Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

The Organisation of Opportunities

Kathleen Tuite

By: KATHLEEN TUITE

Tuesday 18 July 2017

This time of year sees many changes in early years’ settings, from children moving on to primary school, running summer programmes, holding special activity camps to perhaps settings closing altogether for the summer months. With all this ebbing and flowing in settings, summer time is a good time to give some thought to how the setting might look later on in the year.  September is traditionally the busiest month, with new intakes of pre-school children, settling-in, meeting and greeting new children and parents and maybe introducing new staff. So, as we move steadily toward September, it is a good time to think about how our early years’ environments might look and what opportunities they will provide for children. Ideally these spaces should be comfortable, safe, ready to provoke children’s thinking, stimulate their ideas, and be planned in such a way that the materials and equipment can be used in multi-ways.  We need to give thought to the type of materials/equipment (both indoor and outdoor) in all our spaces, to ensure that they are available, accessible and stimulating for all age groups. We must consider whether they contain enough materials which are open-ended, offer complexity in order to allow children to invent and come up with their own constructions. Contain enough ‘loose parts’ to support an emergent, inquiry based curriculum. And be well planned to move with the child/children as they grown in confidence and competence throughout the year.

We need to think about the ‘environment’ as a powerful teacher and the ‘environment’ as a communicator and shaper of values. We want to create environments which are beautiful, intriguing, soothing, sparking children’s curiosity and igniting learning. Places where children are eager to spend their days, pursuing wonder and finding joy!

Early Years Educators must go deeper than what is merely seen at eye level and develop a deep understanding of the underlying principles and of children’s thinking, questions, and curiosities.

 

Growing a Culture of Inquiry through Art.  Ann Pelo, reminds us of the ‘Language of Art’ – children use the Language of art to construct meaning and understanding. Consider how your art materials are organised, what time is available for children to explore on their own and with an early years’
Educator’s guidance.

 

Include items that reflect children’s home life and invite discussion.

 

“What children learn does not follow as an automatic result from what is taught, rather, it is in large part due to the children’s own doing, as a consequence of their activities and our resources”. Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children.

 

Promoting scientific inquiry.

 

Stimulate thinking and develop meaning making alongside interested and motivated early years educators.

 

Think about arrangement and organisation of resources.

 

 You could also take a look at our webpage Inspiring Practice  for more ideas and keep an eye on our Facebook page, and previous blog posts ‘Wonderful Loose Parts’, ‘Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder’ and ‘Early Years Educators supporting scientific enquiry with young children’.

The Aistear/Síolta Practice Guide provides resources for reflecting on pre-school environments, in the Environment pillar and the Play pillar.

