Category Archives: Elm House Blog

Visual Aide’s & Help Me Learn to Help Myself

by Megan

You might have noticed a few new visual aide’s or posters around Elm House. We have posted these ‘cue cards’ in strategic places around the school to help the children internalize our routines and to help outline the steps for many recurring parts of our day, such as, getting dressed, using the toilet or getting a diaper change, as well as ‘taking a break’. These visuals help reach students in a variety of ways (or languages of learning and experiencing) The 100 Languages, is a key component to Reggio Emilia philosophy.  Like you may guess, the principle refers to communication.  However, the emphasis is in offering children one hundred ways to share their thinking.  Children learn in different ways and the one hundred languages offer different means for learning and expression.

So for example, when a spoken direction is less than effective, we can try to communicate in other ways with visuals. These visuals reinforce our routines at school, and we hope that they serve as almost an instruction manual for independence building. Visual aids allow children the time they need to process what they are being asked to do. They do not disappear into thin air to be forgotten as spoken words or hand gestures do. Visuals can also be sequenced to breakdown and learn a skill, step by step. Visuals remain the same and allow for identical rehearsal and consistent memory pathways to be created (learning!) With this rehearsal and memory of sequenced activities comes understanding and ultimately increased confidence, independence and self esteem. We have noticed the children using the visuals to not only help themselves, but to help others!

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Ice! Water! and other outside warm weather adventures…

By Lainy

Ice exploration with plastic animals

Day 1

Day 2

It’s grey today (“Where are you Mr. Golden Sun?”) but we have had tastes of summer over the last couple of months.  With summer comes outside sensory exploration and using the yard as an extension of our school. We have been thrilled about using the “new” rock area for shaded sensory activities on very hot days.   Continue reading


by Mage

This morning a small group came with me to the studio to paint, using one of our houseplants as inspiration.

After we painted, there was, of course, quite a lot of paint on the brushes, the caps we put the paint in, and the table. The children noticed me working to clean this up, and came over to watch. I asked if they might like to help me clean the brushes and caps. They were enthusiastic about helping! I showed them how we could slowly swirl the bristles of the paintbrushes in a container of water, and gently rub the brushes against the caps the wash the paint off.

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Inspired by Nature

by Mage

On Monday a small group came to the Nest with me to work on a drawing and collage piece, with daisies clipped from our front yard as inspiration.  Continue reading

When we work together

By Megan

Earlier this month we hosted our bi-annual garden work party. We were so happy that so many of our families showed up to help us with some much needed clean up after such a harsh winter! We want to say thank you to everyone who contributed their time, who brought food for sharing and for all of your hard work. We hope you enjoyed working along with your children on helping us create some new outdoor provocations for our wonderful yard. We feel very fortunate to have a community of helpers that extends their talents and lends their time helping to create something great for the children. We will be enjoying our uplifted yard for many sunny months to come!

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