5 Ways to Take Your Sensory Table to the Next Level

  For over 27 years, Tom Bedard has been building apparatuses for the sensory table. And it all started with a bucket. The bucket answered a NEED at the sensory table – transporting the sand out of the table. Hello!  How many of you have fought the “there’s more sand on the floor than in the […]

3 Simple Ways to Get Children to Pick Up Loose Parts

If I were completely honest, I’d tell you I nearly gave up on loose parts because of the mess in my classroom at the end of the day. I remember seeing all of those beautiful photos of loose parts in action. I loved the creativity, exploration, and inventiveness the children were engaged in. The first […]

Loose Parts: Who is doing the thinking. . . .the children or the toy?

It is interesting to consider how the materials we provide children call forth thinking. For example, in the photo above – is the child called to think beyond the farm’s predetermined form? The plastic farm offers a child the idea of “farm.” It does not give room for the child to create their own theories […]

How to Engage and Inspire Young Children

I am super excited to share my guest appearance on Patty Palmer’s podcast Art Made Easy. Deep Space Sparkle has been one of my favorite go to blogs for years. I was so honored to be interviewed. Go HERE to listen in. . .

Hand Sewing for Literacy

When I decided to attend a NAEYC session on sewing with young children – I had no idea I would walk into a session with an author I love! In her book “Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make” I had adored the simple but highly engaging projects like the Superhero Cuff […]

Sandra Duncan: Classroom Containers as Invitations

This year at the NAEYC Annual Conference I had the delight of meeting Sandra Duncan. It was exciting because I love her book Inspiring Spaces for Young Children. Sandra is such an inspiration!  I asked her to inspire us at my 2017 Winter Conference. She said she wanted to share an amazing perspective shift in her session. Here’s a […]

4 Steps to Your Greatest Teaching Year Ever

I have one of my favorite freebies for you – the Take One 2017 Toolkit.  It is a life-changing document that has transformed my teaching practice year after year.       I am so excited to share this with you. Feel free to share this with any friends or colleagues.

What is a provocation?

For a long time I struggled with understanding the place and power of provocations.  A few years ago I had a huge ah-ha moment.  I am in an inquiry.  I am a researcher.   With each provocation – new understandings emerge.   I love that it is a process of learning for both myself and the […]

Birthday Rocks

Celebrating birthdays with classroom traditions is an important component in setting up my class community. Each child’s birthday is celebrated exactly the same — and it is deeply meaningful. I am amazed at the comfort the children take in the sameness of the tradition. There is no competition. The sameness allows the class to bring […]

Loose Parts: Construction (LP Master Checklist PDF)

This week I was reviewing The Art of Loose Parts Master Workshop and  had to share some of the amazing loose parts.   Most of these can be had for a very economical price or free! The best loose parts or repurposed materials.   Construction sites and companies, ReStore (Habitat for Humanity), junk stores, asking the families […]

5 Year Blogiversary! Tossing Glitter and Give-Aways!

I am speechless! I can’t believe it has been five years since I started Fairy Dust Teaching!  I had no idea how much it would grow. I still remember asking my daughter – “Do you think I will reach 100 followers?” Today Fairy Dust Teaching is heading towards 20,000 followers. Crazy pants! Thanks to you, my […]

What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Misbehavior

Did you know there is DNA of misbehavior?   In my teaching practice, I have found the only real way to implement effective strategies with children with difficult behavior is to understand the deeper levels of their misbehavior.   Sounds complicated.   But actually, it is not when you understand the DNA of misbehavior. You […]

How to Set-Up A Simple Outdoor Math Center

Creating simple centers outdoors is not only easy but economical.  To demonstrate this – I want to share a simple center.  This center could be a solo activity or group collaboration. OBJECTIVE: Sorting, Classifying, & Pattering. Sorting and classifying objects not only teaches children about attributes and relationships, but also promotes thinking logically and applying rules. MATERIALS: […]

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Class Outside

If you should ask me – What do you remember about your childhood? – I would answer: playing outdoors.  I remember, like yesterday, creating a little hide-out under a group of tall bushes.   I would spend hours with my friends gathering twigs and rocks to make those bushes into a secret hide-out. Children have a natural desire to play […]

How to Create Highly Effective Transitions

Transitions can be one of the most challenging parts of the teaching day.  One of my best tips is to shift how you look at transitions.  Clearly, transitions are the changing times between main activities and group times.   It is often transport time and preparation time. When you view it from this perspective – it […]

The Sound Tile System: It is MAGIC!

