Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reggio Emilia: Not Just 4 FDK, But for P/J/I Too!

If you're an FDK teacher the Reggio Emilia Approach is nothing new for you, but for those of us in the higher divisions such as myself (a grade 6 teacher) you may not have heard of it before. For those of you who have not heard of the Regio Emilia Approach click here for more information.

Do you have a work bestie? One of my work besties: @kaminikamdar teaches Kindergarten at HBPS with me (Check out her website here). Since I have spent so much time chatting over the course of 4 years working with her, I have learned a lot about her K experiences and have been inspired by the happenings in her classroom.

Through Kamini, I have been exposed to the teaching philosophies of Reggio. I had heard a bit about this approach before meeting Kamini and  had tried to incorporate some natural materials or natural looking materials in my classroom (e.g. logs for students to sit on during community circle time,etc.), but I had never seen a full-fledged reggio-inspired classroom the way in which Kamini shaped her room!
 This is our first year at HBPS with FDK and although I am in the junior division, I find myself living vicariously through some of my kindergarten teacher friends. Watching them learn and seeing them grow and enrich their teaching practice has been amazing! Which is why I have also been trying to go "Reggio'' too! At the beginning of this year, I gave my classroom a complete makeover and boy was it hard! I took down all my beautiful chart paper and borders that I had collected over the years and substituted it with natural cork board.

I supplemented my metal chairs with wicker ones and I enhanced my fake trees with more natural products. As soon as my colleagues saw my classroom transform, they noticed how ''zen'' the space felt. This all came from simply substituting harsh primary colours with more natural and neutral tones. I have had such amazing feedback about the classroom makeover from former and current students, parents and colleagues now that I swear by the process. I have also seen for myself the results of improved well-being and mental health in my classroom.
Complementing your zen space with yoga and mindfulness meditation daily, also doesn't hurt! :P

I can't wait until the snow clears up so we can do some mindfulness outdoors. For now, I'm doing my best to increase our inquiry-enriched learning environment and bring the green indoors!

Thanks Kamini! xo

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