Monthly Archives

September 2018

Reggio Emilia and the Environment: Tips for Making the Environment “The Third Teacher”

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According to the Reggio Emilia Approach, the environment is a key component of healthy early childhood education. The environment refers not only to the natural environment, but also the social, physical, and educational components of the classroom. So how can you make your environment a conducive place for children to direct their own learning? Margie Carter is a teacher educator in the US and Canada and she has some important tips for creating an environment that is a third teacher. Here we outline some of her key strategies (full source article listed below).

  1. BRING WORDS TO LIFE: you can do this in a variety of ways but start by looking at quotes or information about the environment that you want to share. Now create a visual representation of that philosophy or idea.
  2. ELIMINATE AS WELL AS SUPPLEMENT: declutter and replace unnecessary items with items that provocate thought and learning
  3. EXPLORE VALUES FOR YOUR ENVIRONMENT: if you work in a place where you are sharing classroom spaces with other educators, get together and discuss what values you want reflected in the environment (for example, do you want to emphasize that this space is a home away from home, that it is a space of creativity and exploration, that it is a space for active play?), then discuss how you can arrange the environment to reflect these goals.
  4. SET GOALS AND ADDRESS BARRIERS: certain aspects of the environment you want to create might not be practical or feasible at the time you are brainstorming. Set reasonable goals for how you can alter your environment to make it the third teacher and address how you can get around barriers to these goals.

Source: Carter, Margie (2007). Making Your Environment “The Third Teacher”. Exchange, The Early Leaders’ Magazine Since 1978. Redmond, WA. Web:



September Dr Seuss STEM Challenge

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At Parkland Players, we have been loving the STEM challenges lately! This week we are sharing a fun Dr Seuss inspired STEM activity. Activities like this one can be good for early in the school year in order for children to build teamwork and social skills and get to know each other a little better. Give it a try!

Dr Seuss STEM Challenge: Stack the Cat’s Hats

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective: To practice cognitive skills associated with problem-solving and planning and fine motor skills.


Materials Needed:

  1. Red and white large and small cups
  2. Construction or computer paper
  3. “The Cat In The Hat” by Dr Seuss
  4. Scissors

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. Read the story “The Cat In The Hat” by Dr Seuss.
  2. Cut squares of paper appropriate for the size of cup you are using so that the pieces of paper are slightly larger than the circumference of the cup.
  3. Invite kids to stack the cat’s “hats”. See how tall they can make the stack.
  4. Challenge them to make other structures as well.
  5. Kids should work in teams to do this task.
  6. If you want to make it competitive, add a time constraint and see who can stack the tallest tower in that period of time.





Back to School 2018 – Tips for the Transition

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Happy first week of school to everyone! We hope all the students and families in our Parkland Players Community are having a wonderful week back.

Today we are sharing one of our own posts from the beginning of last school year. Last school year we shared an article form Fraser Health with some guidelines to ease the transition in to the school year, and today, we thought we would remind everyone, or for newer families introduce everyone, to those tips for the transition.

Back to School is an exciting time but it can also be an anxiety producing period for many kids, and parents! So visit our post from last year here: in order to get some useful information for going back to school!