I want share a real literacy jewel. This is an easy and economical system to set up. It can be used in multiple ways. I have combined two approaches to create a highly effective small group reading activity. The system originates from a book called “Right Track Reading Lessons: A Highly Effective Step-by-Step Direct Systematic […]

A Peek into the 100th Day of School: Freebies

We began the day with the “collection of 100” each student brought to school.  I put out a large black construction paper for each student to display their collection.  I like using black as it really showcases the collection.  I used to have the children glue down their collections in groups of ten.  But now […]

Make Your Own Nature Folk

Making simple nature fairies and people is really quite easy.   Each one takes on its own personality!  I love the leaf dress!   This little one has lovely leaf wings! INSTRUCTIONS:  Begin by gathering nature’s gifts.  I had my students bring in things they found in their own yards and neighborhoods. I had the […]

GUEST POST: The Life & Times of a Beloved Doll

  In a small village in the north of France (not far from the ocean), lives a little girl in a big buttercream house. She has blue eyes, pink cheeks & long blonde braids. Every day she dances & sings as she plays happily in the garden. When it is cold or wet, she stays […]

Reggio Inspired – Lights

The following photos are from the classrooms at my school. My colleagues have created such glorious spaces.  I am going to post a series of elements. Today’s element is lighting.  There are two main types of lighting in today’s photos – twinkle lights and lamps.  Twinkle lights add a layer of magic and wonder.  It […]

Math Gnomes: Plus

I think Waldorf Math Gnomes are one of the most magical ways to introduce the math processes!  It all begins with a story! Once, a long time ago, there lived a Gnome King.  He loved the jewels found deep in the earth and asked for special helpers to fill his treasure chest.   Four very […]

I like Myself Project

This is a project from one of my colleagues – Jennifer Dean.  Her documentation of the project is so well done – I can let it do the talking. . .                 Thank you Jennifer for sharing your wonderful work!

Inspire School in Taos

  I just had to share a peek into the Inspire school in Taos, New Mexico. Inspire is a Reggio inspired bilingual child care. As you walk up to the front door – there is chicken wire running along side the railing with children’s and adult’s weaving.  So beautiful! Here is a weaving wave on the porch. […]

Boulder Journey School

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Boulder Journey School Conference.  It was a wonderful, thought-provoking gathering.  I highly recommend this conference for an enriching professional development experience.  (And the thrift stores in Boulder are amazing!) I was taken back by the gorgeous environments.  I wanted to share a few glimpses into this […]

Let It Go. . .Frozen

The movie Frozen has dominated the children’s conversations and they absolutely love singing “Let It Go.” A few weeks ago I decided it was time to channel the energy into a collaborative art project. Day One:  I put out different shades of purple and blue tempera paint.  I added a pot of white paint as […]

Jennifer’s Handmade Twig Paint Brushes

I had to share the pure magic Jennifer Dean created in her art center! She had handmade twig paint brushes! The children had handmade paint brushes PLUS materials to make their own! Q-tips on a twig (wrapped with twine). Parsley wrapped on a twig. Cotton balls wrapped on the end of a twig. Look at […]

Picasso’s Playdough

Guess what?!!  I am a contributing blogger to mom.me.   I am loving the opportunity to share my ideas with parents.  My latest post is my Picasso’s Playdough Project.   I took loose parts, playdough and inspiration from Picasso’s abstract portraits.  The level of engagement and conversation with this project was amazing. Click HERE for more details!

Jennifer’s Reggio Inspired Classroom, Part One

I must admit. I am sooooo lucky. I work in a school where my colleagues are striving to bring amazing educational environments. Jennifer Dean, a kindergarten teacher, has created pure magic in her classroom. I just had to share!  Let’s go take a peek. . . Loose parts in the Math Center —  I love […]

Jewel Sight Words, Part 2

There are so many things you can do with Sight Word/Alphabet Jewels.  I wanted to share a bit of my process. . . First, for emergent readers you MUST check LaDonna Wicklund’s I Can Read Songs.  I highly recommend these materials.  She has a very engaging DVD with songs about sight words. You will find […]

Splish Splash!

