#CTInquiry information and new weekly challenge!

#CTInquiry (Connected through inquiry: A curious community of learners) continues to meet on a monthly basis either in person or online.  This is a free network for anyone who might be interested in visiting classrooms that follow an inquiry approach, reading and drawing upon Reggio Emilia inspiration, sharing ideas, studying documentation, and planning ways to support student learning/enrich programs.  Please feel free to access the schedule here and join us whenever you can!

Within this blog post, I would like to highlight the following important information:

  • August's visit to the Louise Kool & Galt Showroom
  • Last month's inspiring trip to Richland Academy
  • Tomorrow's (October 26th) online chat and virtual tour of @creative_explorations' (Michelle van Heugten) classroom 9:00-10:00 p.m. (link to the video tour will be posted at the beginning of our Twitterchat using the hashtag #CTInquiry
  • My hope of starting a #CTInquiry planning committee - first meeting January date TBD
  • Our new weekly #CTInquiry challenges on Instagram

In August, the #CTInquiry network had the unique chance to meet at the Louise Kool & Galt showroom.  They were encouraged to collaborate with educators and review their flow of the day (timetable) or to share images of their learning environments.  

The showroom is setup as a classroom with furniture and materials that certainly have always inspired me on my early learning journey! Of course, I used to always be in search of open-ended items for my Kindergarten program, but found my attention moving more towards their infant and toddler products that Baby S would enjoy.

I brought him that night and we spent most of our evening exploring on a mini highchair that I so wish we had for him in my art studio!  He loved being close to the ground and discovering new toys that we don't have at home.

It was lovely to hear the buzz in the air of excited teachers and DECE's preparing for their September start!  We were so grateful for this opportunity and thank the team at Louise Kool & Galt for staying late to host us in their hands-on space and with a full spread of food too!    

Our next session occurred last month at a private school in Richmond Hill.  I have been quite fortunate to know the founder of Richland Academy, Marlina Oliveira, and have truly appreciated watching her school transform year after year!  My sincere thanks are extended to her, Lisa Abreu (her lead teacher), and the staff for welcoming #CTInquiry that night.  Though we were a small and intimate group, we were left immensely inspired!   I guess September is a hard month to attend meetings or classes, as it's the start of a new school year and perhaps may also have been curriculum night/meet the teacher bbq event.

As I walked around Richland, I breathed a quiet sigh of relief that somewhere and in some way learning is as it should be...  It was the same sigh and feelings that I had experienced when first encountering the Reggio Emilia approach in Dr. Carol Anne Wien's course.  Though I do not have photographs of their spaces, I did take notes and the occasional sketch of what I saw.

The last time that I had visited their school had been before their new extension was build.  It's hard to put into words what I saw.  Their piazza or gathering area really stood out for me as being a more fluid space.  At times I learned the whole school would assemble there, small groups of students could explore or showcase their project work, and even bike riding was welcomed!  I also appreciated all of the large windows and natural light.  But more than anything, I valued how the school had been created with a strong image of the child.  A place where students could collaborate, inquire, and learn.

Visit their website for more information regarding their professional learning opportunities and open house events.  You won't want to miss connecting with them!

Tomorrow (October 26th) please join our first online Twitterchat of the year!  All you have to do is meet us at 9:00 p.m. using the hashtag #CTInquiry.  At that time I will be posting a link for you to view a video of @creative_explorations' classroom space.  She has so kindly put together a virtual tour just for us!

During our chat, we will be discussing our impressions from the virtual tour, any questions that we have, as well as the "Think, Feel, Act, Lessons from Research About Young Children, Ontario Ministry of Education - Making Learning Visible through Pedagogical documentation" pg. 27.

Please also feel free to share any documentation that you have of an inquiry project that is currently occurring within your own context.

Have you been an active participant of #CTInquiry

Would you be interested in being part of the first planning committee?

This team will be making decisions about classroom visits, socials, creative initiatives, and more.  The face-to-face meetings will occur in York Region, Ontario, however, we can Skype you in if travel might be a challenge...

Please email joannemariebabalis@gmail.com by the end of December.  Our first meeting will be in January and together we will plan the new year! 

#CTInquiry has launched a new weekly Reggio Emilia inspired Instagram challenge hosted by @creative_explorations and myself.  It is grounded in the professional resource "The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation" with quotes included as captions for each week's changing topic.

How to join the challenge?

  • Follow @ctinquiry on Instagram where the challenge will be posted on a clipboard.  
  • Tag your photos that match the challenge topic (new and old) with #CTInquiry.
  • Stay tuned throughout the week as some of the images will be featured with inspiring quotes from "The Hundred Languages of Children" book!

We hope that you join us!

Who would have thought that three years ago this simple network which commenced as an idea to gather like minded passionate educators together could turn into so many varying opportunities?

I am so pleased and thankful that you have joined those who are journeying through inquiry with me!  It has been a great gift to learn alongside you and to watch #CTInquiry evolve and transform!

Quite honestly, I can't imagine my life without this method of teaching and learning!

Hope you have a lovely week :)

Trust is the gift we give to the universe

before we know what gifts it has for us in return.

-Mirabella Love

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