What to do with bamboo sticks? Why not make an inviting space for students to read, build, and get to know each other. While setting up our learning environment, we were thinking about provocations which will foster critical thinking and sparkle inquiry.
As a team, we decided to keep it simple and holistic. We will provide students with a "loose parts" buffet, and allow them to gather "loose parts" such as feather, rocks, flowers, tree blocks, gems, and twine in birch bowls and baskets. The students take charge and gather their own personalized pieces to create their own masterpiece! Using light as a provocation, we plan on using our light projector to possibly cast some shadows.
We are so excited to co-create a variety of structures with our students and we are curious to see what our students will creativity use, using our "loose parts" in the classroom. If you are wondering about our "messing about time", this is the perfect example of an outcome! Now, who is bringing the marshmallows?
The First Day of School
“You're off to Great Places!
Just messing about this week, my husband came across this fabulous idea! Using an LED light anf a plastic clear jar filled with clear, light blue, and dark blue crystals, we were able to mix colour using translucent lighting! It was a blast and we will certainly be experimenting with these "loose parts" at school!
“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
Twinkle twinkle little star, how I hope to wonder where you are! Up above the world so high, like an inquiry starting to rise! Twinkle twinkle little star, we are ready for kindergarten, we are not that far!
As we begin to setup our classroom, I am excited to see bare walls and lots of empty wall space. I am excited to have the students transform our classroom into what we will call our home away from home this year. The comfy pillows are out, our baskets are filled, and our colour wheel is just peaking the start of something wonderful and colourful. We have included various pieces of textiles from around the world, birch wood bowls, and a "loose parts buffet". Did I mention, we even have a "messing about lawn"!
Here are home photographs with our progress. If you would like to follow with us on instagram please search #Justletmeplayinfdk!
This month, I had the pleasure of attending YRDSB's Great Beginnings week long workshop with Joceyln Schmidt and Heidi Theis. The EL-K team hosting the workshop were just fabulous. Together they collaborated and planned a purposeful, authentic and eventful learning environment for a class of eager FDK teachers. With permission from Jocelyn and Heidi, I am blogging about my experiences and including some of the wonderful resources provided.
To say the least, the team created the learning environment with holistic Reggio inspired materials such as wooden tree blocks, burlap fabrics, greenery, beautiful stuff, loose parts, and various mirrors. The invitations for learning included hands-on "messing about" experiences and open-ended possibilities. To name a few, Jocelyn provided examples of their "flow of the day" and connections to literacy in the play-based classroom (with a wonder of great book suggestions) . Heidi, DECE infused our minds with the concept of art as artists. She taught as how to use eye droppers with watercolours and oil pastels while demonstrating how to "blindly draw" without looking at our paper, while observing the beauty of nature and the beautiful details of sunflowers and orchids. It was a relaxing and reflecting experience, it allowed myself as a educator to reflect upon myself as the child. Feeling capable and proud of my creations.
My favourite part of the workshop was the message they sent to their students (us teachers) "listen to your students, they are capable co-learners with you in the classroom". After attending the workshop this year, I am more excited than ever (if that was even possible) for Mrs. M and I to sent up our classroom together with our students. Below are just some of the wonderlust images I captured while enjoying an educational and collorbatoively week with a team of passionate educators.
"...listen to your students, they are capable co-learners with you in the classroom..." - Jocelyn Schmidt