All Posts By

Amanda Camillo

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

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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.

 

Holiday Craft: Snow Slime

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Today is our annual Holiday Concert and we are super excited! So in the spirit of the holiday season we thought we would share a great holiday craft: snow slime! This craft is great for sensory development as well as cognitive skills associated with the process of mixing ingredients and predicting outcomes.

 

Materials

  • Liquid starch
  • White school glue
  • Artificial snow for Christmas crafts (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Stir ¼ of the bag of artificial snow into ½ cup of white glue.
  2. Then, stir in ½ cup of liquid starch.
  3. Stir and mix with your hands. If the mixture is too sticky, add more starch, if it is too stringy, add more glue. Add in more craft snow if you are using this ingredient.
  4. Let children play with the slime.
  5. Incorporate winter animal props if you would like.
  6. Talk about how the ingredients formed the slime and what role each ingredient played.

 

Source: https://frugalfun4boys.com/2015/12/22/how-to-make-snow-slime/

 

The Hundred Languages

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The Hundred Languages of Children is a key concept in the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. It emphasizes that children are capable and active learners that can express themselves in a multitude of ways. Below is a poem written by Loris Malaguzzi regarding the hundred languages of children and a video from Rye Nursery School explaining this concept even further.

The Hundred Languages by Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

No way. The hundred is there.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Check out this video as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQtLOu99BfE

Poem Sourced from: http://www.innovativeteacherproject.org/reggio/poem.php

 

 

Featured Book: “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

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Today we are sharing something that we haven’t done in a while: a featured book! And to go with the coming winter season, we decided to feature “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.

This book is great for ages preschool to grade 2.

This story captures the feeling of wonder and excitement on a snow day when you are young. The main character Peter is endearing and relatable. It is a great read aloud book for parents and children together, or in the classroom, and there are a lot of ways to extend this book into an activity, including plays you can find online, and art activities like the one below.

One of our favourite parts of this book is the illustration. The bright colours and collage like style are truly whimsical.

For an audio reading of this book visit: The Snowy Day Youtube Reading

Source: Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day. The Viking Press, 1962.

Image Source: Scholastic

 

For an activity to accompany this book consider: PUFFY PAINT TRACKS IN THE SNOW

Materials

  1. Toy figurine
  2. Red paper (to make cut out of peter)
  3. Blue paper
  4. Glue
  5. Shaving cream
  6. Craft stick
  7. Bowl
  8. Paint brush

Instructions

  1. Cut out the shape of Peter in his red snowsuit out of red paper.
  2. Mix equal parts glue and shaving cream in a large bowl with a craft stick to make the puffy paint.
  3. Paint your blue paper with the puffy paint. Cover it thoroughly.
  4. Use your toy figurine to make footprints and tracks in the puffy paint.
  5. Glue peter on top of the snow.

Activity Source: The Joyful Weary Blog The Snowy Day Activity