Posts tagged articles
Posts tagged articles
I googled “Maxine Greene” one of my favorite education philosophers and got this link. I’m reading it RIGHT NOW!
from the Ooey Gooey, Inc. archives
Don’t you wish you had a dollar for every time you have said, “Please send your child to school in clothes you don’t care about!” We can encourage, demand, threaten, bribe, write notes home, scream, post signs and tell parents until we are blue in the face about the importance of wearing “play clothes” to school, but to no avail! It is frustrating to feel like our words are ignored, and even more so when, after all our efforts and insistence, the children still come to school suffering from what I call, “baby gap syndrome”.
And it affects the children the worst – over the years I have seen children cry because they got a little bit of paint on their shirt, have witnessed emotional breakdowns on the play yard because mud was on the new sneakers, had children tell me to throw their “dirty shirt” away so mama won’t get mad and have had children bound into school announcing that they aren’t allowed to paint anymore because it “ruins my clothes”. I have seen children proudly drag their parents out onto the yard to show off the tree forts, castles and mud houses they spent all day building and creating, designing and painting only to be asked, “Why are you so dirty?”, or be told, with a heavy sign, “Oh no…there’s paint on your new shirt!”
What kinds of messages are being sent to the children when there is so much emphasis on their clothes and shoes? Can the shirt really be more important than the opportunity to engage in a new creative experience? If it is, then it is a shirt that does not belong in preschool. I actually had a child come to school once wearing a green, crushed silk, flower girl dress…and her tap shoes! Like you, I have really struggled with this over the years.
What are we to do?
We tell our families, “Send them in clothes you don’t care about!” and then I show a slide show of the children “in action” and they immediately understand why! I met a director who tells parents, “If your child doesn’t get dirty at school, then we aren’t doing our job!”. Another friend who provides family childcare tells all her new clients, “I guarantee I will ruin their clothes!” And a colleague who teaches preschool tells her families, ”If you want the children to be able to wear it in public again, don’t send it here!” The reason I like to show parents the slide show is so that they can then see for themselves what the children are doing. They can witness the creative process first hand! I have discovered that parents sometimes have a misconception that their children are getting dirty because teachers are not paying attention. Slide shows, short video clips and photographs are tools for educating the parents not only on the creative process, but also of your involvement and investment in the activity as well.
Educators and providers need to be able to verbalize why creative art and other kinds of messy play is important and be able to identify for the parents the skills that are being developed as the children are engaged in these experiences. Remember that the parents aren’t there during the day to see the creativity, cooperation and process first hand; all they might see is the red paint in the hair and the glue on the jeans.
At our schoolhouse the children are not made to wear smocks. We use washable paint for all projects and, at orientation, parents are informed of the high level of creativity we encourage at our school and as such, are required to have lots and lots of extra clothes in their child’s cubby. Knowing that having lots of extras can be taxing for some families, there is also a big tub of clothes I have accumulated over the years at garage sales and consignment shops that children can “borrow” if they run out of extras.
Through parent workshops, parent meetings, articles about hands-on, creative messy play, a back to school orientation and well-written contracts and parent handbooks, you can begin to battle baby gap syndrome.
(c) Lisa Murphy, ooey gooey, inc.
Another gem from the archives. September 2002.
Awhile back I was asked to do a workshop for a school in Santa Barbara… they asked if I could prepare a list of the ingredients I use to make the Ooey Gooey® recipes so they could have some stuff on hand for the teachers to bring back to their classrooms. They said they had received a grant and wanted to provide some of the materials for the teachers who were going to be there that day. Sure I said! Not an unusual request… oftentimes workshop coordinators prepare goodie boxes so the participants can bring home some of the materials used in the workshop. Let me tell you though…I had no idea about the surprise we were all in for once we arrived in Santa Barbara.
I still do it, but this little gem of a piece is from 2002. Enjoy!
I know some of you still think I’m joking but I really do gather goodies from the side of the road! And I will say that Interstate 15 heading north from San Diego to Las Vegas is like a mall!! It is by far my (so-far) favorite freeway to shop on!
After presenting a workshop I receive many e-mails and calls from people who say they are no longer able to drive down the road or on the freeway without thinking (or hoping) they will see that one new treasured object that they didn’t realize they needed!
From 2002. Honestly, I’d tweak some things if I was to write it NOW, but for the most part, I think it’s still mostly on target. So I offer, for your pleasure, “Problem Solving and Young Children” by Lisa Murphy
We have all witnessed it… the children who, at the ripe old age of six, or maybe even four, can spell their names, count up to 100, recite their phone number, play a musical instrument, dance for grandma, and maybe can even write a few words, but! when on the playground with peers, and someone takes their shovel, bike, truck or jump-rope what happens?
From the archives…
Once upon a time I watched a young girl who had been finger-painting with pudding look up from her paper to see her teacher walking into the room. This teacher had been gone on vacation for two weeks and was returning back to class. The little girl stopped painting and ran with open arms to welcome her back only to be stopped with an abrupt, “Don’t touch me!” as the teacher backed away from her small painty hands.
By Lillian Katz (c) 1999. You need to read this today! Add it to your #binder too!
I read this last week and re-read it this morning. shoot I think I might have even posted the link already!! Even if I did, it is worthy of second post! I think it needs to be required reading for all in #ece and it definitely needs to be in your #binder!
A great article and quick read! Put it in your #binder! You don’t learn about risk from a text book!
An article by David Elkind that appeared in Jan/Feb 2012 edition of EXCHANGE entitled: “The Many Modes of Experience and Learning: The Grandmasters of ECE”
Read it and put it in your binder!