This blog is a place to share research, experiences and inspirations around teaching and the world of Early Childhood Education —which I believe includes just about anything and everything creative.

Archive for Resource Room

Read.Give.Grow.

Milk + Bookies, a nationwide charitable organization that inspires children to give back, using books as its currency, was introduced to me by a friend who had a Milk + Bookies Birthday Party for her daughter last weekend. Way to go Svea + Lou!

photo
-Lou “I was happy and excited about giving books away for my birthday.”

A FANTASTIC idea!

Milk + Bookies combines two essential and worthwhile efforts: literacy promotion and service learning. While the book donations are imperative to our mission, just as important is instilling the seed of giving into each host and their young guests, sparking feelings of importance, self-confidence and the desire to give and give again.”

Be inspired!

THAT Blue School.

A couple of months ago at a party full of young, creative Parisians, I spent over an hour talking to a new dad about education, my work and my plans to create a ‘preschool like no other’. After listening to me babble on about this school that I have been dreaming up for the last five years, he asked me if I had heard of The Blue School “It sounds amazing, a lot like what you have just described to me, a friend heard about it from Inez & Vinoodh. Look it up when you get home.” The second I got home I looked it up and within minutes, I was overwhelmed with emotion, mixed emotion … my ‘preschool like no other’ practically already existed! Joy, Envy, Respect, Envy, Sadness, Envy, Excitement, Envy, Hope, Envy, Appreciation, Envy, Wonderment, Envy.

READ: Stories of Transformation: Blue (School) Skies Ahead by Sam Chaltain

The Blue School has been popping up everywhere and I feel a twinge of envy every time someone asks me if I have heard about this amazing school in New York City or when my mom emails me the latest news article. I could only dream of engaging in conversation with Sir Ken Robinson and architect David Rockwell… and that mission statement of theirs, it’s the mother of all mission statements…

“Our mission is to cultivate creative, joyful and compassionate inquirers who use courageous and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world.”

The aesthetic of the actual living-breathing school and their well designed curriculum guide … to die for – Blue School is the real deal! A dream environment for those of us who believe in what our friends in Reggio are doing, believe in the whole child, believe in education for sustainability and believe in the forces of creativity in all that we do.

READ: Curriculum Guide

Today, I am proud to say, Envy has transformed into Aspiration.

Envy: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Aspiration: a hope or ambition of achieving something.

Cheers to you Blue School! Thank you for your leadership and advocacy in early childhood education, for the bravery and hard work you put forward in reaching your goals and for that twinge of envy you have given me – that twinge will help me to reach my goals.

READ: A Home for Blue School

WATCH:

Note to self: Embrace the movement. Be proud that there are others out there who are like minded. Contribute in your own way. Get moving.

Note to you: Whether you have been dreaming up an atelier or a whole school project, let the story of The Blue School be of inspiration to you…a motivator… get moving!

Get Adults Thinking More Like Children!

“What’s it really like to see through the eyes of a child? Are babies and young children just empty, irrational vessels to be formed into little adults, until they become the perfect images of ourselves? On the contrary, argues Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley.

The author of The Philosophical Baby, The Scientist in the Crib and other influential books on cognitive development, Gopnik presents evidence that babies and children are conscious of far more than we give them credit for, as they engage every sense and spend every waking moment discovering, filing away, analyzing and acting on information about how the world works. Gopnik’s work draws on psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in child development research to understand how the human mind learns, how and why we love, our ability to innovate, as well as giving us a deeper appreciation for the role of parenthood.”

Three Primary Colors/Colours.

Brining my computer into school on Monday… we had fun mixing our colors/colours with paint on paper, imagine how much fun we are going to have trying to re-in-act this! Catchy tune … super for english as a second language learners.

“Using new music written by OK Go, the video was conceived and directed by Al Jarnow, a pioneer stop-motion animator who made numerous classic educational and experimental short films in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s for Sesame Street, Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, and other shows.

via swiss-miss via brain pickings

The Power of Real Life

Working in an environment where 80% of the children speak French, I often rely on images to help me teach and communicate – real life images, not the cute animation kind. These clips, from everynone.com, enforce the power of real life images and have me thinking about ways to add a third layer to what I do.

WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.

Symmetry from Everynone on Vimeo.

Why Teach Design Thinking?

Every now and then I have some time to browse through the numerous links that I have saved in my “play+design” folder. I don’t know how long this resource has been sitting there but I am happy to have become reacquainted with it, today.

“The information on this website is provided free to anyone interested in teaching children and young adults the creative and critical thinking skills they need to cope with any subject or situation.

