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just wondering if any one has tips for a display check list or an example? my staff seem stuck on doing always doing templates with the children and not leting them epress them selves

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my staff seem stuck on doing always doing templates with the children and not leting them epress them selves

I wonder if you might be tackling this from the wrong end of the chain, dizzy daisy? If you have perceived that the way creative activities are presented to children is inappropriate, then perhaps you need to start here rather than with the way displays are planned and executed?

 

The problem can be to encourage practitioners to think of creativity from the point of view of the child's experience and not in terms of what the 'work' will look like on a display. It is difficult to let go of familiar ways of working, and practitioners who have been used to offering children 'activities' based on the use of templates rather than 'experiences' based around experimenting with techniques, media and sensory stimulation will need a lot of support to appreciate the difference between the two approaches.

 

When teaching the creativity sessions to Level 2 learners, we do some work about how we can identify whether children are being given the opportunity to develop their own creative ideas and preferences rather than producing a piece of artwork which conforms to the adults' view of what creativity is. I have a handout somewhere which is a ticklist asking some fairly basic questions to be used to evaluate a particular creative activity to see whether it is a creative one or not. I haven't taught the course for some time so I might have archived the handouts but I'll have a look for it if you're interested.

 

Maz

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i think you are right i took over managing the nursery in may and the girls do have alot of enthusiam to develop their base rooms and practice. However i think they are stuck in the way they have been taught by the old manager to set out activites for the children. I would be very interested in your approach to training the staff rather than giving the room leaders more paper to fill out espcially if the staff do not have an understanding of why they have to set up activities this way.

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sometimes the urge to make a display into a picture dictates too early to the children what they have to do in their creative activity. I think letting the children feel part of the process is important. the children can feel intimidated if the adult has created an all singing and dancing display picture well beyond their ability.

 

we are a pack away group but luckily have 3 display boards we can leave out

we have three very different displays

one is an adult lead picture/ collage made of childrens work (probably like your templates) this term is spring and over the weeks the children add to it with various mini art projects

another display is the art gallery and it displays free flow artwork the children have done including photos of them doing it to try to display the process rather than the product our children are mostly 2 and 3 year olds.

another display is purely photos of children doing all kinds of other stuff during sessions (very little art work) because not all children do art work and would not be represented on the display boards other wise.

 

I cannt imagine there is a check list for display making? but theres possibly books and training on the matter. check with your early years advisor, if there isnt any training request some Im sure there are other settings who would like some ideas on displays and would welcome some training.

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After a SEAD conference and attending a communication friendly spaces workshop, my pre-school room leader has covered all her display boards in buff coloured paper with no border. One board has examples of some sewing the chidlren did, the other is titled 'look what we have being dong at home and at pre-school'. Parents have brought in photos from home and the chidlren have added their own pics to add to the display, some are drawings of family members who appear in the pictures others are gingerbread men etc as they have been reading that story. I cant remember whats on the other one!! None of the pictures are backed, non of them are pre cut or templates all are labelled with the chidlrens names and sometimes with a description from the child.

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We are still at the stage of trying to get one staff member from "helping" a child do their artwork for them eg mothers day cards. Idea was daffodi, yellow petals, green stem collage stuff out etc etc. Well this particular 2 year old (with staff) produced a masterpiece :o Not a petal out of place. Every time the child stuck it down on the card it got picked up and then put in the "right" place!!

I did try and have a quiet word with the staff concerned. It ended up that all the cards she had done with the children had to be re-done by the children themelves. Needless to say we eventually got there with upside down, back to front, collage/penned and not a daffodil- in -sight cards which were lovely. :(xD:(

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I think this is going to be something i concentrate on at my next staff meeting. i'm going to prepare some training materials and hopefully look at what the children gained from an art activity where children were able to create their own pictures and those where the children were painting on a template like happy maz has suggested. hopefully this willhelp.

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Every time the child stuck it down on the card it got picked up and then put in the "right" place!!

I actually did this to a student once on a creativity session. I chose the strongest, most confident student before hand, so that I had a rough idea of how she would react. I had set the challenge for half the group to make a collage on a theme (transport) and the other with no brief at all. I made sure my 'victim' was in the transport group, and consistently moved things around once she had stuck them down in her glue. So her wheels were in the wrong place, there was too much grass and I also told her she needed a lovely yellow sun in the sky.

 

When we did the feedback about how the activity had felt to the learners, the ones in the group who had been given free choice all reported that they had enjoyed a relaxing time playing with shapes, textures and colours etc. The group whose brief had been to make a picture of transport all complained of not being able to make a recognisable picture - and the unhappy victim said she had been getting more and more frustrated at my attempts to 'take control' of her picture!

 

Whilst they were feeding back their feelings, I was writing key words on the whiteboard, under two headings "free choice" and "directed". Whenever my 'victim' reported negative feelings I wrote those in red (and there were many!) in a separate list. When the list was complete I asked the learners to think about which kind of activity would provide the best learning experience for the children, based on the feelings each type of activity had elicited.

 

The conclusion was, not unexpectedly, that children would enjoy being given free choice of what to make or paint, but that whatever type of activity, an adult who continually moves things, or tells the child what to paint or where to paint it in order to make something more recognisable to other adults would be likely to completely undermine a child's creativity.

 

Sometimes it is useful (from a learning point of view) to experience the same negative feelings as very young children do to really see things from the child's viewpoint.

 

Maz

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