This week I read my new copy of Thinking Moves A-Z by Roger Sutcliffe, Tom Bigglestone and Jason Buckley.
Thinking Moves is an easy to read mini guide to an A-Z of metacognition skills. For each letter you are given a skill and told how this is already seen in children and how it can be further developed. The book can be read from A to Z or dipped into as required. I am going to be dipping into it for inspiration every week. This week my lesson plan for P4C is based around the skill that is given for D - Divide. Next week I will be basing my planning on the skill for J - Justify.
Thinking Moves is a lovely slim book which makes it easy to pop in your bag. The skills and activities are beautifully transferrable from Early Years to Further Education.
For the full list of A-Z Thinking Moves please visit this link where you will also find more information about the framework and training, along with a video of Roger Sutcliffe talking about the approach.
To order your own copy click here
To give Thinking Moves a go with my letter D planning please see the below plans and enjoy. I will be doing this tomorrow with my 3 and 4 year olds.
Along with Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language is another area in which the children who join pre-school or reception class are widely varied, and usually for the same reasons. There are some philosophical leads that you can explore in order to develop Communication and Language however this area is most developed by including rich language opportunities within your actual enquiries.
Did you know that a study done in America in 1995 (need reference) found that children coming from a disadvantaged background will, on average, have heard almost 3 million fewer words by the age of three than those coming from a more privileged background? It is up to us to plug that gap and the best way to do that is by creating a language rich environment, not only in day-to-day conversation but also in the topics we introduce and in more specific inputs.
The most useful tool here is for a child to be able to work towards understanding and being able to answer questions, and of course being able to ask questions of their own. Philosophy for Children sessions are a great time for an adult to be taking short observations to tick off some of those tricky areas of speech that you may not hear in play.
Here are some ways to coax this language out.
Listening and Attention - Early Learning Goals
1. Children listen attentively in a range of situations.
2. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
3. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
Can children listen in the input?
Can they listen effectively to the question and move to vote when prompted?
For literacy based enquiries do they join in with stories?
Do children offer answers to questions posed to the group?
Can they offer answers to questions asked specifically to them?
Can children listen to the other children and facilitator and build on their ideas?
Understanding Early Learning Goals
1. Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
2. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Can children listen to a question with two or more possible answers and vote?
When offering an opinion or idea can children tell you ‘why’ that is their opinion? Do they offer not just opinions but also justifications?
Speaking Early Learning Goals
1. Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.
2. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.
3. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Can children explain their answers clearly?
Can children listen nicely to each other, not just to the facilitator?
Can children give examples from their own life to justify what they say? Do they use the correct tense?
Can children connect their thoughts and give coherent, well-reasoned ideas and answers?
Miss Magical Mess is a pre-school teacher and P4C Level 2B facilitator. After a shaky start as a P4C facilitator (P4C with 3 year olds... are you kidding?) Miss Magical Mess created her own approach to P4C and enquiry model and is now a big fan.