Nov 29, 2014

I've been sewing / He estat cosint

I've been trying to find some time for sewing. And this is what I've come up with:
He estat intentant trobar temps per a cosir i açò és el que ha eixit:

It's a Kimo-Kap. You can sew one of these as part of a project aimed at giving away these bandanas to children with cancer. It's reversible. Children choose what side to wear, depending on their mood. I love the Indians side.
Es tracta d'una Kimo-Kap, una bandana que pots cosir com a part d'un projecte que tracta de fer arribar aquests mocadors a xiquets i xiquetes amb càncer. Són reversibles. El xiquet/a tria la tela que millor definix el seu estat en el moment de posar-se-la. A mi, la que m'agrada és la dels indis.

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Nov 2, 2014

Joguines de la natura / Nature Toys

Aquest estiu vam descobrir aquest meravellós llibre escrit per Christine Armengaud. Ens ha inspirat moltes aventures i jocs a i amb la natura. Ací teniu algunes imatges.  

This summer, we discovered this wonderful book by Christine Armengaud and it has inspired many playful adventures in and with nature. Here I'm sharing some pictures.

Un arbre de nadal
A Christmas tree


Nina feta amb una rosella
Doll made with a poppy


Un escenari, una plaça de bous, un amagatall, etc.
A stage, a bullring, a hiding place, etc.

Respect that which belongs to everybody. Thanks in the name of Nature.

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Oct 20, 2014

On Froebel's Mother's Play

I am lucky to have a Froebel friend overseas. She's a passionate Froebelian, very kind and attentive. You can meet Tiffeni on her website or on Facebook.
She's determined to share and spread what she knows about Froebel and his philosophy and I have accepted the challenge of her first Parent/Teacher Training Class: 
Nature as inspiration
We had to choose a book written by Froebel. I've been reading the book Mottoes and Commentaries on Friedrich Froebel’s Mother Play which, despite not being written by him, it includes his Mother Plays and comments.
I must say that I have really enjoyed this assignment. As Froebel himself says, it is not a book just for children, but a "family book". I love how he constantly seeks for unity, and how he presents Nature as a mirror of human life. And, at the center of it, there are the child and her mother, the one in charge of her physical nourishment when she was a baby, but also the one in charge of feeding her soul in the same way.
There are some quotes from the book I loved, but I've chosen these fragments:

"Have you ever reflected upon the important bearing of measure, rhythm, and proportion upon man's daily life? (...) Do you desire that his life be a musical and harmoniuos one? If so, cultivate his love of song and his ability to sing."
"Higher and more important than the cultivation of man's outer ear is the culture of that inner sense of harmony (...) The importance of wakening the inner ear to this music of the soul can scarcely be exaggerated. Learning to hear it within, the child will strive to give it outer form and expresion; and even if in such effort he is only partially successful, he will gain thereby the power to appreciate the more successful effort of others" 
"Mother, try to make your child feel its music"

And here are my answers to Tiffeni's assignment:
How does the quote make you feel? I really like the metaphor of harmony, proportion and rhythm as something we can find both in nature and within ourselves. Such achievement of a harmoniuos life should be what all mothers seek for our children. I really feel in tune with Froebel's words in this passage.
Is it applicable for today? Of course, especially today when music (and arts in general) seem to be a secondary subject in the official curriculum. Cultivating a sensibility for the "outer ear" becomes a bit neglected in most schools due to a negligent education policy. Not to speak of how feelings are not usually taken into account. The "inner ear", the one which provides inner peace and balance should be carefully nurtured, educated and protected.  
Can the quote you chose be turned into a lesson? If so, what age group (Babyhood, Toddlerhood, Kindergarten, Connecting School, Academic Years, or beyond)? Many ideas come to my mind. 
One lesson could consist in a nature walk in order to find harmony, beauty and proportion in nature, what could be called "music for our eyes". Another options could be stopping at some time in our nature walk and listening to the sounds of nature, trying to recognise them.
We could learn about Buddhism and/or meditation as a means to listening to your inner music. 
We could create mandalas.
We could dance to our favourite music. Biodance?
We could listen to famous composers and try to find what inspired them, etc.
We could also listen to traditional pieces of music which are associated to a given festival.
Most of the activities proposed might be applied to one or more of the different age groups. I think there is at least one activity for each.
Do you need any materials to teach the lesson? Can you use the Froebel Gifts & Occupations in the lesson?
For the creation of mandalas, for example, we could use flowers, leafs, and natural materials. We may also use the Gifts and Occupations. 
Think about the other key factors of Froebel's philosophy: Nature Study, Music, Movement, Festivals. Can any of these be included? All of them can be included

Thanks for your comments 

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Jul 25, 2014

Playing with Gift 1 / Jugant amb el do número 1

A new-found Froebel friend (hi Tiffeni) told me she'd like to know how we're doing. Well, we've been playing with Froebel's Gift number 1 lately. And this is what we came up with.

