“Reflection is a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice” (Reid, 1993 p.305).
I am going to reflect on an activity during my placement at a childminder’s setting.
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While writing about this, the model of reflection `I will use is the most commonly used model by Gibbs (1988), which is the model I will look at here.
There are six stages in Gibbs’ model, namely:- (1) Description (2) Feelings (3) Evaluation (4) Analysis (5) Conclusion (6) Action plan. I will discuss each in turn.
I am currently on a CACHE level 3 DIPLOMA for the Children and Young People’s Workforce training. I am on a placement at a child minder’s setting. The activity I did was painting. I chose to do this activity with a mixed group of four children so that I could pay attention to their individual needs. I set up a table at the childminder’s place for the painting activity. We had enough resources for painting, so I used essential ones for painting, like, protection for clothing, old newspapers for protecting the floor, paints, paper, brushes pots of clean water the easel and the table top, a floor mop, and facilities for drying painting. The children set to work immediately, putting lots of paints on their papers, using pots to mix colours. Spills were mopped up quickly by the childminder to avoid possibility of falls. After painting, I helped in washing and supervising the children’s hand washing FEELINGS
I watched the children to see how they were feeling and performing. I could see they were enjoying using all the different colours, making shapes and different patterns. I felt all children should be offered frequent opportunities to paint when they feel inclined. When very young, before fluent speech, spontaneous painting is a most valuable means of expression. I allowed them opportunities to explore, undisturbed because children usually get the most from painting if they are left to pursue it on their own, without rushing them.
For this painting activity, I realised that painting often allows children to express emotions that they find difficult to put into words. It is an enjoyable new activity for many young children on starting nursery or childcare setting. I believe for children, attaining this skill leads to a sense of achievement and self-esteem.
The children got a lot from painting. Painting is a messy activity and this is why it is not always done at home and therefore, young children should be given every opportunity to explore this creative medium undisturbed whenever they wish. I watched as they were painting, undisturbed, and only spoke whenever they asked me questions on their reactions to the activity. For example, child “A” says “I want to paint for mummy”. I answered by saying, . “yes you can”. The children interacted well with each other while painting, discussing what they are painting with each other. The activity was a good idea and it practically went well, the children enjoyed it and I believe they achieved their creative development.
After this painting activity, I evaluated and reflected and I have come to the conclusion that children’s paintings are essentially culture free, they allow children to experiment with a variety of materials. Also, paintings develop an aesthetic awareness of composition, colour, shape, pattern and relationships. Paintings encourage imagination and creativity.
In retrospect, I would do several things differently. As children’s paintings are essentially culture free and painting is an integral part of the curriculum, I will make parents aware that clothes may be dirty because some parents complained that their children’s clothes were dirty with paints all over, despite using protective clothing. I will also let them understand the importance of painting for young children. What I will like to improve on next time is to have some programme of changes like speaking to parent about creativity and also work with them. . I will have more colours available next time, also more papers. To generate more interest, a visit to the art gallery will be useful, with parents involvements.
Hobart, C. and Frankel. J (2009) 4th edition, a Practical Guide to Activities for Young children. Cheltenha,, UK: Nelson Thornes Publications.