Using small spaces to their fullest potential! Three provocations to spark interest, lacing cards for fine motor development, Mother Goose Number book for early literacy interest, and colorful dominoes with counters for early math skills. Not every child wants to sit while engaged in learning. Many young children enjoy being able to stand, so I’m using that to my advantage having a smaller school. 🙂
Now-days there are so many different options for lacing cards. I can even make my own using card stock, hole punchers, yarn, and scissors. For that matter setting up a project for children to create their own lace cards is always enjoyable and enables each to learn something new. One thing I always remember is that accepting the way a child puts the lacing cards together should always be unconditional; no matter how each child is able to thread the yarn their efforts are accepted and encouraged.
I like to make sure there are opportunities for children to explore all areas of learning, so that means making use of the materials I have in different ways. Keep learning open, interesting and engaging. When children are able to learn early math skills through play they have a much stronger foundation of understanding to build onto. So once again I like to mix things up and set up provocations that may or may not entice children to play. Play is a child’s natural way to question, manipulate, observe, discover and form new understandings.
I like to add fairies for that dramatic play element. Sometimes understanding new information can be more interesting and relatable if there is an object that a child regularly uses to express emotion and interest. Children can sometimes communicate a bit easier when in the mode of dramatic play and are speaking through the doll or fairie, in this case. It’s one more way in which a child works through new concepts and finds meaning. Listening carefully to a child’s words during his/ her dramatic play is another great way to be given clues to each child’s interests and level of understanding in each given moment, day, week or month.
Using small spaces and carefully planning out how to use my environment enables children to learn to their fullest potential. The environment becomes a third teacher that not only reflects my goals for my school’s emergent curriculum, it supports children in their continual quest to learn for understanding. Having a learning environment created to support children’s learning in all areas is not only ideal but very possible. The Marigold School of Early Learning is a preschool designed for children ages three to five. My preschool is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, Constructivist theorist Piaget and Vygotsky, along with Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. Together these theories support my teaching and your child’s learning. Let us work together to ensure your child is ready for kindergarten and beyond! Join my small, growing community! 🙂
Heidi Scott, BA & MIT