Miss Gladney's 'IT'S ABOUT THE PROCESS' Blog
View this email in your browser

It's All About the Process

Reflections on Teaching
The Owls Class 2016-17

--Jennifer Gladney--

Something I've learned so far in my teaching career--
Some seeds at the dollar store will give you much more joy than, any ‘cute project’ ordered from the latest teacher catalog.
I have often dreamed of a morning glory house and sunflower garden.
Finally last spring, I got to work. Day in and day out the children and I worked, dug, planted and tried not to step on tiny sprouts. I dropped by most weeks all summer long to water, water, water.  The end of summer came, and SUCCESS. My teacher garden dream came true.
How grand our sunflowers were! 

The morning glory teepee is a hub for all sorts of dramatic play every day on the playground.

I often find children just sitting there looking up, green leaves and flowers looking as if they touch the sky.

I must say, I’d like to just be sitting in there too.

It's inviting and magical. 
These days the sunflowers are looking a bit like broken shower heads. But the excitement and endless possibilities continue daily on the playground. Just when you think it must be time to pull them out, the children have found new ways to explore. This past week I watched a small Duckling child who had managed to carry one clear across the playground.  So I pulled up two more, and soon there were Owls and Ducklings working with all their might, carrying around sunflowers three or four times their size!

  The play keeps coming, starting from those once tiny seeds.

I hope you’ll notice the Owls Class's first project, hanging in the stairway down to the classrooms--

A Recreation of our Playground Sunflowers.  

A week's worth of process and discovery by the Owls!
It is by no means a fancy project.
First, we brought sunflowers inside to harvest the seeds.  Faces lighted up!
It's as big as my head! Look!
It was a nice fine motor skills challenge, working at pulling out the seeds one by one.
We must have pulled out seeds for three days.

It's not hard or fancy,

just nature and children at their finest.
The paper scraps I cut one morning were haphazard. No two alike. The stems, leaves and flower petals all different.  I never give instructions, but just wait to see what comes to mind for each child, as they consider what those pieces of paper might become.
What was the process I saw, as each child created their own picture? How many sunflowers to create? How many leaves to use?
Look, my petals and leaves are blowing in the wind.
This is the one I stood next to. 

If only you could have been there to hear each child's version of why they did what they did!
It's why I love teaching this age group. 
Something so simple is so meaningful to them.
Copyright © 2016 LAWRENCEVILLE PRESBYTERIAN PRESCHOOL, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list