In the Classroom: The Sunshines
Reggio in the Room
The Sunshine teachers have been very busy working on our classroom environment. We were one of the first classrooms to volunteer to start implementing the Reggio Emilia approach in the classroom.
Reggio Emilia is a small town in Italy where innovative ideas about early childhood development were put into practice. Their philosophy is an approach to teaching, learning and advocacy for children.
With Reggio Emilia, the environment is considered the third teacher, with intentionally organized spaces for children. The daily schedules are planned so there is balance between individual, small, and large group activities, child-directed and teacher-led activities, along with inside and outdoor experiences.
Teachers observe what the children are doing and plan activities according to their interests. Since the environment is intentionally organized, children are more likely to be actively engaged with the materials. Actively engaged children are learning through play, while teachers can positively interact with the children, observe learning in action, write down language, and take pictures.
In the Sunshine Room, we’ve changed several things. For instance, we de-cluttered our room! We received beautiful new wooden and cloth baskets for toys, which are easily accessible to the children. We placed new labels on all the baskets so the Sunshines know exactly where toys belong when it’s time to clean up.
We made our entrance way more welcoming by adding plants and colorful objects. We added lights, mobiles made from natural items, and brought in tree branches to place in different areas around the room.
Adapting the values of the Reggio Emilia approach can be challenging for teachers, but it is well worth it. It’s never too soon to start giving a child a nose for knowledge and tools to investigate the world.