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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I posted my first blog entry on July 26th, 2010.  That was one year ago.  The reason I started to blog was to share ideas on play in and around the sensory table by showing how to build simple, cheap apparatus to enhance exploration and experimentation.

I was introduced to the blogging world by my oldest daughter who was living and working in Peru at the time.  She was an inspiration chronicling her micro-credit work with women in the Northern Highlands of the Peru.   She had told me it was easy to start, but difficult to keep up.  I am like most people; starting new things takes some effort, especially when it comes to technology.  I actually tried to start my blog a year earlier, but quickly lost steam.  As far as keeping up the blog, I find the only way to do it is to keep a schedule.   I have set a Thursday deadline for a weekly post.  That arbitrary deadline is the only thing that keeps me on track.

So have my reasons for blogging changed?  They have not changed, but they have multiplied.  One of the bonuses of blogging is that I am no longer that solitary teacher planning all the day's activities.  I am now plugged into an expanding group of people who love to share their thoughts, ideas, and comments.  It is the true essence of play: we are invited into each others' houses or backyards for a give-an-take of ideas.   That give-and-take allows each of us to borrow, add, and change in our practice to fit our own purposes.  And, oh what fun!

One huge added benefit for me has been re-examing the pictures and videos I have taken over the years. Though showing an apparatus may be the impetus for any given post, the documentation of how the children use it has become the focus for me.  The whole process from selecting the pictures and videos to the final editing of the post has given me new insights into just how capable young children are in their explorations and discoveries.  I may have had an initial idea of how the children might approach any given apparatus, but inevitably they add their own ideas and make it their own in ways I could never have imagined.

I still have a few apparatus to share, so I will continue blogging for the time being. And besides, I want to keep playing.

If you are wondering about blogging here are a couple of good posts to check out. One is from Teacher Tom in Seattle.  He has a post called:  What Part do I Play?  And then Jenny in Australia from her blog let the children play has a post called:  10 good reasons why teachers should blog.  And just this week, Pam in Iowa from the blog How Long is this Hall wrote a post called Funny thing is...  All have to do with reasons for blogging.  Check them out.


  1. :)Happy Birthday to you...or really Sand and Water Tables! :)I love visiting your blog! And I agree that a huge benifit is the actual documentation of the children's work and use of materials through photos and text. It is kind of like built in reflection on teaching each time I write about an activity!

  2. Thanks, Pam. It's reflection and revelation both. The more times I look, the more I see.

  3. Hi,
    It is also my year anniversary of blogging, and your daughter is right-it's a lot to keep up. I set my self a goal for posting wice a month, which I pretty much have stuck to (even in the summer!) However many like Teacher Tom often post daily!
    Besides clarifying and documenting why I do what I do, it has given me a new community of like minded thinkers/educators which expend and nurture my work/life. I just found your blog, and am thrilled by the spirit and inventiveness of your posts/experiences.Looking forward to a continued blogging connection.

  4. Marla, Thanks. I remember the time when teachers would wish they could visit other teachers' classrooms. Now they can with a click of the mouse.

  5. Hi Tom

    I'm so pleased you did start blogging. I really enjoy your posts which are helpful, explicit and give clear instructions about your creations and work. I think you are the unsung pre-school blog hero of 2011! LOL!

    I look forward to another year of interesting blog posts.

  6. Wow, Juliet. That is high praise from a respected blogger and colleague. It is my turn to blush. Thank you for your encouragement and your kind words. Tom