A peek at Rosa Parks outdoor play: Look at these rich and powerful play experiences.  Boots are a must. Rosa Parks now has classroom sets of rubber boots for water play – because of the ebook purchases many of you made. Thank you so much for your purchase! You can help Fairy Dust Teaching continue […]

Easy Peasy Letter & Sight Word Jewels

I love making special gems and jewels to help motivate my students to learn critical skills like letters, letter sounds and sight words (see method here).  But my original method was way too time consuming.  I needed easy peasy.  I had a bag of those big sparkly jewels (from Michael’s Craft Store).  Perfect! Yes!  Super easy!  […]

A Sneak Peek! Rose Rock School

I am so excited to share a wonderful jewel in the heart of Oklahoma – Rose Rock Waldorf School!  This school was founded by Shanah Ahmadi as an in-home childcare facility in 2010.  Shanah’s goal is to provide a warm and home like environment for young children in a Waldorf-inspired way.  Her approach includes daily […]

Who is that Mystery Reader?

I love having “Mystery Readers” and it has been an important part of my classroom for years.  There is nothing more exciting to a student than to have a family member read to the class.   I did not think it could get any better until I started working with my co-teacher, Patty.  She has a […]

The Human Game Board

The human game board is so simple – yet so fun! A game pathway is created with laminated sheets of construction paper. I made “stones” that are leading to the Red Goblets. The beautiful thing is that the path can be set up anywhere in any configuration. We use a large dice. I like to […]

Chinese Painted Fans & Dancing

I am always amazed at the level of joy and engagement the exploration of the Chinese New Years brings to the classroom.  It is richly embedded with academic learning (for example see Chinese Counting Set ) in a way that addresses multiple learning styles and needs.  Fan dancing is another great math activity. I am […]

Building the “Great Wall” of China

Building the Great Wall of China with brown bags is a great collaborative project.  Today the class worked together to create a wall as long as they could.  It required placing the bags side by side.  The children had to make decisions about which directions the wall would travel. The wall began in the classroom […]

Recycled Chinese Dragon

I saw this Chinese New Year’s Dragon last year at Zarrow Art Center.  It was created as a collaborative, multimedia, recycling project. Children from kindergarten through 6th grade students from Kendall-Whittier Elementary School took part under the direction of Art Teacher Kathleen Walker.  I think it is absolutely incredible.  What a great use of those […]

2014 Create Your Year Planner! New Years’ Resolution Solution!

Click HERE to download. This is my gift to you!  I appreciate you all so much! This playful planner has been created to give you access to an amazing year!  There are 71 pages of creating-your-year-goodness.  Forget those resolutions and make true changes! A few interesting things to note.  Did you know that a study […]

The Story Table

The Story Table is a vital part of my classroom.  It is a miniature world of nature complete with animals. STEP ONE:  The Base – I like to use a strong base so children can push on it and it will not collapse.   This is a shelf laid flat. STEP TWO:  Cover the shelf or […]

Self-Identity Chandelier

This is my current identity panel.   I love it! I found this really great screen door at a local antique mall. I like to set up the Bead & Wire Center with a mat at each spot.  I prepare the wires by placing a bead at the end of the wire (see photo below).  I […]

Featured Follower: Susan Meyer

There are people who cross your path and you instantly connect.  Susan Meyer is one of those people for me.  She has been a follower of Fairy Dust for as long as I can remember.  I think what really captured me was her incredible gift for photography.  It is stunning.   She lives along the Upper […]

New E-Book!

