Greetings from Elizabeth Hartmann and Cortney Matier, Studio Teachers for Early Childhood.
The four year old preschool children at Thornton Creek, Ridge Wood and Old Village School are offered the opportunity to visit the Studio; a warm and inviting space where children are encouraged to be creative and explore their self expression through a variety of materials. It is a place where your child can build knowledge, problem solve and negotiate with his/her peers, as well. In the Studio, we assist children in building on interests, curiosities and thoughts that evolve as they explore the studio materials. Often these interests originate in their classroom, as they explore with teachers to develop topics of study, areas of interest or extended projects.
As we study the Reggio Emilia Approach and philosophy, we come to see ourselves not only as educators, but also as researchers and co-learners with the children. Therefore as we spend time with children both in the classroom and in the Studio, we will be listening to their thoughts and ideas, asking questions to provoke insight, and sharing our observations with classroom teachers. Studies from these observations often evolve into projects that may last a week or more and will involve a variety of media to help children construct, express and reflect upon their thoughts and opinions about a topic or study.
Children work on many skills while in the Studio. They may build on previously acquired knowledge, problem solve, investigate, negotiate with peers, construct, discover how things work, develop eye-hand coordination, build self confidence, learn to work cooperatively in small groups, refine small muscle development, as well as express their creativity in new and different ways. We also spend time exploring new art media and techniques.
As reflected in our Early Childhood curriculum and as early childhood educators, we know that for children, the process of what they do is equally as important to them as their final product, and that one child’s work may look very different from another’s. Knowing that each child has something important to contribute, we eagerly anticipate unleashing the artist inside each child.In the studio we value: