Tag Archives: Southeast Portland Childcare

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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Looking Back

by Alisha

Each year around this time we reflect on our year. What explorations did this year begin with? Where did the children’s ideas take us? What did we wonder about? How did we use the 100 languages to explore our wonderings? What did we discover? How did our discoveries lead to knew questions? So much happens throughout the year, sometimes it is hard to remember all that we have done by the time it comes to an end. Here are some of the photos I found while looking back-

Where Will We Be?

by Katee

Alisha held a circle yesterday to talk to the children about the future.  So many different feelings come from looking toward the future.   The future can often feel scary and unsure because it is hard to imagine.  Change can often feel scary because it seems like your world is unstable in a way, and that you’ll have to brace yourself for enduring the impending shift.

So Alisha printed photos of all the children and taped them to blocks for support.  “Here we all are, on a Tuesday, at Tulip Tree Preschool.”, Alisha said.

Everyone’s family has different schedules in the summer time. Some friends will go to camp here or elsewhere, some friends might stay at home or with family or friends, some families might go on vacation.  Then , in the fall, school will start again and this will look different for different people.  Some friends will be back at Tulip Tree, some friends will move on to kindergarten or another schedule. 

 

 

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WHAT can you DO with a paleta?

by Alisha

At circle this morning, Katee and I read a book called “What Can You Do With a Paleta?” by Carmen Tafolla. I read the English words and Katee read the same words in Spanish. The book is written from the perspective of a small child. She tells us all about the sounds, smells and colors of her neighborhood. The most exciting thing of all is the sound of the tinkly bell coming from the Paleta wagon. She explains the different colors and flavors of paletas and the asks, “WHAT can you DO with a paleta?”  It turns out there are many things you can do with a paleta including giving yourself a blue mustache. This book inspired the children to make their own pretend paleta wagon complete with a bell and paper paletas. ..

Tiny Realms

by Katee

When exploring the Remida center during our Tuesday field trip last week, many of the children had two favorite things they got to d0- ride the bus, and play with the ‘tiny realms’.  They had set out small divided scenes filled with tiny things for the children to play in.  There was a box filled with soil, sticks and moss, a tray filled with sand and cups and a slide, little homes with appliances and creatures, and many reused materials.  The children had several rooms to explore in this area but all were entranced at the tiny realms.

I had a chance to talk with the Remida director about the tiny realms and we were so excited to see the children so happily intrigued.  “In this world, they are giants.”, she told me.  We discussed that children can feel in control of a world with this play and have the opportunity to play the role of a larger entity and a powerful being.  We also discussed how children of this age are often so attracted to small things.  Maria Montessori called this age a ‘sensitive period’ for many things, including small objects.  They seem to have a natural compulsion to master this area and it is so exciting to observe.

After this inspirational field trip, we brought tiny realms to Tulip Tree.  We have done work with this throughout the year, but this time intentionally built different terrains and scenes side by side.  The children have been happily exploring there all week.