  NEW E-Book!  Ever-Changing Environments: A Pictorial Overview of Materials and Design at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center!  ON SALE! Inside the pages of this ebook you will find hundreds of gorgeous full-color photographs of Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center and its stunning classrooms.  You will see the key areas of their Reggio […]

Autumn Collaborative Painting

I love group paintings. I began by setting out a canvas I had painted black.  I put out a variety of fall colors including purple (tempera). I just let the children paint.   I put the canvas out everyday for a week.   I just let it unfold as the children decided what colors and items to […]

Multi-Dimensional Sensory Table

There is something magical about boxes.  Add those to the sensory table and it is pure magic! Tubes and funnels where attached to a large boxes taped between two small sensory tables.  I put openings on all sides of the box so the children could move the rice in multiple directions.  I put a box […]

Dice Art

This is a very simple but effective arts integration idea for reinforcing number quantities 1 -6.   It is a great way to check 1:1 correspondence and number conservation. Each child will need: a dice, a construction paper blotter (Dapper or Bingo) paint bottles How to Play: Roll the dice.  I tell the children to […]

Teaching Children How to “Make Their World”

Elizabeth des Roches is a Wild Waldorf Mama & a Vintage Crafts Explorer. Just over 3 years ago – she & her husband decided to sell their house in Toronto after buying a beautiful old house in the French countryside. They packed up her books & materials, his tools & their 2 youngest kids decided […]

A Fall Nature Table – How to Create Your Own

GUEST BLOGGER:  Elizabeth des Roches Elizabeth des Roches is a Wild Waldorf Mama & a Vintage Crafts Explorer.   Just over 3 years ago – she & her husband decided to sell their house in Toronto after buying a beautiful old house in the French countryside.  They packed up her books & materials, his tools & […]

The “Three Little Pigs” Playdough

This is a super fun playdough center – perfect during the fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs.   I make a big batch of brown playdough and put out the three materials the three pigs used to build their houses.  I let the children know that they can build a house for their “pig” any way […]

Sensory Table Mojo – Part 1

I love love love putting weird and wonderful things in my sensory table.  This is an old farm milk strainer.   I set it in the wire holder of an antique apple strainer.   It worked perfectly. It is magic. . . This was just a little sensory table that created big interest. Scooping, pouring and watching […]

Zen Playdough. . .

Begin with plain playdough.  No color, no scent.  Just plain old simple playdough. I set out little bowls of old grains and spices.  Flax seeds, chia seeds, basil leaf, a flower tea. . . . All set out with a zen like peacefulness.  Sniff.  Pick.  Mix. I added a mortar and pestle for pressing and […]

Procedures: Learning to Use Glue

Teaching young children how to use glue can be as simple as a song and strong visual instructions.   Just click on the image to download a copy of this song.  My co-teacher, Patty, has a wonderful additional line I have never heard – “It is strong!”   The children love it!  We make a […]

Rock Puzzles

This is the coolest idea from my colleague, Patty. She calls them rock puzzles. It is very simple. You find nice sized, flat rocks. Wrap the rock in a towel and bam! Break a piece or two off with a hammer or another rock!   How to use the rock puzzles: Put four to five […]

Make a 3-D Game Board!

This is another idea I shared in my Summer Institute.  It is one of my favorite math activities – a hand-built 3-D game board. The best part – the children get to construct it. Base – a shoe/boot tray.  This one is from Target and is copper. I have used cheap black plastic boot trays. […]

Easy Peasy Game Boards

In my Summer Institute I shared some of my favorite math games.  I love simple game boards for a wonderful way to practice counting and 1-to-1 correspondence as they move their game piece.  It builds the life skills of patience and waiting. I found that children love to create their own game boards.  It is […]

~Fairy Tale Magic ~

Me oh my!  How magical fairy tales are as a curriculum organizer.   It still amazes me how well the fairy tales carry all the major facets of curriculum.  Take a peek at my Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Click on image to view a larger version. I have sought out and found the very best […]

Easy Beautiful Embossed Metal

  This is a super easy and fun project.   It requires adult supervision. What you will need: metal foil sheets (Dick Blick 12 aluminum sheets for $2.84) wooden styluses or pencils newspapers optional:  cardboard frames (Dick Blick 12 white for $3.68) Here are the aluminum 5″ x 5″ sheets You want newspapers that are fairly […]

Woo Hoo! Welcome to my New Digs

Oh my word!  I am so excited to welcome you to my new cyber home.  Jeni, the Blog Maven, has made some real magic in her design of my site.   I am so grateful for her hard work and amazing talent! I would like to give you a tour!  Ready?!  Let’s check out the magic […]

Homeschooling in France: French Fibre Festival

For the last 3 weeks, I have invited you into our homeschool & daily life in rural France. You can see those posts here & here & here. I’ve been posting the “extra” photos that go along with those posts on my own blog – you can see those here. This is the final guest […]

DIY Color Matching Game

I saw this in my colleague’s classroom.  I love how simple it is!   Easy peasy.  This is a great activity to have in a basket like the photo below or you could set it up like a Montessori tray.  What you will need: paint samples (2 of each color you use) clothespins tacky glue  One […]

Dynamic Family Involvement Course Starts Soon!

