The book I’ve been reading, Visible Learners, has a website to demonstrate how the Reggio approach can be used to document progress in all grade levels, from kindergarten through high school. Documentation is a way to handle the accountability that is such a major focus in education today. This link to the website of the book is like browsing through a gallery, looking from one room to the next as you can explore the ways documentation has been used from grade level to grade level. If you are interested, just explore and see what you discover!
So now we are in the middle of July, and the fog has lifted. Ideas are swarming like mosquitoes, and keep me awake at night as I think of ways to capture all these new kindergarteners who will be coming our way in less than a month. The Reggio books are engaging my imagination and I am looking at everything I see with the eyes of Reggio Emilia. Collections of “stuff” are growing as I think of ways in which those creative young minds could make these things new. For instance, peach pits… I bought a peck of the most delicious White Lady peaches on the way back from the mountains, sweet and succulent, and we ate every last bite. I have saved the peach pits in a little jar, and think of ways in which the children might use these seeds in their art or in their drawings.
Hardin is moving his space, which holds everything that won’t fit in our house. In the space are puppets (life sized), costumes, fabric, props for OMIMEO, and a myriad of other things. As we work our way through the space, boxing things to move, my imagination goes to work as I think of ways in which I could use this “stuff” in my classroom. We now have a treasure box of well organized jars of beads, pearls, marbles, and glittery things that we’ll use next year. Another idea is to create a “light box” from an old trunk, fitting the top with a translucent lid. I’ll put a light inside creating a light table for the children to use as they explore the world of light. Since we are going to see the black light show that OMIMEO is performing at the Children’s Theatre in October, I have a black light to hang under the loft, have made black curtains to enclose the space, and will give the children the opportunity to create creatures from uv “hot” materials under the black light. By the time they go to the show, they’ll have a strong grasp of what they are experiencing.
Soon the children will walk through our door, and I feel sure they will be enriched as I have been through this summer as I have battled the ocean waves, watched dance at the American Dance Festival with Hardin and my friend Ann, hiked around the lake, made long, daily swims, cleaned out closets, read books to children, marched in the Fourth of July parade…. Everything that has made my summer so rich will also add to the gifts I can bring to our class. Like adding a chunk of butter to finish a sauce, summer gives that irreplaceable “something” that makes my life complete. By the time school starts I’ll be chomping at the bit, ready to make the most of the new school year. But for now, there are a few more summer adventures to explore!