop an understanding on how to look after the environment – develop self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem – develop social and communication skills – provide positive health benefits
Allowing the children to explore learning experiences both inside and outside teaches them that learning occurs everywhere, at all times. We want to encourage learning, but also allow the children to explore, seek out new challenges, problem-solve and to seize opportunities on their own. The outdoors allows for this to happen, the children will naturally explore nature, whereas in the classroom it is the educators who create an environment that both challenges the children, but also meet’s their needs and allows them to gain the confidence with the skills they need as they continue to grow.
Such skills as: fine motor, writing/tracing, word-letter-colour-number recognition, self-help, communication, social, problem-solving, self-regulating, emotional, creative, matching and sorting…
These skills can be seen through-out the following photos:
Whether it is learning indoors or outdoors, learning happens everywhere!
Today, indoor learning took place, because outdoors taught us a lesson already – be ready for any type of weather no matter what the season may be.
The weather outside is delightful Be sure to bring the sunscreen by the tube-full We will be outside Shade side With water to drink, cold certified As we play in the sun Bring on the fun It’s a Friday before the long weekend I believe we all have earned one!
Here’s to May 2-4, but before we close the door, let’s go ahead and show you more!
We will start upstairs in the toddler district – where the youngest of the house have been focused on their colour recognition, and where toddler two took to the outdoors to cool off with some water play.
Preschool turned the fun all the way up and tested Parents with a different day to celebrate each day of the week – Sunglass Day, Tie-Dye Day, Hat Day, Jersey Day and (not-pictured) PJ Day!
The sun is hot The long weekend is here That means it’s time to log off And get out of here!
The stay at home order has been extended The lockdown continues
But ain’t nothin’ going to break our stride no one is going to slow us down, (oh no) we got to keep on movin’
And we will keep learning, growing and having fun too! Because that’s what the house is all about.
The Chartwell House teachers have done a very good job at disguising play – what looks like play all day, is actually a day full of learning, challenges, and hidden skills that are encouraged and celebrated. From playing with Playdough to build fine motor skills, to having a zipper contest to motivated independence, these teachers know the best way to learn is to have fun.
Above shows number and letter recognition disguised with reading your favourite book, tracing, making your own letters with snack, and dominoes.
Painting, making music, playing in the sand and molding Playdough is all different ways to work those fine motor skills.
Watering and gardening teaches responsibility, the children are caring for the plants, they begin to understand cause and effect and their self confidence grows along with the plants as they see their results.
But sometimes, like on a sunny Friday, sometimes all it is is just FUN! And that’s exactly what was happening during this Tea Party!
And let’s just keep the fun going for the weekend!
Both preschool classrooms got their paint on – using a sponge to create colourful butterflies, bubble-wrap to create rain drops on an umbrella, and with Earth Day in the forecast, recyclable items were brought into play.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year, the day aims to raise awareness among masses about climate change and global warming. The day inspires to act towards the projection of the environment and focus on the need for conservation. It is important to educate and demonstrate to the children the different ways we can help create a cleaner and greener environment. And so, the Preschoolers started their research…
While the Preschoolers focused remained on the environment, upstairs in the toddler district it’s been all about BUGS!
We would also like to thank our neighbours for having their drive-way re-done, because the whole House was very into the diggers, and dump trucks!
That’s a wrap on the happenings this week – enjoy your weekend, and see you back next week!
Through all the changes, lockdowns, emergency breaks, and stay-at-home orders, we have continued to operate and be here. All educators continue to prove they are essential during this pandemic. Each day we put on a mask, and press pause on what is happening in the world around us to provide care, learning, and fun for each Chartwell child. This is an appreciation post for the Chartwell Educators.
Ms. Reid Ms. Bialy aka TT Ms. Albin aka Ms. A Ms. G Ms. F Ms. O Ms. Kaur Ms. Rogers Ms. Shannon Ms. T Ms. Marney Ms. Costa Ms. Hillis
Thank you for all you do for the house, for each child, and for being the superheroes you are.
“Not all superheroes wear capes.”
“This year has been a challenging year for us all. Although the numbers around us are rising, I’m thankful to have a job and be surrounded by caring staff, loving children and supportive families. We’ve all had our own struggles to deal with, not seeing family, missing important events and isolation making it hard to handle alone. I’ve had to make difficult choices that were hard in order to keep a safe work environment but there is little in the world that is as a wonderful as a child’s laughter and wonder. I became an educator because I believe children are much more capable than adults often realize and I love nurturing their curiosity on a daily basis. I’m thankful we’re still able to provide this environment for the kids. It not only helps them, but creates a sense of normalcy in all of our lives. We are essential workers, and although we may not always get that recognition… I’m here for the kids and that’s enough.” – Miss G
“Working over the past year during a pandemic has been such a learning experience. It’s such a relief to have a job and being around people and kids and families that make this job worth it. Here’s hoping Covid only lasts the next 5 years instead of 10.” – Ms. Rogers
“Even though RECEs are under appreciated during this difficult time during the pandemic, I am thankful to have a job that I can come to. Yes the children cannot see our smiles but we can see theirs and hear their laughs. It helps me forget about what’s going on for a little bit during the day. It helps to know that we are still able to come everyday and help make a difference in these children’s lives by providing a little bit of routine and comfort in these uncertain times.” – Ms. Bialy aka TT
“Working during a pandemic has its ups and downs. Putting my trust in staff members and families that come and go throughout the centre is the most challenging. I come to work everyday so that parents can go to work as well, while doing that I’m putting aside my need for spending time with my parents. I love my job at the end of the day and wouldn’t change it for the world but during this time it can be difficult to show up everyday” – Ms. Reid
“I feel we don’t get enough recognition in today’s society. We’re not “daycare” workers, we’re educators who provide quality childcare and provide early learning opportunities for the young children in our community. It’s not an easy job but at the end of the day it’s rewarding knowing that these young child look up to you.” – Ms. F
“I feel it’s important to let everyone know that despite being able to work and be essential, the pandemic is very hard on everyone. We appreciate being able to come into work and provide for our families. But part of us would love to also stay home and spend this time with our loved ones, especially the staff with kids. It’s a real bittersweet type deal, we know we are essential and everything we do is for the kids and our passion for ECE, but being ignored by the government and being underpaid despite being an “essential worker” can be really discouraging. It is hard for us too – we just try to forget it all at the door and put a smile on our face and make the day fun for the kids. But when we leave work, we are tired mentally, physically and sometimes emotionally. So, please give your child’s educator a smile and a thank you, because they have their own life with many types of stress and hardships, they are just good at concealing it and focusing on what matters- which is the children.” – Ms. T
“What it feels like to be an educator – praying that we can help our future generation become free and enjoy the small things in life again.” – Ms. Costa
“In a time where the world is filled with such uncertainty and sorrow, coming to work and seeing the children who are smiling and happy, blissfully unaware of what’s going on, provides a much needed distraction for staff. Although RECE’s seem to be falling to the wayside by the government, the appreciation we get from the kids lifts our spirits. Whether it be through their laughter and enthusiasm or by them learning a new word or going a day without any accidents, they show us that what we are doing matters to them if no one else.” – Ms. A
“I am very appreciative to have a job and a job I love! The children make me smile and make me want to show up during this pandemic. I am scared, scared of the unknown, do we trust that our parents are bringing in their children healthy. I am scared I will bring it home to my family. I wish I was able to stay home when my daughter has to do online learning. I wish I am able to be her educator when schools can’t stay open but we are “Essential” and I show up everyday and do my job and do it for the children! RECE’s are underpaid and not shown enough appreciation but my coworkers make it worth it. We have each other’s backs! We are a team!” – Ms. Shannon
“Working during a pandemic has been a difficult experience for a lot of people. Things are constantly changing, but I am glad to have a job that I love and to be able to still be there for the children during such a difficult time. It’s also scary as there are so many unknowns and I have to put my trust in each family and all my coworkers that they are coming in healthy and haven’t been around anyone sick. Being an ECE in normal times is challenging enough, it’s exhausting mentally and physically and sometimes we feel under appreciated. However, my love for this job and these kids has always been the reason why I chose to be an ECE. We are here for the children to provide stability and help them grow and develop. When the children walk through the doors each morning with happy faces and excited to be at school, sometimes I forget for a moment that we are in a pandemic at all. Keeping our focus on the children, and having an amazing team of ECEs here makes all the difference in knowing we will get through this together.” -Ms. Marney
The Preschool classroom did do a Superhero Day, where they did wear capes…
And then one little superhero again proved not all heroes wear capes.
The past year has been a roller-coaster for everyone, we have all been through ups and downs. We have faced many challenges, weaved our way through obstacles, and continue to face what comes our way. Chartwell educators will continue to adapt, continue to follow the changing rules and regulations and will do so while providing a learning environment for the children.
We will continue to do our best. And we will do so, together.
Welcome back to the Chartwell House happenings! Where you get a closer look inside the classrooms, and at what your child is working on, learning, exploring, creating and building.
Here’s that closer look…
The toddler classrooms have been covering the basics – A, B, C easy as 1, 2, 3. Working on their number and letter recognition.
The Toddler Two classroom has been all about the wildlife and used the children’s interest to work on the numbers 1 to 10. Children are using early math skills throughout their daily routines and activities, this doesn’t mean they are bringing out the calculator during free play, but most children will start to develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through their daily interactions. For example, if a child has two cars, and another child takes one car, the child realizes very fast they are only left with one car. Other math skills may be introduced when walking up steps, counting each step as they go up or down. The activity below with the hedgehog allows the child to see the connection between the number, language and quantity of the number visible – this is 1:1 correspondence – the ability to match an object to the corresponding number and recognize that numbers are symbols to represent quantity.
The Toddler One Classroom have been working on their letters, this week they focused on the letters – S, T, U, V. Stomp. Teeth. Umbrella. Volcano.
Toddlers can start recognizing sounds and letters by introducing educational music – our go to is, Jolly Phonics. This is a fun approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. Each day our four classrooms will listen to, follow along with, or sing-along to jollies that help them learn the sound of each letter. The Toddler One classroom along with the sound of the letter, worked with items that started with the letters of the week.
As the children move into Preschool, they continue to learn both number and letter recognition and skills, but the activities and learning process changes according to each child’s development. New math skills will be introduced, writing and tracing numbers and letters will become of interest, and some will even work towards writing their name before heading off to JK.
Along with literacy and numeracy skills, comes creativity. Allowing children to express themselves through art allows them to develop motor skills, builds confidence and self-esteem, accelerates brain development, reduces stress, and supports language development. Arts and crafts can encourage self-expression and decision making and will help develop a child’s imagination and emotional understanding.
And when you work this hard – You play harder.
That’s a wrap on the happenings.
And incase you missed it – we had a special visitor this week at the house – a wandering lonesome Turkey.