Guest Post: How can I create a collaborative school culture?

Written by Chanie Wilschanski DiscoverED Consulting   I was chatting with a director a few months ago about school cultures. She was sharing that she feels her school goes through phases of different environments and cultures. I thought about what she said a lot...
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Setting Up the Third Teacher: Beginnings of an Infant and Toddler Classroom

Beginnings of Ablaze Christian Academy's Infant/Toddler Classrooms I had the phenomenal opportunity to tour and photograph one truly incredible teacher who now is the director of Ablaze Christian Academy in Tulsa, OK. They serve 0-5 year old children in an emergent...
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3 Must Read Books When Preparing for Self-Portraits

I wanted to share with you three books to inspire children during the creation of self-portraits. TIPS for using these books: Read a couple pages per day and focus on a unique trait or aspect of self Explore a medium - using our creativity to find objects to represent...
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Setting up the 3rd Teacher: A peek into Nammi’s Classroom (Part 2)

Let's take a deeper look at the details in Nammi's room.   There is a lot of inspiration!  Notice how often she has the children do the writing for displays.  Beautiful. A simple alphabet for a word wall made by the children with sticks and seeds. Laminated alphabet...
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A Closer Look Round Up

I have read a lot of blog posts lately that have made me feel the need to take a closer look at the various approaches to learning. The post that really sparked this is from How We Montessori and is featured first. The following posts are ones that I feel really break...

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...

Firstie Friday ~ Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

It is so strange to me that I have a first grader. When I taught first grade, my students seemed so big! Now that I have a first grader of my own, I can hardly believe how small they really were. My kiddo struggles with sight words so I have searched high and low for...

Toddler Tales: Outdoor Clay Play

Now that I'm not in the classroom, I get to spend a lot of time doing fun activities with my kiddos. I have a 20 month old and a 6 year old who still love doing fun activities with me so I try to take advantage of it every chance we get. I thought it would be fun to...

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...

Mother’s Day Masterpiece!

When searching for Mother's Day gift ideas this year, I came across two ideas that I really liked and decided to combine them. This created a 3 step art project that yielded a masterpiece of a gift. Step One: The painting I decided to try a new technique for the...

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,...

Construction Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Every time I visit Rosa Parks ECEC, I am taken aback by their creativity and dedication. Their rooms are beautifully adorned with child-made chandeliers, inspirational documentation,  earthy tones, and it is clean, very clean! It inspires me to come home and declutter...

DIY Blocks! So Easy!

When I made the move up in grades from PreK to First grade, I was a little taken aback that blocks would not be an item that was provided by the district I worked for at the time. I cannot use the word shocked as that would be exaggerating, but I was definitely...

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...

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,...

Light & Shadow Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Last week, I mentioned that I would be sharing a few of the light and shadow provocations I saw at Rosa Parks ECEC. These provocations were magical and inviting. They also added ambiance to the rooms. As beautiful as the pictures are, they can only attempt to capture...

BAM! – A Simple Sight Word Game

It seems as though I woke up one morning and I was suddenly a mom of a Kindergartener! What? How did this happen? Where is the time going? One minute he's a playful PreK student coming home with dirt in his hair and paint on his hands. The next he's coming home with...

Nature Inspired Provocations – Rosa Parks ECEC

Recently, I - along with the other members of ORIN (Oklahoma Reggio-Inspired Network) - had the pleasure of touring Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center. This is a Reggio-Inspired preschool in the Union Public School district. This school is beautiful inside...

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...

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...

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...

St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center, Inc.

The St. Louis Teachers' Recycle Center, Inc. is an incredible resource for teachers. What is it, you ask? It is a place where all things "teachery" come to wait for their classroom home. If you are like me, you are always reusing items from around your house in your...

All Around Child-Outside

I have been sharing the wonderful things I saw while visiting All Around Child in Overland Park, KS. So far we have explored the common areas, hallways, and the beautiful classrooms. Now you will get to see the masterpiece that is the outside play areas, but they are...

All Around Child-Inside the Classrooms

Recently, I posted about All Around Child, a Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. I loved the school so much that there was no way I could have condensed my thoughts and pictures down to one post. We are about to explore the magic inside the classrooms and...

All Around Child-A Reggio-Inspired Preschool

I had the pleasure of taking a tour through All Around Child, a beautiful Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. This school serves children 6 weeks to 6 years. I was so impressed with this school that I took way too many pictures to put into one post. This...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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