Ms. Danielle Camardese / Ms. Elizabeth Kilpatrick

Welcome to our classroom web page! Working with children between the ages of one to three years old is a fun and unique experience. Our classroom and curriculum is designed to encourage exploration, problem solving and the development of social skills. We adopt a Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy, incorporating co-teaching, learning groups and project work into the classroom. Each child has unique ideas and skills which encourage the formation of small learning groups and project work.

We are excited to develop our co-teaching relationship. This partnership allows for more documentation, more project work and an exciting school experience for the toddlers. As co-teachers we are able to share ideas and develop new ways to better meet the needs of the children in our classroom.

The Reggio Emilia philosophy focuses on the interest of the children as well as thorough documentation which guides our planning. We incorporate this philosophy into our classroom. Based on this philosophy we have begun to develop learning groups in our classroom. Each group is based off the interest of the children. Last semester we had several learning groups which included painting, block building and clay exploration. Each child naturally fell into at least one group and sometimes chose to work in more than one group at a time. We document their learning using work samples, photos, videos and words. This documentation then leads to further exploration and future investigations. Through these learning groups we also help children develop skills about working with various materials including paint tools, blocks and natural materials. These materials will be used in future classrooms, so it is essential they have a strong understanding of how to use these materials. We foster that understanding in our classroom at this young age.

Some of our recent projects have explored many different curriculum areas. Last semester the children participated in an intensive painting exploration where children explored different artists, types of painting, brushes and the use of color. Some of the children participated in a block building exploration, where we worked on balance, planning and design. We explored with a variety of blocks and types of building. The children also explored different materials including clay and sticky materials (contact paper, glue, etc.). These projects focused on the sensory experiences most toddlers enjoy. Some of these projects will continue into the next semester and new projects will be developed based on the interest of the children.

Recently we have worked towards developing a more flexible, age appropriate schedule. The children participate in exploration time (which includes project work and snack), whole group time and outdoor/gross motor exploration. The morning and afternoon sessions are structured in a similar way. This longer exploration time cuts down on transitions (which can be difficult for children at this age) and allows for more uninterrupted time to carry out project work. The children have adopted this schedule and seem to enjoy the natural and relaxed flow of the day.

We look forward to working with you and your children in the future. Please let us know if you have any questions!