How much thought do you give to this?
Your, experienced, competent practitioners will be doing it without thinking.
You’ll pop your head in to a particular room to see a child avidly explaining why they constructed their tower that way and, just as enthusiastically, a practitioner enquiring as to whether the tower might stay standing if they added another block.
Five minutes later you might pass them again, adding the blocks to scales and discussing how heavy each one is and where they could fit best in the tower.
This child’s thinking skills are being improved throughout the interaction and curiosity is being nurtured.
Where it can get tricky is with perhaps a very shy child, a new child or indeed a new member of staff. How do you ensure that the confident, secure children are not ‘hogging’ all the sustained shared thinking? To gain language and increase vocabulary, a child has to share thinking with another agent.
How a child thinks contributes to good progress and outcomes. So, it is important to know the children in your setting are developing their thinking skills across enquiring, information processing, reasoning, evaluation, problem solving and creative thinking.
Since this is so important, sparkPRO encompasses those Six Thinking Stands which relate to what is collectively known as Sustained Shared Thinking. As observations are made, how the child is developing their thinking is automatically linked.
Staff are encouraged to evaluate and modify their approach for individual children to enhance the child’s thinking skills. Practitioners and educators see quickly how a child is progressing, can evaluate the progress and consider how the adult may alter their style or planning to further meet each child’s needs. In turn, this improves practice and the quality overall, of the provision.