In Favor of Color

There is a wealth of powerful scientific data that points to the fact that children learn better in environments that are not highly decorated.  Particularly for Reggio educators, there has been a large push-back against the brightly colored, plastic furniture and learning materials that were so common when I was a child. In general, I... Continue Reading →

Organic Math: Part I

I'll come clean: as a kid, I didn't get math.  I was generally able to follow instructions and produce the answers my teachers were looking for, but on the whole it seemed totally arbitrary to me.  I was never quite sure how it impacted me and what it had to do with my day-to-day life... Continue Reading →

Reggio, Citizenship, and the Power of Difference

The Reggio Way isn't quite like other educational philosophies.  While it shares commonalities with many other approaches to learning, it holds the importance of citizenship as one of its core tenants.  Facilitating the mental and physical growth of students in a safe and inviting environment is the ultimate goal, but the method by which such... Continue Reading →

The Intangible Third Teacher

When I first started working in the Reggio Way, "environment" was a word that felt hopelessly vague to me.  Time after time, I floundered through discussions centered on "environment as the third teacher" that seemed to incorporate nearly everything.  With only a few years of experience under my belt, I have heard the word used... Continue Reading →

A.C.E. and The Right to Learn

It is common practice for many private kindergartens to interview children as part of their admission process.  While part of the focus of these interviews is to evaluate the academic acumen of the applicant, many interviewers also subject children to a variety of situations designed to test their ability to handle stress, regulate their emotions,... Continue Reading →

In Pursuit of a Strenuous Life

On April 10th, 1899, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. gave a speech in which he reflected upon what he believed to be the ideal American lifestyle: "I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest... Continue Reading →

The Paradox of Pedagogical Documentation

Documentation is the life-blood of our experience as educators working in the Reggio Way.  It is how we show students not just that we are watching what they do, but listening to what they say and how they feel.  By documenting, we provide parents an insight into the everyday challenges and victories that make up... Continue Reading →

Wood Have, Could Have, Should Have.

"So they just play all day?" Every educator working in a play-based student directed environment has heard a potential parent speak these words during a tour.  With the current educational status quo, concerns about school readiness are cropping up earlier and earlier in children's lives.  Some private kindergartens in our nation require five year-olds to... Continue Reading →

Reggio, the Dollar Store, and Transformative Parts

As an educator working in a Reggio-inspired school, loose parts come up in conversation at least once per day.  I have attended training sessions on loose parts and their importance to the Reggio Way on at least five different occasions.  As a semi-compulsive teacher working in a student guided, play-based learning environment, I feel from... Continue Reading →

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