I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by two educators at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre. These educators shared an interesting journey that they’ve had in the preschool room about doors. It was incredible to see how the educators extended this interest and acted as co-learners with the children.

The two educators truly embraced the inquiry process. Through their observations, they determined the children were curious about doors. They planned for new ways of exploring doors throughout the program such as in the art and blocks areas, and they created documentation to educate families and community members about the learning, interests, and questions they’ve been exploring. Some exciting highlights were:

  • they had families bring in photos of their doors from home
  • they had parents and grandparents help to add a door with hinges, doorknobs, and a doorbell to the dramatic play area, and;
  • they added door handles and real tools to the play environment for children to explore and manipulate

Thank you for the hard work you are doing with the children and families at Schoolhouse Playcare Centre. You have truly fostered the four foundations throughout this journey and it’s great to see the creative ways that families have been engaged along the way. Additionally, thank you to Wanda for inviting me to attend this presentation; attending these types of events is one of the best ways for us to build positive relationships with educators.

HDLH Bus Tour

We had an incredible time with everyone who came out to the HDLH Bus Tour on Saturday. Child care and EarlyON educators mingled together, shared ideas, observed, inquired, and (best of all) enjoyed some WHEELY awesome bus jokes!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and to all of those who helped to make this event possible. A special thank you to the four operators who took part in our planning committee and offered to host the tour at their centres. An additional thank you to our incredible bus driver, Kirk, who was a team player and kept us laughing all throughout the day!

The first stop was at the Sherbrooke EarlyON where we were inspired by the many ways to incorporate loose parts into the environment. Educators looked closely around the environment, and many were inspired by the bulletin board that read “WHAT DOES PLAY MEAN TO YOU?

Next, we headed to Rural Roots where the educators had presented a multitude of displays and invitations to play. Several educators took a liking to the way natural elements and real materials were used to extend classic learning opportunities. For example, using a real log for the Five Green and Speckled Frogs.

We FUELED the educators up with lunch, and headed to our next stop – Abiinojiishiik-amino-yawook. Here, educators were offered a traditional experience through a smudging and drumming ceremony that was followed by an opportunity to taste bannock and cedar tea. Miigwetch! 

Last, but not least, we arrived at Nanabijou. Here, the educators from Nanabijou were excited to share their talents with us. As we made our way through the centre, we discovered the concept of ateliers and observed new ideas for incorporating nature into the program.

Below is a snapshot of some of the learning that took place throughout the day:

“I was able to gain a new understanding of how educators foster the 4 foundations through materials and how to extend children’s learning through the use of loose parts”

“I enjoyed how the EarlyON Centres celebrate their families and I feel I can build upon these ideas and traditions.”

“I really enjoyed the indigenous teachings. I will be able to bring these new ideas back to our program and learn with our families.”

“Documentation doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be very simple.”

“Great to see different views. Can we network more often?”