When:  June 23-29 Where:  Online Classroom Cost:  Only $37 (deal ends June 14 at midnight) I must confess.  I absolutely love this workshop – Dynamic Family Involvement.   Hands down – it is one of my most treasured workshops.  Why?  Because I know the impact it has on each child’s learning.  Family support is key. This […]

Homeschooling in France: Our Village & Countryside

For the last two weeks, here at Fairy Dust Teaching, I have been giving you a peek into our homeschool & daily life in rural France. You can see those posts here & here and even more photos on my blog, Handwork Homeschool. Today, we’re going to take a little tour around our village & […]

DIY Sand Blocks

It is super simple to make your own sand blocks – and on the cheap!  These are wonderful for a Music center.   You can do group music as you can make a class set for under $25.  Woo hoo! What you will need: 60 coarse grit sand paper wood blocks (wood craft section of […]

Dramatic Play: It’s Brain Smart!

Dramatic Play is not only a source of wonder and magic — it is good for cognitive development!  Pretend play requires the ability to transform objects and actions symbolically; for example, pretending to be mommy or a doctor; pretending a bowl of nuts and leaves is oatmeal for Goldilocks. There is research that has shown […]

Homeschooling in France: The Secret Garden

Guest Blogger:  Elizabeth des Roches Blog:  Handwork Homeschool Last week, here at Fairy Dust Teaching, I introduced my family & gave you a glimpse of our days at home. You can see that post here & more photos on my blog, Handwork Homeschool. Welcome to our house. We do a lot of learning, making & […]

Reggio Inspired: Ramps & Texture

Guest Teacher:  Kati Nash Reggio Inspired Blog Series For months friends had been exploring ramps and their relationship to the objects that travel down them. After exploring with different objects in our classroom from wooden spools to water, friends began making objects with clay to roll on the ramps. Friends started by making balls and […]

The Making of a Clay Fairy House

 One day, while a few children were exploring clay, the notion of building house emerged.  Several children pulled out some of the log blocks.  Pieces of clay were placed in the log “forest” as one child called it.  The piece with the hole in this photo was created for “lady bugs to crawl through.”  Another […]

Easy DIY Name Center

I saw this idea in one of my colleague’s rooms and loved it at first sight. It is so simple and super cheap to make.  It is a great letter matching game and the clothespins help build fine motor skills. What you will need: a couple packages of clothespins a sharpie (permanent marker) printed & […]

Homeschooling in France: Part One

Guest Blogger:  Elizabeth des Roches Blog: Handwork Homeschool  My good friend Sally, here at Fairy Dust Teaching, asked me if I’d like to share a bit about my homeschool & life in France. “Sure”, I said, “why not?”  Today, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into our time at home – learning, creating & making.  […]

Reggio: Ramp Investigation

Guest Teacher: Kati Nash Reggio Blog Series  Hi! My  name is Kati and I am a teacher in a Reggio-inspired preschool that serves the most at-risk children in our school district. Our school is unique in that we have private, philanthropic funding but remain a public school. Our school works with many local foundations and […]

Reggio: Scissor Storage!

 I love this simple but highly effective why to store and display scissors – in a brick!  Who knew! This photo was taken in one of my colleague’s classroom.  So cool.  It looks so natural and provides a clear place for children to reach for a pair of scissors!  

