What is the Reggio Emilia Approach?
The child's interests are an integral part of who we are.
Children’s ideas are valued, prized, and documented into future lesson plans by the teachers. These ideas are reflected upon by the children and teachers as they hypothesize, investigate and collaborate utilizing their environment. These ideas are transformed as children have conversations with these materials, and teachers co-construct magical lesson plans that come alive through exploring mediums from mesmerizing materials, beautifully laminated journals, and documentation that includes photography, shadow play, video, artwork and more.
To support this our indoor environments are authentic home-like spaces with cozy places to be alone, in small groups or together as an entire classroom community. We believe that offering an extension of home and not a watered down version of environments full of rich open-ended materials will promote creative play, social-emotional development, critical thinking skills, and academic understanding.
Parents become an integral part of the curriculum as they slow down their day to enjoy the journey of learning, along with teachers and the children. Open-ended communication and collaboration are key components to investigations as the child deepens their understanding through morning and reflection meetings, field trips, and periodic parties celebrating the children’s work. The curriculum becomes a project based body of work in their natural surroundings. The result is we value and respect each child’s abilities as they foster collaborative relationships with their peers. We believe through this process each child naturally arrives at their own story.
“Our experience confirms that children need a great deal of freedom: the freedom to investigate, to make and to correct mistakes, to choose where and with whom to invest their curiosity, intelligence, and emotions. They need the freedom to realize how reason, thought, and imagination can create continuous interweaving of things, and can move and shake the world.”
(Innovations in Early Educations: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange, March 2014.)
Little Jacks’ Corner documents the activities and achievements of all the children in many forms. Their words and artwork adorn the walls as they grow in this space. We believe that beautiful presentation of the teacher’s lesson plans and children’s work showcases the curriculum and validates their efforts. Photographs, journals, and beautiful displays of the children’s work are some of the many ways to reflect upon their self-image. This instills self-esteem and a sense of belonging to each child.
The Importance of a Second Language
Studies have shown that the best time to learn a language is at the critical stage of brain development during pre-school years. Learning a second language develops memory, self-confidence, mutual respect, kindness, and cultural sensitivity. Spanish and other languages will be introduced to the children through conversation, story-telling, and music. If your family speaks another language, we encourage you to speak with the Director about integrating it into the curriculum.