The Beauty and Chaos of Free Play

No, not a beautiful provocation but instead a picture of the real chaos that results from children deeply engaged in self-directed and exploratory play with materials – beautiful nonetheless.

Alison Gopnik, in her book The Gardener and the Carpenter, muses that children are designed to explore and that “the messiness of children makes a special contribution to human evolvability.” (p. 31-32) I take heart in this message, especially as I think of the creative energy and the jubilant manipulation and transportation of materials and loose parts I witness in my own Kindergarten classroom each day and the resulting chaotic mess of those materials that often results.

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How Can Documentation Support a Sense of Belonging?

What does it mean to belong? This was my educator wonder at the beginning of this year. How can children learn from and with each other to establish positive classroom culture?  How do their actions and interactions create the learning community and develop a sense of belonging amongst those within? How could documentation serve as a pedagogical tool to support this?

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