In the Collaborative Learning Process, the Learning Style Discovery stage (5 to 7 year olds) reveals how a child best learns. Because play is their “work” during these ages, it becomes apparent to what resources, tools, interests, and toys they are naturally drawn. This information helps a facilitator know a whole lot about what inspires an individual and gets them excited about learning.
Brain Development: Foundation Stage
This first stage of learning is called the Foundation Stage because it focuses on the universal gifts and strengths of each learner. Because the brain is focused on developing it’s inherent strengths, the child appears me-centric. This happens in order to self-preserve. The Learning Style Discovery stage supports this stage of brain development by allowing each child to freely pursue what interests and gifts come naturally to him/her. If there was too much directing, it might interfere with the learning style disclosure process.
The Creative Learning Center Focus
Our learning environment for this stage is set up to give value to those objects, topics, and interests that most appeal to each child. It is an open exploration environment. The Creative Learning Center facilitator focus will be spending time figuring out what style of learning works best for each child by honoring and giving value to what the child is interested in and how the child likes to go about learning more.
The Creative Learning Center Facilitator Implementation
For each subject time period, Facilitator will introduce a concept, skill, or activity based on information gleaned from journal entries and observations, various children’s individual interests and questions, and/or typical childhood interests for that age range. This will be an interest-starter or skill continuation lasting no more than 15 minutes. It will almost always be hands-on, visual, interactive, or game-based in order to hold a young child’s interest. It will be open-ended in order to encourage exploration by the children. Facilitator will interact and observe the children by assisting in the continuation of the subject prompt, as desired by each child.
Children will always have the option of pursuing their own interests at any time, regardless of subject category. Facilitator will promote learning in this category by (1) adding fuel to each child’s focus (i.e., if they like whales, staff might suggest a book, activity, or toy on such), (2) expanding the interest (i.e., if they like whales, staff might talk about the oceans each live in and share resources on that), and/or (3) bringing in other ideas based on similarities to the child’s focus (i.e., if they like whales, what about sharks?).
The Creative Learning Center Curriculum and Resources
This age primarily learns through living books, toys, and manipulative-based learning tools. The Creative Learning Center has a full array of options in all categories. Further, parents are encouraged to provide monthly field trips to expose the children to new topics, real life learning, and community resources.
The Creative Learning Center Assessment Tools
Facilitator will write a journal entry for each child at least three times each day. During these observations, photos or samples of work pursued will be kept. These assessment tools will provide individualized learning knowledge for facilitator, parents, and young people in understanding the way they learn best. These assessments will be compiled for parent viewing every Saturday.