Materials used to Support Learning in Rothewood Classrooms

In the previous lesson we shared What does Rothewood Curriculum look like.

In this lesson we look at the various resources that are used to support learning in the Rothewood Classrooms. These materials look different in different classes as the teachers design lessons based on the children’s interests, however the open ended nature of the materials does not change.

What do we play with?

Loose Parts

Loose Parts are a collection of everyday items that are made available to the children to engage in rich, meaningful and creative open-ended interactions.  We have found that by incorporating such diverse materials, the children are free to use their imaginations to challenge themselves and each other, to learn to ask questions and to problem-solve as they seek out the answers.  Children learn to collaborate and to negotiate in their quest for knowledge and self expression.

There are limited or no rules with Loose Parts, no expectations nor expected outcomes.  There is no right or wrong way to play and no expected “finished product”.  The children have the freedom to satisfy their curiosity while interacting with the materials.

Big benefits are to develop inquiry skills, natural curiosity and critical thinking skills.  The child does the thinking, not the toy!  Loose Parts help to teach children how to ask questions, test out their own theories based on their own experiences and their own observations.  Loose Parts also help children to develop their problem-solving skills and risk taking in all developmental areas.  The children are encouraged to use their imaginations and creativity as they follow through with their own ideas.  As children are playing with Loose Parts, they are also developing skills in collaboration and social interactions with others.

Teacher made resources

Since children learn best through both open-ended and closed activities, we also provide teacher created activities.  This is where, as a teacher, you have come to know your children and can meet their needs by creating activities that you have specially designed.  We strive to meet each child’s individual learning requirements.  Children all learn at their own pace.  We never rush a child into activities that they are not ready for!

Children who are truly and deeply engaged in activities are satisfied because they are exploring something that is of interest to them.  They are not experiencing frustration that comes from having to follow someone else’s agenda.