Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Reggio-Emilia method

February 27th:

Please share your reflections on today's experience at Room-to-Grow:
For example, how was it similar to Head Start? Different? Please note any other relevant observations from today's field trip.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

ECE Daily Log

Day 1:  Monday, February 25
We started the day watching a 12-minute movie about the origins of Head Start.  Many of the narrators of the movie are now probably in their 70s since the inception of Head Start was over 50 years ago as part of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty”! The program was developed to help 3 to 5 year old children of low income families become better prepared for kindergarten – since then, 32 million children have been in Head Start. We then went to the Torrington Head Start and met the director who explained how we will be able to assist the teachers in the classroom. We spent the afternoon back at Forman making introductory posters to share with the children in our classroom.  Not only did we have pictures of our family, friends, and pets, but we also included pictures of our “favorites”-- colors, food, and children’s books.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 26
Today was our first actual day in the Head Start classroom. We divided up into pairs for each of the 5 classrooms. It did not take long to get incorporated into the classroom since the children were immediately interested in a new face. Before long, we were doing such activities as reading stories, playing in the kitchen area, and creating art.  Since it was so cold, we went into the gross motor room instead of outdoor play. We returned to Forman for lunch and then met in our classroom. We learned about the four areas of child development: social/emotional, cognitive, physical, and language. After discussing our experiences of the morning, we determined how different activities we did with the children fit into the 4 developmental areas.  We recorded our observations on easel paper and will add to it as the Winterim progresses.

Day 3: Wednesday, February 27
Today we went to Room to Grow, a nursery school in Litchfield. This preschool is inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy. In this philosophy, the belief is that projects and learning should derive from the child’s natural curiosity. We were welcomed into the classroom to actively play with the children. Many of the centers were the same -- a reading area, block play, art activities. There seemed to also be a large focus on science and discovery -- there was a sensory table with huge blocks of ice and plastic polar bears because it is national polar bear day. During circle time, they learned about how to use a measuring scale and guessed which object would be heavier as pairs of objects were weighed against each other on the scale.  The scale was then left as an activity for the children to further experiment with. Many of the routines were the same at Head Start, and we left just before noon when the children were getting ready for lunch and then a nap. We took time in the afternoon for a bonding activity and went to a movie. The next two days will be very full with mornings at Head Start and field trips in the afternoon.

Day 4: Thursday, February 28

We returned to Head Start today to the same classrooms we were assigned to on Tuesday.  We joined the children in their day’s activities, and the kids kept us busy doing art, reading, and generally playing. For Mrs. Zullo it was good to see some classic toys and games like Mr. Potato Head and Candyland. Since we were going to be in Torrington for the afternoon, we went to Panera for lunch rather than returning to Forman. After lunch we toured Booker Memorial, a non-profit community center that offers programs in child care and early learning, pediatric dentistry and children's OT, PT and speech therapy. We met with an occupational therapist who explained what type of cases involve pediatric occupational therapy -- everything from working with a child learning to complete daily life tasks if he or she has a temporary or permanent disability to using sensory integration therapy to help a child with sensory processing issue. This exposed us to another area we might want to pursue if we want to work with children. We returned to Forman in time to add to our running documentation of how the activities we do at Head Start contribute to the 4 areas of child development -- the lists are growing.  

Day 5: Friday, March 1

It’s the end of our first week at Head Start.  Already, the kids are looking for us and are excited when we arrive. Each class has a structured morning schedule, so the students have learned when to expect to do such activities as go to the gross motor room or have clean-up time. The classes have been learning about inclines this week, so a lot of the activities stressed all the things you can use to roll down inclines. In the afternoon today, we went to Silly Sprout, a local toy store.  The manager talked to us about what toys are appropriate for different ages. We also found out that Lauren knows the daughter of Melissa and Doug, the founders of the toy company by the same name in Westport. Sarah at Silly Sprout said Melissa & Doug make some of the best regarded toys for the toddler and preschool age. We then went across the street to the Litchfield Historical Society for a program on the museum fulfills its educational mission to reach young children through such interactive stations as dress-up area of Colonial-era clothes and  floor size maps with blocks representing the historical buildings.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Our Blog

This particular blog will serve as the central hub for students in Forman's Early Childhood Education winterim to share their daily comments and images chronicling their Winterim 2019 experience.
Please feel free to contact me with any winterim-related questions, ideas or concerns.
Thanks and enjoy!

Reggio-Emilia method

February 27th: Please share your reflections on today's experience at Room-to-Grow: For example, how was it similar to Head Start? Di...