Planning for play and investigation

The focus of this assessment item is on how young children’s investigations through play can facilitate and extend their understandings of mathematics, science and technology. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how to analyse children’s play, and plan and provide for mathematics, science and technology learning. This assessment consists of multiple tasks and should draw on your knowledge gained throughout the subject and your own experiences to date as an early childhood educator.

This assessment item has a number of components which need to be completed. Here are the steps you need to carry out to complete this task:

1. Choose a small group of children (aged up to five years) who regularly play together. These children will form the focus of this task.

2. Over a two-week period, observe these children at play. These observations may be recorded using any means approved within the setting. The observations will not be submitted and are not assessable; they will simply be used to complete your written assignment.

3. Based on your observations, develop a summary of the children’s interests and what concepts they are developing in the areas of mathematics, science and technology. Think about the group as a whole, as this information will be used to plan a learning experience for this group of children.

4. Using the proforma provided in The Useful Folder in the EMC305 Interact site, prepare a Learning Experience Plan for this group of children. The experience you plan will need to build on the children’s interests and understandings in mathematics, science and/or technology.

5. Implement your Learning Experience Plan with the group of children. You might like to make notes as you carry out the experience or shortly afterwards – these will help you to evaluate and reflect upon your experience.

6. Prepare your written assignment for submission. The written assignment has the following Parts which must be included:
Part 1: Description of the setting and your position (100 words). Provide a brief description of your setting and your position there.
Part 2: Rationale for selection of the group of children (100 words). Explain why you chose this particular group of children.
Part 3: Summary of the children’s interests and understandings (300 words). Based on your two-week observations, summarise the children’s interests and what concepts they were developing in the areas of mathematics, science and technology.
Part 4: Learning experience plan (1500 words). Here is where you insert the Learning Experience Plan you completed as a result of your observations. Your Learning Experience Plan must be written in future tense; that is, it must be written up as what you planned to do, rather than what you did do.
Part 5: Evaluation of the teaching and learning (500 words). Evaluate the teaching and learning that occurred during the implementation of the Learning Experience Plan. Describe what happened, reflecting upon what worked, what didn’t, what was unexpected, and why. Your evaluation should demonstrate your understanding of how children learn in mathematics, science and technology. You must support your evaluations with references to appropriate literature.
Part 6: Reflections and future practice (500 words). Reflect on what you have learned about planning for children’s learning and engagement in mathematics, science and technology, and how this might influence your future practice. This is not a recount of what happened when you carried out the experience plan; rather, it is about your development as an educator and what you have learned by doing this assignment and from the subject in general. Include references to appropriate literature.

Part 4 of the assignment- Learning Experience Plan NOTE: must be a proforma!

What my teacher is referring to in part 4 is that this plan is being written up BEFORE it is implemented. Therefore it is in the future. This is what you plan on doing. Then in Part 5 – this is where you evaluate it Hence part 5 may suggest it didn’t go as planned or it changed in part or whatever, however as you have written this up in Part 4, it was before you did the experience plan so you are only assuming how it will run as it hasn’t be implemented yet.

It does not matter if you focus on one of the areas more than the other. For example it may be more science based.

As for dot points, they may be a few places in the assignment that they may need to be used but the teacher wants proper full sentences.

In relation to part 3 summarise the children‚ interests and what concepts they were developing in the areas of mathematics, science and technology from your observations. You don’t actually need to state the observations itself just what the children are developing in relation to MST

The observations of the group of children should be of them engaged in their own
naturalistic, self-directed play – not of experiences deliberately set up for them for the
purpose of this assignment!

The design of your learning experience should take lead from the children’s own interests and play activities, it may not be possible for you to cover mathematics, science and technology in your learning experience plan. It is far more important for the teachers to see that I’m are responding to the mathematical, scientific and/or technological interests of the children than that I can write a clever experience plan that incorporates all three!

Must include references in Parts 5 and 6.
It is also advantageous to make use of reference material in Parts 3 and 4
This is what is provided in the useful folder as mentioned above.

Learning Experience Plan Proforma;
Instructions: Use this proforma to guide the writing of your Learning Experience Plan for Assessment Item 2. The bold, numbered headings below are the headings you should use in your Plan, while the dot points under each heading are the details you need to provide in each section of your Plan. You can write each section as short paragraphs or using dot points – remember, this Plan is a “working document” which should be succinct and easy to follow. Your plan should be no more than 1500 words.
1. Experience Information
• Name of experience
• Date
• For which small group of children is this planned?
• Ages of children

2. Learning Focus
• Consider the key mathematical, scientific and/or technological learning that you hope to facilitate through the experience based on:
o Knowledge of the children’s strengths, interests or developmental needs
o Their developmental progress until now
o Your knowledge about child development in general
• Why have you chosen this learning experience for this group at this time?

3. EYLF/VEYLDF Outcomes
• Which EYLF/VEYLDF Outcomes will the children be working towards in this experience?

4. Requirements
• What is the setting for the experience?
• Exactly what materials will be needed?
• How will you present the experience? (Set up details)

5. Procedure
• How will you get the children’s interest?
• What strategies will you use? What will you say or do? What will the adult involvement be?
• How will you end the experience if this is necessary?
• Any pack away/clean up details

6. Plan for review
• How will you determine if:
o The learning focus for the experience was appropriate?
o Your strategies were effective in relation to your learning focus?
o The learning and/or development were facilitated?
o The experience was suitable and/or successful?
o There any ways you could improve the experience to make it more successful or appropriate?
o Your role was appropriate?
• What things will you be watching for to help you evaluate the teaching and learning?



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