Early Learning Café Resources

Invitations

by Susan Ramsay and Guest Contributors

What are Invitations?

At the North America Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) Winter Conference held in Toronto, March 2023, Italian pedogogista Tiziana Filippini invited us to think deeply about our role as educators.

We prefer to have the role in which we are with the children, available to the children, listening to them and trying to support what is going on so that they can invest, be engaged, and be motivated. The purpose of teaching is not to produce learning but to produce learning conditions.  (Innovations, Vol. 30 Number 2, Summer 2023, p. 64)

In this section, we invite you to read “Invitations for Learning: Setting the stage with imagination” before exploring the other posts. Consider Tiziana’s words as you read them and as you create invitations for children in your own programs.

Spontaneous Moves: An Invitation

Spontaneous Moves: An Invitation

The math activity had appeal to the children gathered on the carpet that day. It had dice to roll and numbers to identify, count and write down on a whiteboard. There was a bit of competition between two teams. But there was also wait times for teammates to have a turn. At first that was fine. Eventually it was not.

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Drawn in Through Drawing: An Invitation

Drawn in Through Drawing: An Invitation

If we want to engage our children in ways that resonate with their innate desire to understand their world, we must engage our imaginations too – being open to seeing things through a child’s eyes with their sense of mystery; giving them space to experience the thrill of discovering something for themselves and imagining possibilities.

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Getting into the Flow: An Absorbing Invitation

Getting into the Flow: An Absorbing Invitation

It was one of those warm spring days when winter snow no longer had power to hold its shape and form. The snowbank that had been created with shovels over the winter to enable clear passage into the kindergarten doorway was shrinking. Read about the invitation that this spring day inspired!

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Peering Through My Window: An Invitation

Peering Through My Window: An Invitation

My teaching partner, who believed strongly in creating a sense of belonging and well-being for all children, was questioning how to be inclusive and sensitive to the needs of four particular children. Could both large and small groups be offered at the same time in a way that was meaningful and engaging for all the children? Find out what we did.

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