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Drawing from placement experiences, to enrich childrens learning the
environment needs to be stimulating and challenging to encourage children to
engage and think on a deeper level but not to be too challenging as to where the
children give up. The experiences highlighted in the presentation aim to meet
the needs of all children. The setup of the environment plays a large role in how
the children engage and interact in their play which therefore impacts on their
learning and development. Where and how experiences are placed and set up
and the materials used in the experience impact on the childs engagement
(Richhart,R. 2015) . This is followed with the lay out and set up of the room.
Natural materials, colours, light, temperature, posters and pictures on the walls
and materials and other items hanging from the roof can also impact on how
children feel when they are in the room (Richhart,R. 2015. p.253). Children are
free to explore the environment at their own pace, with their friends or peers or
even individually and with the support of their educators if necessary or desired.
Any changes that need to be made in the physical environment can be adjusted
through observation and critical thinking. Whilst aiming the meet the needs of
each child, the planning of these experiences is flexible and can be easily
changed in anyway (Richhart,R. 2015. p247). Age, ability, time and weather have
been identified as, but not limited to, areas that need to be considered during
planning and implementation of experiences. Drawing on the belief that no child
is too young to learn about geometry and spatial sense, we can look at children
and education from the transforming perspective any child has the ability to
engage with geometry and spatial sense (MacNaughton,G. 2009). These
experiences are to maximise the learning and development of children with a
positive beginning to mathematics. For children who attend a sessional day care
or kinder, their engagement with geometry and spatial sense can be interrupted
after a short period of time. To encourage and support this learning outside of

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the day care or kinder setting parents and families can play a large role. By
highlighting and exploring geometry and space at home, in the playground or
other places in the childs life, families can support children in this learning. For
example, at the park. A parent or family member might ask can you fit through
that tunnel? or is that slide taller than you? using mathematical language and
concepts can further childrens understandings and deeper their thinking about
the world around them (caheadstart.org. N/D. p2). Through conversations with
parents and highlighting the learning that has occurred in the learning space
educators would be able to share these aims, ideas and learning with the
families who would be encouraged to share back (caheadstart.org N/D. p4).
When considering assessment it is not the aim of these experiences to label or
group the children through a set of criteria. The aim of the game called Geo- Run
is to gain an understanding of what knowledge the children have about shapes.
As the game is played an educator would be documenting the responses,
comments, questions, outcomes and anything else of importance relating to the
children and the experience. The data gathered from the documentation can
allow for the educators to gain an understanding of the childrens individuals
strengths and interests. It is from here where the extension experiences aim to
further the knowledge, understandings and engagement of children individually.
Throughout daily observations children express and share their interests with
educators. As experienced on placement it is through these interests where
children engage the most in their learning. These interests can be used as a tool
as a foundation or a tool for driving childrens engagement and learning in
geometry and spatial sense. Although no interest was highlighted during the
presentation, it would be incorporated with the experiences and implemented in
a learning space. To further the learning of children even more the shapes used

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in Geo-Run could be swapped for 3D shapes, this could therefore impact on or
influence changes with other extension experiences (Dauksas,L.& White,J. N/D).
Each extension experience would not be limited to the age group is it highlighted
under in the presentation. If a pre kinder or kinder child showed an interest in
playing with the tent, tunnel, playdough or anything else, they would not be
restricted so. Likewise for the babies. Babies would also have access to the other
mentioned resources, providing it would be safe (ie, not choking hazards).
As an educator my aim is to pro200vide children with different environments that
allow for them to explore through play and engage through deeper levels of
thinking. To do this their interests and voice must be heard and included in
planning and implementation of experiences. Children should not be labelled or
grouped as unable to do something based on their age or abilities (Porter,L.
2002). To support children in their learning and development in this area the
presentation highlighted the importance and value of learning through play. To
cater for effective learning, teaching and engagement in the environment, the
educator must take on many roles in order to meet the needs of the children.
Teaching techniques such as deconstructing, co-constructing, questioning,
listening, modelling and scaffolding can support childrens learning and
development in a variety of ways (MacNaughton,G.& Williams,G. 2009). These
techniques along with a play based pedagogy represents and draws from the
Reggio Emilia Approach and the Mosaic Approach.
Based on experiences on placement each child is capable, willing and excited to
learn. Being comfortable or uncomfortable with mathematics is common
throughout many experiences of life, however learning in educational set up
spaces and spaces outside of home children can be exposed to a positive
beginning.

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References:
Caheadstart.org (N/D) (p.2 &p.4.). Infants and toddlers learning about geometry
and spatial sense. Beginning ideas about geometry and spatial sense develop as
infants and toddlers explore and learn about the physical world. Mathematics
and the Young Child Course. Module 4: Geometry and Spatial Sense. Cited:
http://www.caheadstart.org/Early_Math_Materials/Infant_Toddler_Geom_Meas_Nu
mb_Pat.pdf
Dauksas,L.& White,J. (N/D). Discovering Shapes and Space in Pre-School.
Teaching Young Children for the Pre-School Profession. Vol. 7. No.4.
NAEYC.ORG/TYC.
Cited: http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/files/tyc/Shapes%20and%20space.pdf
Porter,L. (2002). Educating Young Children with Additional Needs. Allen & Unwin.
New South Wales, Australia.
MacNaughton,G. (2009). Shaping Early Childhood. Learners, curriculum and
contexts. Open University Press. Berkshire, England.

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MacNaughton,G. & Williams,G. Techniques for teaching young children. Third
edition. Pearson Education Australia. Frenches Forest, New South Wales.
Richhart,R. (2015). (p.247 &p.253). Creating cultures of thinking. The 8 forces we
must master to truly transform our schools. Jossey-Bass. San Fransico, CA.