Egg heads- this activity was carried out well by the children, they concentrated well especially when decorating the eggshells, they were also very careful not to break them (a few breakages occurred which predict would happen), however I do not think that the children fully understood the explanation at the start of the activity. They listened and watched well when I was using the pictures of the hen and chick and could answer questions, but they looked a bit confused when I was explaining what had happened to the egg, the difference between raw and boiled.
For explaining to the children the group size could have been larger than four children, if possible the whole class could have the information all at once and then do the egg heads separately although would need to be reminded of things if they cant remember. The group size for the actual activity was a little big; it would have been better to do the activity with each child separately so that, questions could be asked and it would be easier to talk to them and encourage vocabulary.
Although as I have stated, Albert Bandura’s Social Learning theory shows that children learn by copying others and as there would be no other children doing it at the same time as them they would have nothing to imitate although there would be examples. The environment in which I carried out this activity was suitable, I had four children around a table with me so it was easy for them to see and touch the items. “There are many ways of learning. Children learn by watching, by listening and especially by doing.
All children go through a number of stages but there are differences between children within each stage. There are also differences in the length of time it takes for children to move from stage to stage. Children do best in an environment which is interesting and where they feel loved and safe. ” (www. cyh. com). As there was an explanation as well as a practical this will help the children to remember, when asked ten minutes later the children could remember parts of what had been done, when asked questions like ‘which is the hen/chick?
‘ (When holding up the pictures) and ‘which egg is cooked? ‘ (Generally questions that could be answered by pointing or simple answers as some of the children are only one year six months old and are not yet very verbal. I would say that this activity is more suitable for children aged between two and three as the older children in the class grasped the aspects of the activity easier, the younger children could carry out the activity as well but done so with a lower level of understanding.
The older children should all be in the stage Walkers, Talkers and Pretenders (24-36 months), where children are becoming more confident and are moving, talking and pretending more. The younger children will normally be at the stage Movers, shakers and players (18-24 months) show increasing independence and obvious pleasure in moving, communicating and learning through play. This shows that the younger children learn better through playing and the older children learn better through being active and talking about what they are doing.
Before starting the activity I was prepared with everything that I needed for the activity apart from I did not think to get cleaning materials for the children’s hands as they were touching the eggs. When I was making the egg heads with the children it got a bit disorganised as I was trying to assist four children at the same time. Interactions with the older children was good they could answer questions I asked with more than one word and also ask questions themselves, the younger children’s minds seemed to wander a bit more and seemed as if they would rather be playing or just didn’t want to answer me.
I think that the resources that I used made the explanation part of the activity more interesting for the children, the children spoke out to answer my questions more when a visual aid was used, and seemed to all enjoy feeling and looking at the eggs in different states. The time that I had planned for the group activity was suitable although it would have been better to either have one child at a time or a bit more time with the group when making the egg heads. The area in which I carried it out was also suitable as there was enough room for all the children to see the resources and to be creative with their eggheads.
In the situation that I was in it was quite easy to make sure that all the children had a turn with the resources, however as I started the activity in the afternoon I nearly did not fit all the children in to take part, I managed this eventually but otherwise would have had to carry on the next day to make sure that all children obtained a fair turn. The picture cards that I had for showing the children made it easier for them to understand what I was talking about, as they may have known what the name of something was only by actually seeing it.
It also helped them to understand that chicks grow up and lay eggs themselves. Every thing that I used was appropriate to the children; although the eggshells broke very easily it teaches the children how to handle things carefully and helps to improve their fine motor control. With this activity there was a very large consideration to take, that some of the children may be allergic to eggs, information such as this is stored at the setting, as allergies need to be known but permission still had to be asked from the children’s parents. I’ve lost my mum!
– This activity was also carried out well by the children but at different levels, as it was a one to one activity there were not many distractions for her. I think that CT concentrated well and seemed interested in what she was doing, she grasped the aspects of the game easily and seemed to understand what to do straight away sometimes I had to explain twice the names of the baby animals as they are different to the mothers. I think that being a one to one activity was suitable as I was able to speak more freely to CT and encourage her more.
I carried out this activity sitting in the main playroom on the floor on the carpeted area; this was ok and comfortable as she spent some of the time on the floor facing me and some of the time sitting on my lap facing the cards. However as there were other children in the room there was a draught caused by the other children moving around the room playing, so it may have been more suitable to sit at a table. The commonsense tendency is for people to define play as the opposite of work, but this is misleading.
Blanchard and Cheska (1985) assert that the opposite of work is leisure and that people’s work has the potential to be considered as play as well. Work becomes play when one’s job is so satisfying and rewarding that getting paid to do it is of secondary importance. (Blanchard and Cheska 1985) Next time carrying out this activity I will set up on a table rather than on the floor, I would also get more pictures of animals so the game can go into more depth, I would also try to talk about each animal in more depth, how they live etc. This activity was easy to carry out, as there is not as much preparation to carry out before hand.
The only thing needed for this activity is the cards, I did however have to think before hand what would happen if the child completed the task quickly, so I thought of a few questions which I could asked to spread the time out. I think that interacting with the child at the time was beneficial for the outcome of the activity it got the children to think more about what they are doing and be more involved in it. The questions that I asked were answered correctly most of the time the main question I asked was ‘what sound does it make? ‘ also if I had time to spare I spoke about where the animal lives.
The timing was suitable for the activity there was enough time to carry out the activity at a comfortable speed for the child so that they had enough time to think before they answered and ask any questions, there was also enough time to explain a little more about each animal, such as where they live. The place where I carried out this activity was not particularly suitable, it was comfortable but the other children walking past caused a breeze and the cards kept moving around and blowing away so in future I would carry out the activity on a table or in a separate area away from most of the children.
The resource that I made for this activity was the main part of the game, it seemed very helpful to their learning, as it was a visual aid, and it helped them to remember as they could try to remember the name by linking it to a picture. It also helped to show them that baby animals do not always look exactly like the parents e. g. a chick can be yellow or black or with spots while the parent may be brown, or that a duckling can be yellow or black and a duck may be white or brown etc.
I think that the cards were appropriate although it may have looked better if all the cards were the same size also the corners of the cards were sometimes sharp as they were laminated and could easily scratch which I would overcome to play again by rounding off all the corners. The pictures on the cards were easily recognisable as the animal that they were supposed to be it may however of been more beneficial if they were photos or printed pictures as they would see what the animals really look like rather than a cartoon resemblance.
I laminated the cards in order to keep clean with a plastic surface they were easier to wipe clean and there fore could stop the spread of germs between children handling them. I think that I should have made different types of games as the main animals in this game were farm animals or English pets and they do not show animals that originate mainly from other countries. I would use this resource again but may think of extending what to do and the actual resource before hand as I think it to be an effective learning resource.
I would say that this activity is suitable for children aged between eighteen months and three years as the children in the class grasped the aspects of the activity well, the younger children could carry out the activity but done so with a lower level of understanding and took a little longer to carry it out The older children should all be in the stage Walkers, Talkers and Pretenders (24-36 months), where children are becoming more confident and are moving, talking and pretending more.
The younger children will normally be at the stage Movers, shakers and players (18-24 months) show increasing independence and obvious pleasure in moving, communicating and learning through play. This shows that the younger children learn better through playing and the older children learn better through being active and talking about what they are doing.