There are three teachers of children, adults, other children, and their physical environment. Loris Malaguzzi
The choices we make about our environment create a link directly to the play and learning in the classroom. We are going to talk today about how we can render a great influence
What does the environment as the third teacher mean?
Early childhood environments should
be inviting and cultivate children’s
curiosity, wonder and imagination.
- Curtis and Carter
The physical environment that we create can either enhance or interfere with children’s learning and independence. What this means is that children learn just as much from the placement of hands on materials in the classroom environment as they do from guided instruction.
I challenge you to re-examine every inch of your classroom environment for the message that it conveys to the people using it, and expand your vision of what is possible.
Things to consider:
Values – What values do you want to communicate to those that use the space?
Experiences – How do you want children, teachers and families experiencing their time in your environment?
Identity – How do you demonstrate that you respect the identity of children and their families?
There is no better time than now to start envisioning and creating a beautiful environment for children where they grow, thrive and are inspired to explore and discover.
Think about your classroom and how it makes you feel and the people that live in it. To help you with this process answer the few questions below or print and use the worksheet.
If you are new here, Start here.
This series is about how we can create experiences for children that inspire them to explore, investigate, transform and invent. This appeals to the interests of the children in our class by connecting experiences that can further their interests and deepen their learning.
A new post with new project (task) will be posted everyday Monday – Friday for 30 days.
Let’s begin this series by looking at what a typical preschool setting looks like.
In most preschool settings teachers plan curriculum based on themes, holidays, seasons, and of course all of that “cute” stuff we find on Pinterest. (I’m guilty as charged) Let’s not forget the pressure that we all feel from administration and parents to have them ready for Kindergarten. When we plan based on these criteria children's' interests and passions are of little importance to us.
Now let’s take some time to look at another approach to learning that we all are hearing so much about, the Reggio Emilia Approach.
The image of the child is that children are capable of extraordinary things! They are viewed as competent and naturally curious. The Reggio teacher understands that each child enters their classroom full of knowledge of the world around them. They are full of potential, and are able to construct their own knowledge. They are active participants in their community of learners. (Gandini, 2010)
After listening to the 100 languages of the child it made me reflect on my teaching, and how I want to create an environment that children could feel the joy of learning in.
We all have a set of standards that we need to meet and measure in the classroom. There are multiple ways that we can introduce these concepts to children, and there are multiple ways that the children can demonstrate an understanding of these standards. This series is about incorporating a child centered approach to learning while still meeting the high demands of district curriculum, assessments, ECER's, CLASS and the list goes on and on.
As you go through this series you will learn to embrace learning spaces that appeal to the interest of children. You will also learn how to connect standards to children's interest that can further their play and deepen their learning.
This brings me to our first task:
Why do you want to transform your classroom into a space that inspires children to learn and build on their prior knowledge?
With any new project it is important to identify why you want to make changes to the way you inspire and teach children.
If you can get excited and say why you would like to make these changes to your classroom environment, you will be more likely to stick with it.
You will be more aware of the materials you chose and find more opportunities to use them through intentional and meaningful play.
We have lots of things planned over the next 30 days like…
Let’s do this!
Task One: Write down your reason why and your goal behind the change.
If you are new here, Start here.
To find depth, meaning and joy in the teaching and learning process.
This is a series about creating experiences for children that inspire them to explore, investigate, transform and invent.
“I've come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” -Haim G. Ginott
Day 1: An introduction to the 30 day series
Day 2: The classroom as the 3rd teacher
Day 3: Weeding Toys
Day 4: Choosing Materials
Day 5: Improving a Learning Space
Day 6/7: Take a break it's the weekend.
Day 8: Identify Children’s Interest
Day 9: Intentional Play
Day 10: Intentional Teaching
Day 11: Bringing Yourself to the Learning Process
Day 12: Connecting Children with the Natural World
Day 13/14: Take a break it's the weekend.
Day 15: Loving Loose Parts
Day 16: Building a Community of Learners
Day 17: Traditions and Rituals
Day 18: Documentation of Children’s Learning
Day 19: Children’s Observational Drawings
Day 20/21: Take a break it's the weekend.
Day 22: Digging Deeper in their Learning
Day 23: More than Just Art
Day 24: Clay and Wire
Day 25: Setting Up Beautiful Provocations
Day 26: Using Books To Enhance Materials
Day 27/28: Take a break it's the weekend.
Day 29: Using Real Tools
Day 30: Math with Nature
Day 31: Literacy with Nature
Day 32: Series Ends
I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.
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