What is a programming style?
I know that most parents won't have time to read this type of program but some do and for the others I always ensure I have plenty of other methods of information and communication available to them so they can gain an understanding of the direction of their child's play and learning. You can see more of my parent communication examples here.
You don't need to solely rely on your program as a method for communicating your planned activities, play and learning to parents. Too many educators (just in my own experience) seem to feel they are writing a program for parents and coordinators and get awfully deflated and frustrated when they don't stop and take time to read all that hard work
“What's the point, it's not like parents read it anyway!” Yep, I have heard it many times and what I reply is “But that program is to benefit you and the children first and foremost and I'm pretty sure you read it and the children get to enjoy the activities and pre planning!” Perhaps time to rethink who you are planning for and who you are trying to please, you might be surprised at how much simpler the process then becomes!
I know many educators have expressed interest though in how I use my program plan since I mentioned it in the part 1 article so I'm going to try to briefly (stop laughing now) describe the main areas for you and then you can decide if it really is the template style for you.
What time frame does my program template cover?
How do I include parent input on my template?
What are the program template box headings for?
But what do the program template box headings mean and how do they relate to the EYLF Outcomes?
Well, as usual this post has become way to long so I'm not sure I can cover all of the thinking behind my box areas. I'll try to add a few dot points under each to give you an idea but as you can see from my example one below, the areas also crossover and link well together at times for certain activities – I add arrows sometimes for my own benefit, there is no need really as coordinators or assessors will be able to see the links for themselves if they have a good understanding of the learning framework.
I haven't included the detail I normally do for focus activities due to privacy reasons but I normally include the planned focus activity from my individual forward planning sheet with the date of relevant initial observation/collage/reflection. See more about how I do my forward planning and linking HERE.
Intentional Teaching Opportunities
Children's Ideas & Interests
The activities I list here are from my individual forward planning sheet and previous observations. They might also be activities that stem from things I have seen in the previous weeks but not actually formally documented. You can read more about how to use this template and download your own to use in THIS EBOOK.
My 7 Learning Areas linking to EYLF Outcomes
These are the 7 learning areas I use in each of the boxes in my program template. Each focus area corresponds to EYLF outcomes so there is no need to add complicated codes, numbers or other time consuming methods - I just add my activities and get ready to play knowing I am offering a varied and comprehensive program covering all areas.
1. Exploring Our World
I mainly include activities here that will encourage an exploration and understanding of the environment around them... food, pets, gardens, land, sustainability, recycling, natural and man made materials/environments, technology and research in these areas...it's one of my favourite boxes as there are always interesting ways to learn in this area no matter how young the child!
2. Inviting our Imagination In
Another area that can incorporate many different activities. It really is about anything that might encourage children to explore their imaginations. Props, invitations to play, opportunities for role play, dramatic play,communication and creative self expression. They might be indoor or outdoor activities.
3. Let's Get Moving
This is pretty self explanatory...any activities that get the kids moving indoors or out and more aware of their bodies and the movements they can do. It's about offering activities that challenge those gross motor skills and muscles! It might be with music & dance, games, stories or songs.
4. Manipulative Play
This is where I list planned activities that will encourage strengthening of fine motor muscles, problem solving, spatial awareness, you get the gist! I include puzzles, blocks, tong games, some craft and anything fine motor here.
5. Creative & Sensory Play
This area often overlaps with many of the other areas obviously but I still find it useful to have a separate section so I can see at a glance our crafty and sensory activities as they are the ones that often require more set up and pre planning. I quite often write the days beside them that I want to do them as this works in with the ages I have on those days currently. No need to do that, I just find it helps in my planning.
6. Encouraging our Identity & Independence
This is the section I include group and individual activities to encourage and promote self help skills, a feeling of belonging, pride in achievements, respect for diversity, understanding and managing of emotions, feeling part of a community,and an increasing responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
This area can be pretty broad so I try to just incorporate a few activities for each program.
7. Connecting through Communication
This is where I list activities focusing on verbal and non verbal communication, media, technology, music, singing, puppets, dramatic and social play prompts,stories,group games, language skills....basically any activity that will invite discussion and communication in some way.
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.