Category: Professional Learning

Arty Maths – Maths Week Scotland – 28 September

 

It’s Maths Week Scotland next week.

Excited much?????

I’ve always thought about maths and art being connected. Why? Because both disciplines are about noticing and appreciating the world around us.

 

As human beings we are drawn to things. Sometimes we don’t know why. It’s intuitive or natural. We like something because it has an appeal. In our mind’s eye it is beautiful. Often the reason for our appreciation lies in its order, symmetry, colour, shape even its movement. All of which are basic, natural, mathematical concepts.

 

 

 

Babies, toddlers and young children haven’t yet learned about the properties of shapes or the names of colours, maybe. However, they do naturally distinguish for characteristics in the way they sort or collect things around them.

Matching, sorting and grouping are essential foundational mathematical skills. It is important that we are not tempted to ‘schoolify’ this behaviour too early but rather that we provide children the opportunity to be challenged by objects and watch how they use them.

Back to art. The visual arts (drawing, painting, collage, modelling) are offered everyday in every ELC in the land. But, have you considered the contribution to children’s mathematical thinking that such experiences offer?

I think it is important to think about the visual elements of Art when thinking about the sorts of experiences children should have. When you see the elements, you will quickly recognise the connection with Mathematics.

The visual elements of art are:

  • Line
  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Form
  • Tone

Environment

  • Thinking of your Creation Stations, have you organised the materials in a certain way to help children make choices on the basis of lines or shapes or colours?
  • In this example, materials are organised in colours but also there is thought to strips of papers, so that children can think about lines.

 

  • Have you thought about giving children different shape of paper to paint or collage on? Think about what children would learn about a triangle if they had to make decisions about what tiny marks they needed to make in the angles?
  • What about different sizes of paper and different painting tools for that size. The mathematical language that will develop will impress and astound you.

3D Modelling

So, 3D modelling is basically a mathematical/STEM experience as well as an arty one!

  • How are the materials organised in your playroom or in the outdoors? Are they all jumbled around? You might want to think about categories to help children make decisions on the basis of shape or colour or function. For example:
    • A box for objects that roll
    • A box for objects that ‘don’t roll’
    • A box for ‘see through’ or transparent objects
    • A box for ‘very small’ objects
    • A box for ‘flat’ objects
    • And on and on and on…….

Clay, Blocks and Wood

Form and pattern are visual elements of art but they are also mathematical concepts that are explored and discovered by children as they design with  clay and blocks and wood. I don’t need to say anymore about this here. Go to our wonderful Froebel in Falkirk menu in the blog for all you need to know.

You will have so many more ideas but hopefully Maths Week Scotland will give the opportunity to notice the maths in the art, to observe closely how children are thinking and behaving mathematically.

I am so excited about #ArtyMaths week in Falkirk. I know that, as always, ELC is going to embrace this opportunity to support children’s progress and to help families understand how their young child’s mathematical brain is developing.

Please do as you always do…..share and tweet. Please tag-in @FCEYTeam @NumHubChamp @FCLisaMcCabe using #ELCArtyMathsWeek #MathsWeekScot
Well done and thank you!

Lisa

Read more

Launch of New Materials for Falkirk’s ELC Teams

It’s the end of another busy week in Falkirk’s ELC settings and this week’s blog post is about some of the many support materials and CLPL opportunities  which were shared with settings this week.

Early Learning Newsletter  published.

The FCEY central team are excited to be publishing the first newletter for Falkirk’s ELC workforce.  Our newsletter contains snapshots from a few of our #FalkirkWonderisers out in ELC settings and Primary 1 classrooms along with latest news, upcoming events and updates from some  of our professional partners.   Watch out for this term’s newsletter coming soon!

Early Learning Professional Learning Brochure

With these words in mind, the Early Learning team were pleased to launch their professional learning brochure detailing their 2020-2021 CLPL programme.  Falkirk ELC and early primary practitioners can use this brochure to view the fantastic range of CLPL on offer to them in Falkirk this year.  Below is a snapshot of the wealth of opportunities on offer.

