As an educator I ensure that I always have developmentally appropriate activities planned to guarantee an active learning environment. Classrooms are the foundations for our children and they can be seen as a learning tool (Costa, 2016). As an educator or teacher, it is imperative to ensure that all of the children are developing appropriately for their age and that they have the right materials and tools to be successful (Costa, 2016). Furthermore, throughout my knowledge and research I believe children learn best when they are freely engaged and open-minded. This idea was implemented when I completed my placement at Oakridge Public school in Mississauga. I was in a kindergarten classroom which allowed me to extend my expertise as I have previously been in early years centres. Children were very interested in fruits as they had just come back from a strawberry picking field trip. They were identifying different colours of fruit and which fruit they enjoy the best. I completed this activity with children whom were five and six years of age, which allowed them to understand and participate entirely. Moreover, I completed the activity in view of the fact that this type of experience is barley ever implemented. I as an educator tend to do simple stuff activities such as; colouring, painting or gross motor-activities. I suppose, that children will use their fine-motor skills and will be able to identify more fruits throughout the process. The materials that were used were: one blender, (7) ice cubes, one cup of orange juice, three tablespoons of yogurt, one banana, and six strawberries. In addition, I also had one measuring cup and three mixing utensils. There were 16 children actively participating in this activity and myself as an educator ensured that each child was able participate. I was able to ask each child to either put the fruits in the blender, mix the ingredients, or press the buttons on the blender. In fact, I also asked many open ended questions to ensure children were using their mind not just their fine-motor. The procedure I used was having all materials readily available and easy accessible.
- Step 1: Ask all children to wash their hands and meet you at the lunch table
- Step 2: Have all materials visible and accessible for children at the table
- Step 3: Have one napkin for each child to ensure it is not a messy process
- Step 4: Ask Child A to pour the ingredients into the blender
- Step 5: Ask Child B to mix the ingredients with the wooden spoon
- Step 6: Inquire about children’s past experiences ( ask open-ended questions)
- Step 7: Ask Child C to press the button on the blender to liquified the ingredients
- Step 8: Provide cups to each child as each of them will be able to try their own strawberry banana smoothie 🙂
- Step 9: Ask children to assist with clean up
The activity was fantastic as each child was able to create their own smoothie. In my group out of 16 children not one had ever made a smoothie which made it interesting to see everyones emotions. Children had many ideas and creations throughout this experience. I was able to acknowledge each child’s feelings and thoughts. Children were gaining an understanding on different fruits and their colours. One of the recommendations I believe is imperative for other educators who would like to try this is guaranteeing that each child is able to complete one of the process of this experience. If this is not completed they will feel left out and not accomplished which will not provide active learning.
Pedagogical views: Every educator holds their own pedagogical views which makes them unique. My pedagogical beliefs are how I teach children in a classroom setting. As an educator, I believe it is imperative to be engaging (ELECT, 2014). Engaging is the state of being involved and focused (ELECT, 2014). “When children are able to explore the world around them with natural curiosity and exuberance, they are full engaged” (ELECT, 2014). I have always been hands on and I believe that is how one individual learns best. If each child can freely engage within their environment through trial and error they will learn not only cognitively but socially as well. Creating a strawberry banana smoothie allowed each child to use their imagination and creativity as they were able to add different types of ingredients. Each child was able to engage with their peers and environment throughout this experience. To further engage these children, I asked what we can do next to also add fruits. Children suggested making an apple pie with ice-cream on top. I suppose, that children learn from doing and creating.
Ministry of education, O. (2014). How does learning happen. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca, http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/howlearninghappens.pdf
Purr. (2014, May 7). Strawberry banana Smoothie recipe. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from Breakfast / Brunch, http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/strawberry-banana-smoothie-recipe/