• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Let's Reflect


    Hello Cool Cats

    I received an email from a lovely educator called Poh Lin. She is looking at changing her room to be more of an emergent program

    Have a look at what she wrote and I would love you to give her some advise


    Mrs B


    When I look at my room, I always ask myself whether it reflects what I believe in? whether the room represent diversity? whether it is a welcoming room to all the children and families?

    The one thing that I need to improvise is having shelves and placing resources in the shelves for the children to access the resources instead of going into the store room daily to get the resources out for the children to play.

    Our morning arrival routine is like this: The early morning staff member will choose toys from the store room to place on the tables for the arrival of the children. We find that this help to settle children who come early and when they see the toys on the tables. What do you think of this? I have one assistant who is very enthusiastic and she will set up almost the entire room. Sometimes I question whether are we giving the children choice? Meaning do we always set up the resources for them? or shouldn’t we allow the children to choose what they would like to do for today?


9 Responses to Can you help Poh Lin – Educator for a 2-3 yr. old group

  • Na'eemah Seedat wrote on August 13, 2012 at 3:43 // Reply

    Hi Poh Lin.

    I think that you should give the children the freedom to choose their activity so that they choose something which is of interest to them and they don’t look at it as ‘work’. Shelves are great for laying out many activities making sure that there is only one of each avtivity on the shelf so that the children learn to share and have the patience to wait for an activity if someone else is busy with it. However, if you do not have shelves,you could always see for alternatives, you could maybe place each activity on trays and place them on the windowsills or on a few tables or even on a carpet in the classroom maybe,that gives children the freedom of choice and also gives them the responsibilty of unpacking,packing and replacing the activity where it belongs.

    • Mrs B wrote on August 13, 2012 at 5:26 // Reply

      Thank you Miss M for your reply, that is great advice. I too think giving children the choice is very important. At my last centre we have a few children that came quiet early, to help them transition we would ask them what they would like to set up, then we would set up our experiences that were extensions from previous days. This worked very well. Thank you so much for the advise on having one activity per shelf. This is such good advice. We need to give children opportunities to succeed. If you have many items out it will become to much for them. I like the less is more attitude as you can always add throughout out the day.
      I found when implementing an emergent program the first thing we needed to do is speak to the children about the Room Rules, discuss with them what will happen if all the toys go on the floor and no one picks them up etc. Have the children decide what the room rules are with your guidance. Once established continue to go back and talk about them. Remind the children and congratulate them when ever you see following the rules. This will teach all that are apart of the environment (children, educators, parents, students, visitors etc) to respect each other and look after the learning materials in the centre.
      I will add some web links and photos of inspiring play spaces to support Poh Lin.
      I encourage educators to comment on what works well.
      Thank you again Miss S for you comment
      Mrs B

  • anna wrote on August 14, 2012 at 7:41 // Reply

    Hi There fellow Educator,
    I believe children do need to choose and if the room is set up with small interest areas and on the shelves place medium size baskets of toys, making sure the shelves are labeled with pictures of the toys. What I’m trying to say is make it structured, yet inviting. Only place out the toys inwhich the children are interested in.
    Set some room rules up with the children and draw them in pictures, go over them a few times in the week. Let the children know how proud you are of their ability to pack their toys away.

    • Mrs B wrote on August 14, 2012 at 6:48 // Reply

      Thank you Miss A, such good advice. I think it can sometimes be confusing when looking at a emergent program, some people can be lead to believe every resource needs to be out for the children. This is to much and puts stress on the educators and children. You are so right when you mentioned having photos of where the toys need to go and the importance to discuss the room rules. You are teaching the children to respect their environment and you are giving them the invitation to succeed. Thanks Again Miss A love receiving input
      Mrs B

  • Kym wrote on August 15, 2012 at 7:14 // Reply

    Hi Poh Lin, in our area it is an actual requirement of accrediatation to have 40% of our program to be a combination of spontaneous and child initiated play. So we set up open ended activities using resources which we saw the children using late in the day the day before. We have free choice shelves which we try to change out things that are not being played with for new toys to hopefully re excite the chidlren too. I hope this helps a little.

    • Mrs B wrote on August 15, 2012 at 10:07 // Reply

      Thank you Miss K great post, it is wonderful to see the posts from Educators supporting each other
      Thank you
      Mrs B

  • Poh Lin wrote on August 15, 2012 at 10:12 // Reply

    Thank you so much for the wonderful comments and suggestions. I finally received some brainwaves for my room and in the midst of improving our physical environment into an emergent environment.I have been reading a lot and has been reflecting more on my practice and my beliefs. Our children helped us with ideas and even helped us to move the carpet.One parent was very impressed with the children for helping us.She just stood there in awe and commented that she just cannot believe that these little ones will gathered around and helped. We got the thumbs up from the children! I felt that the children are ready to do more and to take more responsibility and challenge.
    Thanks Poh Lin

  • Atlanta wrote on August 15, 2012 at 9:24 // Reply

    I work in a 3 yr old room with 10-15 ch, so I am the only educator in there. I leave that days activities set up for the next morning, I believe this benefits the ful time children a little as they quite often pick up from where they left off, in turn other chn join in.
    When I start the learning day at 9am, we begin with a mat time, read, sing, count, discuss etc… Most of the time I don’t need to bring up a topic or ask questions to get an idea for activity changes. If I get ideas I encourage the children to help set up.
    I only ever start with a bare minimum of each activity that way we can add and extend on it as the chn get bored or inspired, it also means I don’t run out of recourse as quickly.
    I always document what was changed and why.
    Puzzles are very popular so I always have a self selection shelf for them. Block areas I quite often add trays of different things.
    I tend to find its not the chn that have issues with mess and rules, it’s the staff that relieve me, always looks like a cyclone has gone though when I get back…but that’s another topic all together!
    The problem is, because I am on my own my own creativity is halted most off the time, so I find I get bored with old resources a bit, my lunch breaks usually turn into quick dashes around the centre for props, resources etc…
    You’ll get there, even the best of us find better ways of doing things.

    • Mrs B wrote on August 15, 2012 at 10:04 // Reply

      Thank you Miss A, you have got it. If you need any ideas please don’t hesitate to contact me I would love to help.
      Mrs B


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