The Early Years Learning Framework (2010) from Australia suggests that the planning cycle should emerge from a particular context involving an observation and evolve with plans, actions and reflections. Click on each component to reveal more.
- What learning is taking place?
- How is it meaningful?
- What strengths or skills are evident?
- What interests are emerging?
- What other learning is possible?
- What can we learn together?
- How can families and community members be involved?
- How will children be supported to learn and develop?
- How can plans be made for individuals and for the group?
- What short term plans can be made?
- What long term plans can be made?
- Put your plans into action
- Enact the plan with intentionality and respect for diversity
- Reflect on the implementation of your plans.
- What have you noticed?
- Critically reflect on how the children and their families have benefited.
As early learning teachers observe children engaged in outdoor play experiences they can use this format for planning.
Open your heart, mind, and your eyes.
What is your response to the children’s outdoor play?
What touches you?
What do you notice?
What are you curious about?
What leaves you eager to learn more about?
What theories do you have?
Take the child’s perspective.
What do you think the child or children were trying to figure out?
What theories are the children testing?
How are the children working together?
Are the children building on each other’s ideas, perspectives and contributions?
Deepening the experience
What can you do to support the children to see their own and each other’s ideas?
What might you do to invite the children to take a different perspective? Another’s perspective?
What might you do to deepen relationships between children, their families and their environment?
Another possible format to use involves identifying the program focus and creating a plan of ideas, suggestions and possibilities.
Program focus: __________________________________
Date the program began: ___________________________
Program ideas, suggestions and possibilities (include children and families): ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ideas to support ongoing project/investigation/inquiries: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Planning is important. There are times that you will plan spontaneously by building on a teachable moment. Even so, you should have a plan. The quality of children’s outdoor experiences will be enhanced when you intentionally plan. With plans, you think purposely about resources and materials. You also consider the people and the place. Who are you planning for? Where will you implement your plan? Consider the photo below and imagine that you captured this on a Friday afternoon. You had put out a few boards in the playground but two children had taken one of the boards and created a bridge. While one child walked across the bridge, the other child was jumping up and down on the plank. Why? What was he experiencing? Based on this photo what could you provide on Monday in the outdoor play environment to support the children’s interests? What are the possibilities for a long-term investigation? Add your thoughts to the comment box.