As a Reggio-inspired school, we try to incorporate child-initiated, project-based learning (similar to emergent themes) throughout the curriculum and school environment.
As a curriculum coordinator at the school, I try to integrate projects that are taking place in each classroom into the shared-by-all areas of the patio, yard and atelier (project/art studio).
Currently, our 3 year olds are studying about trains. Last week, we added a train component to our hollow block center on the yard (see above). In a large wicker basket, we set out engineer hats, scarves, and large wooden trains. We also set up a basket of paper, coloring pencils, and books to inspire sketching, drawing and reading about trains (below). Many children designed great trains using the large hollow blocks.
To extend the project, this week we painted a large 'bullet train' in the Project Room. We also learned to sketch trains in our Exploring Art class, added trains and tracks to the free-choice patio environment, and we transformed our dramatic play area into a train station! Enjoyed by all, these activities were specifically aimed at our three year olds to extend and enhance their project. Not to be left out, each of our other classes enjoyed an array of activities that were geared specifically to their ongoing projects and interests!
|Painting the bullet train. Furnace boxes are perfect!!|
|Wagons were set out for train rides and shared motor activities|
|Our 'bullet train' made in the atelier. Duct taped for durability ;-)|
|In addition to a set of pre-printed 'train tickets,' we set out paper and coloring pencils for the children to create their own tickets.|
|We posted a map of our local Metro on the front of the ticket booth.|
Incorporating projects into shared spaces not only stimulates learning for the intended class, but enhances the environment and sparks new interests for all the other students in the school.