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Showing posts from October, 2012

table costume

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One day, while painting a papier mache frog, someone said "Oh no!", noticing that a bit of green paint got on the table. I said it was o.k., these tables get messy a lot. Then, in a wonderful moment of creative thinking, Ada said "maybe the table wants to be a frog. Maybe it wants a costume!".
We made arrangements to come back together to make a costume for the table on another day,
after the frog was finished. The children told me they would need fabric and markers to make the costume, and decided to transform the table into a jellyfish.



So, if one dark and stormy night (here on the east coast, anyway), if you happen to see a large, four legged trick or treater, don't be afraid. It is just the studio table out having some fun!

Becoming an Atelierista: Reflective teaching, for better or worse

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Teaching this way is all about the possibilities of tomorrow and the potential of next week, or next year. I always start with what I know about the children within the context of the classroom and the community. From there, I try to listen to children when they are engaged with each other, with things, with ideas. Inspired by what I notice, I begin to fill my "extra pockets" with resources, research, media and materials and a multitude of plans that may fit the investigations of the children.

In learning to become an Atelierista, I have followed the same pattern in my planning for working with teachers. What will I need to have at the ready for each teachers' group? Summer break and the first few weeks of school are an optimistic time. I reflect on what was hard from the year before, and dream of what it could be like next time. I look for media and materials, potential projects, ideas, new ways of being and collaborating that will help me do better in the new term. Mo…

playing and making and playing

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Children often come to the studio to make items that they need for a game. Robyn brought a group of girls to the studio who had been playing a doctor and nurse and baby game. They only had one stethoscope in the room and wanted to make more.






making a shofar

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It doesn't happen often that a child wants to represent something that I really have no clue about, but once in a while someone stumps me! This story is from right after Yom Kippur, when you might hear the sound of a shofar.

V came to the studio with this note:

I asked her to go look for a material to make a shofar out of, and quickly looked the word up online. When her friend heard about this project, she wanted to make a shofar, too.


shofar (Hebrew: שופר‎) is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Shofar-blowing is incorporated in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Shofar come in a variety of sizes.

So, there you go. I learned something new, and it was very young children who taught me!

research and drawing to learn

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As children move from Sabot preschool into kindergarten, first and second grade, they transition from drawing as the primary written language, to more use of letters and words. Here you can see research in action in early elementary school, which includes drawing about carnivorous plants as well as writing words and sentences gleaned from the books. 
Here is a site with lots of information on drawing to learn; drawingtolearn.com
              Another of my favorite resources is Margaret Brooks "Drawing to Learn" available from NAEYC; www.naeyc.org/DrawingtoLearn.pdf