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Donna Rowland's discussion posts

  • Donna Rowland 09 Sep 2014 4:20pm () in Oral language in early childhood education

    When I read this article my first thought was how our busy, and often noisy, Early Childhood Centres impact on children's language development. I really appreciate what you had to say Sandy, pretty much sums up my own thoughts.

    I think about some of the children I have had in my infants and toddlers room who have had really great verbal language, then they transition to the over two's and I often hear comments like "They don't talk much." "They don't have a very wide vocabulary." and similar comments.

    We are also a mixed age centre Kate 0-5 years, but I cant help feeling that change of environment, from quiet and calm, where adults have time to converse, to the busy 02's certainly has an impact on how children learn. 

  • Donna Rowland 04 Jul 2014 2:29pm () in Learning Story/Assessment workshops

    I highly reccomend the ELP Learning Stories Conference 17th-18th October in Hamilton. I was lucky enough to be a part of this last year, awesome conference.

  • Donna Rowland 13 Sep 2013 4:09pm () in Food Glorious Food

    Smile Thanks Tracey will check t out.

  • Donna Rowland 05 Sep 2013 4:03pm () in Food Glorious Food

    I'm looking for some good articles around eating routnes in ECE centres. Our infants and toddlers enjoy an environment where their individual rythms (and what Mum or Dad provide) dictate when and what they eat, then they transition to an over two environment where kai time and what children eat is largely influenced by the adults in the environment, Mum/Dad still provide a bulk of the food, but the teachers believe they know best how much children should eat, when, what they eat first etc.

    Kai times and habits seem to be such a contencious topic amongst the teachers in our centre, do other centres experience this? 




  • Donna Rowland 13 Jun 2013 4:19pm () in Views on crying

    I think if you know your children well and are in tune with their cues you can often tell what the cry is communicating before you have even set eyes on the child. I would never ignore a child's cry, surely any form of communication deserves acknowledgement at the very least, to me that is simply being respectful and responsive.


  • Donna Rowland 25 Mar 2013 1:53pm () in Primary Caregiving - what are your thoughts?

    Hey thanks, I have the first edition of Prime Times, can anyone tell me if its worth while getting the second? Many changes?

    I did a PD with Robin and Toni Christie on Saturday and picked up a copy of Toni's book "Respect", also a very good reaource as far as key teachers/free movement/and respectful practice goes.


  • Donna Rowland 24 Mar 2013 1:35pm () in Primary Caregiving - what are your thoughts?

    Yes Katherine we also plan ahead based on what other commiitments teachers have, however if a child or family show a particular preference for  a teacher we do our best to work around that. Every now and then we have a child who moves from ther key teacher to another and we try to respect that and change the key teacher accoridngly. I recently requested I be key teacher for a child because I had already built a great relationship with heir whanau through siblings having attended the centre.

    Key teachers is a always an interesting subject, at the moment I am experiencing frustration with another teacher that insisits she wants a 'turn' with the baby...this really gets me going...and i cant seem to get the message across that its not about taking turns, but about the  child experiencing consistaint  responses  to their cues and needs from a consistant adult. 

  • Donna Rowland 26 Feb 2013 6:20pm () in Narrative Assessment for infants and toddlers - Do learning stories have to be the same?

    You make an interesting point about Te Whariki Helen, I used to make reference to that all the time, but recently have let it drop from my stories. You have me reflecting on the wisdom of that Smile

    I enjoyed what you had to say about your daughters story, I have found myself writting over and over about the way I see our very young children working hard to move and the effort and thought that goes into that process. My 'Opportunities and Possibilities' for a story like that is always just to allow plenty of time and space for children to move as they are ready to...and I make sure to add something about 'free movemnt' and how important I believe it is.

    Wth reagrd to playing with objects, I just read at the weekend an article in The First Years 2012 (Volume 14 Issue 1) an article "Let the Infant Play by Himself as Well" (Anna Tardos), it explains the stages of infant play, from a child just a few weeks old lying on their back and looking around...through to playing wth two toys simultaneously (9-12mnths). I havent read the article enough times to give you a proper run down, but it has me paying closer attention to what children are doing, through yet another lens, and I feel some awesome learning stories coming on.

  • Donna Rowland 22 Feb 2013 4:45pm () in Narrative Assessment for infants and toddlers - Do learning stories have to be the same?

    Our centre doesn't have a standard format for learning stories, we all do things in our own unique way. Generally I think that is a good thing, and I enjoy the different styles and focuses you see in childrens books.

    For myself I have been reflecting a lot over the past 12 months on the stories that I write, and how I write them. I have always been reluctant to do 'Where to next' because as an U2s teacher I felt that childrens learning direction and dispositions can change rapidly. A few months ago somebody gave me some ideas of what I could use instead of 'where to next'. The one suggestion I have picked up on and use all the time is 'Opportunities and possibilities'...I love it! And I find as long as I write in a way that is really open like this for example;

    Opportunities and Possibilities for further learning; There are always lots of vessels and objects for filling in the Atawhai room, we often have cardboard boxes to climb in, and tunnels and tents where you can tuck yourself away.  Dress-up’s, wrapping dolls, digging for or burying treasure in the sandpit, pouring water into containers and playing hide and seek are just a few other ideas that we could experiment with to support your passion. It dosen't set me up to have to follow through with one particular thing. I have also begun describing 'The Learning that I see Happening' under a heading like that, or something similar, because it was pointed out to me that a teacher reading my story would be able to relate easily to the learning happening, but perhaps not a parent or lay-person.

    I think it's also interesting to consider what we choose to write about and why. I know I spend a lot of time writing about relationships, schema, literacy and communication...obviously those are the things that Im passionate about, and I am aware I need to widen my lens a little.

    The other thing I have noticed is that when a teacher comes to work in U2s that hasnt had experience in this area, they find it really difficult to identify learning that is happening. I always point them toward Kei Tua o te Pae, and suggest they have a read of the stories already in the children's books, as a starting point.


  • Donna Rowland 07 Feb 2013 6:03pm () in What you do and don't want to see for infants and toddlers

    I recall when I started, not so very long ago, children in their high chairs falling asleep because no one was noticing  that they were tired.FrownIm pleased to say that doesnt happen anymore...because we no longer have high chairs, or because teachers notice more?Money Mouth