Our Blog

 

January 8 2020Materials as a Reflection of Values

Over the past year or so, I've had the opportunity to spend time in the Toddler program at Columbus House Renfrew. The educators in this space at the time, Cheryl and Brooke, displayed a thoughtful approach to the selection and use of materials in their program. Read on to hear their perspectives and how this connects to a powerful text on environments and materials entitled Designs for Living and Learning.

November 29 2019‘Losing Ourselves’ in ‘Loose Parts’: Educators at Play in Renfrew County

Many Educators in our area have been thinking really deeply in relation to their practices and the materials they offer children. In our sessions with Lorrie Baird, we came to understand that loose parts and open-ended materials truly do “meet up with children’s lively minds”. Whereas, plastic toys with one or two functions (although deemed fun and attractive initially) simply do not offer children comparable opportunities for curiosity, exploration, or ingenuity...

November 29 2019More than ‘Play’

Have you ever heard of ‘flow research’? It is a body of work that Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has been exploring for much of his professional life. According to Csikszentmihalyi, ‘flow’ is similar to what we might describe as being ‘in the zone’ or “being completely involved in an activity for it’s own sake…time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and your using your skills to the utmost”. He describes ‘flow’ as a state that can be experienced when an activity is both: appropriately challenging to one’s skill level and is also genuinely rewarding.

November 29 2019How Well Do You Know Your ‘Third Educator’?

As many of us know, the common phrase is: ‘the environment acts as a third teacher’ in our everyday practice.

November 29 2019EarlyON Environments: Spotlight on PMFRC EarlyON Play Troop-Petawawa

Over the past several months, I have witnessed some major environmental shifts in a local EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre. This sparked an idea for me: I want to learn more about how and why these changes were made, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of this important work. As a next step, I asked the RECE if she would be open to sharing the transformation with me and she was more than thrilled to reflect and discuss this together. Here are some photos of her transformed space.

November 29 2019What Do Children Know About Us?

This week, my team and I engaged in a deep, thoughtful conversation about Section 3 of Deb Curtis’ book: Really Seeing Children (2017). At one point, we specifically discussed something we might rarely or never think about: How do children ‘see’ us? What do they know or believe about us? What kind of messages are we sending out to the World around us? How might those messages impact others? As you can see…plenty of ‘food for thought’!

November 29 2019Enterprise Talk: Continuing the Conversation

On Monday, Lorrie invited us to think deeply about the way we communicate with children. She introduced us to the concept of ‘Enterprise Talk’–or, communication that involves no directions, no questions, and no praise. When introduced, my first thought (and I’m sure others may have thought the same) was “What else is there to say?”.

October 22 2019Greetings!

The creators of this site believe that there are some *really* important things happening right here-in Renfrew County-and we want to share it! We also believe there are some *really* important things happening throughout Ontario and around the World…and we want to share that as well!