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Posted on Mar 31, 2011

Early Childhood Learning Part 2

Observing and Questioning To Create Early Childhood Learning Experiences

March 31, 2011

Prekindergarten teacher Kerry Starzyk and preschool teacher Kristen Pace recently visited First Presbyterian Nursery School in Santa Monica, a highly regarded program inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Both the classroom visits and the school’s takeaway literature affirmed that a quality teacher is an astute observer and an amiable questioner. When children are actively engaged, whether in the classroom or on the play yard, the role of teachers is listen to conversations among peers and ask students questions about their ideas and actions (see Rm. 4 “Gem” of the Week). In addition, excellent teachers document the content, processes, and products of the children’s learning, whether by writing down rich dialogue or by taking photos of original creations. Consistent and thoughtful documentation allows teachers to identify trends and patterns in students’ interests and abilities and, of course, when emailed to you, provides fodder for continued learning conversations at home. Taken together, observations, questioning, and documentation lead to deep early childhood learning experiences, which help children make connections, synthesize skills, and create memories. Alison Fleming Head of School
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