As we approach this new year, we thought it may be time for change in our Prekindergarten classroom at Little Wonders Learning Center.
The environment is considered the third teacher in the Reggio Emilia Philosophy. The design and use of space encourage encounters, communication, and relationships. There is an underlying order and beauty in the design and organization of all the space in a school and the equipment and materials within it. Every corner of every space has an identity and a purpose, is rich in potential to engage and to communicate, and is valued and cared for by the children and adults.
The environments as educator is full of variety, with large spaces and small spaces, spaces for building, for dancing, for pretending, for talking, for wondering, and for reflecting. There are places for organizing, finding, and working wit materials of all kinds. There are spaces for big groups and for small groups to think and imagine and make things together in a setting where both teacher and child can concrete without distraction or interruption. Each space and each small corner of every space has an identity, a purpose, and it is cared for and respected by children and adults.
After rearranging the room and putting new materials out, the children went to explore different areas and began storytelling with their friends and the materials provided…
“E” began grabbing the colored blocks and turned on the overhead as she told her friends, ” Look that’s the sun going down so it can be moonlight. It’s coming up and up, its summer! We like the summer. The sun came to us!”
Her friends watched as she kept two block pieces together, making them rise and then go back down.
“Ms.Ambreen, you cant touch the yellow one, they are going to burn you because it is the sun!”
“A” used this area in a different way. She sat very quietly as she used the different shapes to create a castle that reflected back to her…..
She began telling us a story about a witch who lived in this castle, but this wasn’t your ordinary witch! She was a nice witch that was nice. ” She only likes nice people, not mean people.”
After creating this castle, she wanted to create a book about it! ” There is a nice witch in this castle.” “A” is really excited about this book and cant wait to add on more pages with her very own pictures she will take! When she is done she would like to read the story to her class at story time. We can not wait to share.
“T” told us a tale about all these knights and ninjas that were set up a certain way on these building blocks…
“I made an island for the knights. It has lots of treasure and trees-coconut trees! A few houses and rocks. You know the house that’s inside the water and you know you find stuff inside that house. The knights are trying to find treasure and stuff. This orange ninja is standing under the plank watching for people.”
She began telling me all about her barn….
“It’s a barn, it has a house in it, we put animals in it.”
“These pigs are laying in mud.”
“We stacked these up to use them for the barn.”
They are drinking water and that cow is getting his clothes.”
“This pig is sitting down.”
After describing the barn, we began to upload these pictures to our classroom computer and “T” is creating a book out of the pictures taken. As she has been working on this all week she is learning how to use different features on Word Document like:
- how to change the font
- how to change the font size
- how to change the font to different colors
- how to align words and pictures
- how to add Word Art
- how to change the picture format
“R” sat in this area where he began using the rubber bands to make different shapes and stretching it out from one end to the other.
Teacher: What did you make?
R: It’s my house. My mom, dad, and sister live in this house. Oh wait what about me?
Teacher: What about you? Did you forget about yourself?
R: Yes! Okay it’s okay, I’m right down here in the house.
Through all of these activities, the children were using their imagination and creativity. They were fully engaged, and free to enjoy and lead the activities. This lead to the children creating and describing stories, which then lead to literacy activities. They were excited and wanting to do the reading, spelling and writing. When a child has the privilege of learning in this type of environment, we create a LOVE for learning.
Learning Goals Achieved:
Students write literary texts to express their ideas and feelings about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students are expected to: (A) write brief stories that include a beginning, middle, and end.
Creative expression/performance. The student interprets characters, using the voice and body expressively, and creates dramatizations. The student is expected to: