Relationships in the Rainey Room
Paramount to the Reggio philosophy is the concept of relationships. One way that we foster relationships at St. John's is through the process of making, delivering, and receiving messages for our friends. For a few days in February, we intentionally focus on the concept of friendship with conversations during morning meeting and studio experiences, by making special mailbags and by celebrating Valentine's Day with a special snack.
What is Valentine’s Day?
Charlton: Love, love. It's about BIG love!
What is a friend?
Cal: I’m going to tell you who my best friend is. Remy is my best friend because I like her.
Seon: A friend is someone you play with. A friend is …you love each other.
Mimi: A friend is somebody that you play with and you like because they play games with you.
Whit: A friend is someone that you really like and someone who you really want to play with.
Ava: I play with my friends. A friend is good at playing games.
Bailee: I like to go outside with my friends
Louisa: I like to play hospital (in dramatic play) with my friends.
How do we show our friends that we care?
Ellie: To make them happy I can help make them safe.
Zari: A friend is somebody you like to play with and you like to be playing with them alot.
Using Collage to Personalize our Mailbags
Seon: What are the bags for?
Seon: I will make my cards soon.
Bailee: I did already make my cards for my friends. (My cards) look like gumballs.
Seon: I will make all my favorite friends...I love them so much.
The children worked on their collages over several days, taking care to think about each material that they added. Just as they thought carefully about their designs, which were intricate and deliberate, they often thought of and shared about their friends and families as they created. As they talked and worked side by side, the children talked with one another easily, often offering help or making an encouraging comment; evidence of the friendships that have developed.
Bailee began by lining up different materials parallel to each other at an angle: I doing this one.
Ellie: I put this sparkly on, I need these. I want this. The hearts. The hearts are my favorite shape.
Whit: I chose it because I like the color pink.
Mimi looked at her bag: I have some space here. Something teeny. It looks beautiful
Seon: Mine are squares and hearts...I layer and layer. I put paper then fabric then paper again!
Rawls: I want to make it tiny. Those are 2 triangles too!
Zari lined up materials horizontally from the bottom to the top of her bag. After she was satisfied with the layout, she began to add materials perpendicular to the first layer.
Mimi: Is there more of these (red and white striped ribbon)? She cut the ribbon in half and then lined the two pieces up end to end.
Ellie: I want to tell you about it. And the stripes are like bacon. Those stripes and me and my dad always get bacon. My dad takes me to the donut place and my sister and me go there all the time to get bacon.
Fay: These aren’t sticking together. I need some hot glue!
Mimi: What do you have that (a hot glue gun) for?
Fay: Because the big circle wasn't sticking (with the liquid glue).
Isabelle: More glue up there (adding glue under a ribbon). Umm, this (picking up a hot pink ribbon). I told you about my design. It’s really really, gluey, gluey.
Mimi: Can I reach that? (reaching towards the end of the table).
Seon: I can spin it for you.
Whit: Teamwork makes the dream work. My sister made valentines for her classmates.
Seon: We need to let them dry. Beautiful means something beautiful and gorgeous.
The Valentine's Day Celebration
The celebration in the Rainey Room stretched throughout the morning. Children visited the classroom in small groups during Backwards Day to deliver their special messages. During snack, the children decorated heart-shaped cookies with colored frosting and sprinkles.
During our indoor classroom time, the children enjoyed also two stories about friendship: A Crankenstein Valentine and Strictly No Elephants.
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