We had the pleasure of talking with Katja Penttinen, an early childhood educator. Katja works at the kindergarten called Puolivälin päiväkoti, in Liperi in the North Karelia region in Finland. Liperi started using the TinyApp service last fall, and it has been great to see how its implementation has progressed in different units. In particular, we wanted to hear from Katja about how TinyApp has supported the planning.
Planning plays a crucial role in the work of an early childhood educator. "The work is easily chaotic without a plan, and then it does not serve aspects of learning areas", says Katja. By planning the activity, the children's skill level and interests can be matched. The activity should also be, of course, something that group wants to do. It is good to start making the plan, for example, based on an age group or children's skill levels combined with the same areas of interest.
Katja has used the TinyApp service in a variety of ways in planning and evaluation."I use the TinyApp planning template and make two-level plans. I like that the plan template forces me to think and justify the areas of learning," tells Katja. She starts planning on a broader theme like traveling and then breaks it down into smaller, weekly plans. Colleagues participate in the planning by commenting on and supplementing the preliminary plans. At the end of the joint discussion, they usually finalize the plan.
Katja especially appreciates the evaluation part of the TinyApp service. It is easy to evaluate the implementation of the plan and mark how the goal was achieved. Katja thinks that when TinyApp provides visibility into what is being documented, it also makes the evaluation itself easier. "If some learning areas are missing, is it because of lack of documentation, or are they purposely ignored... In general, you can think in a much more diverse way", ponders Katja.
We asked Katja to list the three best things about TinyApp, and they are:
The planning template is clear.
It is required to tick off the areas of learning.
Evaluation is easy.
Please take a look at Katja's full interview in Finnish on our Youtube-channel and let us know how you are doing planning at your kindergarten? Would your kindergarten need these TinyApp-tools too? Contact us, and let's discuss more.