How can I support children to talk about their learning as part of their learning journey?

Q

How can I support children to talk about their learning as part of their learning journey?

A

Children love to talk about themselves, it is central to developing their identity. From a very early age children can be encouraged to see themselves in mirrors, to know their name, to gain a sense of ‘me’. Playing with children in a happy and supportive way will keep them wanting to play more and develop their skills of concentration, exploration, and active learning.

Early years practitioners can support children to talk about their learning by naming the things they are doing and giving a narrative. Sometimes adding something to extend what you have noticed about the child’s play could be added. For example, “I see you have a stick. Wow, you are holding it up high. I wonder if you can reach even higher?” This type of commenting and extension can support children to develop a next step. For example, a child may stand on their tiptoes to get even higher or find a longer stick or climb on a fallen branch to raise themselves up. Or they make not take up the offer of that extension to their learning at all and run off dragging the stick behind them. They would, however, have had some good vocabulary given to them about their play. Next time you are out with sticks you could remind them of the time they tried to reach high with their stick. This linking of children’s learning can help support them to feel valued in their play and think more consciously about what they are doing.

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