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Sustained Shared Thinking Strategies for Fundamental Movement Skills

Sustained shared thinking is a process where educators and children (or children together) contribute to thinking to clarify a concept, solve a problem or develop understanding.  You can download a free poster about using sustained shared thinking strategies for developing Fundamental Movement Skills for your Service.

Using sustained shared thinking strategies can encourage children to extend on their emerging understanding of the components of each of the fundamental movement skills in a collaborative, and child-centred way.

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) recommends “educators...engage in sustained shared conversations with children to extend their thinking” (EYLF, p15).

Early childhood educators can try these strategies to extend thinking and develop children’s Fundamental Movement Skills:

  • Looking at the whole picture: listen carefully to what is being said, observe body language and what the child is doing as they speak.
  • Clarifying ideas: ‘Great idea, Isabel!  You think if we bend our arms, we’ll jump higher, right?’
  • Offering the adult’s own experience: ‘I like to wear my sneakers when I kick the ball when I play soccer.’
  • Suggesting: ‘You might like to try doing it like this.’
  • Reminding: ‘Remember you said we should bend our arms.’
  • Using encouragement to deepen thinking: ‘You have really thought hard about where to place your feet to help you balance, but what will we do with our arms?’
  • Speculating: ‘Do you think that if we use a firmer ball it will be easier to bounce?’
  • Reciprocating: ‘Look how it worked when you swung your arms , Oliver.  Look how much further you jumped this time when you swung your arms!’
  • Asking open questions: ‘How did you…?’ ‘Why does this...?’ ‘What happens next?’ ‘What do you think?’
  • Modelling thinking: ‘I have to think hard about how I am going to catch the ball.  I’ll have to keep my eye on the ball, and try to catch it with my hands, not my arms.’

For further information

For further information on supporting Fundamental Movement Skills at your Service, download the Sustained Shared Thinking Strategies for Fundamental Movement Skills poster or contact the Munch & Move® program at Southern NSW Local Health District.  You can also join our Munch & Move® mailing list, to receive information about programs, tips and ideas to support your Service.

Last updated: 18 October 2020