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!
Celebrating Tu B'Shvat, also known as the New Year for Trees, was an engaging experience at Giving Tree Early Learning. Each classroom was tasked with setting up and arranging Tu B'Shvat inspired provocations and invitiations in the cafeteria. There were a variety of activities set up to engage children of all ages. Light tables were set up in the far corner and sensory tables in the center of the cafeteria. Each light table and sensory table filled with intriguing and natural materials. Pink and green elements were seen to celebrate Tu B'Shvat and emphasize the importance of trees in Israel. Both families and children spent time immursed in play at these areas.
Teachers created activities that were geared towards specific skills like sorting, counting, dramatic play, fine motor skills, and creative expression that incorportated the seven species of Israel. These activities were set up throughout the cafeteria for families to move freely, visiting each provocation.
To tie the event together, families were invited to paint branches, decorate our Giving Tree with beads, and write their names on ribbons and tie them to the tree. This allowed our program to put emphasis on Tu B'Shvat and show the significance of trees in Israel while incorporating how much we value our families in our school community.
Smiles and laughter flooded the halls at Giving Tree Early Learning for our Friends and Family Day. Families were able to attend performances by Hasten Hebrew Academy students and the children in the Oak classroom. They also had the opportunity to participate in a breakfast offered by our PTO.
Following the performance, families were invited into the classrooms. The teachers set up family friendly experiences in the classroom for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to do with their family members. Some classes created sensory bottles while others made family portraits. It was a wonderful time to share with families in our school community.
On July 31st, Giving Tree and HHAI families, friends and staff came together for a day of service to help prepare the outdoor spaces for the first day of school. Weeding, tree trimming and construction were just a few of the tasks completed by volunteers of all ages.
Thank you to everyone for your hard work!
Thanksgiving is a time of year in which we celebrate our friends and family at Giving Tree Early Learning. While COVID may prevent us from coming together as a large group, it certainly has not prevented our spirit for family connection and fun! This year the Giving Tree team created an I SPY Fall book for your family to enjoy. Each child also received a silicon pie mold and pumpkin spice playdough to create their very own pumpkin pie!
We hope your celebration is meaningful and full of joy!
Did you know that 90% of your child's brain development occurs between the years 0 to 5? High quality early education can set your child up for a lifetime of success. Join one of our virtual open house sessions to learn how Giving Tree Early Learning can help support a strong foundation for your child's future. To register for a session or to schedule a tour, click the ADMISSIONS tab above.
Let's start writing your child's story together...
Mrs. Alethia Minlaff, Director: you can reach her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org