Quick Note: We were going to have a visit from a team of DC paramedics and/or firefighters today. Unfortunately, they were not able to come because of a higher volume of emergencies elsewhere in the city. Is there anyone who could get us in touch with a an experienced paramedic or firefighter? Even if they are retired or in a new line of work. Thank you.
Olivia's birthday committee!
New Studio Provocations...
In the Reggio Emilia approach, we use the word "provocations" to describe an experience that will provoke children's creativity and thinking, usually through a variety of exciting materials.
One example is a new area for building with cardboard, tape, paper strips, and other diverse 3D objects. With open-ended prompts like this, we hope to allow children to engage with the available tools in whatever way suits their ideas. For instance, Lane made a small umbrella, while Cannon and Ellie focused more on attaching materials to the corrugated cardboard. Ellie has gotten very good at snipping the tape with scissors, so she gave some pieces to her neighbor Lane when needed.
Next up, there's a new provocation where children work within small windows and doors.
At another studio table, there's a provocation where children collage with magazine cutouts. (P.S. We could use parent assistance cutting out images that provoke creativity!) Our plan going forward will be to paint around the images.
As teachers, we have been working towards diversifying the opportunities available in the studio so that no child feels bored or aimless at school. We also want to catch the interest of some children who typically avoid the studio, so that every child gets a well-rounded experience at school.
Now that we've covered how much we value the studio, let's address...
Construction: Why is it important to build in preschool?
Building with blocks and construction materials is an essential part of a child's experience at St. John's. We see the construction area as a place which is incredibly rich with learning possibilities. While a child is building with blocks, the following developmental skills and concepts are being strengthened:
Fletcher: It's a visitor, and it's grandma.
Palmer: Baby Ena's inside.
Oliver: (as he builds the walls up) We need that so none of the furniture can collapse.
Fletcher: The visitor's gonna go inside the house now.
Palmer: Yeah, come in. But she has to climb the staircase. (He searches the furniture basket, retrieves items, and puts some back). We don't need a stool.
Oliver: We do!
Palmer: Where should it go?
Oliver: It should go... right here. (points. Palmer agrees)
Fletcher: I think I found one more lantern.
Palmer: One lamp downstairs... Two on top? (He waits for Oliver's response, then places them close together on the second floor)
Fletcher: The house is done!! That took a lot of building... and build and build and build. We're gonna leave it here for a little bit and then we're gonna knock it down on Friday. We can do that. Is that a deal? (He smiles, touches teacher's cheek happily)
Palmer: What about we should cover the roof here. After I cover this - no, no.
(Fletcher keeps trying to add pink rug but the roof is not done yet. He understands what Palmer is doing and waits excitedly nearby.)
Oliver: (As he is building the roof with Palmer) Two more.
(Fletcher dances and sings with happiness as the roof is completed, and finally tops it off with the pink rug)
Palmer: It's Baby Ena's. It's the giraffe. She's in there, you can't reach into her.
Lane: (Observing their work) She's in the shade.
Palmer: Now let's make a antenna.