Kei Tua o te Pae
Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.
The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.
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Belonging situated in routines, customs, and regular events
Farewell to a taonga
Examples or cues
A Learning Story
Taking an Interest Finding an interest here – a topic, an activity, a role. Recognising the familiar, enjoying the unfamiliar. Coping with change.
Over the last few weeks the children have been listening to the story, Māui and the Sun. The children were so interested in Māui’s story that they began to screen-print ideas that evolved from it.
When the children learned that Trish, our supervisor, had a new job and was going to be leaving, they began to think about what they could give her as a present. Excited by their recent screen-printing experiences, they decided they would like to do some special screen- printing and so developed the idea of a unique “korowai” cloak.
Each child selected materials from Papatūānuku (ferns, leaves, feathers, etc.), and soon a magnificent cloak was unfolding in front of our eyes.
It was very hard keeping it as a surprise. When every child in the childcare centre had printed a square, Sue sewed the backing on the cloak and all the children and teachers then completed the cloak by sewing feathers and wool as the finishing touches.
Throughout this experience, the children and teachers learned new waiata to support Trish’s farewell. We were all amazed at how quickly the children responded to our new waiata.
Being Involved Paying attention for a sustained period, feeling safe, trusting others. Being playful with others and/or materials. Exploration
Persisting with Difficulty Setting and choosing difficult tasks. Using a range of strategies to solve problems when ‘stuck’ (be specific). Communication
Expressing an Idea or a Feeling In a range of ways (specify). For example: oral language, gesture, music, art, writing, using numbers and patterns, telling stories. Contribution
Taking Responsibility Responding to others, to stories, and imagined events, ensuring that things are fair, self-evaluating, helping others, contributing to programme.
What a wonderful learning experience this was for our children. They were all so absorbed and involved with the making of the “korowai” and demonstrated such a high level of persistence as well as expressing wonderful creativity.
Every child in the centre participated in making Trish’s “korowai”. It was fantastic to see all the children taking responsibility and contributing so fully to this experience.
It was especially positive to provide an experience like this that reflected some of the values of our tangata whenua.
Prepare for the farewell event.
The day arrived; it was Trish’s time to leave our centre. Children and staff began the day by making scones to share at the farewell. For many days prior to this, the children had been busy learning new waiata (“Ehara”, “E Toru ngā Mea” and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”).
During the final morning, the children were feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of Trish leaving. We got out the tissues and talked with the children about feeling sad and letting Trish go. We also talked about how we could support each other at this time.
We then hopped on the bus, taking Trish with us to her new job. Trish’s new colleagues and some of the students she will be teaching greeted us all when we arrived at her new workplace. Everyone said a mihi, including Sue, who told the people how much we would miss Trish, and then we handed her over. Her new colleagues promised to look after her in her new job, and then the children sang their hearts out. Trish was overwhelmed. In fact, we all were. We cried, wiped our noses, and laughed together.
At the end of the presentation, we all gathered together and shared a meal before we got back onto the bus and returned to our centre, leaving Trish to begin her new challenge.
What a wonderful day we have all experienced. The concepts of taha wairua (spiritual well-being), taha hinengaro (mental well-being), taha tinana (physical well-being), and taha whānau (social well-being) are inextricably linked in the learning of tamariki Māori. It was so amazing to be involved with the children in a farewell that reflected so much the importance of hauora (total well-being).
There is no doubt that all those who were involved will remember this experience in the days and months to come. It was an opportunity for all of us to experience challenge and success and to enhance the children’s and teachers’ sense of themselves as capable and competent learners.