We have been spending much time this year helping children become mindful of their thoughts, emotions, and bodies. Through active engagement, reflection, and focus on the immediate moments of our time together, we hope that children realize that there is much potential for growth and learning when we engage truly with the present moment.
In our room children have much choice and control over their activities. They choose what areas of the room they'd like to visit, what materials they'd like to use, and the direction and scope of their individual and collective play. Educators serve in role as attuned facilitators carefully observing, supporting and scaffolding children's experiences.
A few times a week we ask children to participate in a whole group activity, usually focused on literacy. Our individual student clipboards are a versatile tool to use when we want to engage children in reflective writing/drawing outside of the classroom. Today we encouraged children to choose a drawing tool they enjoy and headed up to the rooftop garden.
There children were asked to carefully choose an area that captivated them and then quietly observe what they noticed for a few minutes. What did they wonder about the space? What did they think happened there before we arrived? After we left? Who lived there? We invited the children to sketch a drawing to show their interpretation and tell the story of their special garden spot.
In a few days we will revisit our garden spots and compare our drawing with a new moment in time. We wonder if the garden will have changed much since our last visit and how children will enhance their drawings in order to reflect this growth and change. We predict that like the vegetation, our children will also experience growth and development each time we revisit this type of experience together. Perhaps next fall we will start this process even earlier in the year so that children can visit the same garden spot over and over again and witness the full cycle of life with the changing of each season!