March 2013


A characteristic of constructive play, central to Piaget’s theory of development, is that the player  must do the constructing. Meaningful learning is more likely when the child  invents the alternative ways of doing something. In fact, if the child is only imitating alternatives modeled by a teacher or a parent, we do not call it play; it becomes drill. But if the child  invents some new way to do something, the chances are that she/he will also better understand how that new way relates to the other ways that she/he has performed the act in the past.

How can we, as preschool educators, elementary educators, and parents offer opportunities for children to be engaged in constructive play?  It seems extremely important that we continue to support constructive play in an effort to build up communities that will be able to face a different world.

 

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“To say building relationships with young children is important seems so obvious as to be hardly worth mentioning — and that is the problem. It is so obvious that we don’t give it much thought; don’t go into what it really takes to build relationships, and so, don’t often try to fully understand what it takes to build relationships with children.”

This is the caution offered by George Scarlett in his article, “Building Relationships with Young Children.”   Something to think about!  Have you written down ways you are trying to build relationships with children?  What about the children who may be shy or difficult to connect with?  What are you actively doing? As we focus on building up relationships among small groups of children by offering small group work, are we neglecting building up our relationships with individual children?  How can we accomplish both?  Maybe by writing our intentions, proposals, and projections both for small groups and for individual children we will accomplish both.  Actively writing it down is essential for reflection and relaunching new ideas.IMG_00114 What do you think?

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As part of Project Infinity, a collaboration of 7 Reggio Inspired Schools, the school I work at has taken up the challenge of crafting story for and with children.  This was based on the experience of Reggionarra held in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  Through this study, it has opened new ways of working with children in addition to giving us a focus on stories, found all around us.  I found the following website, which highlights incredible stories of incredible people.  I hope that you find it inspiring and can find a way to use that inspiration in your work with children!

Blind/Sight, Conversations with the Visually Impaired, is a collection of photographs of people with vision loss, a biography of each person, a description of their vision (both in audio format as well as print), and an illustration of what they see. Created by photographer Billy Howard and illustrator Laurie Shock, whose lives and work are both collaborations, Blind/Sight premiered at the VSA Arts of Georgia gallery and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta

 

Blind Sight – Welcome.