- HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE DEMOCRACY?
The teachers didn´t always force kids to participate immediately, they let them take their time. They give children responsibility, and let the children participate in accordance with their age. The older kids support the younger kids. Teachers and children listened to each other and had respect for each other which made a good classroom environment. Teachers asked children what they wanted to do next in class, gave them options. Teachers asked children about their lives, their feelings, their preferences. Children learn methods of searching for information. Teachers gave children alternate methods of completing tasks. We heard more children speaking normally in class than teachers, and they asked questions in class.
- HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE LITERACY?
Visible letters, symbols, shapes, pictures, colors, songs, in the classroom decorations. There are lots of oral exercises for speaking, singing, rhyming, and writing and reading. Everyone has the opportunity to speak and read in English (second language). Digital technology is used in the classroom. There is lots of interaction and communication between students and teachers. Possibly more literacy in the classroom than is needed for the younger kids, which can overwhelm or distract them. Children listen to each other and communicate with each other. Children get to talk and answer questions about their lives, strong emphasis on conversations and connecting their learning with their lives. There is lots of repetition, especially with infants.
- WHAT CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION REGARDING THE TEACHER´S ROLE?
Teachers gave children a voice and opportunities to speak and ask questions, and listened to what they said. They motivated and encouraged the kids. They gave guidelines, structure, rules, and time limits to control the class. There is mutual respect between the students and teacher. Teacher´s role is an accompaniment to the role of the parents at home. Teacher was not in front of the students, but among them. Activities are initiated and guided by the teachers, not by the students.
*Idea-Let children go find colors in nature, take pictures, and use their pictures in class for color activities. Or let the children take pictures with their parents at home.
- WHAT CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION REGARDING THE CHILDREN´S ROLE?
Liked that children work in groups, help each other, respect and encourage each other, share knowledge with each other. Children can speak in class and collaborate and are more independent. Children help each other and interact with the class and participate in class. Some were surprised some to not see much playing or child-initiated activities or free movement in the classroom, especially with the infants.
*Idea-Art class is an opportunity for student-initiated activities and for students to be allowed to be more creative and make their own decisions
- IS THERE A PARENT´S INTERVENTION NEEDED?
- HOW COULD PARENTS BE INVOLVED (OR MORE INVOLVED IF THEY ALREADY ARE)?
Advantages and disadvantages of parents waiting outside school: they can´t come in classroom before or after school, but it gives opportunity for relationships between parents to develop.
*Idea-Encourage parents to enter the classroom at beginning or end of day.
*Idea-Integrate parents into classroom activities.
*Idea-Ask parents to take pictures or create classroom materials with their children at home.