Sunday, April 3, 2011

Project Work Workshop

Yesterday another teacher and I attended a workshop on project work in our area.  Imagine my surprise when another teacher brought over someone who apparently knew me from this blog :)  Here was my reaction: "Are you sure you're talking about MY blog!"  Well, after the initial shock that, yes, indeed, it was my blog she was talking about, we had a great day learning more about project work.  Dianne operates a home daycare in our area and has some outdoor learning/nature classroom ideas of her own!  Hopefully, we will hear more about Dianne's outdoor transformation as well! 

Back to the workshop:  We were able to hear from Lillian Katz and Judy Helm on project work, children's learning and documenting children's work.  We viewed projects that other classrooms had done and were able to break off into groups in order to focus at a more in-depth level on specific issues.  We also had an opportunity to view the Children's Campus classrooms and see some of the projects they were involved in with the children.  If you would like to learn more about project work, click on the link; you will be able to follow a project from start to finish!

I've always struggled to do anything close to a true project with my current classroom.  We have so many unique learning styles, challenges and very limited language.  This isn't to say that we aren't learning!  We certainly are.  We just have more difficulty expanding on and verbalizing our learning.  My classroom also tends to have different challenges going on at the same time!  While one child needs to explore by actively engaging in many different sensory experiences; another child struggles with sensory experiences and needs gradual exposure to items.
Even so, I keep thinking that there are parts of project work that I can utilize within the classroom.  It would be nice to be able to tie together learning in a way that is more meaningful and interesting to the children.  Unfortunately, there is rarely something that is of interest to ALL the children!   I will have to keep this in the back of my mind for now, and experiment with how this could work in my classroom.   

Whether I'm able to utilize this in my own classroom for now or not, this was a beneficial workshop.  Hopefully, at some point, I will be able to figure out a way to take pieces of this to use in my own classroom!


  1. You are becoming a cyberworld celebrity! How lovely to know that you are reaching people with your blog. This looks like a workshop I would have loved to go to. I struggle with the work involved in documenting children's learning in the project approach and am in awe of those who can do wonderful work of the type shown in your photos. We do a lot of our documenting in journals or portfolios which are accessible to kids and parents so it does happen just in a different form.

  2. Pam, that's great that you got to attend a work shop on Project Work. It's a coincidence because I've been learning about this approach during the past couple of weeks and have been wanting to write a blog entry about some of the things that I've found. I recently read about adapting projects for young toddlers so I think eventually, you'll figure out how to use it in some form with the children you work with as well.

  3. @ Jenny- LOL- definitely NOT a cyberworld celebrity (I would say YOU are, but I am not!)- but it is nice to connect with people who are also interested in early childhood! One of the things we talked about at the workshop was using documentation for multiple things! (so basically adding the documentation to power point slides- then being able to print them directly for boards, portfolios etc. (so what you're doing could be used multiple ways!) I've done some of this- but never thought of using Powerpoint!
    @Darcey- I agree that I can use parts of this- I used to teach a two year old classroom and was able to use much more. I think we struggle most right now with exploring objects and sensory challenges. But we'll find a way to do some of this!


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