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Author: Richland

Richland Academy / Articles posted by Richland (Page 60)

Grade 4 Students Present “Cana-Con”

On November 3rd, our Grade 4 students opened the door to the gymnasium to show their honoured guests what they had been working on in Investigative Research. The students proudly displayed their research findings and technological skills in their Canada Convention (Cana-Con). The students spent the past month enthralled in these endeavours and will be wrapping up this specific aspect of their study of Canada.

Students, staff and parents were thrilled to have had the opportunity to explore the different aspects of the country we call home.

A Reggio Journey

According to Malaguzzi, “Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water.  Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.”

Richland Academy is now entering its tenth anniversary, and comes with a history of traditional teaching.  Now three years into the transition from a traditional teaching model to a Reggio inspired approach, the wonders of this way of supporting learners is emerging.  But with it comes the challenges of bringing on board an already existing team of excellent teachers, as well as new teachers, and asking them to teach and learn through a different lens.  We are learning how to listen and how to observe the children and each other.   As we constantly reflect, we realize that our journey, although fraught with self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and the need for us to let go of our own personal egos, also brings us renewed joy in our teaching, allows for deeper creativity and is moving us all towards 21st century learning, that is based on natural inquiry and the child as a key player in his own learning.

Building Relationships through Pretend Play Experiences

The JK boys and girls have begun to move from simple interactions with each other to more elaborate and sustained exchanges. For young children, these exchanges are often observed during pretend play experiences.  Of particular interest, is that, although these are activities of choice for many children, they also bring with them, conflict.  Yet, in a classroom, conflict is natural and welcomed. This is the time and place for children to test out their skills of negotiation and learn about the give and take of conversation and materials.

Our PK students also love to participate in many forms of pretend play, including making “Nutella Pizza!”, playing dentist, flying and jumping like “Superman!”, and “sleepy time” under the cozy coats!

Young children learn by imagining and doing. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas.

What I Learned in Studio Today

Imagine an art room, filled with materials and tools.  An orderly ‘disorder’…there are just so many units and objects defining line, shape, color, form, motion, texture, pattern, direction, orientation, scale, angle, space and proportion!

Now imagine the room filled with young learners, 3 years of age, waiting patiently with art smocks on, seated, keenly following instructions, asked to “sit please” with hands folded in their laps, while the paint pallets, paint brushes and water cups in front of them,  beacon these tiny hands to get into the thick of it…but they do not.  The children are listening.

They are listening to the atelierista explain, a pumpkin, its stem and the vine it grows on.   The children are asked to remember the pumpkins they had begun to paint during their last Studio class.  Heads are nodding as the memory of their painting comes back to them.

Investigating Leaves in JK

The JK children’s interest in fall leaves has escalated. During their first Investigative Research session with the SK children, they went searching for colourful and different fall leaves.

Their first task was to really look carefully at the leaves: colour, shape, and type. They then had to choose a ‘favourite’ one that they wanted to sketch in pencil first, and then use their ‘real colours’ to make the leaves ‘look like real ones!’

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