Thursday, July 26, 2012

Take A Peek Inside... Our Preschool's Work on IDENTITY

This is a little tour of inside the Preschool House right now:

Through careful observation, scaffolding, and documentation of children's work, Briana and Bee have noticed a theme to the children's current work:  explorations of identity. 
Whether it's through art, science, baby play, dinosaurs, negotiations around gun play, death, bones, or insects, the children are driven to explore questions such as How are we the same?  How are we different?  In what ways do we compare to each other, animals, other cultures?  What makes us us?  How do we express our us-ness?
Briana and Bee's intentional choices of materials aim to support this exploration by offering:

*Open-ended provocations that allow for artistic expression.  With no guidelines on what to do with the materials (other than keeping people and materials safe), the children explore stories, emotions, aesthetics, and more... never failing to amaze us with how they naturally challenge themselves and process incredibly deep concepts through this work.  

Building on a long-term exploration of patterns.

*Opportunities to remember our connection to our families. 
Made during our Earth Day Get Together.

*Ways to bring awareness to and explore the intricacies of the self.

Extension of comparisons to animals.

*Ways of exploring topics in a way that highlights connections between different children and families.

Clara the Ladybug gets to go home with children with a book about ladybugs and a photo album that highlights Clara's adventures with other families.
These elephants traveled with Cohort 4 from the Infant House.  Elliot's journal also highlights his adventures with children.

* Open-ended provocations that explore areas of interest in ways that tie to expression

Following interests in dinosaurs and paleontologists!
Following interests after finding a dead bird.

Connections to different cultures and opportunities to reflect on sameness and differentness. 

Materials from Mongolia!

*Explorations of literacy as a fun, interesting way to express oneself and connect to others. 

This is just a small peak into the Preschool House.  I skipped over areas with blocks, babies, silks, animals, paint, dishes, puzzles, and so much more (an entire room, in fact!).  But hopefully this gives you an idea of the level of intention the teachers take in order to support the work of the children in ways that scaffold, enhance, support, connect, explore... and so much more.

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