Using children’s own thoughts, environment, experiences, and interests, our teachers guide students to construct their own knowledge. Employing an emerging curriculum, we focus on the process of learning. The learning experiences can be based on many things–developmental tasks, things within the environment, values of the community, or even unexpected events! Through trusting relationships, discovery, and investigation, children learn how to collaborate while honoring the diversity of the community of learners.
The Reggio Emilia Approach
The Image of the Child
We recognize and honor every child’s extraordinary potential, capabilities, and ideas. Children naturally have high levels of creativity and we give them the resources and environment to contribute to their learning process.
Belonging to a Community
Collaborating as a community of learners encourages Little Dragons to work together and share inspiration, creating a welcoming experiencec. Experts are invited to work on special projects and students take field trips to connect with people and places beyond the classroom.
The Role of the Environment, Teacher, and Parent
Each of our learning spaces is equipped with a teacher specializing in an area of expertise to support the homeroom teachers and students. Children have access to a Tinker Lab (a maker space for young children) to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) concepts, the Remida for an assortment of recycled materials to spark creativity, an Art Studio with high quality art materials, a Library to build their love of reading, stimulating outdoor areas, and more.
Through observation and documentation, teachers find areas of student interest and guide the curriculum. The goal is to “make learning visible.” Documentation of the learning process gives parents a window into their child’s world and showcases their child’s work. Digital communication allows for a constant connection.
When studying the five senses, students wondered about how their class pets’ senses worked in comparison to human senses. This ignited a spark that turned into The Guinea Pig Maze Project.
Students learned that guinea pigs have a great sense of smell. To test this discovery, they built a maze. Students researched building materials, blueprints, and guinea pigs food. An engineer visited the class to build a 3D model and a veterinarian provided advice about what guinea pigs like to eat. The school community gathered to support the Little Dragons and to see the experiment in action.
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