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Being the lone teacher in the classroom, how was I going to set up thoughtful and engaging provocations for different interests and abilities each day? An educator with sometimes up to 30 children in her classroom, with responsibilities for reporting and ongoing assessment as well as other duties beyond the classroom.


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How does a Reggio inspired practice look in a Canadian, Inner City classroom? But, like you, I am continually learning about the Reggio approach, and refining my practice. Like the children I serve, I consider myself a perpetual researcher, and co-learner, constantly looking to refine my theories and uplevel my practice.

How we view our kids says a lot about how we view teaching and learning. A Reggio-Inspired approach is grounded in Constructivist and Social Constructivist learning theories. Children learn from each other, and from their direct experience and interaction in the world. And a lot of that learning begins with with the seed of curiosity. When a child is genuinely interested in something, she is more inclined to want to learn about it.

Teachers in a Reggio-inspired approach are careful observers of their children - looking for clues of learning all the time. Evidence of learning is discovered in conversations, projects, provocations, writing, music, drama and art compositions. Children know more than they can say.

Reggio Emilia: in a nut shell

When we look for the learning, we know how to pose questions and offer challenges to nudge learning further. This observation requires taking notes in small groups, sometimes recording conversations for further reflection, and even analyzing art pieces.

Reggio Emilia Approach - ETEC

These are all forms of authentic assessment, and good teachers do these things all the time. We certainly do not have the time to observe all students each day, but one or two, or a handful in a group setting is definitely do-able. We may not have the support of additional educators, so finding the time to transcribe or write our observations can be a challenge. I do this with my own children even today.

Good teachers generally have the learning intention clear in their minds - that is, what is the most important thing we want our students to understand? They also ensure their students can articulate these goals. This can be tricky when on a meandering inquiry path. It is critical to have - at least in the back of our minds - a good grasp on the overarching learning goals, and the direction we are headed.

Teachers often have great ideas for learning activities, and if not, there is no shortage on Pinterest. Play is the work of the child, and is the primary way children make sense of the world. Children who play, go onto succeed academically, develop better language, more secure and attached relationships with caring adults, enjoy better emotional well being, and have better self-regulatory abilities.

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I do this with my own children even today. Good teachers generally have the learning intention clear in their minds - that is, what is the most important thing we want our students to understand? They also ensure their students can articulate these goals. This can be tricky when on a meandering inquiry path. It is critical to have - at least in the back of our minds - a good grasp on the overarching learning goals, and the direction we are headed. Teachers often have great ideas for learning activities, and if not, there is no shortage on Pinterest.

Play is the work of the child, and is the primary way children make sense of the world. Children who play, go onto succeed academically, develop better language, more secure and attached relationships with caring adults, enjoy better emotional well being, and have better self-regulatory abilities.

In fact, play is so critical to healthy child development that in at the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations recognized play as a right of every child. Article But play is under siege Zigler, in an increasingly results-driven education. And to be sure, the forces of a technology in an ever-growing digital world make it harder for children to engage in good, old-fashioned, multi-sensory play. As teachers, we must arm ourselves with research and information to share with parents, administrators and the general public about the importance of play, and build rich opportunities for quality play in our classrooms.

All learning begins with interest, curiosity or excitement about a particular topic.

Reggio Emilia approach

Think about the last time you learned something new. It probably resulted because of the fact that you were curious about something. And that curiosity moved you to ask questions, to dig deeper, to and to eventually understand. Take note of things that are exciting them. What a frenzy was had over that spider! I took my cue from the children, and determined ways to weave math, science and literacy learning into this fascinating subject. Looking for broad and meaningful ways to explore topics of interest requires tremendous critical thinking.

I like to use an open curriculum planning chart to plot out experiences and hands-on learning activities that lend themselves to the investigation. The idea that children are brilliant human beings, full of knowledge and potential is central to a Reggio-inspired approach. Children know so much more than they can articulate, which is a significant problem for contemporary education. A Reggio-inspired approach offers experiences and opportunities for learning in many mediums.

Children experience the world through a truly multi-sensorial approach, and learn fluency in a variety of languages: sculpture, wire, paint, dance, music, movement, story, poetry, puppetry, dramatic play and so much more.