Early Childhood Program Fosters Self-Identity in Fun Activity
The Early Childhood Program approaches learning in a play-based, hands-on manner allowing students to foster their creative and personal skills. In an effort to support the learn and play environment, teachers in all three PreSchool and PreKindergarten classes created student identity blocks.
At the beginning of the school year, photos of the students were taken outdoors and placed on individual blocks. The blocks represent each student as they see themselves and further supports the school’s diversity initiative by creating a way for them to see one another and feel a part of the classroom community.
“The blocks represent affirmation of self-identity while identifying similarities and celebrating differences,” said Director of Early Childhood Catelin Fee 2004. “Children need to see themselves and each other in the classroom to foster our goal of an inclusive environment.”
The identity blocks are Reggio-inspired, which is a student-centered educational approach that uses experimental and exploratory learning methods. The blocks live throughout the school year in each classroom’s Block Center, which is a central area where fun toys are kept for when it’s playtime.
During play time, students use the blocks as different characters to create scenarios and make-believe stories. With relative “block people,” students are able to further socialize and understand each other better. The learning-through-play approach helps social and emotional development.
“I love that the teachers introduced the identity blocks,” maintained Mrs. Fee. “This allows for self-directed, creative, and collaborative play while keeping the imaginative play flowing.”
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.