My quest this year was to create a more organised environment in my classroom. A space that allowed for natural expression through various forms of play as well as a space that was organised and wasn’t too expensive. 🙂
My inspiration has come from relieving in many schools within many different classrooms, meeting new creative teachers and sharing their ideas as well as internet browsing and blogging.
I do not claim to be a ‘Reggio Teacher’ but I love how Reggio Emilia classrooms are designed to be a beautiful third teacher. If the environment is set up right, the children will be more likely to be actively engaged with the materials. Actively engaged children are learning through play. When children are engaged in activities, teachers have more time to positively interact with the children, observe the learning in action, write down language, and take pictures.
Documenting this learning is such an important aspect of the Reggio Emilia approach. Publications I have seen by Reggio Children shows work by children that is beautifully and clearly presented. I understand that by arranging an aesthetic display or presentation of learning with care, we show our respect for the children’s work and make strong statements about the children’s potential.
Here are some examples of documentation of children’s work that I have found to be particularly inspiring and creative. I hope that my own effort to document my children’s work is as respectful and creative as these examples!
Pictures of all the children as well as a colour chart
This term I am excited to start exploring buildings, structures and materials with my class. We are hoping to inquire into the properties of materials, the impact of the environment on materials and building materials as part of the PYP IB programme.
I understand that the basis for an authentic and engaging unit of inquiry is to provide real life connections for students as well as have a variety of unique, hands on, open ended activities available for ‘free’ exploration. Browsing the internet has provided me with many ideas and inspiration to get the children engaged and excited for this topic.
I have always been keen to create a really engaging and interesting artefacts table where books, images, key words, objects, games and examples can be explored and played with by tiny hands in-between lessons, before and after school with families or during the day. I am excited at the possibilities of what this table or area may look like this term!
Below are some visual examples of artefacts tables that have inspired me:
Artefacts table – architectural drawings and home lay outs. Clip boards and pencils.
Artefacts table – images of famous buildings being constructed in stages as well as models of buildings standing beside work done by the child.
Artefacts table – a place to experiment and play with building materials whilst using real life photographs.
An interesting article that I have found discusses the need and importance for developing creativity within an early years setting. “Observations of children at play clearly reveal that young children are fascinated by the exploration of materials and tools and we know that children learn as much from the ‘doing’ as from the potential end product.”
Read more here – An Approach to Creative Learning in the Early Years