Sunday, August 19, 2012

"I want to tell you a story...."

"Ok everyone!  You have to do a stretch like this!"
 EB, the dance class teacher
This is a phrase I hear quite often at the Preschool House.  I think the children use it, because they know I'm a sucker for their stories.  They know if they say those words there is very little that will stop me from getting down on their level and watching as they walk around, telling their story, or watching their building hands creating a story with blocks, or pitchers filled with water or vinegar pouring and scooping, or any of the other opportunities the children have during the day.
Through offering many venues throughout the day that draws each child into their own voice and way of telling their story.  This is part of the reason that we have various areas at the preschool house.  Areas that s
peak to each child in different ways and call them to tell their stories in the best way possible.  The more available ways, the more stories appear, so I have been challenging myself to notice what the children are asking for, both directly and through their natural play and use of the space.

"Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known." Loris Malaguzzi

The concoction station lends itself to cooking stories, but also now stories of explosions now that baking soda and vinegar have been introduced as available ingredients.  By watching what and how the children use the materials offered, I am able to support their natural path of play and interests.  Supporting their creativity in this way, the children are empowered to explore the full potential of their imagination, because their interests are free to develop with in the limits of safety and thoughts of their peers.
"Briana will you take a picture so we can
always remember this city?"  TLC

The travel artifact shelves.  Maraca's as lollypops.  SF
Inside the construction area has been a flurry of activity.  Often one child will begin to build an intricate structure, including a story, which attracts the other children to use the area.  Even though it becomes tight with many interested bodies, everyone finds ways to work together.  The other day KC was sitting on the floor lining up city blocks on top of some window blocks.  "I'm building a space shuttle!" he explained, full of excitement.  SJC was nearby, watching closely and quickly knocked it all down.  He watched his brother's reaction closely.  "Don't do that!  It was my space shuttle!"  Very subtly, I reminded SJC to check in before knocking over blocks, something that is the great work of a 2 year old in the construction area.  "I won't do it!" he said firmly, so we tried again.  And it worked!  "Look how carefully you are all working together!  KC is building and telling us about his space shuttle, " I narrated after everyone returned to playing. 

SM builds letters in the sunlight.  "It spells stop!  See?"

Stories appear constantly through our day.  They are in many forms, involving friends or individual, short and long, intricate and simple.  When a child has any opportunity to tell they're story, not only do the felt seen and heard but know that they are a integral part of the community which is our school.  They contribute and are creators in what it means to play, work and be at Tumbleweed.  Their stories are their voice and we are there to capture and inspire them. 

"Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before." Loris Malaguzzi

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful environment! Children's need (not just desire, need!) to tell stories is one of my favorite things about classrooms like mine and yours. Children know their words and ideas are respected, and those moments when a kiddo comes up and says, "I want to tell a story..." - priceless!