How do you know that you are on the right track when building individual profiles of children’s learning? Quite simply, each storybook should look different and be personal to the child. The material recorded should reflect the child’s unique interests and contain individual samples of the child’s work, words, progress and achievements. This is made easy as all the tools you need to compile a multi-dimensional portrait of the child are on the Mosaic Educator platform.
Educators should aim to build a continuous and consistent profile of the child by using a combination of the different learning story formats. Keep building the child’s storybook piece by piece in a way that provides a true reflection of the child as a unique individual. Don’t allow gaps in the story to form, if a busy week doesn’t allow much time for documentation, then complete quick picture and voice stories to keep the child’s storybook active and varied.
Show patterns in interests, developing ideas and plans for the future. Use your learning story narrative to celebrate progress and show links in learning. Each child’s Leabhar Scéalta should be different, unique and have a sense of who the child is, their background, interests and preferred learning style. Each Leabhar Scéalta should be different, just as each child is different.
Regular and respectful communication between you and parents will enable parents to understand the benefits of meaningful assessment to their child’s learning and development and of your role as a professional Educator. Use Mosaic Parent Information leaflets to help you do this.
Building Children’s Self-Image and Confidence
By involving children in the compilation and review of their unique Leabhar Scéalta, new learning opportunities emerge for all areas of the child’s learning and development. By taking time to sit with the child on a one to one basis, talk about and review pictures, stories and achievements, the skilful Educator can reinforce a range of positive dispositions and attitudes.
This will be realised by actively involving children in taking photographs and recording videos through Mosaic and helping build their own story of learning. In addition, a variety of interconnecting learning experiences can be supported by spending quality time with an Educator/parent/grandparent, sharing, reviewing and discussing the child’s Leabhar Scéalta. This will strongly reinforce the child’s positive self-image as a learner by celebrating achievements, build close and trusting relationships with adults, develop communication skills, reflect on and self-assess learning experiences and make connections between previous and new learning.
This can be achieved by:
– Engaging in conversation and discussion with the child about their Leabhar Scéalta
– Revisiting activities, events and interactions, enabling children to develop understanding of and make connections with their prior and new learning.
– Encouraging children to reflect on their own learning through discussion and self-assessment
– Celebrating what the child has achieved and reinforcing a positive self-image
– Showing respect for the child’s voice by including it in the learning process
– Enabling the child to experience and use technology in relation to his/her own learning.
Supporting Children to Engage with IT in a meaningful way
Today´s pre-school children are ‘digital citizens’. They have been raised in and with technology to the extent that they are familiar with it from a very early age. Hand a young child a smartphone and before long he or she is navigating to their favourite app or video calling your most recent contact. It also isn’t uncommon for children to teach the adults in their lives how to work the latest piece of technology.
When it comes to technology in early childhood education, however, a common parental concern is, “My child receives too much media exposure at home. Why would I want it at school?” While that may be the case, when technology is used in specific and focused ways it can support and achieve early childhood education and pre-school learning goals. The trick is that the use of technology should complement and add to, the learning experience itself.
Implementing technology in tandem with traditional activities allow more opportunities for children of varying ages to develop digital skills. Deliberate handling of technology benefits children by developing vital enquiry and investigation skills, as well as the ability to communicate and engage in multiple forms. Today’s children will be dependent on these skills more and more throughout their educational journey.
Mosaic is an online and mobile platform designed for early childhood services in Ireland by Meantóir www.meantoir.ie The platform is utilised through two separate Apps
1. ‘MOSAIC Educator’ and 2. ‘MOSAIC Family’.
Mosaic is a quality educational tool for Educators to support their daily work with children around the documentation of children’s early learning and care. It is designed to enhance parents as partners in the child’s learning through timely two-way communications and information sharing. To subscribe to Mosaic Educator see www.mosaicelc.ie