Showing posts from May, 2011

On Being an Atelierista: letter to the next Atelierista

For the last 2 years I have been trying to define the job of Atelierista. If I were to write a letter to the person who takes this job after me, there is one thing that I would want them to understand more than any other. It is something that is not easy to  make happen, and that is true collaboration with teachers and children.

The kind of collaboration I'm talking about makes inquiry in the classroom richer. 

While preserving her voice as the voice of an artist in the classroom, it changes the studio teacher's point of view from someone outside looking in, to someone who is a vital part of the children's investigative process.
 It's easy to help with project time as a warm body, watching the group while the teacher works with just a few children, or as an extra set of hands, helping students build a structure or find a material. It is even easy for me (because I have been at it for so long), to come into a classroom and make something happen, to see where the children a…

social constructivism explained?

First graders were talking about Sabot school, and why they think it is "so awesome"...

"everybody knows a little bit about something, and then we join that together and we all know a lot... and we make kind of like a network... Yes!, yes we do, and the best part is, we all have great friends. And being nice is also important."
After the camera was off, H. added "See, because knowledge is so big, just one person can't know it all, so we have to work together."

After this, they had a discussion about naming their field day team the 'knowledge network', but yesterday chose the Peregrine Team, because peregrine falcons are clever AND fast. Thanks to 1st grade teacher Allison for collaborating with me all year!

Teacher Appreciation Day

Sabot preschool has a lovely tradition- on a day in May, the children arrive with a flower for their teacher. These flowers are assembled by parents into beautiful bouquets. Later, they serve a wonderful lunch. What a fine day. Thank you!

True meetings and resistance against the taken for granted

A couple of Sabot staffers went to Calgary last weekend for a conference, and came back talking about what and who they had heard, including speaker Harold Gothson. In the book Childhoods; a Handbook, part of which is available as a google book, Gothson has a chapter called 'Appropriating Reggio Emilia; from Cults to Cultural Constructions'. 

Reflecting on being influenced by the Reggio Approach, he asks the question "What happens with ideas and narrating of experiences when they travel from one context to another?  What happens with the idea, and what happens with the receiving context?"

The narrating of experiences -the story -changes with the context. I can't really know what it was like in Calgary, but I can hear the stories they will tell me about it and form my own image. In this way I can learn from their experience. In thinking about the Reggio approach, or even old Sabot preschool, I can listen to the stories (even the ones I tell myself), and apply what I…

Snake part 2

Showing the snake skin at circle in the Garden room.
R. "It's a dead snake. I think it's a dead snake." A. C. "I have a book about it, and they poke...snake skin comes off." C."Or maybe the snake has new skin. Snakes take off their skin from rocks. They scratch themselves on rocks." J. "It's only the skin. I heard Anna say it's only the skin." D. "What happened to the bones?"


Georgia found this snakeskin during Exploratory time on the way from the Middle School to the main building.

She let me keep it in the studio for a few days to show it to the preschoolers.
While they observed the skin and talked about it, I learned from them that the scales on the bottom of the snake (visible in the picture at left), are "grippers" that grip surfaces and allow the snake to move. I learned that this was probably a black snake, and not a copperhead, because no diamond pattern was visible in the scales (when I looked online it did seem to match a black snake skin). It was taller than all of the pre-schoolers.  You could see the eyes and even tiny nostril holes if you looked closely.

Thanks, Georgia

Big Kids in the Studio -Wednesday