Nature-Based Learning – The natural world supports concept and skills development in rich, meaningful ways. In addition to the many benefits of learning about the habitats, flora and fauna, farms and gardens of our community, nature-based immersion learning enhances mood and sense of well-being; supports physical growth and coordination; provides for greater sensory integration; and facilitates increased impulse control, independence and self-confidence. Learning in nature also promotes creativity with opportunities for problem-solving through play.
Reggio Emilia-Inspired Approach – Reggio-inspired learning comes from the renowned and innovative approach of the early childhood schools in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy. The highlights are child-centered learning, symbolic and transformational thinking through the many languages of the child, relationships, and the environment as teacher.
The Hundred Languages of Children – This concept comes from the Reggio Emilia approach to understanding, celebrating and guiding early learners. It believes that children develop both receptive (comprehension) and productive (communication) competence through many channels. They hear, see, taste, touch, feel, move, dance, jump (and more!) to understand their world and to find ways to transform that understanding. At GNP we will go beyond the language of words and communicate through the visual arts, music, movement and dance.
Making Learning Visible through Documentation – in progress
Thinking Routines – give structure to learning by helping children process, wonder and reflect about their investigations.
Some thinking routines are
What do I SEE?
What do I THINK about what I see?
What do I WONDER about what I see?
What do I KNOW?
What do I WANT to know?
What did I LEARN?
Inquiry-Based Learning – Open-ended questions are different from closed ‘yes-no’ questions and questions that only require a one word or phrase response. Open ended questions, or intentional queries, support learning and give children the tools for applying thinking in more expanded and creative ways. Some questions starters that are always helpful include:
What are some of the ways we can…?
What do you think might happen if …?
What might another way this could have ended…?
Scaffolding – Scaffolding is providing structure for child-centered learning. Rather than learning and memorizing facts, it supports deeper connections by guiding children through thought processes that elicit higher thinking skills and includes pre and post lesson strategies.