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!
Posted in Elm House Blog
Tagged 100 languages, elm house, Montessori, portland reggio inspired, portland reggio inspired toddlers, portland toddler school, portland toddlers, Reggio, south east portland, Southeast Portland Childcare, toddlers, visuals
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!
“It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” -Charles Darwin on worms, 1881
The children’s fascination with worms persists through the changing of the seasons and over time. One of the first memories I have of Elm House, almost one year ago, was the over turning of the stumps and the exploration of the creatures who lived there. The children have new questions about the worms, “why don’t they like sun?” “Why are they in a hole?” “Why they in the garden?” Their questions have become more complicated and personally I delight in helping them investigate and understand more.
Luca’s mom, Laurel is our resident worm expert though. A few weeks back we invited her to give her worm presentation to the toddlers and once again we have our very own worm bin to feed and observe over the summer! Thanks again Laurel!
Here are some photos of our reintroduction to worm bin worms.
Now that the Elm House children are all a bit older and have more endurance, we will be taking small groups on walks around the neighborhood. Our intentions here are to notice the natural worlds wonders, gather natural materials to enhance our curriculum, to chart the growth of new gardens and to connect with the people in our neighborhood. In the past stroller rides have been our primary way to explore, and we will still ride for longer adventures, but we see real value in the exercise that they will get in even walking a few blocks and the change in perspective.
We took our first walk today! Hope you enjoy these photos.
Do you have a favorite house in the neighborhood that has a great yard? Or do you know of a secret garden? Let us know the location in the comments section.
Hello families! I hope all of you are well. Today I want to share a very simple sentiment that my friends reminded me of.
We were out on a walk in the strollers, pointing out anything and everything that caught our eye. Suddenly, Luca began to cry. “Luca, I hear you crying. Are you okay?” I inquired. The shade on the stroller was pulled down to protect the children from the mid morning sprinkle we were experiencing, so I couldn’t see the root cause of Luca’s distress. “Stop! Stop!” he wailed. I stopped the stroller and walked around to the front of it. “What’s happening?” I asked. “My hat. My hat is stuck in the wheel. I want my hat BEEEE!!!!!”, responded a very upset Luca. “I see it. It looks like you took your hat off and now it is caught in the wheel. You seem so frustrated. Let me help you get it out and then you can put it back on, okay? Leaving your hat on your head might protect it from getting stuck in the wheel.” We put the hat back on, and we set off once again.
Luca continued to cry. Continue reading