Friday, 15 March 2013

Happy March Break!

Pieces of Documentation.

In our cubby room we have a large, blank wall 
that documentation pieces fit perfectly on!
 Over the last few months I wanted to really focus on identifying "individuality" with each student. Beginning with creating their environment, having them take part in all aspects of building up our room, taking all school labels out and having the students co-construct all of the pieces that "they" need to feel a sense of organization. What a drastic change in attitude. Such a positive vibe is sent throughout of room with just simple easy steps of allowing them the freedom to create.
This activity below is an example of learning "Who we are?" 
We have added mirrors throughout our room to create framework, reflection, interest and perspective. As we began added these pieces I noticed the students sitting and staring at themselves & making faces, talking to friends through the mirrors and bringing their activities over to where the mirrors were placed. Kindergarten children have such an egocentric mind. 
As I sat with them, discussing what they saw & what they noticed. I realized this was a great opportunity to document; the description that was being used, comparisons between size, colour, depth. What a teachable moment!
 I left behind one white window write; as I stepped away. Staying close to observe the outcome, I noticed instead, they began drawing circles on a piece of paper. Since it was white I observed a student looking at the tip of it for several seconds and realizing it will not work on the paper. She went over and found a black marker instead. (A great example of problem solving & using what she already knows.) She began to draw the shape of her face, making reference to the mirror. Through conversation with another child, she began to add eyes and a nose. As her portrait began to grow others around her began to join. Throughout the week I left these materials out again and again. On the third day, a child and I were sitting and having a conversation about taking photos on the iPad. We were playing around with the app and he wanted to use his picture that we took together for his drawing. 
Creativity is definitely contagious!! 
As he began his drawing others waited patiently to take their photos and draw them. 
The documentation board below is not our entire class but those who choice to create themselves. I had a pile of pictures that was growing and growing, I asked for some assistance with taking class portraits of each student, to go along with our drawings. Two children took the iPad around to take photos and one child kept a list to make sure that everyone was accounted for. (This was not instructed but when asked why a list was needed she explained that she did not want to miss anyone; like on her birthday invitation list. Such a great example of organizing her surroundings & using what she has experienced.)
 If you noticed, they all have a different 
look to them, which is perfect! 
There is no right or wrong answer to how one views themselves. Yes, eyes are generally located in a certain area and a nose is generally centred on the face but this is another simple step towards building confidence, self esteem and the freedom to create with out restriction. Displaying these beautiful pieces allows each child to see that everyone is different and that is something that we honour and cherish within our room. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Please take a minute to LISTEN.

As I walked away from an inspiring experience with a great group of people yesterday. This song came on the car radio. Gave me goosebumps. Such "true" lyrics for life and all that we do. This put so much meaning behind why I do/did what I do/did. 
Change one path in life and you make a different.