VIS Monthly Focus

Early Childhood

An emphasis on play does not detract from academic learning but actually enables children to learn ~ Bodrova & Leong
At Vilnius International School, we prioritize play as the way children learn and develop.  Over the past few years, the early childhood team at VIS has been collaboratively working to answer the questions:
  • How does play support language development?
Language is a social concept.  Play provides our children with opportunities to develop language through interaction with their peers and practice what they have learnt in engaging and meaningful contexts.  Children use similar representational processes during imaginary, dramatic play as they do when they are reading and writing.
  • How does play support the learning of mathematical concepts?
While children are playing, they are developing mathematical concepts including shape and space.  During constructive play, children are learning to estimate and calculate the relative size of things and how many number of objects are needed to make things connect.
  • What are our roles as early childhood teachers during children’s play?

In our work, we first redefined play.  By developing categories of play, we were able to link play experiences to different types of learning including the development of transdisciplinary skills as well as the dispositions of the IB learner profile and attitudes.  However in order to support the learning taking place, we needed to understand our roles as early childhood teachers. 
  • How do we assess student learning taking place through play?
By uncovering our multiple facilitative roles during children’s play, we have come to understand that focused observations done in a systemic manner is an essential element of our work as early childhood teachers.  Developing the skill to make observations enable us to gather evidence of student learning so that we can build on student strengths, take and relaunch cues from students to better meet their learning needs and interests and design play opportunities to challenge and extend our students.

Play, Innovation and Technology

This academic year we have focused on providing possibilities for learning through the use of technology. Since we are preparing our youngest learners for the jobs and future that do not exist yet, we are fully engaged in embracing technology and its endless opportunities for learning at VIS. Interactive boards and various apps provide our youngest learners with additional opportunities to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as practice their social and communication skills. We continue to constantly improve our technological expertise together with the advancement of our students'  skills.
In the Dolphin class, technology has been used to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.  As students work together they are gaining information from each other and constructing meaning. 

Our Children's Voices

- Playing helps you to learn new things.
- Playing helps bring out how much creativity you have inside yourself and what you can do with it. It enables us to keep calm, have fun and be happy. 
- Playing allows us to be friends and includes all.
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Vilnius International School · Rusų g., 3 · Vilnius 01125 · Lithuania

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