Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Travelling Tuesday: Passionately Curious Educators: Connecting Lifelong Learners

Welcome to Travelling Tuesday!

This week I am so excited to be featuring Tracy Pickard and Cheryl Emrich, Kindergarten teaching partners in Kitchener Ontario and the authors of the blog:

 I have learned so much from reading this blog. It is full of ideas, reflective thoughts and practices relating to education, and provides a wealth of wonderful resources for both classroom use with your students as well as on a professional level.

What message does your classroom send to families and children? A must read blog post on things to consider when setting up a classroom space.  

Intentional and purposeful provocations. An example that less is more at the beginning of the year. 

The construction/building area have clipboards and pencils to support the children in play. They use them to make signs, lists, and notes. For example, small groups may discuss the roles of architects and create blueprints or plans for building.

Providing different and unique loose parts encourages children to be creative, to think outside of the box, and to create pieces of art that can easily to altered or "tweaked".

Providing materials that allow for explorations and investigations to take place. 

Using 10 frames to show their thinking to a mathematical problem. E.g., "How many ways might the dogs be in and out of the bed?"

Using hands on explorations to discover math concepts!

 The dance studio, an idea sparked by the interest of a student.

Measuring and installing a dance floor in the dance studio. Visit the blog to read further about the Dance Project!

Classroom documentation containing photographs, student work, quotes, and thoughts. Read more about the Wind Inquiry and other inquiries by visiting the blog.

Please share an insight...

'"Thinking about the upcoming school year, our biggest advice is to give yourself (and your team) permission to slow down. We often hit the ground running in September and put unnecessary pressures on ourselves as educators. We try to find out how many letters our new students know, whether they can write their name, and if they can count to 10.

While all of those things are important, our focus as we begin the school year should be on building relationships with our new students and families. Relationships are the foundation and without them the academics and project work will be much more challenging.

We have found that it is so important to take time to build trust and relationships with students. Slow down in everything that you do so that the children can understand the new routines that are in play. When children understand routines it eases their anxieties and makes them feel more confident in their interactions. 

Slowing down also supports educators in getting to know children (and not in the academic sense). We learn about their families, their developmental needs, their temperaments, their mindset, and their interests. All of this information supports educators in planning meaningful provocations, small group experiences, and learning opportunities.

Families are also very important to us as educators. To foster relationships with families we host Open Houses monthly when families can come into the classroom to experience learning with their children, read their documentation, browse portfolios, have conversations with educators, and network with other families. We also share our learning on social media via Twitter and Facebook so that families can remain connected to what is happening in the classroom. 

We feel that these relationships support us in having consistent messaging with children both at home and school, it supports parents anxiety as the new school year begins, and it provides families with insight into what is happening on a daily basis while their children are at school."

For further information on specific projects and reflective insights please visit Tracy and Cherly's blog!

Do you have a classroom that encompasses the same philosophies and beliefs about emergent curriculum as we do?

We would love to feature your blog/website for an upcoming Travelling Tuesday!

Please leave a comment below with a link to your site.

Thanks for travelling with us this week!

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