In the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, there is a philosophy which is almost a mantra. This is: “meet them where they are.” This is essential to student-lead learning. If students are not producing the kind of work one as a teacher expects, one has to think about where the barriers to learning are for those students and “meet them where they are” and remove those barriers. That mantra was put into practice in our classroom this week.
In English we moved away from Writer’s Workshop for the week and just focused on some word work. There was no pressure to write in their Author’s Journals. We did whole-group work making words with magnetic letters and students took clipboards and paper and found words around the room that they wanted to try writing. Copying writing is a great way to learn. We started more intense sight word work and those who felt comfortable tried writing a sentence with the sight words we had worked on.
We moved away from the fast-paced nature of Math Buddies to get practice with the fundamentals of forming numerals.
Our IPC has always been exploratory so nothing has changed there. At the end of last week we took a pattern walk around the Hanmaeum Centre looking for patterns in the real world. This week we used the photos we took to create a pattern book. The students were very excited to show it to the school. We also looked at exotic pattern on animals and explored that further by creating our own exotically patterned animals.
We allowed some time for some really rich developmental play. The students have begun role-playing real life situations such as taking care of a sleeping baby and fighting fires with fire engines and hoses (and costumes!). Also the block and train constructions the students make are beginning to become very elaborate.
This week has also seen some of our youngest friends developing great independence in things like putting on their own jackets, fixing their own shoes, or completing puzzles with almost no help at all.
As this term begins to wrap up, I will continue to “meet them where they are” and make sure all students are successful in the classroom.