REGGIO INSPIRED ENVIRONMENTS
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 1 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7 – 10
Borrowing from the teachings of the Reggio preschools in Italy, our environments encourage children to interact, discover, engage and build relationship with each other and their teacher. They offer clean, unclutter spaces where children learn order and build habits around learning from and respecting their environment. Reggio preschools build upon the child’s current knowledge, recognizing that knowledge cannot simply be provided for the child, but is discovered and learned. The curriculum, often emergent in nature, is based on the interests of the children. GraceKids will use a blend of emergent curriculum and teacher facilitated activities to encourage children’s thinking and problem-solving skills. This blend, according to the research, helps children build executive function – the ability to see the full picture, weigh the options, and make a good decision.
In the Reggio inspired environment, nature and natural materials provide a calming backdrop for learning. There are mirrors, mirrors everywhere – an important part of helping each child form his or her identity. Family photographs abound, reminding the children that they are a members of a larger community, and helping to reinforce the home-school connection. Respect for the environment and the earth, and others is key to a sustainable, Reggio school.