Alphabet Play

This is a lovely idea I saw in my colleague Kati’s classroom.  I had to make one for my class and share it with you.  It is easy to set up.  Put the printed pages into page protectors and slip into a binder.  (I have included a cover for the binder.) You will need the […]

Black Bean Sensory Tub

Materials: black beans and lentils lavender large glass discs (Dollar Store) little felted wool balls (Hobby Lobby) spoons and tongs little baskets tins and other containers on hand  Skills: Scooping beans with the spoons.  Pouring beans into the basket.  Filling the basket to the top and closing it. Picking up felt balls with the tongs. […]

Storytelling in Blocks

Oh my word!  I was so excited to discover a lost thumb drive with photos from my classroom in 2007-2008.   I thought I had lost all of my photos when my first laptop crashed.   My daughter found a random thumb drive and . . . well . . . a treasure trove of photos! One […]

Creating A Chandelier

I love, love, love the look of the “Reggio-Inspired” chandeliers. It was one of the must-do projects with my new class. I wanted to start with a “natural” base.  Well . . . it just so happened that my son had a big pile of dead bushes in his backyard.  Viola!  A chandelier base! Materials […]

Glue Multi-Media Paintings

This is a very fun way to produce a process based painting. I love the texture and dimension it produces!  I begin with a canvas that the children have previously painted.  These canvases were painted with red, yellow, and orange paints. What you need: glue liquid watercolors or food coloring (these will keep the glue […]

Block Habitat Constructions

Block play is so rich.  It can expand to include so many different kinds of constructions.  In my block center I have the following materials (in addition to the blocks): large river rocks moss covered “rocks” (floral department) green grass (floral department – holds flower stems) assorted silk flower and plant stems small logs large […]

Two Years Later – Miracles Abound!

Two years ago Easter Sunday, my eldest daughter mysteriously lost all ability to walk, hold her head up – – she became like a limp rag.   It took nearly 5 months to figure out – she had an aggressive form of MS.  She spent nearly four months in a hospital bed.  At one point, we […]

Markets in Nice

I must admit, I adore the open markets.  There are so many!  Here is a little flea market in Nice: Okay this is not a market but gee whiz – the blue in Nice is amazing.  We sat next to the sea and . . . well . . .  experienced such warm and glorious […]

Going South!

 It is 7:00 a.m. in the morning and it is time to say good-bye to Paris — for now.  I loved our little flat in the Latin Quarter.   So bohemian. There is something about the train station that is always so exciting. I love the European trains.  We headed south to Nice, France. (Notice the […]

A Little Paris Sparkle. . .

It was misting as we walked around the corner.  Damp, dark and cold.   I wondered why I was out in the rain to see this famous landmark.  I am sick.  This is crazy. Nothing could prepare me for the amazing view of the Eiffel tower sparkling. It was stunning! It was so magical – I […]

Paris Coco Style

If Coco Chanel loved Angelina’s – surely I would.   And further more, Audrey Hepburn loved this place.  It was a must do.  My friends and I were running late. We hopped on the Metro and quickly found ourselves lost. It was 6:15 p.m. and Angelina’s closed at 7:00 p.m. Against all odds, we arrived at […]

Books in Paris

Okay.  I must make a confession.   I am a complete book-a-holic.  I have way too many and still – crave more.  Nothing thrills me more than a good book.  I went into this quirky little bookshop. The bookshop owner was British and such a delight.  And I found two great old books – “Education Through […]

Sick in Paris

I woke up Saturday morning with a high fever, no voice, and my throat swollen & on fire.  My friends, worried, quickly found a doctor for me.  And here is what he prescribed.   He said my tonsils were swollen and perhaps infected.  🙁  He also felt I could have the flu.  I am unwilling for […]

Tea Time in Paris

Ooh la la – tea salons in Paris! Today I went to Mariage Freres, which has been there since 1850.  They had over 600 varieties of teas from which to pick.  It was overwhelming so I just went with the first tea that caught my eye.  It was the “rouge d’automne the noir.  It is […]

A Paris Toy Store

It seemed like it would be forever before I would be on my long awaited trip to France.   It is hard to believe – I am here. Walking to the toy store.  Such a beautiful walkway. Looking in the window of the toy store.  Dancing fairies! Look closely and you will see her dress is […]

