Tag Archives: reggio
We asked the children if they knew a place where they could find a lot of ice. We prompted the conversation by asking if we could find ice outside. They were so eager to tell us where we could find ice, and outside was definitely one of them!
Some quotes from the discussion include:
- “Mommy is going to grab ice from the water”
- “The ice at the beach is going to melt”
- “We can find ice in the snow”
- “Ice makes water really cold”
Every week our children use the light table as an extension of the classroom to explore materials that we use in class. The light table is simply an opaque table that allows light to shine through, having a different exposure to a familiar object. It allows them to have new experiences with the same materials in different ways. The children have been exploring play dough a lot lately. They are using it to describe food, animals as well as number sense and shapes.
Play dough is used frequently at the light table, for its shape can be manipulated easily. The children are asked to use the play dough to describe food, animals as well as number sense and shapes. Individually, the preschoolers combine creativity and innovation to make an object from the play dough. Then in small groups, the preschoolers precipitate in discussion, exposing themselves to different ideas and thoughts on a similar subject.
Marshmallows were then offered to the children as a new material in addition to the play dough. While the marshmallows look just like play dough, the children were not able to manipulate the marshmallows in the same way, which presented an unexpected challenge. This was a great experience for the children because they were presented with the opportunity to problem solve and find new ways to influence the new material. By discussing the differences and communicating with one another, the children were able to explore the new material and further their language development. This activity allowed the children to work on their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This open-ended material was a great way to enforce creativity, problem solving, communication (as they tried to describe what was happening), and innovation.
Reggio Emilia’s style of learning is implemented through open-ended play. Open-ended materials are chosen because they can be easily transformed and there are no specific expectations that the children are bound to. The lack of restrictions allow the children to apply their creativity and imagination to the materials instead of having to conform their imaginations to what they expect they are supposed to create. Having the environment as a third teacher enhances learning and discovery through the use of problem solving and communication skills.
This hands-on experience encouraged the children to explore without boundaries, which builds their confidence, imagination, and education. By incorporating marshmallows with the play dough, the students were able to assess their new limitations and worked with these very different materials in order to create and manipulate and ultimately learn. This cooperative play enhanced their social development, cognitive development, and fine motor skills.
The children have been mixing paint to create new colors. Every morning we make new paint for our easels and during this time the children often ask us what colors we can mix to make different colors. Given their increased interest in colors and mixing colors, we took this opportunity to encourage the children to explore the art of color mixing!
During this week’s food exploration, the children were asked if they wanted to make something sweet (like the food explorations we have done in the past) or make something salty. We have been discussing different tastes with the children (salty, sweet, bitter, savory), so this served as a continuation of our discussion. The majority of the students wanted to make a salty food, then as a group, the students decided on pizza.
At the beginning of our food exploration, the students were first asked to describe each material and what order they should be used in. After discussing, the children drew each step, and then we counted how many steps it would take to make our pizza. Discussing the planning and process of making a pizza is important so that each child feels empowered that their voice is heard and helps to further their understanding of the topic by speaking about it out loud (and hearing their peers speak about the topic at hand). Continue reading
The infants are understanding more and more about the world they live in every day. We provide many sensory experiences throughout the day to allow the children to explore and develop their senses. Materials play a huge role in this stage of development, so we value the importance of materials in the classroom. They should be interesting, provoke curiosity, and be open-ended. This past week was a true sensory exploration for the infants. They explored with touch, sight, smell, and a variety of textures along the way. Continue reading