Our Outdoor Reggio Art Space

Setting Up Our Space
Setting Up Our Space

The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky
– Margaret McMillan

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One of the principles of the Reggio Emelia Theory is the principle of the environment as the third teacher. Now what does this really mean? Lella Gandini one of the foremost thinkers in Reggio Emelia Theory states the following:

“In order to act as an educator for the child,
the environment has to be flexible: it must
undergo frequent modification by the
children and the teachers in order to remain
up-to-date and responsive to their needs to
be protagonists in constructing their
knowledge.”
Lella Gandini (1998)

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On a daily basis the teachers observe and document how our children play and then adjust the environment according to the child’s needs. As many educators are noting, standards and rating scales are hindering education and growth. Reggio Emilia encourages flexibility in the classroom and actually making the environment part of the teaching strategy. (If you would like to read more on this, download this article about “Making Your Environment the Third Teacher.”)

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So how do we do this here at Beth Shalom Early Learning Center? If you notice in your child’s classroom, teachers are continually making changes based on documentation and how your child likes to play and learn. It is an ongoing process and we are thankful to have Deb Schein, our educational consultant to help us.

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Furthermore, our classes are now creating an outdoor Reggio space. We have created our outdoor garden and are now working on a space where we can hold outdoor art classes. We have noise makers hung from the tree, we’ve weeded, we’re making mobiles, and more! It is in the bottom corner of the parking lot by Bartlett. We have created a wish list of things we would like to compete this space.

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It is going to be an amazing summer of playing outside, learning, and growing! To once again quote Lella Gandini:

“The environment is the most visible
aspect of the work done in the schools by
all the protagonists. It conveys the
message that this is a place where adults
have thought about the quality and
instructive power of space.”

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Our Outdoor Reggio Space Wish List

*Chains
*Pipes
*Wire
*Tree Stumps
*Mulch
*Hostas
*Ivy
*Extra Plants
*Ground Cover
*Weed Tarp
*Flower Pots
*Dirt
*Fencing
*Sticks and Twine
*Pinwheels
*Sunflowers
**We would like to start a compost bin too, if anyone would like to help with that project!**

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