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Chatting at meal time

A small group of two, three and four year olds are at the table eating lunch. The practitioner supports their independence at meal times and engages in conversations with the children about what they’ve been doing in the nursery garden.

Good for looking at

  • Conversations
  • Language
  • Communication
  • Effective adult support
  • Sustained shared thinking

A small group of two, three and four year olds are at the table eating lunch. The practitioner supports their independence at meal times and engages in conversations with the children about what they’ve been doing in the nursery garden.

Notice

What do you notice about:

  • How are the children learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • In what ways do the adults support the children’s learning?
  • How does the environment support the children’s learning?

 

 

Reflect

What are your thoughts about:

  • What the children were communicating?
  • What communication skills did they use?
  • The children’s varying levels of independence?
  • The role of the adult in this interaction – how did she support the children?
  • The value of this type of relaxed conversation at meal times?
  • How the choice of cutlery, plates, etc. and the size of the tables and chairs and the arrangement of the environment supported the children?

Respond

What would you do to:

  • Support the children’s communication skills?
  • Encourage the children to engage in these kinds of conversations at other times of the day?
  • Model behaviours for young children at meal time:  eating a variety of foods, using cutlery (or whatever is culturally relevant in your setting), time for thinking and chatting, clearing up, personal hygiene

What next:

  • Do you need to encourage more of this kind of conversation at meal times for the children in your setting? Do you allow enough relaxed time for conversations like this?
  • Do you need to encourage and support independence during meal and snack times?