Written by Dr. Charles Burnette, translated into Korean and edited by Yi Ji Hyun, the information on this website may not be revised or reproduced for sale without the written approval of the author, but may be freely copied and distributed if there is no cost to the recipient.”

In other words, SHARE!

Design thinking is multidisciplinary and applicable to any subject.
Design thinking may be applied by anyone to problems of any scope or scale, in any context, using any mode of thought, expression or action and any medium or discipline appropriate to the task at hand. Many different points of view are active during design thinking and any subject may be taught through a design project.

Design thinking integrates imagination and analytical thinking.
Design thinking fosters the exploration, and analysis of relevant information and its effective organization to establish ideas of value regarding a particular context. In contrast, rote learning is hard to remember and use because it has no motivating context of application. Design thinking also teaches how to cope with inadequate information, and uncertainty in order to achieve a goal.

Design thinking emphasizes constructive thinking over factual retention.
Because a design problem may have many different solutions, Design thinking requires ongoing definition, representation, and assessment. It is a continuous learning experience arising out of a need to obtain and correctly apply knowledge to achieve goals that may change as knowledge of the problem and its context is acquired.

Design thinking links information to experience and responsible action.
Design thinking organizes thought to empower effective action, and builds self-esteem and competence by requiring responsible performance in actual circumstances. Knowledge arises naturally from experience making it easier to understand, remember and apply.

Design thinking encourages objective assessment and values.
Design achievements are demonstrable and provide an objective basis for acquiring values. Success is understood through continuous evaluation of progress toward recognized goals and self-assessment is structured by the designer’s own efforts to achieve their goals.

Design thinking promotes cooperation, socialization and humanistic understanding.
Design thinking in groups encourages the development of different perspectives and social skills, including the ability to negotiate, communicate, follow, and lead. Children learn ethical and moral values by directly addressing human needs and desires and sharing their thoughts about what is appropriate and effective.

Design thinking promotes the development of knowledge through creative learning experiences that integrate all modes of intelligence and link learning to effective thought and action in the context experienced by the thinker. It involves consideration of people, resources, relationships, contexts, methods, values and knowledge. It calls on the humanities and the arts to express, communicate and situate ideas and to interpret potentials, on technology to implement them and on science to assess their outcomes. Education emphasizing Design thinking can produce an understanding of art, science, technology and the humanities that is integrated, interdisciplinary and humanistically focused. It can bring art education into contact with mainstream subjects, free technology from its obsolete framework in vocational and industrial arts, and put science to work in concert with the humanities.”

Quality Toys + Healthy Earth

Thank You e-glue for introducing me to Little Sapling Toys. Their products are aesthetically beautiful, handmade, eco- conscious, provoke imagination and promote various aspects of development in young children — Bonus for parents and educators: Fairly priced!

“Here at Little Sapling Toys, we are committed to quality toys and a healthy earth. We plant a tree for every toy sold, use FSC Certified hardwoods, recycled content packaging and participate in our local green power program.

Each toy is handmade by our family in Boise, Idaho. Our way to reconcile modern and natural beauty is by using Maple, Cherry and Walnut woods together with our own beeswax and organic jojoba oil finish. We design our toys to help young children develop creativity, pattern recognition and fine motor skills. Our goals are to make toys that will be beautiful to look at, fun to play with and cherished for generations. We hope these toys will be passed from our children to theirs.”

Development, Services and Policies

The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development. It is intended for policy-makers, service planners and service providers and for parents.

It brings together articles written by internationally renowned experts on topics having to do with the psychosocial development of young children, from conception to the age of five. Each of the 42 topics addressed is explored from three perspectives: development, services and policies. In addition, for each topic there is a synthesis that provides, in a simplified format, the key points that will be most useful to practitioners and planners. This synthesis addresses three questions: What is the importance of this topic? What are the most up-to-date and conclusive data available on this subject? And what can be done to improve services, policies and research?”

Early Years (in Sweden)

“This programme explores the Swedish approach to nursery education. What is the secret to their success? What factors combine to help Swedish children perform so well in European literacy tables?”

via Teacher TV – such a great resource – so many informative videos available here, take some time to explore their site and pass it along…

Team Building

I just can’t get enough of Growing Schools. I am so thankful that this organizations has the will and the ability to share their projects with us online. Inspiring, educational and fun.

Watch more videos from Growing Schools on their YouTube Channel

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If you have any ideas, comments or would like to submit an article to appear on this blog, drop me a line at hello(at)urbanpreschool.com

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