“In summary, children learn best when they
can play, explore the world and interact with
adults and peers”
— Best Start Expert Panel on Early Learning, 2007
Over the past years I have worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school aged children and teenagers. Each experience has renewed the sense of enjoyment that comes from spending time with them.
My Philosophy for teaching is based on the Reggio Emilia approach which views children as unique, naturally curious and creative individuals, capable of building their own knowledge. It is a child-centred, play based approach that encourages social interaction, co-operation and problem solving. The teacher acts as collaborator, guiding rather than leading. The environment is comfortable, open and welcoming. It is rich in ideas, activities, materials and tools that allow children to make discoveries through play and exploration. An environment that reflects unique personalities, cultural diversity, varied developmental needs and the teacher's creative abilities, is one that will foster healthy emotional development while setting a strong foundation for the later years (within the framework of an emergent curriculum).
SCHOOL VISITS (at a glance).
THE MAGIC OF MOSAICS WORSHOP
WHAT IS IT?: A 1-1.5hr interactive hands-on mosaic workshop (with a Mosaic Artist) designed, for JK/SK - grade 12 students,
to introduce them to the Art of Mosaics.
HOW DOES IT LOOK?:
For young children (JK-grades2/3) - begins with a reading of my picture book, Six Owls and A Party, made with mosaicked illustrations, followed by a short discussion about being an author and an illustrator; where I work, how I work, the tools I use and how I use them. They are able to touch (and feel) original mosaic pieces and the tools used. As well, they learn some new mosaic related words (nippers, tesserae, andamento). The workshop ends with the students making their own mosaic creations. The layout is supplied along with construction paper, scissors and glue. The students are encouraged to be mosaic artists - "there are no rules, you are the artist". One of the many learning outcomes behind this activity is to gain a better understanding of the amount of work (a lot!) that goes into creating a mosaic, from cutting the many pieces to putting them in place (one piece at a time).
For older children (grades 4-6) - begins with a discussion about my book, Six Owls and A Party, and what is involved with self-publishing, where I work, how I work, the tools I use and how I use them. The students are able to touch (and feel) original mosaic pieces and the tools used. As well, they learn some mosaic related terms. The workshop ends with the students making their own mosaic creation (with a layout supplied) using tiles and glass rather then paper.
For teenagers (grades 7-12) - begins with a discussion about my work; where I work, how I work, the tools I use, how I use them and self-publishing. The workshop ends with the students making their own mosaic creation from beginning to end. They select the layout and/or subject matter as well as the materials used (beads, tiles, china pieces, stones, rhinestones...).
For more information (booking visits and pricing) please contact me.
SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES I'VE VISTED
Children's House Montessori School (Port Perry), Dr. S. J. Phillips PS (Oshawa), Sawmill Valley PS (Mississauga), Ormiston PS (Whitby), John McCrae PS (Guelph), Saint Mary Elementary School (Brampton), Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School (Brampton), Armour Heights Public School (Peterborough), Queen Victoria Public School (Lindsay), Saint Bernadette Elementary School (Mississauga), Fernforest Public School (Brampton), Terry Fox Public School (Brampton), Humbervale Montessori School (Etobicoke), McLaughlin Public Library (Oshawa), Trafalgar Castle School (Whitby), Ryerson Public School (Cambridge), Transfiguration of Our Lord Catholic School (Toronto), Devins Drive Public School (Aurora), Our Lady of Victory School (Toronto), St. Pius X (Toronto), Hewson Public School (Brampton), Selwyn Public School (Toronto), Fernforst Public School (Brampton)
Mosaic Owls from Selwyn PS (Toronto) Grade 5 class
Embracing The 3rd Teacher
The environment, recognized as the third teacher, is the foundation of any early learning curriculum. It should be engaging,
inviting and cultivate a child's curiosity, wonder and imagination while reflecting an educator's creative capabilities.
Working in China
Field Placement at Saintach Kids in Shijiazhuang (July-Aug., 2018), China (266km south of Beijing)
Communicated nonverbally with students as little English was spoken
Planned and implemented age appropriate activities with ESL considerations
Worked effectively as part of the teaching team with children aged 4-5
COMBINING TEACHING STYLES
Saintach Kids' philosophy for teaching is based on the Montessori approach and is heavily teacher directed, whereas, my
philosophy for teaching is based on the Reggio Emilia approach with less teacher direction. Taking this into consideration, when implementing planned activities, I decided to combine the two teaching styles. Most of my activities began with a structured
lesson (something the children were used to), followed by a related, interactive (fun) activity and/or a hands-on creative activity. Listed below are some of the planned activities (at a glance) that I implemented.
IMPLEMENTED PLANNED ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITY 1 ~ The Spider Swat Game! Singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Identifying letters, alphabetical seriation
RATIONAL ~ Most of the the children were able to sing the ABC song but few could identify the letters of the alphabet
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Identifying letters of the alphabet, learning to take turns, co-operating with others, reading readiness, learning can be fun
ACTIVITY 2 ~ All about Mosaics! Reading Six Owls and A Party, identifying colours, creating their own mosaic owl
RATIONAL ~ Building on previous knowledge and learning new English words, getting creative (with some teacher direction)
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Enjoying literacy, identifying colours, learning to take turns, co-operating with others, connecting artwork (mosaic) to their recent experiences (reading Six Owls and A Party)
ACTIVITY 3 ~ Let's go shopping! Learning English words for fruits (peach, pear, banana, etc), enjoying dramatic play
RATIONAL ~ Building on previous knowledge and learning new English words, experiencing dramatic play
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Identifying new words, working together as a team, co-operating with others, having fun learning
ACTIVITY 4 ~ All about Family! Learning English words for family, making connections to self, making an 'I love...' wheel
RATIONAL ~ Using Pandas born at the Toronto Zoo to make connections (Family, China-Canada, me-them), getting creative
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Making connections to self and outside world (story of the twin Pandas born at The Toronto Zoo), identifying new words, connecting artwork to their recent learning experience
ACTIVITY 5 ~ Let's get dressed! Learning English words for clothes (shirt, pants, shoes, etc), dressing their own paper dolls
RATIONAL ~ Building on previous knowledge and learning new English words while being silly (they laughed a lot:)
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Learning new words, being patient and taking turns, co-operating with others, making a connection with artwork to their recent learning experience, being silly and looking like a teacher!
ACTIVITY 6 ~ Let's print your names! Name in a bag with erasable markers
RATIONAL ~ Using their Western names, the children can practice writing as well as identifying letters of the alphabet
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Working on fine motor skills, improving eye-hand coordination, identifying letters
ACTIVITY 7 ~ Doctors know body Parts! Learning and singing 'head and shoulders...', enjoying dramatic play
RATIONAL ~ Building on previous knowledge and learning new English words, experiencing dramatic play (laughing more)
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Learning new words through song, co-operating with others, having fun learning
ACTIVITY 8 ~ The Alphabet Puzzle! A mat activity, worked on by an individual or in a small group
RATIONAL ~ Adding to their mat activities, working on seriation skills, identifying letters of the alphabet, puzzles are fun
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Improving on fine motor skills, identifying letters, reading readiness, puzzles offer so many LOs
ACTIVITY 9 ~ Let's Monkey Around! Learning and singing 'Five little Monkeys jumping on a bed...', making paper bag monkeys
RATIONAL ~ Building on previous knowledge and learning new English words while being silly
LEARNING OUTCOME ~ Learning new words through song, working with others, sharing, making a connection with artwork to their recent learning experience, enjoying dramatic play, being silly