Two Materials and a Mirror

Two Materials and a Mirror

At the beginning of this provocation, I wondered how the children would approach the work. They started off slowly, but through experimentation and supporting each other, new discoveries were made about how materials can be used in ways different from what we think they are capable of.

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The Magna-Tile Exploration

The Magna-Tile Exploration

Whenever I think that the Magna-Tiles have been assembled in as many ways as humanly possible, I delight in seeing a new creation by the children, born by weaving and interchanging the Magna-Tiles in a form I would have never thought possible.

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Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part Three

Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part Three

When we enter into learning as co-learners, we construct our practices together. Our dialogue with all members of the learning community involves diverse perspectives that help to shape our ideas of children.

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Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part Two

Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part Two

When we adopt the stance as co-learners, we acknowledge our responsibilities to scaffold and support the specific ideas and theories that children bring forward into our classroom, programs, and our lives.

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Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part One

Curating Mindful Inquiry - Part One

As humans, we are all invested in discovering our world. The practices of discovery allow us to test ideas of what might be happening, to draw conclusion, and to create a construct that explains and categorizes as a ‘truth’ from our discovery.

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The Greatest of Them All

The Greatest of Them All

One material in school age care has stood the test of time. There are many great materials but this material is the greatest in my opinion because of it’s versatility, cost, and availability.

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Drawing Animated Characters

Drawing Animated Characters

Drawing and other activities that children choose contain elements of both work and pleasure. Children’s work has a higher purpose and deeper meaning, as the work children choose is a path to exploring subjects of deep interest.

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Drawing With Numbers

Drawing With Numbers

Introducing children to new ways of thinking and experimenting with known objects invites exploration of other known materials in the future. By opening up the possibilities of number we open the possibilities of all things.

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Creating Suits of Armor

Creating Suits of Armor

Often one child inspires other children with their ideas and execution of work. A common activity is for children to use some of their day observing other children working in the classroom. During this time children are often motivated to try similar work themselves.

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Rewards

Rewards

The use of rewards is a personal choice. This topic is not about right or wrong. It is about how we view children and their capabilities to self motivate and develop a sense of discovery and wonder about life and the world around them.

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Musically Speaking

Musically Speaking

Children love music and it is an important part of their everyday experience in our program. Our children enjoy singing songs, dancing, and playing musical games but I the songs and games we play today are not that much different than the music in the past. So I am on a search for new fresh ideas of how we can incorporate more music into early childhood programs.

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A Play Life

A Play Life

Children desire to experience a play life, a life of joy and exploration a time to grow up slowly and savor the magic and wonders of the world. Time to live mindful of what is happening around them without worrying about what happens next. The pressure of modern school expectations is demanding much of the wonder of childhood and stealing time that before constituted child initiated activities

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Our Beliefs About Education

Our Beliefs About Education

A part of looking forward or looking back at the past year involves looking at our practice. Our beliefs as an educator influence the way we function in the classroom. Our practice, the ideas and philosophies educators hold dear represent the backbone of our actions when working with children.

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Play In The Land of Academics

Play In The Land of Academics

Living as an afterschool educator and observing children at play for many years, I have observed how the amount and emphasis on play has changed. Science states play and physical activity represent an important part of education and benefits the growing and active brain. In trying to figure out the history of play and education a question came to mind. What caused test scores and grades become more important than the rest of life's activities?

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The Playground of the Future

The Playground of the Future

As a child I played in our neighborhood. While there was a playground at our local school, we used infrequently. The popular areas of the playground were the swings and the metal climbing structures that were made of pipe and had a fall zone of hard clay soil. As children, we did not realize bark chips and soft surfaces made from old tennis shoes existed. The city was our playground.

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Looking for Adventure

Looking for Adventure

Recently, while reading about the growth of forest preschools and reading online posts about beautiful forest schools in other countries, places where children spend their days rain or shine with dedicated educators pursuing their interests and accepting risks in the natural world---I started to wonder about the children who live in our larger cities.

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Five Resources I Love

Five Resources I Love

There are so many wonderful resources for early childhood educators and out of school professionals. These are five resources that challenge me to think about my image of the child as an educator. Whenever I reflect on these resources – they help me deepen my thinking and pause to see that the work I do is part of a larger picture.

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Deeply Personal and Inherently Social

Deeply Personal and Inherently Social

Applied knowledge is the act of learning through hands-on experiences. It is a concept that takes education out from behind the desk creating classroom communities of practice. In communities of practice, individual and shared meaning moves beyond the school into community and society.

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