Government preschools: inquiring minds at work
Bermuda's children are young researchers inquiring into how the world works. In Government preschools The Inquiring Minds framework produced by the Ministry of Education for Early Childhood Education sets out how teachers will use inquiry to advance children's learning.
This model has children noticing, wondering, exploring and sharing their learning. Teachers entice children to notice and wonder by providing interesting materials and novel experiences.
In Bermuda's government preschools, children are becoming confident, critical thinkers and problem solvers as they inquire and follow various lines of research.
The Inquiry model of teaching that encourages investigation, by encouraging children to ask questions about the real world, is engaging children in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as well as Literacy and Social Studies and the Arts.
During the weeks leading up to registration on February 6, 7 and 8, government preschools are opening their doors to parents and guardians of children, who will turn 4 years of age between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.
Come visit and experience the wonder of learning.
St Paul's Preschool
At St Paul's Preschool, an overhead projector and a bowl of sea glass immediately captures the attention of four children. They are keen to explore, and by manipulating the projector, they discover how the light interacts with the sea glass and to their amazement, also with their hands.
Look if I move (referring the knob) this the light moves. (Kennan)
The glass is pretty here but not up there (pointing to the ceiling where the light is reflected). (Elyse)
It's just the shadow showing. That is why, Elyse. (Kennan)
Turn the thing (the knob). Look it is bigger and bigger! (Elyse)
It is really big. (Kennan)
See my hand guys. Look at my hand. (Mahlae)
Put your hands on guys and let me turn it. Wow, Kennan and Mahlae your hands are humongous! (Elyse)
Working together, these children come up with their own ideas about how the projector works; they test out their theories, and discover that the projector enlarges.
(Elyse says, “Your hands are humongous!”)
Lagoon Park Preschool
Lagoon Park preschoolers are also noticing, wondering, exploring and sharing their learning as they participate in a Clothing Study from the Creative Curriculum. Their teacher poses the question, “Which soap makes the best bubbles?” They predict and then experiment to see whether bar soap, powder soap or liquid soap makes the best bubbles. (Teacher Mrs White asks “Which soap do you think will make the best bubbles?”)
We put soap in the bowl and in the water. Next we stirred it with the thing that has the hand and bars on it (whisk). The liquid and powder made bubbles but the bar didn't. (Alexander)
I thought the liquid was going to make the best bubbles but it didn't the powder made the best bubbles. (Caden)
At Prospect and Lyceum Preschool, the children have been studying Bermuda buildings. A trip to the lighthouse was a great opportunity to notice and wonder. Before their trip, their teacher took note of what the children already knew.
It gives sailors light to find their way (Athena); the lighthouse has lots of windows (Ethan); they are very bright when they come on (Keely); it has a lot of steps (Liam); the sailor and passengers can see the big light (Maddie); the boats have a way to find Bermuda; so boats don't crash and follow the light (Matayah)
Several children wondered, “How does the light move?” Following their visit, the children drew and labelled what they remember about the mechanics of the revolving light. Over the course of their study, the teachers posts the children's ideas and pictures as a record of their learning.
At Prospect Preschool, the parents got involved in the study of Bermuda house, by building a Bermuda house from recycled materials as a home project. What have you noticed lately that has caused you to wonder and motivated you to explore and share your learning?