I took an AOE class this past summer to re access my approach to teaching Kindergarten. I thought it would be chuck full of new project ideas and how to better meet the needs of my youngest students. I was think curriculum, skills and lesson plans. Well, I was a bit off track but not completely. The course, Rethinking Kindergarten, introduced me to the Reggio Emilio style of teaching. What it made me do was to take a step back and re evaluate everything I have been doing with my kinders. I spent the rest of the summer trying to put together some materials for students to freely create with that would take them away from the ordinary crayons and paper approach I had been using. I made a trip to the local dollar store where I picked up some pool noodles and bendable hair curlers which probably turned out to be my best investment. Other finds came from the dollar bins at Target and cast aways from class room teachers. I am in the process of putting together a DIY light box for next week using a plastic bin and Christmas lights. Scored those today at the local big box store because of course they already had Christmas shelves stocked before October 1st!!! My approach with the kids was to talk about cooperation and sharing and just being creative. Their focus was to build sculptures. We talked a bit about sculptures before I ever laid out the materials and then I allowed creativity to blossom. After two different classes, I have to say, this has been terrific!!! I love how they have really gotten into it and just enjoyed working together and letting their imaginations flow. Some even explained the purpose of their sculptures and named them. All the while, I have my iPad in hand and am recording for Artsonia as well as shooting pictures for this post. Reggio is all about documentation and the kids loved that I was valuing their work by taking photos of it all. So here are a few photos of the process.