Global Art Lesson Pack + Bonus Wish Pouch Lesson

   PLUS a special bonus lesson plan from Handwork Homeschool! The lesson pack includes these four multimedia art projects: African masks            French Windows      India Elephants      3-D Chinese Lanterns  Over 38 pages of instructions including: Recommended literature to read with project   Documentation “worksheets” (arts integration) Research based learning with non-fiction sources Featured art skills and adaptations […]

DIY Natural Geoboard

Earlier this week I saw this in Mrs. Webb’s classroom.  I loved it and asked her – where did you find that?  She promptly told me she made it.  And it is so simple.  Scroll down for instructions. Materials: tree boards (Hobby Lobby) nails a bag of stretchy bands (like you use on those looms […]

Number Rings

Several teachers in my school have sets of these counting rings.  These are Mrs. Winters.  I love her wooden cube with the number written on it.  The loose leaf rings are large (perhaps 3 inches) with the corresponding number of wooden beads. What a powerful way to present number quantity.  Love it! A basket full […]

Reggio Inspired: Chandeliers

The construction of chandeliers is a regular center in the Reggio Inspired classrooms.  The chandelier hangs in the room once it is complete. Two teachers I work with, Ms. Schouten and Ms. Winters, have some amazing chandeliers their children have constructed. This is a chandelier center in progress.  The base of the chandelier typically hangs […]

Reggio Inspired: Clay Play

The following photos are from two classrooms at Rosa Parks Preschool, Mrs. Winters and Mrs. Terry. A huge thank you to the teachers!! It begins with one slice of clay. A blank canvas receptive to endless explorations . . . Squishing and pulling pieces off. Using a tool to make markings and indentations. Exploring the […]

My Favorite Things: Playstands

I cannot imagine my classroom without playstands.  These simple structures are truly the heart beat of my room.   I house my housekeeping center under these canopies. There is this natural impulse in children to seek hidden, tent-like places.  The playstands satisfy this inner need with such beauty and grace. The playstands can easily be transformed […]

My Favorite Things: AlphaBeat

My Favorite Things:  What I feel every Early Childhood Teacher should have in their bag of tricks! Here is my first recommendation: If there was one CD I would recommend for movement with young children – it would be this one.  I first found this CD in my public library in 2003.  It has been […]

Arrival Stones!

This is a wonderful idea from Andrea Revel, a grade one teacher from Calgary Alberta.  Thank you Andrea for sharing it! On the first day of school, Andrea reads the book “Everybody Has a Rock.”  Each child blindly selects a pebble from the basket (she collected these from the Pacific Ocean). Andrea tells the children that […]

Patty’s Room: Light Play

Thank you Patty and Jenni for the treat of your classrooms! Stay tuned to a new e-workshop with Patty – happening SOON!  I am so excited about this collaboration. Details will be released Monday morning!!

Patty’s Class: Hanging Art

There were so many wonderful hanging pieces of beauty and art in Patty’s and Jenni’s classrooms.  The children were inquiring into AIR.  They created wind chimes.  Here are two of those creations.  I loved this creation that was hanging over the art table.  On child pointed out what he had created.  I looked closer and […]

Patty’s Room: Writing Materials

There is are so many meaningful opportunities for Patty’s Pre-k children to write.  Here are a few: Color sorted markers and colored pencils.  The writing center materials.  I love the two choices – fat pencil or golf pencil.  These are both developmentally appropriate.  And providing tape!  So important!   More writing center materials- a tray […]

Patty’s Room: The Art Center

First, a big thank-you to Patty and her co-teacher Jenni for sharing their amazing classrooms!! Hold on tight!  This is a massive post!  But it will be worth every visual morsel.  First, I am going to share most of the items in Patty’s Art Center.  Then, following the materials, I have posted a few of […]

Patty’s Room: Practical Life

Today I am bringing a series of photos of Patty Eaton’s classroom – an amazing early childhood educator/expert in my area.  It is a blend of Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Constructivism.  It is wonderful! Patty has agreed to co-teach an eWorkshop with me online – – -and it will happen next month!  Woot!  Stay tuned […]

Snowman Village

Here is a peek at the Snowman Village project.  I love the diversity of their villages.   I love providing a palette of choices.  In this project the children: embellished their houses with markers and watercolor paints painted the cardboard “earth” with snow created snow “people” out of white foam clay (pipecleaners and markers for details) […]