Every Picture Tells a Story – Identifying a Preschool Learning Environment

preschool learning environmentEducators and parents often refer to schools as “learning environments”. Indeed they are! But we all know that learning doesn’t stop just because children exit the building. One of our own Kodo kiddos created this structure at home, happily announcing to her family that it was a “road”.

At first glance it may appear to be a collection of random things, cushions, shoes, blocks, paper doilies and boxes. But let’s look with an eye at uncovering the mathematical concepts at play. Savannah, age 3.5 yrs, placed each segment end to end. She clearly understands that a unit can be comprised of several parts and that a road has a linear design. Her shoes and puzzle box also point to an awareness that an individual object’s spatial orientation affects the overall design or function or meaning. In this case she took advantage of the shape of these items to increase the length of the road.

We’re probably not in the habit of dissecting children’s play outside of the school. But the next time you’re out at the park, or picking up your own child from a playdate, you might take a few seconds to look at the play space thorough your educator’s lens. It’s a simple way for all of us to hone our expertise in identifying the learning which is evident in ordinary play.

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