Environment and the “Unteachable” Child

Coming face to face with difficult behaviors is an intrinsic and inescapable aspect of working with children. Defiance, bullying, hyperactivity, disinterest, recklessness, destructive tendencies, and lack of volume control are just a few of the practical realities in the life of a preschool teacher. Working alongside students with developmental delays, learning disabilities, or complex home... 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 →

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 →

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 →

The Knowledge Standing Beside You

To me, working in the Reggio Way is all about a sense of community.  Students learning in a Reggio-inspired classroom need to feel like they belong there, almost like the environment is a second home for them.  They need to feel respected, free to express themselves, and safe to take risks and make mistakes.  But... Continue Reading →

Emergent Curriculum: The Art of Letting Go

It isn't hard to imagine how Emergent Curriculum and the Reggio Way might go hand-in-hand.  Letting students determine what they learn helps them feel empowered to direct the course of their own learning.  It often confuses me that there aren't more schools out there that just bluntly ask students what they want to learn about. ... Continue Reading →

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