Monthly Archives

January 2018

Fundamentals of Reggio Emilia: The Environment and Documentation

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This is the fourth post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

The Environment is the Third Teacher

The natural environment serves a great purpose in children’s development of other skills and understanding of how the world works

This item is one of the main pillars of the Reggio Emilia Approach. The natural environment provides a wealth of incredibly relevant educational tools. If children’s learning can take place in the real world, the benefits are much greater. Although the natural environment is an important factor in early childhood education, so is the physical environment created by educators. A good environment according to the Reggio Emilia Approach carefully uses colour and space to create an open learning environment. Children’s work should be displayed in this space, and toys, books, provocation tables, and supplies should be available to children so that they can direct their learning through play. A well organized room also provides a sense of stability, predictability and safety that helps facilitate engagement. Lastly, the environment should be understand in a social/emotional context. It is important for educators to create a social climate which is safe, welcoming and supportive so that children are enthusiastic about their education, collaborating with their peers, and trusting their teachers.

 

An Emphasis on Documenting Children’s Experiences

At Parkland, we do this by taking photos of the various activities children engage in here

Documentation is central for reinforcing children’s accomplishments and building their confidence as capable learners. Documentation can take a number of forms including displaying work on the walls of a classroom, taking photos during activities, and even sending this photos to parents so that they are able to discuss their education and extend it at home with their families. Documentation can be used as a bridge between teachers and parents to help build a community that supports the education of children and opens up dialogue between educators, students, and parents/caregivers.

 

 

Encouraging Autonomy, Teaching Kids to be Independent and Courageous

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Today we are sharing an article from the wonderful people over at himama.com. This article discusses the importance of teaching children autonomy in early childhood.

Autonomy can be defined as the ability to do things for one self,  having control of behaviour, and being aware of having choices. In Early Childhood Education, autonomy is incredibly important for building a lot of social-emotional skills including

  • self-regulation
  • self esteem
  • cognitive growth

Autonomy can be encouraged in a number of ways in the classroom:

  • offer choices
  • respecting opinions and discussions
  • and giving responsibility or delegating

For an elaboration on these concepts check out the full article here: Himama Blog

 

Books for Inspiring an Interest in Science

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Today we are sharing this article from The Guardian about good reads (both fiction and non-fiction) to get kids thinking about science.
We like this list because it covers a variety of topics and sub-disciplines within science. The books in their list include:

  • “Dear Greenpeace” by Simon James: this is a wonderful read told through a series of letters a child writes to Greenpeace about her concerns for the whale living in her pond.
  • “A First Book of Nature” by Nicola Davies: this book is a good one for looking at nature through the lens of wonder and awe.
  • “Goodnight Spaceman” by Michelle Robinson: is a great non-fiction for fans of outer-space!
  • “Professor Astrocat’s Atomic Adventure” by Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman: as the title might suggest, this book is great for those kids with inclination towards physics.
  • “Utterly Amazing Human Body” by Robert Winston: you guessed it! This one is about the human body.
  • and more!

For more information on each book and other books that might be of interest to you check out the full article here: theguardianchildrensbooks.

 

Fundamentals of Reggio Emilia: Role of Children and Teachers

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This is the third post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

Children Are Communicators

They are inquisitive and their mode through which they communicate their curiosities is often play

The Reggio Emilia Approach views the child as not only incredibly capable, but also extremely communicative. This means that children are inquisitive and able to share their interests and understandings of what they are experiencing and learning. The role of the teacher in this regard is to create an environment with a number of opportunities to explore and share their ideas. Educators should also be attentive to what children share when communicating their educational experiences.

The Teacher is a Mentor and Guide

This means that the teacher plays an important role in encouraging children’s natural interests and inclinations

In the Reggio Emilia Approach, the teacher plays the role of facilitator. Educators are meant to provide opportunities for children to explore their interests and abilities. The goal for the teacher is to show children how to direct their own learning. Reggio Emilia advocates for children having an active role in the education process. In this way, Reggio Emilia curriculum is incredibly fluid and requires flexibility and constant collaboration among educators and students.

 

The Fundamentals of Reggio Emilia: Social Interactions

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This is the second post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

Children Form an Understanding of Themselves and Their Place in the World Through Social Interactions With Others

Humans are social beings by nature and at a young age it is important to develop social skills, collaborative capabilities and understanding of others

 

The process of learning from a very young age is inherently social. Think of an infant and their parents, the interaction between caregiver and child provides not only the love and support required to develop healthy attachments, but also the sensory and social inputs for learning fundamentals, most notably language, as children imitate sounds and actions displayed by those around them. As a child grows older, the social aspect of learning morphs into something different but it never goes away.

Humans are naturally social, and children are no exception. It is important for them to practice collaboration skills, develop empathy, and an understanding of others, learn how to regulate their own emotions in interpersonal situations, and use those around them as resources in their educational endeavours. Teachers are an important part of the social education in children’s early years, but so are peers as children go through the process of teasing out their own values and approaches to friendship, teamwork, treating others with kindness and respect, and finding out who they are and what they like.

 

 

 

Play It Forward

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Today we are sharing a wonderfully simple article from communityplaythings about the nature of play. We like this article because it is a reminder that sometimes it is okay to just observe children learning independently through the process of play.

It is important to give children, the opportunity, time, and space, to explore, wonder, and create. Play is so fundamental to creating a foundation for self-directed learning, as educators it is our job to facilitate the building of this central childhood experience.

 

Check out the full article here!

 

The Fundamentals of Reggio Emilia Series: Constructing Learning

By | Parkland Players | No Comments

This is the first post in a series of posts on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia approach to childcare. This series is based on a post of ours from a while back located here where we discussed these fundamentals as outlined by the website aneverydaystory. In this series we have expanded on the original concepts and added our own take to the fundamentals of Reggio Emilia.

Children are Capable of Constructing their Own Learning

This means that children are all different with unique interests that should be supported through their education

 

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an important perspective in early childhood education because it emphasizes the individuality of all children. There are a plurality of ways in which children understand the world, and these understanding change with age, demographic, environment and task. Therefore, it is vital to always regard children as capable when it comes to learning. A well-rounded educator is able to observe the different ways in which children are able to express not only what they know, but also what they have yet to learn, and then respond to those expressions with appropriate and stimulating programming. The goal of this programming should be to provide support for kids to discover things on their own.