When I am welcomed here, I know that I belong here. I have learned where my belongings go, and how to look after the equipment here. I also am learning that I have a responsibility to be involved in the programme so that I can learn.
I learn to listen to what others are saying. I learn how to become part of a conversation. I develop confidence when I stand up in front of my peers and talk about my news. I also get to develop my language skills through discussing today’s stories. I am learning to remember what people have said, so that my memory develops. This will help me retain information. I learn how to concentrate for an extended period of time, which will help me learn more easily.
I learn table manners and how to say please and thank-you. I learn how to make my needs known to those who can help me, but I also learn independence. I am making my own decisions about how much I want to eat and drink. I even develop my fine motors skills when I pour my pour my own water, this will help me to develop the skills when I pour my own water, this will help me to develop the skills needed to write! I learn that sitting around a table full of food is part of our culture and I learn to respect and celebrate that culture. I learn that even though I am still small, I can serve myself my own food, which adds to my independence.
Group time is fun because I get to be with a small group of friends and one of my teachers so we can have a bit of structured learning. We learn to recognize letters and numbers, how to write our names, how to recognize sentences, how to ‘read’ from left to right. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing this, so I will choose to draw a picture and establish what I am trying to say through this means instead. This is fun because my teacher always knows what I am trying to say and that my pictures are like how grown-ups write. Sometimes I do things that you wouldn’t think are directly related to literacy and numeracy but making play-dough or baking muffins tells me about process, reading recipes, weight and measurement. I also learn how to focus on an activity for a long period of time and develop my concentration skills. My teachers are trained to know that if I am forced to learn something that I am not ready to learn, I might feel anxious and completely reject the idea!
I learn that my mind and body cannot have 100% activity at all times or else I will be exhausted. I learn that it is important to rest the mind and body so I can continue to explore this place. I learn how to display respect for those who choose to sleep. I learn how to be quite and think to myself. I might be making up stories in my head that I will later tell a teacher to write down for me, thus extending my knowledge of early literacy.