Its almost silly how beautiful this room is. Look out the window, and you see Young's Bay, Saddle Mountain and the rest of the Oregon Coast Range, bridges, fishing boats, Coast Guard Helicopters - those are some exciting windows. I'd like to figure out how we can get the kids up to window level so that they can see a bit more. Stepstools? Crates? Giant blocks?
I don't think I've gone without a place for writing and drawing in the classroom in six years. Once I made it part of the environment, I never dismissed it. It can be an amazing gathering place - especially in a mixed age grouping like this one.
There is more to do to make this as inviting as it can be, but including a place for the to share the children's work is important. Hopefully this radiator cover will become that place for sharing. It is at the children's level, so they will be able to put things up and take them down. But for now, we're getting into the routine of using this as a writing and drawing space : the children go and get the materials they need (a variety of papers, writing tools, tape, glue, and the hot item of the moment, scissors) and they bring them to the table to write and draw and create - whatever they please. I sometimes forget that getting children into the routine of choosing for themselves and getting the items that they need takes a bit of time at the start. But we're definitely getting used to it. I'm really missing those black felt tip pens that we were up to our ears in at my last school! But the space comes together, little by little, and the more I watch and listen, the more I notice what we could add to promote writing. The right materials for will encourage writing through exploration.
For now, we're cutting up a storm!