Staff Handbooks

The FCEY team have been working hard to produce new and updated staff handbooks to support practitioners working in the many varied roles of our ELC workforce.  The first of these, launched this week are:

  • SEYO handbook
  • Staff Induction handbook
  • ELC Assistant Induction handbook
  • Mentor Guidance handbook

Falkirk Council practitioners can access all  handbooks on the Early Learning Sharepoint on Glow using this link.

Introducing #PlayAtHome Week

We want to say a huge **thank you** to our ELC and early learning colleagues and families who have supported our CS Comms #AtHome themed weeks.

So far, there have been three themes:

Week beginning 20 April – #LiteracyAtHome

Week beginning 27 April – #STEMatHome (**especially good)

Week beginning 4 May – #HWBatHome

The level of participation and engagement from settings, individual practitioners working at home when not in hubs, those in Hubs and from our families (with your support) has been simply outstanding.

Our lovely colleague and RAiSE Development Officer, Laura McCafferty, has been collating the tweets, retweets and quote tweets into a wee video. Click on the #AtHome links above to see the video and see yourself on the big screen. These videos are also great for seeing practice elsewhere and getting ideas for helping parents, carers and families support their child’s learning at home.

 

As well as these videos, you can also search on Twitter by entering the relevant #AtHome AND #JoinInFalkirk. We’ve made it a bit easier by linking these searches below. Click to go straight to the Twitter thread: #LiteracyAtHome #STEMatHome #HWBatHome

 

The big news of course is that next week (week beginning 11 May) is #PlayAtHome week.
We are so excited about showcasing the fabulous ways we are supporting learning through play and home and in our Hubs.

We know you’ll support and take part, so thank you in advance for all that you will do. We just have one small favour to ask…..remember when replying or quote tweeting (and we want lots of these) please remember to add the hashtags #JoinInFalkirk AND #PlayAtHome

Why? We need both hashtags as this is the search link we’ll use after the week finished to collate the engagement from the week. We would hate for your tweet to be missed, so please don’t forget.

With your continued help and support, #PlayAtHome is going to be a great week. Watch this space for the video collation too.

Remember to leave a reply on our blogs too.

 

**NEW** Team Twitter

The EY central team now has a team twitter account @fceyteam to help you find out what’s happening in the world of early learning in Falkirk.

 

Individual team members shared still have their own Twitter accounts and will be very happy to still communicate with you that way.

The Early Learning Improvement Team:

Lisa McCabe – Education Team Manager (@FCLisaMcCabe)

Susan McElhatton – Curriculum Support Officer (@McelhattonSusan)

Fiona Pascall – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@fionapascallEY)

Cheryl Smyth – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@CherylSmyth15)

Elaine Craigen – Peripatetic Early Years Teacher (@elaine_craigen)

Margaret Aitken – Training & Development Officer (@MargaretDAitken)

Karen Thomson – 1140 Programme Manager & Childcare Provision Co-ordinator (@Falkirk1140)

Rehana Ali – Customer & Business Support Assistant

We felt that a Team Twitter account would help us to co-ordinate key messages a bit better so that you are all connected-in easily.

If you are one of our early learning colleagues, and you are a Twitterer, please make sure you follow us @fceyteam

We would love your posts about the fab-u-lous distance learning and family engagement you are providing to flood our team twitter, so please tag us as much as you can.

Our main endeavour as a team over the coming weeks is to support your professional learning and development so that you can be gainfully occupied when not in the hubs.

Our team will post a blog each week to share with you the most up-to-date learning opportunities and to give guidance on how best to log and record your learning.

In the meantime, it is vital that you take time to read and digest the messages from Realising the Ambition – Scotland’s refreshed national practice guidance for early learning.

The professional learning pack on the National Improvement Hub helps guide your learning and offers reflection questions. It would be good to use every opportunity you have, for example via Microsoft Teams, to talk and think about RtA with colleagues in your setting and maybe those across Falkirk!

Should you have any specific requests and/or ideas about professional learning, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You could maybe drop us a wee tweet just to let us know you have found us!

#ourchildrenfirst #makingfalkirkproud #joininfalkirk #playisthewayFC

Resources to Support Outdoor Play and Learning

National Guidance to support high quality Outdoor Play and Learning

Outdoor Play and Learning is a key priority in our Early Learning Quality Strategy.

