Every year, many of us commit to do things differently, start new projects or practices, and complete things we have started. this renewal every year helps us to think about what we have done, and how we move forward. This reflective practice is a great example for children as they develop their own skills and interests.
I LOVE the idea of reflecting on each week and picking out something great that happened, writing it on a piece of paper and putting it in a jar to read at the end of the year. This is something we can do as an adult, but also something we can make more personal for each child by creating individual 3-ring binders with their ‘Special Moments’:
- Pick a time at the end of each week to encourage children to talk about things that happened during the week – make notes on your calendar to help you remember!
- Then, each child draws a picture of something positive that happened that they really liked. Make sure to include a caption about the activity, and the date.
- Place picture in the child’s ‘Special Moments’ binder
- Place the binders on a shelf or in a bin/basket so that children can look at them during the week.
- SPECIAL NOTE: Not only is this a great ‘reflection’ for each child to have, but a great portfolio to share with families or to use as assessment observations/documentation.
What are children learning through this project?
Children learn all day, every day (whole child, whole day approach to programming!) It is important for early childhood educators and care givers to understand how each activity we do with children supports their development and readiness for school.
- Through this activity, children are learning to reflect on what they have done and why it may be important to them. This helps to support the development of identify and self-concept – Social & Emotional Development Domain
- Thinking back through the week’s activities also helps children start to understand the concept of time – today, yesterday, tomorrow. Time is an abstract concept, and the more we can provide concrete examples of ‘time’, the more children gain understanding of it – Cognitive Development Domain
- Using captions for each picture demonstrates the importance of language and writing for communication. Children that understand the importance of reading and writing are more likely to be interested in learning to read – Language & Literacy Development Domain
- Transferring their thoughts into actual pictures supports creativity. Children have their own unique way of illustrating their thoughts – Creative Development Domain
- Using crayons, pencils and markers requires fine muscle control and finger strength, as well as eye/hand coordination. Every day, children use their fine motor skills for a myriad of activities. The more children have opportunities to refine their motor skills, the better their skills become – Physical & Motor Development Domain
- Each child has their own idea and ‘take’ on what happened during the week. How they see and interact with the world is based on their own personality and ‘approach to learning’. Understanding each child’s temperament and approach is helpful in being able to support them so they are successful – Approaches to Learning Development Domain
This is the week to get busy and ‘start out right’!