A big eye opener!
We really enjoyed being part of the project.
How did the feedback you received from CHEERS affect day-to-day activities in the childcare centre environment?
Yes, we put [that information] to good use. We had at one of our centres a strong movement teacher that, for that age group, was interesting, because they do transition to different rooms [from morning to afternoon] and we thought that the kids were meeting standards, but then to find out [from the feedback] that we didn’t quite meet them, we were below, was a big eye opener!
So, we have Professional Development days, and it was brought up at each of the two or three PD days following receiving the feedback. We discussed and we brainstormed as teachers how to increase those steps and movement [in general]. What we decided is that for transition times, there can be some standing around while the kids are getting ready–we increased movement opportunities in those situations, as well as in circle times, as well as keeping track of movement [happening] outside, because every day our kids go outside, and sometimes it does take a while to get them dressed, depending on the day with sunscreen and everything. We [committed] to quickening those times so that we can have more movement outside, and generally be outside more as well. So, not only was this a concern for our movement teachers, but we went in, and as the movement coordinator I asked other questions as well, and discussed more ways of increasing movement options in those classrooms as well, because they do a lot of sitting work and activities, so we wanted them taking more “body breaks” to increase focus. That was also a topic of conversation. So, we did take it to heart and are continuously working at increasing movement in our classrooms.
The feedback from the teachers that I got was that using the accelerometers was quite easy. Communication with parents was important–when we explained to parents [what the accelerometer was], the size, and how it was attached, the parents were quite fine. We didn’t have many concerns. We really enjoyed being part of the project.