Jan 11, 2018

AnjiPlayDate, week 2: Water engineering galore!

This week, the preschoolers were joined by a few older homeschool kids.  One of the things I love about Anji Play is that the open-ended materials work equally well for people of all ages.  Older kids play differently with the materials than younger kids do, but it's fascinating to see them play side-by-side.  Here's a video of some water play that happened this week:
 
 I love how you can see him making different discoveries as he improves the design and watching how the kids interact together is fascinating to me.

We also brought in an old overhead projector this week inspired by Bakers & Astronauts.
The kids were doing early explorations with it -- putting objects on the screen, layering them, moving the projection higher and lower on the wall.  We did need to remove some pieces from the top of the lamp when it began getting hot.  Looking forward to seeing this progress next week!
 May you find a different perspective that brings you joy this week!


Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng and AnjiPlay World LLC because this programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your institution, please feel free to contact Jesse Coffino at jesse@anjiplay.com

Jan 3, 2018

Hello again....

I normally make it a policy not to apologize for long absences on a blog, but... this was a very long --unintentionally long -- absence and I'm at that point where I need to post SOMETHING or I'll never get past the mental block of "I will never catch up."

Readers, I will never be able to catch up enough to share all of the great things that happened in AnjiPlayDate programs last fall and I regret that.  But, like the photo above, I feel like I've been balancing a lot of things as I continue to refine my program structure and I need time to make sure I'm doing it carefully and doing it well.

I had the amazing opportunity to return to China for a second visit to the schools of Anji County last October.  I learned so much on this trip -- a deeper understanding of the role of Play Sharing time, more opportunities to witness video analysis (where teachers show videos of children playing and talk about what's going on in the videos), and so many other things -- from nitty gritty how-to details to bigger picture philosophy discussions. I can't believe that I've been neck-deep in this educational approach for almost two years now and still find myself feeling like an utter novice, learning the most basic things and getting surprised with huge a-ha moments all the time.

For today, let's do something easy to get me back into the swing of blogging.  How about some photos from my trip?






 One thing I tried to pay closer attention to on this trip was the way the teachers observed the kids.




  
And my librarian heart thrilled to see some of the incredible reading environments the schools have crafted for the students.





Deep breaths everyone.  It's time to leap into a new year!


Note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng and AnjiPlay World LLC because this programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your institution, please feel free to contact Jesse Coffino at jesse@anjiplay.com


Sep 28, 2017

Wild Rumpus, in the Wild (one-off outreach events)

We did two Saturday neighborhood festivals this year.  The first was at West Fest and my two favorite happenings from the day involve a series of short videos of some siblings playing with the innertubes:


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So much joy!!

The second favorite happening was observing this young building making a bridge.


Wild Rumpus West Fest 2017


I love his "I did it!" at the end of the first movie and I just want to point out that if I had given in to the temptation to "help" him make a stronger bridge, two things would have been different -- #1, the end result bridge wouldn't have looked like this and #2, I don't believe he would have had that amazing gleam of pride when he finished.  In fact, I'm guessing that he might have followed my suggestion, found that it worked, then shrugged his shoulders and walked away because he would have assumed that my solution was the only "right" one.  What a tragic loss that would have been!  Instead, after he completed his first bridge, he continued working on that same structure for quite awhile, coming up with more ideas of ways to improve it.

May you all find an opportunity to observe play quietly in order to be amazed by what kids can do.

Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng and AnjiPlay World LLC because this programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your institution, please feel free to contact Jesse Coffino at jesse@anjiplay.com

Sep 26, 2017

Wild Rumpus: Week 9, wrapping up the summer!

Our final Rumpus of the summer was.... wet.  Because.... of course.

Rather than showing you all of the different activities that happened today, let's focus on just one. 

Chalk + Water:

Rainwater dripped from the roof and was fun to collect in various containers--


There were several different techniques going on at once.  One technique involved smashing the chalk in a bucket of water:

 Wild Rumpus Week 9: Water + Chalk
The second technique involved rubbing the chalk on the ground until a pile of the wet chalk dust built up, then wiping a hand across to pick up the chalk and swirl it into the water.




Wild Rumpus Week 9: Water + Chalk
 The third technique (which was less about making colored water like the first two and more about making bright chalk drawings) involved dipping the chalk into water before drawing with it.

The last Rumpus of the summer wrapped up with some excellent puddle jumping.  See you all next summer!  (Don't forget to try out AnjiPlayDate, Wednesday mornings at the Lussier Community Education Center this fall through Nov. 13! 10:30 am -12:30 pm)




Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng and AnjiPlay World LLC because this programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your institution, please feel free to contact Jesse Coffino at jesse@anjiplay.com
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