Saying “Yes” to Children’s Ideas–Teaching vs. Learning

TEACHING VS. LEARNING: One of the scariest things about transitioning to a choice based approach to working with children is a teacher’s fear of losing control.  Many of us are operating under the false assumption that if we control every possible variable, we will ensure that our students are learning. Today, there are whole texts [...]

Art Teaching: Braiding Strands of Theory into Practice

Every teacher-in-training takes theory classes in preparation for entering the classroom.  Over time, our theories about children and learning become the foundation for our practice–the daily life of working with children in the classroom.  As I have matured in my teaching I have integrated various strands of theory into my own unique hybrid of classroom [...]

Speaking out about School Reform

Public education, teachers, and unions have been under attack ever since the report entitled “A Nation at Risk” came out during Reagan’s presidency.  Most lay people–those not directly involved in K-12 education– simply assume what they hear in the media is true–that our schools are failing our children and that, as a country, we are [...]

mid-year musings from the elementary choice studio

This photo gallery shows student work completed in the last six weeks.  With three snow days to interrupt our flow, students nonetheless have shown great focus and persistence in creating original works in a variety of media.  My students are working hard to prepare work for our annual art show on March 31 in the [...]

Reggio and Choice–Reflections from the Classroom

On Tuesday evening, October 12, my Reggio Emilia Study Group gathered in Portland to start another year together.  We have been calling ourselves the Portland Area Reggio Collaborative, or PARC for a couple of years now.  We are a collection of early childhood educators in the greater Portland, Maine area who come together to deepen [...]