Anyone who works in the field of progressive early childhood education has probably at some point come across the work with children in Reggio-Emilia, Italy. The Reggio approach is known for its careful use of documentation and reflection to guide learning and play, attention to the aesthetics of the classroom space and experience, as well as integration of the work of the child within the community. The approach is known world-wide for its beauty, thoughtfulness, and process-oriented focus. To learn more about Reggio, you can visit the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance.
The reason I write about the Reggio approach in this post is that experiences in the classroom often begin with what they call an invitation. The invitation is a beautiful, open-ended provocation for learning. It is meant to inspire discovery and exploration, which often becomes a long term area of focus for the child or group of children. Reggio exhibits tour the world to share examples of invitations, documentation, and reflection on the process of learning and play. As part of the innovating play project, we will be exploring ways to create global play invitations to inspire play and learning.
Here is how it works:
1. Over the course of the school year, I will be posting invitations for play via the Twitter hashtag #innovatingplay (follow me @jlabar2me)
2. Invitations will contain a photo or video, and description of the invitation. The goal is to use accessible, open-ended materials so that parents and teachers can replicate the invitation at school and/or home.
3. Document the process and products of your play experience. These do not need to include child names or faces. The idea is to share play in a way that inspires children all over the world to innovate based on their personal contribution and collective experience.
4. Share samples of your documentation on Twitter #innovatingplay. This is a great chance to work on digital citizenship. See my post here on using Google Sheets to guide your global sharing.
5. Check back on Twitter periodically to see if others have been inspired by your contribution!
Through our Innovating Play Global Invitation we can create, collaborate, share, and grow together!
Heart & Soul,