Restoring the Importance of Woodworking and Young Children

“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.” -3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center. I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center...

5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage

The explore stage is something we need to keep talking about. In a previous post, I talked about the explore stages of clay. Today, I want to share 5 paint invitations that really helped me embrace the explore stage of paint. Conversation Tip While Painting The one...
Loose Parts Play - Wood

16 Ways Loose Parts Can Ignite Curiosity

Loose parts and authentic play experiences for children are two vitally important initiatives at Fairy Dust Teaching. Many administrators and supervisors question whether loose parts can meet any academic objectives.  Today I want to share some inspiring invitations...
Let's play with metal loose parts

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Metal

Metal Loose Parts! Our last type of Loose Parts in this blog series. If there’s one Loose Part that really engages every child through building, creating, inventing, exploring, and more, it’s metal! From magnet exploration, to big tin cans that clink to make music, to...
Play with Packaging Loose Parts

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Packaging Parts

Packaging Loose Parts are typically known as the recyclable parts. They tend to be FREE! Cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons are just a few of these multi faceted Loose Parts. Packaging Loose Parts Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts reused from shipping...

Restoring the Importance of Woodworking and Young Children

“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.” -3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center. I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center...

read more

5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage

The explore stage is something we need to keep talking about. In a previous post, I talked about the explore stages of clay. Today, I want to share 5 paint invitations that really helped me embrace the explore stage of paint. Conversation Tip While Painting The one...

read more

16 Ways Loose Parts Can Ignite Curiosity

Loose parts and authentic play experiences for children are two vitally important initiatives at Fairy Dust Teaching. Many administrators and supervisors question whether loose parts can meet any academic objectives.  Today I want to share some inspiring invitations...

read more

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Metal

Metal Loose Parts! Our last type of Loose Parts in this blog series. If there’s one Loose Part that really engages every child through building, creating, inventing, exploring, and more, it’s metal! From magnet exploration, to big tin cans that clink to make music, to...

read more

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Packaging Parts

Packaging Loose Parts are typically known as the recyclable parts. They tend to be FREE! Cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons are just a few of these multi faceted Loose Parts. Packaging Loose Parts Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts reused from shipping...

read more

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Fabrics

Fabric Based Loose Parts add such an artistic dynamic to explorations and creations with children. From fort building in construction, to weaving, to dress up, and so much more, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Fabric Based Loose Parts! Fabric Based...

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Loose Parts: Playing with Plastic!

"The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.” - Maria Montessori Plastic is one of the best Loose Parts when it comes to Recycled and Repurposed Items. These are items that most any family can help and donate as they’re taking...

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Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Nature!

Nature Based Loose Parts! My favorite! Between going on walks with your children to find these treasures to watching how children reconnect with nature, nothing beats this. (Not to mention FREE!) Pinecones and sweet gum balls picked up from walk. Wood cookies cut from...

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Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Wood Reuse Parts

Wood Reuse Loose Parts are used all around the classroom. From using big old chair legs as ramps to balancing corks on a tower to using wood frames as a backdrop for designing in art, Wood Reuse Parts are multidimensional! Wood Reuse Loose Parts Reused golf tees...

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How Unique Storage Solutions Reinvented My Atelier

The atelier is one of my favorite spaces to set up when getting the third teacher ready. But, one thing that can be tricky is figuring out unique and accessible ways to display your materials in the atelier for ease of access for children. Today I’m going to share...

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Hopes and Dreams featuring The Orchard School

Wow.  I love how social media connects us.  The Orchard School in Plano, Texas saw the hopes and dreams project for families on our Instagram and brought a new spin to it. They made a Faculty Hopes and Dreams hanging! Something that would be incredible if we all did...

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Going Beyond Cupcakes: Reggio Inspired Birthday Traditions

Birthday Traditions are an important component to celebrating children in your class. A birthday tradition celebrates the day with a special tradition rather than food. It goes deeper than the cupcake and engrains from an early age the importance of celebrating one...

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 3 Steps to Creating a Hopes and Dreams Display

One of the most meaningful family projects is the Hopes & Dreams Display.   This is a visual piece displayed all year long in the classroom.  It holds the hopes and dreams of the families for their child in your class. There are basic 3 steps to creating a Hopes &...

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How To Make A Family Chandelier In Your Classroom

“Our job is too difficult and too beautiful to do alone.” -Amelia Gambetti, Reggio Emilia Family Chandeliers are one of my favorite connections to do with families at the beginning of the year. Today, I want to give you a step by step guide on how to make a family...

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Setting up the 3rd Teacher: A peek into Sidney’s Classroom

“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes, and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.” Loris Malaguzzi With the new school year fast approaching for many, setting up the classroom...

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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...

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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...

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Meaningful Documentation in the Early Childhood Classroom

Providing meaningful documentation has many benefits in the early childhood classroom. Today I want to share some examples of meaningful documentation from Rosa Parks ECEC here in Tulsa, OK. What is Documentation? To put it simply, documentation is a way to track...

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Empathy for the Big Bad Wolf ~ A New Take on an Old Tale

When I went to photograph at Rosa Parks recently, I noticed some peculiar documentation panels which seemed to show empathy for the Big Bad Wolf. I asked the classroom's teachers about this and they confirmed my suspicions. Upon hearing the age old story of the Three...

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Atelier Ideas

One of my favorite parts of the Reggio Emilia Approach is their dedication to the atelier. Today I want to feature some local atelier ideas in the hopes they may inspire you or spark an idea for you and your atelier! "Creativity seems to emerge from multiple...

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12 Ideas for Storing Loose Parts

During the FREE Live Webinar, Loose Parts! Provocations! Oh My!, I noticed a lot of questions about how to store loose parts. Today I want to share 12 ideas with you for loose parts storage! These ideas come from the amazing Reggio-Inspired school, Rosa Parks ECEC!...

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Simple Literacy Provocations

I know some people get overwhelmed when trying to think of new ideas for provocations. Today I want to share with you some simple ideas for literacy provocations that may spark some new ideas for you! Enjoy! If you are reading this and wondering what a provocation is,...

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Flexible Seating in a Reggio-Inspired School

Offering children flexible seating choices can be a great way to make the classroom environment more cozy and home-like. Let's take a look at flexible seating in a Reggio-Inspired school. What is Flexible Seating? Flexible seating is simply offering students multiple...

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Loose Parts

Let's talk loose parts! When I was in the classroom, loose parts were one of my favorite elements of the Reggio Inspired approach to implement! My hope is after reading this post, you will need no explanation as to why that was. What are loose parts? Loose parts are...

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Simplifying Documentation

One of the most important elements of Reggio-Inspired teaching is documentation. From experience, I know this can be one of the most intimidating pieces to implement. I want to share one example of a documentation panel I created along with my students in a first...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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!...

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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 place...

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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...

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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...

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