The Joy of Wonder
Early childhood is a critical period to establish an understanding of the world, and also a golden time to cultivate academic ability and overall development in children.
On the walls of our Early Years corridor, we often see examples of student work, including pictures, numbers, crafts, and spelling displays, which show their rich creativity, flexible hands-on ability, and confident cognitive abilities. To see this process grow first-hand, we spoke to our Year 1 Teacher, Ms. Lynndene.
“A typical 5-6-year-old’s attention span is around 10-15 minutes, so I try and organize activities around this timeframe,” Ms. Lynndene says.
In her class, mathematics, reading and writing, are skillfully connected with speech, performance and social skills. Every child has a fair opportunity to show demonstrate their skills, and they are encouraged to ask questions.
In the lesson of the day, Ms. Lynndene lead with questions about students’ names, birthdays, their favourite food or toys. Children were encouraged to demonstrate their communication skills by speaking up in front of their peers. In a lesson on number combinations, children displayed their number combinations and were happy to describe what they had inquired about.
Ms. Lynndene approaches her class with a wide variety of engaging learning activities to hold her young learners’ attention. These could move, or instance, from an activity focused on literacy on the whiteboard to nursery rhymes on the projector, to collaborative creations with tactile materials to interpretive performance in from of the whole class. The secret sauce always is the sheer joy of wonder.
Children grow at different paces, as do their social skills. Some are naturally competitive, others more readily social. Ms. Lynndene deftly scaffolds the learning of social skills with the aim dual objectives of indolence as well as collaboration.
At the centre of Ms. Lynndene’s class, is the learner. She says, “EtonHouse is an international community. I need to design corresponding courses based on full understanding and respect for each child’s culture and language background. Obviously, this is not an easy task, but I really enjoy the teaching process.”