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Nature Tables -- Setting Up Your Enviornment   One of my most recent discoveries in setting up the environment is the popularity and joyfulness of a nature table. The Waldorf philosophy uses a nature table extensively in their programs. In other child care philosophies it is called the “nature tableau” or “science corner” as well as “seasonal invitation”. Any way you call is, it contains the same basic elements. It’s a special table or area where the seasons of the year are displayed through nature, fabrics and even handicrafts. The display ..
Multicultural Activities and Books   Looking for some ideas for multicultural activities? Find many ideas and how to execute them here, including some food focused ones you can use during one of your thematic lesson plans. Click on the title above to get to them!
Documentation: A Teacher's Tool   I had always dabbled in scrapbooking as a young adult so when I started working in an early education classroom and started learning about “documentation”, it came pretty naturally to me. Some teachers loathe documentation and the time and effort it takes, but I really find it to be an essential part of my teaching practice. Susan Stacey, author of Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings talks about documentation as a “gold mine of precious information about the world and thinking of te..
Art and the Young Child   "Art is a way for children to: 1) express themselves, 2) plan, 3) learn through trial and error; and 4) create something that is uniquely their own"
Learn how to help children achieve this by clicking on the title!
A Cozy Space -- Setting Up the Environment   In any group care situation, especially a full day program, a quiet space should be determined. Just like adults, children often need a place to get away from all the activity. Some children need somewhere to go when feeling sad or overwhelmed, others need a space to sit and quietly reflect. A cozy space- one that fits just one to two children is a must in any program. When planning my own cozy spaces, I am inspired by my own childhood memories. It’s fun to think back to what I used to create a ..
Bringing Insects into the Early Childhood Environment: Ideas, Inspiration, Books and more   What was that? Bring bugs into the classroom?! I know what you’re thinking, you must be crazy? But, insects are some of the easiest “classroom pets” and some of the most interesting things for children to explore. Insects are even doable in the very young classrooms. I have had lady bugs, stick bugs, silk worms, praying mantis, caterpillars to butterflies and ants and worms all in a two-year -old room with no problems. And you really do get used to them, I promise.
The Block Corner: Setting Up The Environment   Bits and pieces about how to create interesting, exploratory, comfortable, beautiful places in your child care environment.
Using The RIE Philosophy in a Child Care Setting   I was educated and trained in the RIE philosophy during my years working with infants in a child care setting. It took some getting used to this way of caring for infants. Part of the philosophy felt a bit forced as I was used to more mainstream strategies for dealing with children but most of the time it felt instinctual and good. Now that I have my own infant, the RIE philosophy and its principals have been a wonderful tool in this parenting journey. And I can recognize the benefits that come ..
Block Play And It’s Importance in Early Education   Wooden blocks have become a staple in high quality preschools and early childhood environments. These popular manipulatives have a long history in the early education field and provide incredible insight into language, math skill, social skill, and the artistic and physical development of a child. This post will hopefully assist in understanding the array of developmental opportunities blocks can bring to a child as well as focus on the background of blocks (specifically unit blocks) and discuss..
Learning Environment: Start Creating One with Table Signs   Creating a Work Space/Learning Environment for the children in your care. Making class table signs can help you divvy up your space.

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