It Not "Just Recess" Anymore!
Teachers often heave a sigh of relief when they take their students out to recess. Finally! The children can burn off the pent up energy they had been accruing for the past few hours indoors. But what if we change our outlook on outdoor play time? What if we create an outdoor environment that offered all of the learning opportunities that one would typically find indoors? What if children could run out to a well-planned play yard to find experiences in math, science, nature, dramatic play, water, building and construction, sensory activities, physical development, art and music? What if they play yard developed critical thinking, discovery, problem solving, and cooperative skills? The result would be that we wouldn't have "just recess" anymore. We would have The Outdoor Classroom!
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The Great Debate
There has been a stir around our school in regards to whether offering pre-cut or shaped paper is considered truly "process" oriented. We are a Reggio-Emilia inspired school and we consider ourselves to be extremely developmentally appropriate and discovery oriented. We cater to the child's right to play and we focus on the process over the product. But, as one can guess, there are always differences of opinion when it comes to...well...anything! The Autumn season sparks the desire to set the preschool ablaze with hues of orange, red, and yellow. Paintings of pumpkins, leaves, and other Fall decor simply seem to fit the bill. However, the debate started when a few teachers put out some pumpkin and leaf shaped paper for the children to paint at the easel. These were not coloring pages of pumpkins...simply pumpkin shaped paper (and I will note that we did offer rectangle paper as a choice also). A few teachers thought this to be "stifling" to the artistic process as it predetermined the outcome of the work. The anti-paper-shaping teachers, however, felt no issue with having the children paint on rectangle paper and then cutting it into a shape once the painter had created his masterpiece. We do not offer dittos and we are not a "crafty" type of school. We honor the child's process. But the question remains...does the shape of the paper stifle the process or does it inspire some young students to explore an object through art? I would LOVE to hear your comments and opinions. Let the great debate begin! ;-)