Children, Mammals, and the War on Play

The human animal is, in my opinion, one of the most intricate and complex machines ever to exist.  Every time I step back and consider the manner in which the brain rewards certain behaviors and discourages others, and how it regulates and coordinates the behavior of simultaneously functioning systems to accomplish tasks, it boggles my... Continue Reading →

The Pedagogy of Being Lost

The forest is beautiful, fascinating, green, and full of hopes; there are no paths. Although it isn’t easy, we have to make our own paths, as teachers and children and families, in the forest. Sometimes we find ourselves together within the forest, sometimes we may get lost from each other, sometimes we’ll greet each other... Continue Reading →

Smart Phone: Friend or Foe?

Documentation is one of the most crucial aspects of our experience as Reggio-inspired early childhood educators.  It is the foundation upon which best practice, strong pedagogy, and personal relationships are constructed.  Taking the time to document the things children say and do is one of the primary ways we show students that we consider them... Continue Reading →

Living Loose Parts: An Overview

After years of working with loose parts, I've come to realize that almost anything can be considered one.  We've all seen the ubiquitous bits and pieces: string, glass beads, basket filler, wood scraps, tiles, etc.  Like me, some teachers take a more natural approach by incorporating objects like pinecones, tree cookies, seed pods, flower petals,... Continue Reading →

Reggio and the Power of Words

As educators, the words we use have incredible power.  Our everyday language is an essential and sometimes overlooked component of the classroom environment, and as such it necessitates a certain degree of vigilance. How we speak to children, and especially how we speak about children, can have a profound impact on the way students behave. ... Continue Reading →

The Myth of Children’s Music

The vast majority of ECEs have a familiar repertoire of children's classics that they sing or play for their students.  Many of the songs have melodies, lyrics, and rhyme schemes that are patterned and easy to remember, incorporate familiar themes (like animals or family members), and are augmented by hand or body movements.  Songs like... Continue Reading →

Documentation and the Image of the Teacher

Almost any teacher will tell you that pedagogical documentation is invaluable.  Inside and outside the classroom, it has a tremendous number of uses encompassing everything from assessment to curriculum development to perpetuating the cycle of inquiry.  In many ways, honest and meticulously collected documentation can become a sort of guidance system for the trajectory of... Continue Reading →

The Language of Silliness

Treating children with respect is one of the most fundamental aspects of teaching in the Reggio Way.  While it manifests itself in all kinds of different ways, often times the simplest way to convey respect to children is by really listening to what they say, and also acknowledging that what they say is often exactly... Continue Reading →

Country School, City School

Months and months ago, a fellow educator and advocate for outdoor play in Tennessee sent me a few ideas for blog posts.  As I am wont to do, I hemmed and hawed over them for a long time, trying to find a way to organize them in my mind. With one of her prompts, she... Continue Reading →

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