Posted on September 22, 2016
I had the honor this past Saturday to present a day-long workshop in Silicon Valley for the Innovative Teachers project. This is the second time that I have worked with this vibrant and strong Reggio-inspired community consisting of many different Bay Area schools. The day focused on a dialogue with materials, developing the way we see materials becoming a language and expressing ideas using these languages. It was a wonderful experience!
My experience there makes me reflect on the work and processes using materials and our childrenʻs work at Mid-Pacific. Materials, as I told participants, can provide so much to our work with children by deepening their learning. Five of the bigger ideas I shared around materials were: Layers of thinking with materials, Developing a way of seeing with the use of materials, materials as a way to expand childrenʻs ideas around projects, materials as a way to express and represent ideas, and materials as a platform for children to collaborate and co-construct.
In our preschool and kindergarten work these bigger ideas come to life within the childrenʻs work every day.
No year is alike so, no year is alike with materials and the way we use media. Instead of having a prescribed recipe that this is what we will do every year and these are the materials we will use, we develop our use of materials as we would with our curriculum. Every project, macro or micro, calls for us to think through what and why we will provide certian provocations and certain materials. As the Italians always say -- it depends --which is a good thing because that means we are listening and being guided by the childrenʻs theories and making pedalogical decisions based on their data.
With that said, I would like to share with you two pdf's that highlight our work right now, within preschoolʻs mini-project of the fly house, and the kindergartenʻs inquiry work. These pdfs will also talk about materials that are helping to support these specific projects. Know that in both cases we are in the midst of a process not a product. The process is developing both communities to become learning communities. Also know that day to day your children are having experiences with other materials and languages such as, blocks, paint, drawing, clay to name a few, because we value these languages in our commuinty.
Preschool PDF: please click below
Kindergarten PDF: please click below