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Hi Everyone!

I recently attended a conference on Reggio Emilia in Birmingham. Prior to this I knew a little about the work of these nurseries. I was inspired by the conference and some of the ideas used and shared by other practitioners.

Some of my staff are also interested in this way of working and we would like to develop this further. The first step we are taking is we will not plan in the way we ususlly do, but empower the children to chose a theme and we will go along with this - without a time scale. :o I was wondering if any members have adopted the Reggio approach or some aspects of it in their settings and how it has worked.

I'd be very intertested to read your responses.

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Hi Sue,

I tried to do a similar thing in my setting this year, and whilst I and my nursery supervisor thought it worked well, the less experienced members of staff felt lost without our usual planning. To try and alleviate the problem, we looked at the SPEEL research statements (available from the site) and talked about the role of the practitioner as "facilitator", rather than a teacher, and in particular, the methods of interacting with the children and intervening in their play. They still felt that they needed more direction, however.

Is your team all keen to try such a radical change? It would be great if they were as it is such an exciting way of working with the children. :)

Have you ever come across "mind mapping", ie getting the children involved in finding out all about a particular topic?

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Hi I did some training through the Central Bureau (Socrates website) Comenius inservice training, course held in the Netherlands (1 week)

excellent training by reggio trained teachers and funded by the government

would strongly recommend you look into the course - very good

 

Course title REACH

Reggio Emelia Approach to Children

 

Course includes visits to schools and pre-schools in Arnhem and central Amsterdam all working in reggio style

 

course content very good and interesting

accomodation fantastic

social activities brilliant

and international contacts to partner with for future thinking and learning

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Hi Everyone!

Helen thanks for your input. My team sre excited about looking into other ways of working with children. I thought to possibly start using some of the Reggio approach with one room first (we have 4 rooms) to guage the response. What do you think? :o

Could you explain a little more about mind mapping, I haven't come across this before.

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Hi Sue,

I first discovered 'mind mapping' from Nicola Call's book (The Thinking Child). The process is all about the children demonstrating what they know about a particular topic/subject/concept. It can be used at the start of a topic in your setting (to find out what they already know, and therefore what new learning you can plan for) or as a stand-alone activity. It goes something like this (in my setting, anyway!):

 

We write the name of the topic on a piece of card and place on the floor. The children (small group, about 5) play a game where they tell me anything and everything they know about it, and we make a kind of topic-web on the floor, using paper, string, ribbons, real objects, drawings, etc. For example, if we have the topic 'Food', the children burst with ideas: favourite food, healthy food/treats, animals eat different food, where does our food come from?, cooking food changes it, etc etc. The task is to try and order their thoughts and make this 'mind map' on the floor, using the ribbons and string as connecting bits, eg you might have a section on fruit and have a pretend or real apple on the floor. In another section, you may be showing favourite snacktime food, and you could lay the ribbon between the two.

 

I've just read through this, and I'm not convinced it makes any sense at all :o

 

I'll explain more if it's all muddled.

 

 

In terms of you starting off a Reggio-style environment in one room; have you got one room where you could have a 'creative workshop'-type environment? That might be a good place to start the approach, with easy-access to materials for creative art work, DT, etc, and staff training on their role in following the children's interests to promote new learning and skills development.

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Thanks Helen

You post does make sense and I'll definately look out for Nocola Call's book. It sounds like a good way forward. :)

THe room we are looking at for the Reggio Style approach has a smaller room adjoining, where we were thinking about having mirrors and reflective surfaces. The main room is big enough to have a creative central area and one of the staff members within this room is extremely artistic and is buzzing with ideas. :D Mind you I still have to convince the parents and Ofsted! :o

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