Celebrating 25 Years of Educating and Caring for Young Children.


The Wonder of Reggio Emilia

2-5 years

Children learn, grow and evolve in a dynamic “Reggio Emilia” inspired environment that taps into your child’s natural curiosity, allows them to discover and develop their unique talents at their own pace, and inspires a love for learning that will last a lifetime. These are critical elements as young children figure out how the world around them and – if given the opportunity – begin to reach their fullest potential. Key elements of the Reggio approach include:

The Hundred Languages of Children – Give children the freedom to use the many symbolic languages used to communicate and learn (draw, sculpt, write, dramatic play, etc.).
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Throughout the learning process, children are encouraged to depict their understanding in one of many symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpture, dramatic play, and writing. Graphic representation is one of the key ways that teachers have a “window” into the learning process of young children. Revision of ideas and expression is welcomed, as is the opportunity to explore and modify each other’s work.
The Role of the Environment – Create an open environment that flows, offers rich visual stimuli, and becomes an integral part of the learning process.
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Often referred to as the “third teacher,” the learning environment is an important part of the unique Young SchoolSM experience. The rooms flow into each other, integrating the spaces for different activities, even different age groups. Many of the children’s projects hang on the walls and from the ceilings. There are indoor plants and vines and lots of natural light. A rich variety of materials are offered to promote independent and group interactions, as well as spark creativity and problem-solving.
Long-Term Projects – Let children explore subjects deeply and in many creative ways to offer fresh ways of learning important life skills.
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This goes well beyond what you normally think of as a “theme” or “unit” in school. Children may start with a class discussion, discover a line of inquiry, represent their ideas graphically, build their ideas into a group project in the Art Studio, and finally celebrate their discoveries by inviting families to share their learning. This could involve planning and making decorations, writing invitations, writing a companion story and acting it out as a play at the celebration. The best projects create a high level of interest that can be sustained for many weeks – the idea is to foster curiosity, creative thinking, and problem-solving that allows individual children to pursue different avenues of exploration within a group focus.
Teacher as Learner – Observe, interact and adjust the teaching approach based on observing and respecting each child’s reactions and input.
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Instead of being scripted by rigid manuals and guides, teachers work within a flexible framework where objectives are tied directly to the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to work together, observe the children, and constantly re-evaluate how to best expand on the children’s spontaneous activities. Planning is done as a team of teachers in each cottage to promote the best possible learning experiences and in-depth exploration based on a complete picture of each child’s development.

 






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