Tag Archive | literacy


One of the reasons that I don’t feel that spending time on Facebook is a total waste of time (besides staying connected with family and friends) is how much inspiration I receive from the early childhood community who post on Facebook. Finding this quote from a longtime favorite educator and inspirational advocate for young children is one wonderful example.


After seeing this beautiful photo that features a quote from Bev Bos on Facebook early Friday morning, I had an opportunity to celebrate such a sense of belonging on that very same day.


As I spotted K and E carrying the HUGE branch across and over The Garden Classroom, I will admit I was feeling a bit apprehensive about their actions. Yet seeing the determined look on their faces, I didn’t interfere and allowed them to continue with their task.  Besides, I was curious  as to what their plans were. It was very obvious that they did indeed have plans.

Unfortunately, my pictures don’t show the results to the best advantage because of the spotty sunlight, but the girls laid the branch across the entrance and blocked the opening to the deck and Art Cottage.  Okay…I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to ask, what was going on!


K: We’re keeping the boys out. We’re letting in all the girls and half the boys.

E (asking her twin): You mean “B” don’t you? Don’t you?

K ignored her but started grabbing paper and crayons and began creating signs. E also began to create signage and both girls taped their signs on to the branch.


Soon other girls joined them on the deck writing and stamping papers and taping signs.

I approached K again and asked her, “What is so special about the Art Cottage that you want to keep some boys from going in?”

I suspect she did not have a clear answer to that question, but I have to hand to her when she responded to me very confidently and even fiercely, “That is something only girls and not teachers can know.” Yowzers! Now that is what I call ownership!

As I was watching the activity on the deck, I commented to K how hard the “crew” was working. K responded to me, “That is the girl crew working to keep the boys out!”


I invited another teacher over to help me to find out more information and she also got snubbed. All we could do was stand back and observe. With amazement.

Stand back and feel pleased that these strong and determined young girls and future leaders, teachers, astronauts or whatever, took ownership of the space and materials to claim independence and show off their confidence.

With Joy!


P.S. The “No Boys” rules was very lenient. They did not actually bar any boy from physically stepping over or crawling under the branch and onto the deck and into the Art Cottage.


The Yellow Book



Image         I found a little treasure of a book last year in a Japanese market while purchasing calligraphy supplies. It is a flip-book. Each full page incorporates such basic elements of design as line, space, texture, color and form. The idea is to flip the various pages to create a new, original design. I had to go online to discover that the name of the book is, The Game of Mix-Up Art by Herve Tullet. I call it “the design book.”  I love that I was able to buy a copy with the Japanese cover.  I have cherished this purchase, and knew it had some potential for inspiration but I was not really able to incorporate it into the curriculum. It never seemed to grab any one’s attention. Children seemed to be pretty ho-hum about it.

Image    This week I made another attempt to use the book when I noticed one child’s bold statement of color and shape at the easel in our outdoor atelier.  

This artist from the 3 Day morning class had painted a large red circle and filled it in with a soft red colored paint. After filling her brush with a slightly darker tint of red, she repeated her actions by painting a slightly larger circle and filling that circle in with matching paint.Image  The two actions were so deliberate, and the results were so bold and appealing. This young child clearly demonstrated her strong understanding of design. She appeared to be finished but I felt compelled to ask her about her painting and if she found anything familiar in (what I referred to as) the design book. She flipped through the book and focused on the page featuring circles of color.  I asked her if she was done or would she like to continue? As an answer, she added several more circles in various colors.

Read about another fine artist who was inspired by the “design book” in the next posting!

Creativity, Curiosity and Innovation Explodes in The Garden Classroom! (Part One)

The Garden Classroom was very busy last week! The children have become very comfortable and confident as they explored and made many new discoveries. The Art Cottage was filled with artists and other creative and inquisitive minds. Some children have returned to favorite themes of play (The Pirates are back!)  and materials.  They are using more complex language, interesting props, greater collaboration, and problem solving to deepen their play.  Others are leading ME on new investigations and projects. Here are some of the new discoveries, innovations and projects that took place in The Garden Classroom this week. (Note: I experienced a technique difficulty last night while trying to post a rather long entry, I’m trying to see if I can resend it in smaller doses.I will be posting the rest of this entry later this afternoon.)

As mentioned above, The Pirates are back and armed with richer vocabulary, more intriguing and complex plans and the band has increased in size! I’m not sure why, but all of the pirates require clipboards. I quickly went on my own treasure hunt and scrounged up several from other classrooms and the shed.  Each clipboard has a pen tied to it and is ready and available for any pirate (Or scientist, artist and author.)  Now our “executive” pirates are ready to “make lists” (as one pirate told me) and treasure maps or whatever. Aaaargh!