There are a number of important national guidance documents to support this area of priority. It is really important that pedagogical leaders and teams are conversant with the main messages in this guidance.

Care Inspectorate has been in touch to say that every setting will receive a hard copy towards the end of July of the Space to Grow Indoor Outdoor Settings guidance. In the meantime you can access the document here via the Care Inspectorate HUB.

It is really important that we are all clear on what it is to be an indoor/outdoor ELC settings. This definition from the guidance is very helpful,

“An indoor/outdoor setting is a premises-based setting where the scale and quality of the outdoor space is appropriate for enhancing the child’s quality of play and learning experiences. High quality natural outdoor space combined with high-quality indoor space and quality opportunities and experiences for children are all taken into account when considering the number of children the setting is registered for. Both the indoor and the outdoor area must be accessible to the children 100% of the operational times. An indoor/outdoor setting will take account of the practices of a solely outdoor or satellite setting.” (emphasis added)

Page 8

We are absolutely delighted that our very own Nethermains Nursery Class is featured in the document (pages 29 & 30). If you are interested in finding out more, do not hesitate to contact Ashley Cupples, EY Pedagogue.

Page 26 gives practical hints and tips on what practitioners need to consider before embarking on establishing an indoor/outdoor approach.

The resource should act as a tool to be used in conjunction with:

Space to Grow

Out to Play

My World Outdoors

Practice Note: Early Learning and Childcare: Delivering High Quality Play and Learning Environments Outdoors

Blog Refresh

Welcome to our refreshed Early Learning Blog.

For those of you who are frequent visitors to the Blog, I hope you are pleased with the changes. For new visitors, you will find the Blog easy to navigate with key information being accessed easily.

Make sure you keep your eye on the front page for news and updates.

Please leave comments on the blog posts. Your comments are important and will help us know if we are provided exactly what you need.

Block Play – Block Building in the Early Years

** This learning resource is available on the National Improvement Hub
In Falkirk we can use this resource to support reflective practice and to challenge our thinking as to what makes effective learning environments for the promotion of creativity, curiosity and inquiry; and to identify next steps.
How to use this Learning and assessment resource to improve practice?

The resource can be used by individuals and groups of practitioners to support professional learning to develop understanding and support practice in relation to block play.

Links have been made throughout to theories of early learning that support the importance of block play. Links to further reading have been provided to deepen knowledge and understanding.

The resource outlines the different stages of block play and how this relates to children’s development and learning

 

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/documents/elc27-block-play.pptx

 

 

 

 

New SSSC Learning Resources to Support Early Learning Workforce

The SSSC has launched new learning resources to support early learning and childcare workers

The free digital resources can support our Falkirk’s EYC staff in continuing to develop good practice  within the areas of:

  • Observing children
    This online practice simulator allows workers to observe children at play while in different workplace settings to help them develop observation and recording skills, which play a key role in early learning and childcare.
  • Child development
    This app is an essential reference for early years practitioners in Scotland containing important aspects of national guidance and a mix of information and real world activities to support practice.
  • Mentoring for early learning and childcare services
    This app will help you implement a mentoring programme in your early learning and childcare service. We’ve designed it to help your service reach its potential and to support the continuous professional development of workers.

Falkirk’s Early Learning CLPL – Our 2019/20 Offer

Regular engagement in high quality makes the difference between good and great professionals.

Our 2019/20 CLPL programme aims to support our educators to deliver the very best outcomes for children.

The programme is aligned to the 4 workstreams of our QIStrategyEYTeam20192020.

Click on the Professional Learning option on the menu tab on the home page to find and sign-up for professional learning sessions or click here https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/falkirkearlyyears/calendar/

Remember: There are many resources and materials to support in-house professional learning including these new resources:

  • Children’s involvement in the planning process.
  • Using observations to shape planning for children’s learning.
  • Effective planning to meet learner’s needs.
  • Effective early years planning meetings.

Click on this link to access these materials and more (you require a Glow account and this is only accessible to Falkirk  Council staff).