Teachers' Lounge: Intermission
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Kids really get to know the environment if they can dig it, beat it, swat it, push it, join it, combine different things with it. This is what adults call creative activity. It is what artists do . . . a process of imagination and environment working together.
We know how important it is for young children to be involved in hands-on, interactive learning environments. Yet it is good to remind ourselves what this really means.
It means that
- life in a classroom will often be messy and loud.
- children create what is in their hearts and minds, not the model we have provided.
- we will be supporting children in becoming amazingly creative, inventive thinkers.
- The next time you clean up spilled paint or are tempted to silence children’s exuberant voices, remember that you are creating a space for young children where the next painter, poet, dancer, or actor can thrive.
- Books by MaryAnn F. Kohl, such as Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff
- Learning Together with Young Children: A Curriculum Framework for Reflective Teachers, by Deb Curtis and Margie Carter
- Rainbows within Reach, a blog by Debbie Clement, features lots of photos and craft ideas for teachers and families. www.rainbowswithinreach.blogspot.com
Jacky Howell, MA, has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 40 years. She worked at the Kensington/Forest Glen Children’s Center as a teacher and assistant director and at Montgomery Child Care Association’s Training Institute teaching courses, giving workshops, and keynoting for many years. She currently works as a consultant and trainer for early childhood programs in the Washington Metropolitan area and as a speaker and presenter internationally.