The First Week

What a whirlwind it has been, starting at a new school! There are so many faces, both adult and child, to remember. I'm doing well with the names of my students -- that is always a top priority for me. There is nothing worse than moving to a new country, starting in a new school, and having your teacher call you by the incorrect name.

I have twenty students, and this is the first full week of school. Things have been simple around the room: play dough, watercolors, easel painting with tempera, scarves in dramatic play, familiar classic books in the book area, and a very inviting light table.

The room is arranged pleasantly, and the blank canvas that I had is filling up quickly! I am trying to make it as "homey" as possible, and I'm happy with the result. Homey, yet child centered and simple. Easier said than done, I think!

There is much more to come, with photos of the environment and hopefully emerging projects as well! One student mentioned making a dinosaur movie, quite out of the blue, and it seems to be a fleeting thought. A few of them have mentioned that we need more marbles and more cars; we have turned that into a discussion on money and where it comes from (cash machines) and how cash machines work. If that pans out, you'll be hearing much more.

I am on a beautiful campus that I'd like to have the children take advantage of, so perhaps they will become enamoured with something in the school community and environment. It is impossible to predict what we will begin to study right now -- they have only been a full class for four days! We are creating a classroom community right now, and what we decide to look into is really on the back burner.

I have to mention that I am reading The Hundred Languages of Children again, and it continues to inspire me. It is good to get into the history of the approach and learn about why it works there. I am always looking for inspiration rather than a solution, and Reggio Emilia provides some fantastic inspiration. If you get the change, pick up the book. It is essays that you can read one at a time or you can go straight through the book like I am, because I'm going to read Lillian Katz's Engaging Children's Minds next and I can't wait!