We are a small school (84 students in grades K-3) with a big heart! All 4 classrooms at our school have been involved in Reggio-inspired inquiry this school year. Our journey into Reggio-inspired practices began with curiosity around the redesigned BC curriculum and its focus on “Big Ideas” and Competencies over highly-specific content. In particular, our inquiry focused around our school-wide exploration into the Creative Thinking Competency outlined in the redesigned curriculum. We wondered how Reggio-inspired practices might support and enhance students’ creativity, and intended to connect it to a 2-year school-wide inquiry into the topic of Community. However, our explorations and discoveries led us on a much more multi-faceted path.
We are brand new to Reggio ideas, so this has been a big learning curve for us. We began explorations with Story Workshop in 2015, and were astounded at the powerful impact it had on students’ abilities in oral language, creativity, and engagement. We next approached the subject of Math with similar curiosity, attending professional development workshops on the subject of Reggio-inspired Math. Although exciting, we are still learning alongside our students and realize that we have simply glimpsed the tip of the iceberg of what may be possible. It is inspiring and, at times, overwhelming. We have found that the term “Reggio-inspired” can accommodate many different perspectives and approaches, like the “100 languages” of children. In our classrooms, it has spilled over into other subject areas, such as animal inquiries in Science. Over the summer of 2015, our vice principal and a parent volunteer transformed our cluttered art room into a functional atelier, and now Reggio inspiration has a part to play in our visual arts as well.
We are very grateful to have received the Learning Journeys Grant to support us in our explorations. We have just begun our learning journey, and appreciate the value of being given a helping hand. We intend to continue exploring with our students and connecting with each other, with a focus on documenting and sharing students’ inquiries and learning with families.