Playing with loose parts in the classroom

This week the children had a few new introductions to their third teacher- the room itself. Our approach to learning considers three teachers in the classroom at any given time: the teacher, the child and the environment. Listing “the environment” as a teacher is a core principle in the Reggio Emilia approach and it allows the children to learn from material items in the world and learn from touching, moving, listening, and observing.

The materials in the environment served as a “teacher” for the children one morning. The children were so intent and focused as they used the open-ended materials, defined by Kate from AnEverydayStory.com as “materials that can be transformed,” to investigate and discover. Continue reading

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Oak Leaves Exploration

During our outdoor learning/play time, the children have all expressed an interest in interacting with the leaves. In response, we incorporated another provocation into the classroom this week by adding a basket of oak leaves from our outdoor classroom. Bringing the leaves inside allowed the children to take a closer look and engage with nature in a different environment.

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Peek-a-Boo and Entertaining Each Other

One of the exciting things happening in our classroom is the social growth of our students. Lately, our students have been entertaining one another by playing peek-a-boo. At first glance this well-known child’s game may just seem to be a cute pastime. However, amidst the simplicity and fun of the game, an opportunity for meaningful learning awaits.

A post on whattoexpect.com lists a variety of ways in which a game of peek-a-boo can have a positive impact on a child: “Peek-a-boo stimulates baby’s senses, builds gross motor skills, strengthens her visual tracking, encourages her social development and, best of all, tickles her sense of humor. Plus, peek-a-boo teaches object permanence: the idea that even though she can’t see something (like your smiling face), it still exists.” Continue reading

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Banana Leaves on the Light Table

This week we introduced the children to some banana leaves, allowing them to engage with the natural world in an indoor environment. The leaves served as a great learning material because of their large size, bright color and varied shapes (some whole and some missing pieces).

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Exploring Reflections

Children in rainbow room had a provocation ready for them as they entered the hallway at the light table with individual mirrors to explore. Without any instruction, the majority of the students began pointing at their facial features in the mirrors.

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The teachers used this as an opportunity to identify all of their facial features and allow the students to teach each other.  Counting, arrangement , location, and color were all addressed in this exploration.  Later each student was given a marker and invited to draw on the mirror.  This medium was introduced in order  for the teachers to see if after identifying their facial features if their marks would become more purposeful.

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Would their scribbles be created on top of a feature in order to represent it?

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To the teachers surprise, their scribbles were very controlled and placed in smaller areas, over reflections of their eyes, nose, and mouth.  The concentration and control over their marks can be seen in the images above.

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Posted in 2015, Toddler 1 | Leave a comment