A month of exploration, discovery, and learning.

This has been such a glorious first month where we have developed new skills and shared many special moments together!  

We have learned to:
  • Play, think, wonder, and learn
  • Interact safely within our classroom and with our classmates (share, cooperate, solve social conflicts, etc.)
  • Clean up after ourselves
  • Listen attentively to the person who is speaking
  • Follow simple instructions 
  • Load and unload our backpacks (take out our agendas and library books)
  • Line up to visit the library, gym, or music room
  • Listen to a new story read to us and respond with our thoughts about it
  • Dress for the outdoors (zipping our coats, putting on our shoes)
  • Explore our Natural Learning Environment
  • Eat our snack and our lunch
  • Complete our daily writing during "Thinking and Learning Time"
  • Walk with a partner on the sidewalk toward our nature trail 

Our photos showcase the special moments that we have shared:
Please note, we now have permission from some families to show their child's face on the blog.

Celebrating our blog's second birthday!

Drawing and writing while engaged
in play-based learning.

Finding our photo on the "Daily Writing Wall."

Hanging up our daily writing during
Thinking and Learning Time.

Feeling proud of showing our
personal best writing each day!

Adding numbers to our dramatic play
learning area.

Building with a variety of open-ended
materials,  including big blocks,
rocks, tin cans, and pine cones.

Wondering about the leaves that we
collected on the light table.

Painting with water colour paints.

Exploring with our magnetic tiles on
the overhead projector.

Creating with magnets.

Learning our success criteria.

Noticing our Documentation Portfolios.

Reading books in our book nook.

Adding wonders to our Wonder Wall.

Reflecting on previous learning.

Sketching with charcoal and sketch pencils
 at our drawing table.

Working together to achieve a
common goal!

Using our senses to help us learn.

Making masterpieces in the sand.

Writing with the support of our
sentence starters.

Improving our fine motor skills by picking up
marbles with spoons and putting them
into a tin can.

While all of this wonderful learning was unfolding, Mrs. Ham and Ms. Babalis were trying to get to know each of the students better by finding out about their interests, literacy skills, and mathematics knowledge.  All of the students participated in these interviews, so that the educators could get a sense of their strengths, needs, and next steps.  This important information will help them to plan differentiated mini lessons and intreguing inquiries.

Mrs. Ham completes a fine motor cutting interview.

Ms. Babalis completes a math interview.

Stay tuned for more about our outdoor learning!

Parents and blog followers, we invite you to post your comments, connections, or questions below.

Share your thoughts :

  1. As always, your blog post is inspiring and reminds us how capable and engaged children can be when their environment is set up to foster in independence and wonder.

  2. Thank you Ms. Babalis. Your blog is really inspiring.
    I would like to know more about your 'daily writing' process. How do you incorporate that in your day and what are the expectations? Do you encourage students do show you their thinking or everyone has to do it? Could you please share. Thanks.

  3. I love your BLOG! I'd love to know what other things you have on your learning success criteria. I'm wanting to do this in my classroom, but am not sure how to start. Do you have a picture of it all? How did you introduce it, etc.?

  4. I'd love to hear more about your weekly wonder wall! Thank you for providing such an inspirational blog for fellow Reggio-inspired teachers :)

    1. Hello, my name is Faith and I am an Early Childhood Education undergraduate student and I have to say, wow, what amazing work you are doing with young students with such emphasis on inquiry-based learning! While studying curriculum, I like your approach to educating young children by using play, cognition, and wonder in learning! These are so critical for multi-modal learning and for teaching the whole child. Your documentation clearly shows the students interacting and inquiring in the classroom with a variety of different materials. I also really appreciate one student building with a variety of open-ended materials, including big blocks, rocks, tin cans, and pine cones! I also love the idea of a "Wonder Wall" and I would love to hear more about this type of inquiry-based learning and how you have applied it to the classroom, thank you!

  5. Ms. Babalis, You are truly inspirational. I love the concept of inquiry based learning. Mark is having so much fun in your classroom learning through hands on experience whether he is painting, or developing his motorskills through different activities, or exploring his curiosity. I could see that you truly love what you do. I love the picture of Mark that you have posted.

  6. I am new to the movement of children learn through play. I am wondering how you use your sentence starters seen above? What other starters do you have on your ring?
    Thank you for sharing your learning journey. It is helping me move from traditional teaching to play/inquiry based learning.

  7. I am an Early Childhood and Childhood Education student at the State University of New York at Geneseo. We have been doing a lot of work with documentation, exploratory play, and environment in the classes I am taking. I’ve noticed that you have a mix of photos where children seem to be unaware of the photo being taken and some photos that the children seem aware. Have you found any differences in these documentation styles? Do you use any specific techniques or styles to complete documentation tasks? I absolutely love your exploration-oriented classroom and how students’ work is displayed on the walls. Do you find that giving students’ this responsibility helps to establish community?

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  9. I’d love to know more about your wonder wall!! Can you tell me how you fill it out and if students contribute.

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