Planning in the Moment – What is a Moment?
By Karen Paterson, Manager, Happy Turtles Cinderford
Planning in the moment is known as a pedagogy… it is the way in which we at Happy Turtles, as well as many other settings in the country, deliver the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum. It might sound complicated and new, but in a nutshell, we are led by the child in the moment and we respond accordingly.*
When we pick apart what ‘a moment’ really is, it represents time. Something that doesn’t last long but is usually memorable in some way. We often hear phases such as ‘we had a moment then’ or perhaps ‘it was a lovely moment I hope I won’t forget’. It is a period that in some way, gives us something to reflect upon.
It is the same when we ‘plan in the moment’. It is often a fleeting thing that, if unnoticed, might not be of any relevance. But we are trained, as early years practitioners, to look for and not miss, those little snippets, those periods of time, those opportunities where moments become meaningful and purposeful. We strive to capture exactly what WE can do to make those moments personal to each child so that they too, come away with something to reflect upon.
Planning in the moment allows us to be there, with your child-getting to know them, getting to support them and getting to help them learn how to learn for themselves. It is about seeing what they need and not just what we want them to do. It focuses on their interests, not ours. It provides moments of learning that are relevant and personal to them.
Planning in the moment isn’t the easy way out. In fact, it takes more time, more diligence, more skill and more on the spot thinking. But its success by far, outweighs the extra effort. It results in confident learners and children that are figuring out for themselves how to solve problems. It is building a generation of children who ask the big, important questions and then work hard to find the answers. It nurtures curiosity in a generation that has the potential to be dull and mundane. It is preparing the children to teach, to listen, to take turns, to explore and to try new things. But most importantly, it fosters the importance of being happy in your learning. And we at Happy Turtles thrive on children’s happiness. It’s what we are all about and we believe that planning in the moment is the way to work that will make the biggest difference. It’s the difference between a child who is taught and a child who can learn.
And in an ever-changing world, that is what is important!
*Anna Ephgrave, Planning in the Moment