National Literacy and Numeracy Week is an opportunity for providers, educators and families to celebrate learning with their students and children. ACECQA spoke with two educators to see how they promote a culture of problem solving, understanding and learning in their educational programs and the opportunities for teaching these skills to young children in a way that is fun and engaging.
Shirleyanne Creighton from South Grafton Multipurpose Out of School Hours Care in NSW finds that asking children what activities they want to do most is a great method of incorporating literacy and numeracy into the program.
“We build a list of high-demand activities and then as a team work together to determine how we can underpin those activities with literacy and numeracy elements,” Shirleyanne said.
“Simple ideas, like using a baking class that introduces children to metrics and measurements or initiating a pen pal partnership that links with another OSHC,
are exciting ways for children to engage with numbers and text.
“Literacy and numeracy skills are the cornerstones of education and should form the basis of most activities we set out for our students.
“Educators and providers need to let children lead the way. By weaving literacy
and numeracy into their favourite activities, we can make the most of their natural intrigue and teach these skill sets creatively.
“The whole process can be seamless. Our children are learning and they don’t even notice,” Shirleyanne said.
In South Australia, Lee Munn and her team at Lobethal Kindergarten have also come up with interesting ways of teaching literacy and numeracy through experience.
“Every term, one week is selected as the ‘Outdoor Kindy Week’ where all sessions are conducted in the outdoor learning environment,” Lee said.
“Activities that are focused on thinking, planning and constructing functional items from simple materials such as pipes or bamboo help children to understand angles, weights and measurements.
“Imagination and story appreciation is also encouraged by using the ground as
a canvas, allowing students to compose and illustrate their ideas,” Lee said.
Lobethal Kindergarten also publishes a daily blog, which allows parents and families to read about the centre’s activities and enables them to comment and contribute to the curriculum.
“We encourage children to connect with nature by getting them outdoors and challenging them to take risks and move outside their comfort zones,” Lee said.
“A child’s imagination and curiosity can actually teach us all a thing or two – we are constantly in awe of children’s abilities to extend their thinking and learning. They amaze us with their competencies, skills and desire to explore and discover.”
Visit www.literacyandnumeracy.gov.au/ for details of the week’s activities, useful resources and innovative ideas to celebrate learning.