It’s OKAY!

Okay, so your classroom is all set up and looking absolutely fantastic-ready for your class to come in and start exploring and learning! . . .OR maybe it’s not. Maybe you only had time to do 2 of your 6 curtains, you only have one center with baskets in it and you can’t find all your books for your first day of school. IT’S OKAY!!! Really and truly! Do you think your kids are going to care about if their toys are displayed JUST RIGHT or that all their windows don’t have curtains? No, they don’t. All they want is to play and explore your room. It’s OKAY not to be completely ready on the first day of school or all at once when you begin transitioning. I’ve had to tell myself and others this countless times.

But you may have started thinking about how once you get your room set up, what and how are you going to teach your kids??

Reggio is based on the belief that children are competent and ambitious, researchers. So, many of the activities and lessons are guided by the children and their interests. Provocations are set up in the classroom for the children to explore and discover. Provocations, provoke. They provoke thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas. They can also expand thoughts, projects, ideas and interests. Below are some of the provocations that I have used in my classroom.

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What can you make with stones and wood?
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Investigating a scale
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Patterning with marbles
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Alphabet magnets in water with tongs and larger magnets.
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Racing cars and using a number line to see how far they go.
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How can you paint a penguin?
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Testing velocity using ramps, a timer and things that roll.
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Stamping letters in Play-doh.

Going into the planning phase I wanted our lesson/themes to go along with the children’s interests. But that’s kind of hard to plan for in advance. I like to be able to KNOW what I’m going to be teaching for the week and have some kind of plan to go off. With the help of our director, my grade level decided on using webs for planning our investigations. It’s OKAY if we don’t get to everything on the web and it’s OKAY if we do something that’s not on the web. The web is just an outline for us to know where our investigations are going, what we expose the kids to and give them an opportunity to explore. Here are the 4 webs we have made so far, this year. This first one is the web for our ENTIRE year. In the middle is a question we want to investigate all year long. Coming from the middle are topics we are exploring to answer that question.

 

year-curriculum-web

The first topic we explored was HOME. This is our curriculum web for our Home investigation.

home-web

 

This web was for all the 4s classes but not all of us were on the same part of the web at the same time. I did a very long unit on the human body (which isn’t even on the web, but went with the topic of self) while the other 2 classes were on families and houses. And that was OKAY. My kids were interested in a book I had in the classroom about the human body and so it stemmed from that. I’ll post about that unit later. It was LOTS of fun!!

The rest of the webs we have done are below. We are currently working on the Natural World web.

neighborhood-webnatural-world-web

As you can tell our webs became much more evolved as we went along!

We started the Natural World web at the beginning of January and it will probably last us until about March or April. Then we get to do SPACE!!! (I am SO EXCITED about teaching space!!) The point is these webs don’t just last for a week or 2. You get TIME to go deeper into the subject and explore the topic in depth. This gives meaning to the child and they become more engrossed in it.

 

Well, just because you have a web to last you a couple months doesn’t mean you don’t have to do lesson plans. HA HA thought you got out of that huh??Nope

We call them Short Term Intentions.

4s-intentions

The form we use lasts us through a couple weeks, while we explore a certain topic. They are called intentions because they are what we intend to do but can change depending on the child’s interests. Here is an example of my intentions from my human body investigation.

human-body-intentions

The documentation focus at the bottom of the page was to help us with our documentation. Instead of trying to photograph everything when we first started we could focus on just one thing until we got the hang of it.

 

For the parents, we post our webs for them to see what we will be focused on but the intentions are for our personal use and for our director to check and see if we are on track or need assistance with anything.

 

If you have any questions about any of this or comments, please let me know. I always love hearing about what others do in their classrooms. It gives me ideas and inspiration!

Just remember this is a lot to take on! It’s OKAY if it doesn’t all happen at once or exactly the way you like it or if you don’t understand it all. It’ll all work out and be fantastic!

It’ll all be OKAY.

 

❤ Ali

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