Plan-do –Review at Millies and Sparkles Pre-Schools
Now, I wish I did a bit more of this in my day to day life to be honest, but hopefully Millies and Sparkles are helping the next generation to do get into this habit. After our annual group training on using pedagogy effectively in the setting, we were drawn to the HIghScope approach of Plan-Do-Review. It takes a bit of getting your head round, especially if you like the room to look set up and ready to go. All our resources for the day are stowed under the table, or still in the cupboards ready to get out.
“…Within this broad framework, …. HighScope has unique features that differentiate it from other early childhood programs. One is the daily plan-do-review sequence. Research shows that planning and reviewing are the two components of the program day most positively and significantly associated with children’s scores on measures of developmental progress.” (http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=291)
It is a well researched long term pedagogy with longitudinal studies that show that children have more academic success and go on to further education, adults who have been exposed to the process in their early learning are happier, have better career prospects and are more socially responsible and independent.
How do we do it?
When your starting it needs a bit of preparation. You will want to buy some pegs and plastic baskets, notebooks etc. As you can see here, We’re ready!
Children are divided into groups of 5-8 children, preferably at the same table every day so children know where to go in the morning. We have linked these with key worker groups. In the basket are pictures of main areas of activity, and staff gather props to put in the basket from each area, to show the children some of the activities or types of activities they can do (or they may suggest an activity they want to do). Through a listening and talking process. The children tell us one or two of the things they want to do. They “write” what they are going to do and peg it to the card or basket. Quick note here, you may also want to write a brief note of what they want to do too for later. Then the children follow the routine you probably follow daily of free play etc. the children help to set up their learning environment giving them some control as to what activities come out. They actually enjoy setting up and being part of the process.
At the end of the morning the children gather in their groups again at the same table with the same practitioner. The children are asked if they did what they planned? Some children don’t do what they planned, one boy said he didn’t play with the water because he didn’t realise the trains were out, so he played with those instead. The discussion is brief at both ends of the morning but meaningful.
What we have found:
Children get to know where to go in the morning when they come in, it kind of gives a cleaner start. Parents have commented that children (even those who have been with us a while) are more quickly settled. The discussion is lively and children share control of what they do. They have a plan! The discussion at the end teaches children how to talk about their day. Parents have commented that when they ask them what have they done at Pre-School, they no longer say “nothing” but talk about activities, who they played with and show more pride in what they have done.
One parents says, “To me it seems a much calmer way to start the day. H seems to have settled into the new routine easily, which is always a good sign. I think that if this had been the routine when H started at Millies then perhaps it might not have been as overwhelming for him. I also think it creates an instant contact with the children’s key worker, which is lovely.”
A member of staff evaluates saying, “I have noticed it has built some new friendships. A couple of the children are leaving the tables together and setting of to their choice of activity.”
It takes a bit of a leap of faith to start the process, and I’d say talking to and preparing parents for the change will help the smooth transition of routine. We love it at Millies and Sparkles!!
A huge thank you to Futureworks for providing our training and to Debbie Sawh who freely gave of her time to support us implementing the process.