About Me

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Early childhood education has been my life for over 30 years. I have taught all age groups from infants to 5-year-olds. I was a director for five years in the 1980s, but I returned to the classroom 22 years ago. My passion is watching the ways children explore and discover their world. In the classroom, everything starts with the reciprocal relationships between adults and children and between the children themselves. With that in mind, I plan and set up activities. But that is just the beginning. What actually happens is a flow that includes my efforts to invite, respond and support children's interface with those activities and with others in the room. Oh yeh, and along the way, the children change the activities to suit their own inventiveness and creativity. Now the processes become reciprocal with the children doing the inviting, responding and supporting. Young children are the best learners and teachers. I am truly fortunate to be a part of their journey.

Friday, November 26, 2010


A nice thing happens when someone takes note of the apparatus I build in the sensory table.  A few years ago, a mom brought in pieces of cardboard that were long and v-shaped.  The cardboard pieces were the packing corners for a new refrigerator that was delivered to her house.   She asked me if I could use them.  I did not know immediately what I would use them for, but they looked promising.  Two of the v-shaped pieces eventually became the twin chutes pictured below.   I taped them together with duct tape and set them on an incline.  (This is one of the most expensive apparatus I have ever built because someone first had to buy the refrigerator.)  My point is simple: When people see what you are doing, they will think of you when the opportunity presents itself.  By the way, people also includes children.

The cardboard for these packing corners is so sturdy that this apparatus has lasted eight years.  I have duct taped the entire length of the chute because tearing the duct tape off each time I took the apparatus down ripped off some of the top layer of cardboard of the chute.  It also makes a more slippery surface for material to slide down.

If you look at the right column at the DIMENSIONS to think about when building apparatus for the sensory table, you will note that this apparatus is an incline and that it is open.  Under the AXIOMS for the sensorimotor play, you will note that apparatus adheres to the axiom  that children are naturally drawn to pouring, rolling  and sliding materials and objects down ramps, chutes and tubes.

After using the apparatus for a couple of years, I felt the need to attach it more securely to the tray and the table.  I  made notches with a utility knife in the bottom of the chutes to line up with the tray and the table.  See the crude diagram below.

Here is what it looks like in the room.  This picture also gives you an idea of the amount of tape and crossing patterns of the tape that hold it tight to the table and the tray.  Since it is not store-bought, it is not pretty.  It is, however, quite attractive to children and facilitates many kinds of play and experimentation. 

That play and experimentation takes place at the top.

At the middle.

At the bottom.
And every place in between. 

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