What is inspiring my new space?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Like all of you, I am using the new year as a fresh start!  When I was in my kindergarten classroom, it was always a nice time to think about our learning environment.  Specifically, what was working well since September, and what could be improved upon.  I loved re-organizing the furniture, setting out new provocations or materials, and re-imagining the space to match our values and vision.

As you all know, I am currently on maternity leave from the school board.  Once Lilianna turns six months (late February), I will be going back to work with my consulting services.  This includes my first big public speaking appearance at the Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto.  I have plans to offer another Kindergarten Additional Qualification course with York University, as well as host several sessions in my new TransformEd Creative Studio.

So what has inspired me to make TransformEd extend its reach beyond the blog?

I would like a special place to build relationships and strong connections with children, parents, grandparents/caregivers, educators, and community members.  A space that invites play, inquiry, creativity, and learning in collaboration.  Somewhere with a warm atmosphere that welcomes even the youngest of infants to explore the world around them.  

TransformEd will be an artist's escape and any child's dream. I imagine going deeper into the creative process and losing ourselves in inquiry research on topics that we are curious/passionate about.  How wonderful it would be to have a studio where we aren't always working against time or the stress of deadlines...  Instead we will engage with the hundred languages and truly experience the joy of learning in life's beautiful everyday moments!


Here is draft one of what the space will look like:

Whether I were back in my classroom or transforming this new space, I am hoping for more of an integrated approach to our physical setup.  In other words I want the different areas to be fluid/flexible to the interests of those who learn within them.  Instead of having a more traditional "reading corner" for instance, I would rather see reading materials throughout the various rooms or provocations.  And I have purposely not referred to my areas as "indoor" or "outdoor," so that we may flow between both and essentially make it feel like one place.

When we are inquiring, it's more natural for the learning to unfold...  Children are creative and they tend to play in such a sophisticated way that we often see math, literacy, science experiments, etc.  But what I don't want to do is limit myself to searching for these subject based learning expectations only... I would much rather keep the studio open ended and see where our questions take us.  Sometimes it's as simple as moving a mirror over to the light table for a new discovery to emerge.  When we have trust in our students and create a responsive learning environment they always far exceed any curriculum! 

With this in mind, I am looking forward to documenting our space as it evolves and those who experience it.  Then I hope to share our inquiries with a wider audience who reads this blog and attends my workshops.

This is the form that I used to reflect upon the learning environment:

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Here are some images on Pinterest that helped me dream of what's to come:

Designing a creative learning environment continues to be one of the best parts of being an educator and Mom.  I could probably post all night with what's available online!  Sometimes when I start browsing on Pinterest, I can't fall asleep from all of the ideas!!! 

Anyhow, I hope that you have been enjoying your first month of the year! I look forward to continuing my posts about the TransformEd Creative Studio and sharing more resources with you.

To ensure that you don't miss any of the updates, handouts, or info., subscribe to the blog (on right hand side) and to the new mailing list below. 

To act as an educator for the child, 

the environment has to be flexible: 

it must undergo frequent modification by the children and the teachers 

to remain up-to-date and responsive to their needs to be protagonists in constructing their knowledge” 

(Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012, p. 339)

Stay up to date - *NEW* mailing list!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dearest blog followers,

There are some big changes on the horizon for TransformEd!

My one room office/studio is transforming into an entire creative space this Spring!  It will be inspired by my work in Kindergarten and the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  TransformEd will have an atelier, inquiry research area, and so much more.

Free Giveaway - Apple Music Subscription and More!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy 2018 *Giveaway* !!! 

Win a free visit to my new TransformEd Creative Studio for you and a friend (two families or two educators - adult and kids welcome) with a private art session PLUS a one year Apple Music subscription (can be used with iPhone, iPad, laptop/desktop or Apple TV) to enjoy with your little ones while they play and create. 

Happy New Year from TransformEd!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! 

May 2018 be the year that brings you closer to achieving your dreams - whatever they might be...

I feel like my list of hopes, both personally and professionally, seems to grow by the day!  

Teaching with Twitter and Social Media

Monday, November 27, 2017

I use Twitter and other social media platforms when teaching in the classroom, adult courses, and even for my TransformEd workshop offerings. 

During my graduate studies at York University, I was fortunate to take a course about digital technology with Professor Ron Owston.  

Dream Big this Holiday Season

Monday, November 13, 2017

The holiday season is already upon us, and therefore, gift giving is just around the corner!

Are you in search for the perfect present to give your loved ones?  

I partnered up with Mastermind Toys again this year, and my kids and I brought along my best friend Marlena Ochnik with her toddler A.

I know that I generally blog about early childhood education, the Reggio Emilia philosophy, my workshops, and all things creative, however, sometimes it's kind of nice to let you inside my world as a Mommy...

What sets my courses apart?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I have been instructing for York University since 2013.  This includes several sections of the Kindergarten Part 1, Part 2, or Specialist courses, International Study Weeks with Kindergarten Educators from China, and also an Emergent Curriculum Certificate program course on the learning environment. 

What sets my courses apart?

Welcoming our precious flower!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Welcoming Lilianna Grace Vergis to our world!

On Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 at 2:04 p.m. this lovely flower made her first appearance weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces.

39 weeks: Pregnancy confessions and cravings

Friday, August 11, 2017

Is it already 39 weeks?  In some ways this pregnancy has gone by very quickly, and in other ways it has lasted longer than ever!  Perhaps it's because I cannot wait to meet this little lady and experience all the ways that she will change our family.  On the other hand I am not in a rush to deliver, as I feel that all good things come to those who wait. She will make her debut when she's ready!