This school year, the Early Childhood has been focusing on the exploration of light and color. In the fall, we ventured over to Holliday Park for a nature scavenger hunt and collaborative art experience in which the found items were expertly arranged into art on top of a colored cardboard canvases. This spring, we chose to explore light in its many facets.
In the Reggio Emilia approach, we find inspiration from the value placed on using light as a material or language of expression. The use of light sources, both natural and artificial, are found throughout the classroom environment and student studies conducted in the schools located in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
There is magic to be found in both of the explorations of color and light as it appeals to a variety of learning styles and fosters positive relationships across the ages.
The planning for this event began with a spark of inspiration from photographs shared by another Reggio inspired educator back in August. As the idea was cultivated, we explored the many challenges we may face, and while daunting, decided that this event was an experience that needed to be shared with our families. As a staff, we drew inspiration from Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach to education.
We can provide opportunities for children to explore ideas that are rich and valuable, ideas that cut across curriculum domains, and ideas that allow for children to make connections in ways that make sense to them. We can be intentional in our planning, providing an array of provocations, materials and experiences, and also be responsive to the wonderful ideas children come up with and the directions that they decide to go in. We can decide as collaborators in the learning process to get excited about learning from and with children. We can dedicate ourselves fully to the value that there should be "nothing without joy" for ourselves and for the children we teach.
On Friday, April 13th, the EC Team came together to transform the school cafeteria into a Light EXPO. 4.5 hours, 8 extension cords, 1 pack of batteries, and 7 power strips later it was complete!
The experience included the use of projectors, black lights, light tables, rope lights, string lights, battery powered lights, glow sticks, disco balls and light brites. The event was well attended with 115 participants of all ages.
materials used: Large hollow and wooden blocks, rope lights, tap lights, battery powered lights in jars, disco balls, rainbow arch lights, small foam cubes.
materials used: tri-colored flood lights, white sheet
materials used: black paper cutouts, fabric, projectors, transparencies with scenery and characters.
materials used: transparent colored geometric shapes, color window blocks on top of table, projectors
materials used: pegboards backed with styrofoam, black florescent and flood lights, neon golf teas, highlighters, glow-in-the-dark paint, sensory bin with glow items, packaging peanuts and batting.
materials used: string lights, pillows, PVC structure, light brites,
materials used: light tables, color paddles, magnatiles, geode slices, crystal climbers, small color window blocks, translucent buttons, translucent letters and numbers,
Glow Stick Construction
materials used: glow sticks, styrofoam pieces and cups
Color Mixing and Movement
materials used: flashlights with colored cellophane, colored light projector, ribbon wands
materials used: 8 foot tables, pool noodles (to cover support structure underneath tables), string lights, table cover.