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planning-idea

In the beginning of the school year my ECE partner and I worked together to review the curriculum document and decided on how to best meet the needs of our students in the first 6 weeks.  For most, this was an entirely new setting for them and we wanted to make them feel as comfortable as possible. 

Our first idea was to start with them and their experiences.  We got them to design special “Me” bags at home.  Children places special items and picture to discuss in large group.  This year, we decided to purchase picture frames from the dollar store and have the children bring in a photo of their family or a picture of them doing something fun. These remain around the classroom and it creates great discussions.

Next, we started discussing their natural surrounds-we discussed family, our neighbourhoods which lead to discussions about nature, buildings, shapes, signs etc.  We planned a community walk field trip early October to travel around the neighbourhood to view some of these things.  During the walk we stopped and talked about what we saw–I took the camera to take pictures. 

From the photographs we created large posters with the children telling us what they saw and adding the language below the pictures.  We make books and started to change our centres according to our neighbourhood. 

Examples are; Our house centre became the bake shop, another centre become the clinic, the building centre become a construction zone with a fire station, and our math area focused on shapes–naming and sorting.  The children made signs, added in their own writing, they wore different clothing, and this lead to discussions about careers. 

This is how our long range plans began to evolve–their ideas drove the learning, and we reviewed and matched curriculum expectations for each centre.   We used a web format for our planning.  The Big Idea or overall learning was the focus –each centre developed around the idea (each had a purpose and focus) so we would write down questions that we would ask the children as we entered each centre to extend their learning.

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