Play is the way in which children practice skills and make sense of ideas, concepts, and language. By interacting with others, children increase their understanding of ideas and concepts, become willing to try new experiences, as well as refine problem solving and language skills. Our program values this active exploration and learning.
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach
Kaleidoscope also incorporates inspirations from the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach is based on the following tenets:
- The child comes to us with ideas, abilities, strengths and capabilities.
- The environment should reflect the children who spend time in it. It should be filled with possibilities for children to wonder, explore, think, experiment, collaborate, create, and discover.
- Dialogue, collaboration, and relationships between parents and staff, staff and staff, as well as staff and children are important.
- Children's thinking can be expressed in many ways. This is often referred to as "100 Languages."
- Curriculum topics evolve as the year progresses. Themes and projects are chosen based on teacher provocations, as well as from the interests and developmental needs of the children. This allows for children's engagement in meaningful experiences which we know is crucial in learning.
- Experiences and processes are slowed down. Topics may last a day, a week, a month or reoccur throughout the school year. Children are encouraged to reflect, edit, amend ideas, decide what more they want to know, or revisit an idea.
We realize that there are foundational skills, abilities, concepts and ideas that children need as they move through the educational system. Introduction and practice in these are infused into all activities. They are used and refined as children play, interact, listen, sing, explore, and create.
Our classes include experiences which integrate concepts from the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These concepts fit well with the active exploration we offer in our classrooms and provide a foundation for developing thinkers, planners and collaborators.
Ramp Pulley Wind Tube
This school year, our classrooms will be providing experiences around the topic of “Looking Closely”. The skill of slowing down and really taking notice is important as children experience letters, numbers, shapes, what happens, how each other feels and reacts and what we see in our everyday world.
We ask families to join us by supporting this skill at home as well.
- Take note of the experiences being offered in the classroom, revisit or expand upon them at home.
- Contribute items to the classroom that you discover of interest as you “look closely” in nature or note interesting pictures, photos, or items.
Take a peek at some of our projects so far---
Growth and Development
As a part-time program we have chosen to follow children's progress using portions of the Work Sampling System in these areas:
- Personal and Social Development
- Language and Literacy
- Mathematical Thinking
- Physical Development
Opportunities to explore in the areas of Art, Social Studies and Science are part of the children's experiences but are not followed and reported in the yearly narratives shared at the February or March conference.
As we explore all types of project topics, experiences designed to introduce, practice and master skills are included in relevant and meaningful ways. Children draw, count, weigh, graph, label, cut as they experience, create and converse.
Take a look at excerpts of our project work below. They provide a glimpse of the careful way that teachers listen and watch for skills, interests and understanding.