RICHLAND ACADEMY

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The Power of Listening to Children

Our Visual Arts Teacher, Ms. Sherman had been wondering what to introduce as a provocation for the JK children in studio.
This was their first year in my class and I wanted to learn their names and determine their interests and skills. It was a warm and sunny day, and I thought that we would go outside to collect some natural materials to assemble and sort as loose parts for a possible collaborative and textural art work.

First, I wanted to introduce them to the studio. However, we took some time in making our way upstairs as we had to navigate the stairs and hallway. Once in class, we began by looking around and learning to use our eyes to see all the beautiful materials, colours, objects, artwork, and shells, while we discussed what was safe to touch and what we needed to respect by not touching.

One of the children, pointing to a book, said, “Can you read us that book about rainbows?”

That settled it! I read the book and asked the class,
” Would you like to make a rainbow?”
The answer was unanimous and excited “Yes!”

They each created a rainbow and later laid out the blue plasticine for the sky.
​One of the children said, “But we need to have a sun!”
​Another said, “And rain”.

“Both children and adults need to feel active and important- to be rewarded by their own efforts, their own inteligences, their own activity and energy. When a child feels these things are valued, they become a fountain of strength for him. He feels the joy of working with adults who value his work and this is the basis for learning.”-Loris Malaguzzi

– Visual Arts Teacher, Ms. Sherman

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