Equipped with their own phones ( Numicon math shapes) and clipboards, children received important phone messages on the way to the office. They had to write down important numbers, draw shapes and letters, listening carefully to the phone operator.
By Jess DePorto – Teacher and Teamleader Early Years at Optimist International School
Children in Early Years have shown lots of interest in ‘playing on the phone’ and have been using all sorts of various equipment as pretend phones, calling each other up and having conversations. Listening and speaking, waiting for the ‘gap’ in conversations and responding to the contributions of others are key skills that develop in early childhood.
In order to follow their fascination and interest in ‘phone calls’, children visited the school office to learn more about what people do in an office.
Many children were excited to explain that their parents worked in offices although they were not exactly sure what an office was or what kind of work was done in there!
When they arrived at the office Ms. Colleen, our Learning Leader, showed them the meeting room and explained what sort of things offices had in them. Ms. Jules, our Administration Officer, simulated a phone call and explain what jobs she does in school when working at her desk.
Making our own office
On returning to class, children transformed their own role play area into a busy office complete with many phones, note paper, stationary, keyboards and important notes pinned to the wall.
Real life contexts that link children’s own interests to key developmental skills are enjoyable and provide hours of play-based learning.
The ‘classroom office’ has been busy ever since and the phone just won’t stop ringing!