Learning Moments CD - Playspaces that Support Learning
These CDs can be used on PC or Mac platform.
Permission is granted for use of the CD by one individual program director, trainer, or college educator presenting the material in an in-person setting.
For use online or by multiple individuals in one organization (including large early childhood organizations, colleges, and other training institutions), please email requests to bookstore@ChildCareExchange.com.
This Learning Moments CD (for use on a computer) presents 10 real-life video files that are the perfect compliment to workshops, lectures, and online courses on how the design and preparation of the environment support young children's learning. The clips include children from infancy to five years of age.
With a little planning we can modify the physical environment in ways that provoke high-level thinking and group problem solving in young children. These modifications might seem small until we notice what the children do when confronted with these setups, e.g., a hole in a tabletop, a shadow that looms, a column of air that rips a feather from the hand.
In the ten clips that follow, you will see...
- How the scale of material unifies the play of two infants and facilitates an accidental collaboration.
- How loose parts encourage children to reach their goals by changing objects rather than exchanging them for new objects.
- How pretend play props, when carefully placed, become catalysts for debate and negotiation.
- How sound can accentuate subtle changes in the way a ball bounces, thereby causing a child to wonder why.
- How a constant air stream makes it possible for children to reliably test their hypotheses about wind.
- How features of the environment can be prepared to better frame the act of looking, to make the familiar unfamiliar, and to foster social bonds with peers.
- How ambiguous patterns of light can cause children to wonder if these effects are random or determined by their actions.
- How the environment can be designed to encourage young children to better relate their shadows to their actual bodies.
- How the setup of the environment encourages children to collaborate and consider their partner's perspective.
- How the design of an environment affords children the opportunity to increase the difficulty of their play in gradual steps.
Table of Contents
- The Relation between Scale and Collaboration
What other features of the setup might encourage collaboration? Do you think the children notice the reflective quality of the Mylar? If so, where in the video does this occur?
- Changeable Objects – Opposite Effects
What materials in your classroom offer children the flexibility to explore this important lesson in problem solving—ways that an object can be changed rather than exchanged?
- The Right Place for Props
How might changing the position of props change children's pretend play? When designing dramatic play spaces, what social roles might the props and furniture encourage?
- Sounds that Accentuate Effects
In what ways might you redesign this setup so that the children's desire to make more sounds is motivated by the setup rather than by the teacher? What would you add to this design the next day?
- The Importance of a Continuous Force
Can you think of another design that might invite children to engage in scientific thinking by making a prediction and inventing a method to test their prediction?
- Empty Space Can Create Relations
What other materials might be used as invitations for children to change their perspective or reframe their perspective toward each other in new ways?
- Random Effects that Create Wonder
Can you think of other phenomena that occur in a random enough fashion for children to wonder if they are causing the movements of the phenomena?
- Pairing Reflections with Shadows
Do you think this setup might help children move from the manipulation of shadow to an understanding of shadow? In what ways do you think this setup is good, and what would you do to improve it?
- How Holes Add Focus
Consider how the challenge of the game might increase if:
What other surfaces might increase the play value?
- the tray were wider;
- the ball and hole were smaller;
- a single hole were drilled off-center;
- the opening of the container below were smaller;
- a hockey puck replaced the ball;
- a few holes were drilled with only one container placed below;
- the rules of the game were changed so that the goal was to avoid letting the ball fall through the hole(s).
- Setting the Level of Challenge
What other materials might be set up in ways that invite children to gradually increase the difficulty of their play?
The Learning Moments Series is produced by Videatives, Inc.