Archive for September, 2012

Prediction and awareness

Posted 29 Sep 2012 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

I like when I become aware of something I hadn’t been aware of before. Like Thursday morning, when four 2 1/2 year olds were using  beads and wire for a mobile. Three children threaded beads onto the wire, and when the bead got to the bottom of the wire, they kept on threading…resulting in the bead landing on the floor. They did this numerous times, most getting frustrated at a certain point. They were upset about the beads coming off but did not how to stop it from happening. Laura, above, saw the problem differently–she stopped the bead 3 inches from the bottom of the wire, attentive to the inclination of the strand. She could predict the cause and effect of gravity on the unsecured bead. So interesting…I am curious to observe more.


Not everything comes from children

Posted 16 Sep 2012 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

It is a common misconception about the Reggio Approach that “everything comes from the child.”  Without putting children and teachers on opposite sides of the fence, it is important to consider the role of the adult in the genesis and development of the work. An example:

A school has a shared classroom, where the Yellow Class comes Mondays and Tuesdays, and the Red Class comes Wednesdays and Thursdays. Teachers explained how in  past years, children in one class would inevitably ask questions about the other children’s presence–noticed on mailboxes, cubbies, and documentation in the classroom. “Who are these other children?” they wanted to know.

We talked about how the shared classroom could be a rich area for projects and experiences. (See our notes below):

  • “Capitalizing on the shared space situation a resource:

Children in the past have noticed the presence of other children. How many ways can you find to encourage exchange and relationship building? Message centers, shared projects, adding on to each other’s work, etc. How can you document this “invisible relationship?” Be ready for recording children’s comments and actions connected to recognizing their other classmates, and their desire (we think) to know them.”

After the first week of school, we had our first staff meeting, and talked about “where projects come from.” Were we being too didactic? Not listening to the children enough? Are these ideas only from the adult? A Yellow Class teacher recounted how one child looked up at the cubbies and asked “Who is that?” If we hadn’t discussed the possibility and potential of the relationship between the two classrooms, if we hadn’t had, as Carlina Rinaldi puts it “sensitive antannae,” would the teacher have picked up on that child’s curiosity? Probably not. How teachers proceed, how they think about the process of progettazione around this “invisible relationship” now depends on the reactions and interactions of the children, documented and analyzed by the teachers. We threw a ball around, children caught it, and so now what?



the implications of exclamations

Posted 08 Sep 2012 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

These were two descriptions written by a teacher on a panel displaying many different kinds of messages children had written to friends in the first week of school. The teacher had carefully selected messages to display in order to highlight their diversity; some had writing, some drawing,  some were beautifully folded and cut.

By the use of the exclamation point in “Anton copied William’s name from the board !” and the lack of one after the statement about the girl who drew her friend, the teacher inadvertently showed a bias for the written language, which she did not intend to do.

Details matter, our choices matter, and we must be conscious and aware of, and deliberate in every choice we make.