In the Reggio philosophy, one principle shines above the rest; children learning from each other. Malaguzzi believed in theorist Lev Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of cognitive development. Vygotsky theorized that children learn from each other, in collaboration and communication with each other. Malaguzzi believed that "social learning took place before cognitive development," (Gandini 2012). With this theory of social learning, we emphasize community and collaboration among children. At Giving Tree Early Learning, children are given opportunities to learn from each other throughout the day. They engage in invitations together, large group and small group activities, and classes visit each other during multiage experiences.
The Oak class explored drawing people as an invitation to be used for a mural. They were instructed to draw a friend that wasn't in there class. From there, the school mural grew!
Another important aspect of the Reggio philosophy is the documentation of the children's learning. Documentation plays a vital role in the Reggio approach. Not only does documentation celebrate children's learning, but it captures where a child is in his/her development at that particular moment.
The Oak children did their own versions of their friends, siblings, cousins, middle school buddies, and the HHAI students. During Friends and Family Day, families we able to stop by and find their child and children looked for themselves and their friends!
Mrs. Georgia is a classroom support teacher at Giving Tree Early Learning, but she wears many hats in the program. Mrs. Georgia bakes challah with each class twice a month. She also does special baking projects around the Jewish holidays.
Recently, Mrs. Georgia has been working with the Oak class on sewing! She used a large plastic needle and thread to sew buttons on burlap. Mrs. Georgia in conjunction with Mrs. Mahern, plan next steps to help children develop the fine motor skills to help sew projects together.
The Oak children continued practicing their sewing skills with more focused projects. They created keepsakes for Rosh Hashanah. Mrs. Georgia gave them more opportunities to work on their stitching skills. Students work on several skills while sewing including hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, receptive and expressive communication, and creative arts.
Mrs. Georgia continued working on sewing skills by introducing children to sewing machines. She started small, by using the sewing machine to stitch the side of fabric and moved on to thinner fabric. I wonder what they will make next!
Mrs. Alethia Minlaff, Director: you can reach her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org