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

environments(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Twitter(1) Glitter(2) Performing(1) Malaguzzi(1) Learning Stories(9) value(1) MA(1) Wrapping paper(1) friendships(1) gender stereotype(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Home Corner(1) toddlers(3) Irish(1) Mo Scéal(1) SPICE Framework(1) Death(2) ERASMUS+(3) Department of Education and Skills(1) grandchild(1) Well-Being(9) animals(2) Early Learning and Care(1) Mental Health(3) Confident(1) ECEC(2) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Magda Gerber(1) science week(2) Impact(1) early childhood educator(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Creative(1) research(6) relationships(17) Map(1) The Lullaby Book(1) dogs(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Mealtimes(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Interaction(1) Time Out(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Mathematicians(1) eating(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Playschool(1) Communicating(1) Educators(2) Facebook(1) EM Standing(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Brain(1) Vietnam(1) Laughter(1) Qualifications(1) Thanks(1) Seas Suas(1) Playdough(1) Independence(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Summer(1) Buddy Bench(1) Diversity(1) Cork(1) Titles(1) National Awards 2019(1) Community involvement(1) Child mental health(1) Graduate(1) RIE philosphy(1) Primary School(2) Decisions(1) Environment(2) Patterns(1) meals(3) Magnavacchi(1) awards 2020(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Rising to the Challenge(2) Intention(1) Recycling(2) Halloween(2) social science(1) Sleep(1) Childcare(2) Performance Management(1) scéalta(29) Christmas Creativity(2) budget(1) Human Resources(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) research submissions(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Light table(1) Celebrate(1) Sweets(1) science(3) education(2) Masterclass(2) dublin(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Exit interview(1) preschool(3) Children and families(1) early years research(2) Sculptures(1) University(1) Degree(1) Behaviour(3) food(1) Reggio(1) NAEYC(1) Professionalisation(4) Plastic(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Party(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Children's Voice(1) books(4) Norway(2) Elders(1) United Nations(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Cognitive development(1) New Appointments(1) Maths(5) Montessori(3) Self Help Skills(1) Positivity(1) Digital Devices(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Magic(1) outdoor play(6) Traffic Lights(1) Shoes(1) National Awards 2018(2) Storytelling(4) Penguins(1) Laugh(1) Universal Design(2) First 5(1) Iceland(1) The Jelly King(1) NCCA(3) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Pen green(1) Employee(1) HR(1) gender bias(1) conversations(1) Winter(1) TOY Programme(1) CCTV(1) Building Resilience(1) Sustainable(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Children(3) Belonging(3) listen(1) Blocks(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) MECPI(1) experience(1) reading(5) Health(2) INTO(1) Music(3) Our Little Seed(1) Aistear(115) Childhood(1) community(5) Feeding(1) Early Years Educators(3) Budget 2018(1) Grief(1) UNCRC(1) Capable(1) Kerry(1) Snack Time(1) child-centred approach(1) Visual Impairment(1) pets(1) collaboration(1) stories(2) Learning Story Awards(2) dining(1) Mixed age groups(2) St. Patrick's Day(1) Window(1) Engineering(3) listening(1) ReCreate(2) Investment(2) play stories(1) E.coli(1) Role play(1) Síolta QAP(1) ECCE(7) parents(6) Rituals(1) Maths Week(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Arts(1) Change(1) Weather(1) DCYA(4) Names(1) Care-giving routines(1) Wendy Lee(3) Inspections(1) Wonder(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Challenges(1) ICBN(1) Shapes(1) Mantra(1) Interactions(2) Policy(2) Support(1) Buddies(1) Obesity(1) Mount Everest(1) Digital(1) routine(2) Vertical grouping(1) Little Buddies(1) Maria Montessori(1) documentation(3) Consent(1) Builders(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Yoga(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) refugees(1) Drawing(2) Learning journals(1) Time(1) Trade union(1) Certificate(1) Administrative Burden(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Sequins(1) Thank you(1) Family wall(1) Leprechauns(1) Awards Night(1) emotional environment(1) Thinking(1) Mud kitchens(1) Bereavement(2) Orla Kenny(1) Fantasy play(1) AIM(2) Treasure(1) worries(1) Iraq(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) outdoor space(3) UN(1) Meet the Members(1) Participation(2) Annual Conference 2017(2) Research and Professional Learning(1) Competent(1) Care routines(1) purpose(1) Routines(1) learning bias(1) Imagination(3) Biting(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Touch(1) Upcycling(1) Workplace Relations(3) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Settling in(4) Budget 2020(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Xbox(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Loss(1) interacting(2) Valentine's Day(3) Creativity(4) European Project(1) ears(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Research Seminar(1) Arlene Forster(1) role playing(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Decision Making(1) Inspirational(2) mushrooms(1) Kilkenny(1) man up(1) learning(19) Funding(1) Technology(3) Exercise(1) Scéalta Blog(93) behavioural science(1) Academics(1) Event Guide(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Quality(4) Engineering Ireland(1) Infection Control(1) Maynooth University(1) planning(1) Games(1) bonds(1) Graduation(1) Meal time(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Queues(1) Trade Unions(1) life long learning(1) Awards(2) Leargas(1) Gardening(1) educarer(1) Maynooth(1) Engineers Week(2) outdoors(3) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Autism(3) Nuturing interactions(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Lego(2) CPD(1) Stress(2) Plants(1) Albert Einstein(1) Limerick(1) Snakes(1) emotions(2) Advocacy(1) PIP(1) Snacks(1) First 5 strategy(1) Book Review(1) risk(2) Social Skills(1) Rich Documentation(1) Learning Story(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) communication(4) Document Learning(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) ECEC Setting(1) trust(3) Dance(1) Fee Play(1) School Age Childcare(1) Nutrition(1) Sustainability(3) Ceremony(1) Teamwork(1) blog(28) Photographs(1) Maternity Leave(1) Supernanny(1) educating(1) Sport(1) Self-regulation(1) Staff Motivation(1) risk assessment(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Budget 2019(2) Favouritism(1) Story(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Whole Group(1) Trigonometry(1) maternity health(1) under 3's(3) EECERA 2016(1) Leadership(1) Confidence(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Self-Esteem(1) GDPR(1) early years learning(1) Traditions(2) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Santa(2) Inspired Practice Award(5) preschool settings(1) Training(2) story time(2) feisty(1) STEM(3) christmas(9) Inter-generational(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) code of ethics(1) Design(1) supportive environments(2) baby room(1) Culture(2) Adoption(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) RTE Investigates(1) Reflective Practice(1) DES Inspection(1) Affordability(1) Gratitude(1) Hand Hygiene(1) TRAP(1) Body Language(1) Frustrations(1) Study Trip(1) Mindfulness(2) First 5 transitions for children award(1) play(32) babies(7) Arithmetic(1) Prexit(1) Painting(1) Visitors(1) social media(1) Engagement(1) Craft(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Treasure Chest(1) Relaxation(1) Celebrations(4) IGL(1) Giraffe(2) Afghanistan(1) Scents(1) overhear(1) respect(5) Awards 2018(3) Kids Own(1) risky play(2) Easter(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Margy Whalley(1) Infectious diseases(1) Fabric(1) Italy(1) curriculum(5) Awards 2019(1) Flowers(1) Siolta blog(6) Love(2) Early Years(1) Japan(1) Oireachtas(1) Book Club(2) AsIAm(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Mark Twain(1) Exploring(1) Children's Rights(3) Wilenski(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) aistear blog(2) College(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Nonverbal(1) Inclusion(3) Workplace well-being(1) journey(1) Wesco(1) Academic Skills(1) CIT(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Sessional service(1) Recycle(1) Running(1) Learning Journal(1) Trick or treat(1) Mayo(1) Síolta(108) UD(1) Eritrea(1) Anxiety(2) Family(1) Art(6) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) San Miniato(4) General Data Protection Regulation(1) memories(1) Exclusion(1) dining experiences(1) Line-ups(1) National Holiday(1) linc(1) Interests(1) Children's Research Network(1) Appreciation(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Horizon 2020(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) development(8) Identity(5) Socioemotional development(1) Workforce(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Pobal(1) Jenga(1) Smiles(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Breathing(2) Communications(1) Potential(1) Spiders(1) curiosity(3) Online(1) Through the looking glass(1) Empathy(1) transitions(10) Syria(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine