In today’s classrooms with the mandated curriculum and assessments it's hard to find the time to fit in children’s interest, but we must.
When we set up provocations for our children to explore and investigate during worktime we must consider children’s interest.
In order for them to be truly engaged in an activity they need to feel that they're connected in some way, for them to want to discover more.
How can we figure out what children are interested in?
Our role as the teacher is to thoughtfully listen to children as they're playing, to determine where their interest lie.
As we observe we will discover what their interest are at the time.
If they're interested in gardening what is it about gardening that they like?
Child: "Look we found a worm. Can we keep it?"
Teacher: "How do your think we could keep the worm?"
Child: "I don't know, lets google it."
Teacher: "I think that is a good idea, we need to know how we can care for our worm."
Child: "Guess what? We can keep it, but we have to google it." "So we can take care of it."
Child: "Don't forget to google about worms."
Teacher: "Yes, lets get the tablet and paper so that we can take notes."
Children: "We need to feed our worm."
Teacher: "Yes, how should we ask the question?"
Children: "What do worms eat?" "How do they live?" "In the dirt of course."
Children: "Our worm garden needs dirt, leaves, and grass." "Don't forget newspaper." "We need to dig for dirt."
Children: "Guys we can save our food from lunch."
Children: "Are all the worms the same size?" "No look, that one looks little."
Teacher: "How could we find out?"
Children: "Can we measure them?"
Teacher: "What could we use to measure them?"
Children: "Those color squares that stick together." "The stick with numbers." "Ya a ruler."
Children: "Look they get longer." "Watch."
Teacher: "Your right, as they move they are getting longer."
Children: "Why?" "It's because of the wrinkles in them." "Because they are soft."
When children are interested in something and you give them the opportunity to explore their interest, big things happen.
Listen carefully so that you can determine where to take them next with their learning.
If you are new here, start here.
I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.