So you want to Reggio-fy your classroom.
You see all the inspiration on Pinterest, on blogs and your imagination, but there's one problem.
You have ZERO budget.
Having taught in the Inner City, I know that teachers' meagre classroom budgets are barely big enough to cover writing supplies and a few notebooks and maybe a field trip, let alone flexible seating, beautiful matching wicker baskets and a gorgeous oversized rug.
You know the importance of creating Ambiente. The importance of creating a space that is responsive to our students' emerging interests; a space that is inspiring enough to pique curiosities and promote engagement, and comfortable and cozy enough to feel like home away from home.
So how can we begin to take steps to transform our classroom learning environment so that it is more inviting and inspiring, so that children will feel more comfortable, at home, and engaged in their learning? Where do we start, given our limited budget?
If you’re looking for Reggio-inspired ideas and activities this fall, look no further than a nearby park, forest, creek or riverbank for this season’s most inspiring Invitations to Create. There is so much inspiration to be found in nature, and so many learning connections to be made. As a big proponent of using loose parts (open-ended objects that can be re-purposed and re-imagined), we find so much inspiration in natural objects to bring home and use in new ways.
Unplugging and connecting with nature is so important for children of all ages. In fact, being outdoors supports development in so many areas: intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and physical (Kellert, 2005).