Planning allows children to consider the what, where, when, how, and perhaps why of what they will be for the next time period (or for multiple time blocks, for older children). Planning may be as simple as an oral commitment, such as “I am going to the listening center to listen to Blueberries for Sal,” or for older children, it may involve a “written” description of a project involving art materials. In thinking about and planning classroom events, children develop a sense of predictability, control, and ownership of a smoothly functioning classroom routine.
Shape those intentions into purpose
Play with purpose
Doing means action – working with materials, interacting with other children, choosing, creating, sharing. The active learning process of doing is the curriculum’s way of tapping the child’s innate interests and motivation. It is also a way of stimulating the child’s higher order thinking abilities through the application of skills to problem-solving tasks. Doing involves building; experimenting; cooperating in games, drama, or other projects; and using related materials. Planning guides the work segment by helping children structure their own activities and take responsibility for seeing them through. Cleanup, following each activity period, restores materials to their original places and prepares the room for the next day.
Play with purpose
Reviewing completes the plan-do-review cycle. Reviewing (or recalling) involves putting what one has done into words or pictures and sharing the representation with other children, teachers, or parents. Reviewing provides opportunities to assume personal responsibility as well as to account to the teacher and to the other children. What was planned? What was accomplished? What might be done differently next time? The plan-do-review sequence best occupies a single unit of time between 45 minutes and an hour or more in length. Planning immediately precedes doing, which is immediately followed by reviewing. However, for older children, this schedule may be relaxed to allow for the most efficient use of time. For example, planning by older children may take place as soon as they arrive at school and before the beginning of other activities, such as circle time or small groups.