Teaching Methods

Our Philosophy, using the Reggio Emilia Approach…

We believe that the parents and the family are the most important caregivers in the child’s life. In maintaining an atmosphere of respect, warmth, predictability, and encouragement, we attempt to create a safe environment where children learn to trust their abilities and extend their limits.

We believe that each child is an individual and should be allowed to develop at his/her own pace in a safe, secure and nurturing environment.

We believe that children should be treated with respect and should be free to express their feelings.

We believe that children learn by exploring the world around them, thus making sense of the world in which they live.

We believe in giving children a sense of self confidence and individuality.

We believe in inspiring the children to seek out knowledge.

We believe in having children learn about their own individual strengths and ideas.

We believe in making the centre a fun place where the child looks forward to coming.

We believe in developing a community where parents, teachers, staff and children can share information and support each other’s development.

Roles of the Early Childhood Educator

First and foremost our Educator is a keen observer of the children: listening, watching and documenting their ideas, feelings, and ways in which they communicate.

Our educatoris a co-creator of the class along with children.

Our educator studies, plays, and learns with the children.

Our educator will help children form meaningful relationships with the environment around them.

Our educator uses provocation with children to engage learning.

Our educator is always observing and building on new children interests.

Our educator acts as a facilitator and expands on existing knowledge to help children further their learning.

Our educator gives uninterrupted time periods for learning.

Our educator will have readily available documentation, through photographs and children’s quotes, for children to see what they have learned.

Our educator will have informal conferences with the parents throughout the year. In addition the educator will have two formal conferences in a year set up at the end of January and at the end of May, with his/her team members. These conferences are to share observations on each child and on the child as a member of the group.

Incorporating the Reggio Emilia Approach

Give children as a sense of self confidence and individuality.

Inspire children to seek out knowledge.

Learn about their own individual strengths and ideas.

The Centre is a fun place where the child looks forward to coming.

To develop a community where parents, teachers, staff and children can share information and support each other’s development.

Reading Program

The debate continues: phonics versus whole language. Phonics advocates recognize our phonetic language and the need to teach children to sound out or decode words. Whole language proponents state that reading is obtaining meaning from print and children need to read “real” books; the strictly controlled vocabulary books that accompany phonics programs often do not make sense to the reader. The question remains; who is right?

 

“Spelling into Reading” incorporates the best of both worlds. We use an explicit, systematic phonics program that teaches “spelling before reading”. In fact, reading naturally occurs after spelling instruction begins. We understand that our language is phonetic and the children need tools to successfully learn the code, both to read and spell. But reading is not being able to sound out or decode; it is getting meaning from the print and understanding what is being communicated. Therefore, we begin with spelling.

 

The children learn spelling through a unique dictation process. The spelling list then doubles as a reading list and it is with these words that the children practice “sounding out” or “ decoding”. Once this process becomes largely automated, the children naturally step into reading. There is no need for “basal readers” and “workbooks” as children will be able to begin with “easy readers” found in libraries.

 

We teach everything correctly the first time so that children are not forced to relearn things that have been done incorrectly for a long period of time. We teach from what is known to what is unknown, building “line upon line and precept upon precept”.

 

Once the children are reading (and this is not “sounding out” practice, but reading for meaning), the children are put on an individualized reading program according to their ability. Some start reading books early, while others jump in later when they are ready. Grade Two children and above may use novel studies and short stories to deepen their comprehension and thinking skills. Our spelling into reading program then becomes a spelling program successfully teaching spelling and how the English language works.

 

We recognize that we are giving children the “tools” to be able to read and spell. Like all tools, children will master their use at various times; some will need more practice than others. But we believe that all children can learn and be successful as this multi-sensory approach incorporates all learning styles.