Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to School

Our school opened this week for the children.  Of course the staff had been busy for weeks preparing the classrooms, ordering supplies, getting our medical training up to date and having several meetings with parents.  Our school is a cooperative setting so we were doing much of this work along with the parents of our students.  It is quite a community effort.  Everyone wants the school to be beautiful and ready for the children.

By beautiful I mean clean and well stocked with art materials and writing supplies, books and puzzles, blocks and manipulatives.  My bulletin boards and walls are bare and ready for the children's work to be displayed.  I do not have them covered with store bought decorations.  I know every one of my markers works and that I have things to write with all over the classroom, not just in one place.
There are safe plants and flowers and pieces of nature both inside and outside that can be touched and explored.  There are soft places to cuddle up with a good book if a quiet time is needed and plenty of places where getting completely messy is absolutely okay and encouraged.
There are art materials where children can choose them and use them as they see fit.  There is order and yet there is freedom. Then it is ready.

One of my boys reminded me today that children are not going to use your environments only the way that you set them up.  Our job is to embrace the way that the children use them.  As long as it is safe, observe and gather from the child what can be learned.  Instead of searching for the buried gems, he decided to feel the sand, balance the sand.  Thank you for that reminder; today was just the beginning, the children will teach me so much this year.


  1. Love the new blog! You can always count on Jack to bring a new dimension to your activities! Looks like your class is off to a great start.

  2. I love that as teachers we never stop learning. From my experience our students are in fact the best teachers. Enjoy your new year!
    Donna :) :)