What is inspiring my new space?

Sunday, January 21, 2018




Like all of you, I am using the new year as a fresh start!  When I was in my kindergarten classroom, it was always a nice time to think about our learning environment.  Specifically, what was working well since September, and what could be improved upon.  I loved re-organizing the furniture, setting out new provocations or materials, and re-imagining the space to match our values and vision.

As you all know, I am currently on maternity leave from the school board.  Once Lilianna turns six months (late February), I will be going back to work with my consulting services.  This includes my first big public speaking appearance at the Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto.  I have plans to offer another Kindergarten Additional Qualification course with York University, as well as host several sessions in my new TransformEd Creative Studio.

So what has inspired me to make TransformEd extend its reach beyond the blog?

I would like a special place to build relationships and strong connections with children, parents, grandparents/caregivers, educators, and community members.  A space that invites play, inquiry, creativity, and learning in collaboration.  Somewhere with a warm atmosphere that welcomes even the youngest of infants to explore the world around them.  

TransformEd will be an artist's escape and any child's dream. I imagine going deeper into the creative process and losing ourselves in inquiry research on topics that we are curious/passionate about.  How wonderful it would be to have a studio where we aren't always working against time or the stress of deadlines...  Instead we will engage with the hundred languages and truly experience the joy of learning in life's beautiful everyday moments!

  

Here is draft one of what the space will look like:




Whether I were back in my classroom or transforming this new space, I am hoping for more of an integrated approach to our physical setup.  In other words I want the different areas to be fluid/flexible to the interests of those who learn within them.  Instead of having a more traditional "reading corner" for instance, I would rather see reading materials throughout the various rooms or provocations.  And I have purposely not referred to my areas as "indoor" or "outdoor," so that we may flow between both and essentially make it feel like one place.

When we are inquiring, it's more natural for the learning to unfold...  Children are creative and they tend to play in such a sophisticated way that we often see math, literacy, science experiments, etc.  But what I don't want to do is limit myself to searching for these subject based learning expectations only... I would much rather keep the studio open ended and see where our questions take us.  Sometimes it's as simple as moving a mirror over to the light table for a new discovery to emerge.  When we have trust in our students and create a responsive learning environment they always far exceed any curriculum! 

With this in mind, I am looking forward to documenting our space as it evolves and those who experience it.  Then I hope to share our inquiries with a wider audience who reads this blog and attends my workshops.

This is the form that I used to reflect upon the learning environment:

Subscribe at the bottom of this blog post to receive all my handouts by email.


Here are some images on Pinterest that helped me dream of what's to come:





































Designing a creative learning environment continues to be one of the best parts of being an educator and Mom.  I could probably post all night with what's available online!  Sometimes when I start browsing on Pinterest, I can't fall asleep from all of the ideas!!! 

Anyhow, I hope that you have been enjoying your first month of the year! I look forward to continuing my posts about the TransformEd Creative Studio and sharing more resources with you.

To ensure that you don't miss any of the updates, handouts, or info., subscribe to the blog (on right hand side) and to the new mailing list below. 











To act as an educator for the child, 

the environment has to be flexible: 

it must undergo frequent modification by the children and the teachers 

to remain up-to-date and responsive to their needs to be protagonists in constructing their knowledge” 


(Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012, p. 339)



countercounter