Hem fet una nova amiga Froebel (hola Tiffeni) a qui li agradaria saber com ens va amb les nostres exploracions amb els dons. Bé, doncs hem estat jugant amb el do número 1. I açò és el que se'ns ha ocorregut. 
The provocation

Martí's busy hands
Les manetes de Martí es posen en marxa

Exploring movement

Aitana prefers pretend play
Aitana prfereix el joc simbòlic

Let's throw a birthday party!
Fem una festa d'aniversari!

Books about colours

Wearing the balls

We enjoyed making our home-made play dough. The cake had vanilla scent. We ran out of flour and Aitana wanted to have pink play dough, so I asked her what colours we should mix in order to get pink, and we both worked through an answer.

Ens va agradar molt fer la nostra plastilina. El pastís tenia aroma de vainilla. Ens vam quedar sense farina i Aitana volia plastilina rosa, així que li vaig preguntar quins colors podiem barrejar per tal d'aconseguir el color rosa, i entre les dos vam trobar una resposta.

Thanks for your comments 
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Jul 10, 2014

Where Froebel?

(La versió en valencià la trobareu més avall)

Aren't you fascinated by Froebel yet? I guess that, like me, you must be asking yourself many questions.
There is not much information available if you are looking for a step-by-step guide to apply a given curriculum. Froebelian pedagogy is an approach, not a method. 
Image from Norman Brosterman's Kindergarten Collection

While his 19th century writings or the writings about him by his contemporaries are available online (good news), the current demand isn't large enough to support publishing new literature on him and his educational system. (And it is so unfair! Everybody knows what a kindergarten is, but very little know about the man who created the first one).
Froebel's Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Gifts
What I am doing is reading his own writings and some other interesting works written by other authors in order to get a more in-depth view of his way of seeing children and childhood. Actually, most of the innovations he pioneered in his time, are pretty much in tune with what progressive approaches defend nowadays. 
Here you have the list of the main works you may read (as recommended by Tiffeni Goesel). You can find all these books at the following links: The Froebel Archive from the University of Roehampton and Internet Archive.

The Education of Man  [Die Menschenerziehung] by Friedrich Froebel
The Pedagogics of the Kindergarten by Friedrich Froebel
The Paradise of Childhood  by Edward Wiebe
The Kindergarten Guide: vol. 1 The Gifts by Maria Kraus-Boelte & John Kraus
The Kindergarten Building Gifts  by Elizabeth Harrison
The Republic of Childhood vol 1: Froebel's Gifts and The Republic of Childhood vol 2: Froebel's Occupations by Kate Douglas Wiggin & Nora A. Smith
Daily Program of Gift & Occupation Work by Carolyn S. Bailey, Clara M. Lewis
The Psychology of Froebel's Play-Gifts  by Denton J. Snider
Symbolic Education  by Susan Blow
Third & Last Volume of Friedrich Froebel's Pedagogics of the Kindergarten  by Josephine Jarvis
Image from Norman Brosterman's Kindergarten Collection
In order to know about Froebel in the 21st century and how other people work the Froebel way, I like to read:
Tiffeni Goesel's Facebook page
Deb Chitwood's series of posts on Spielgaben educational toys.
Spielgaben's learning resources page.

You can also have a look at my pinterest board.

Encara no esteu fascinats per Froebel? Supose que, com jo, també heu d'estar fent-vos moltes preguntes. 
No hi ha molta informació disponible, si el que esteu buscant és una guia pas a pas per aplicar un curriculum determinat. La pedagogia Froebeliana és un enfocament, no un métode. 

Encara que els seus escrits del segle XIX o els escrits sobre ell fets pels seus contemporanis estan disponibles en línia (bones notícies), la demanda actual no és prou gran com per donar suport a la publicació de nova literatura sobre ell i el seu sistema educatiu. (I és tan injust! Tothom sap el que és un jardí d'infants, però molt pocs coneixen l'home que va crear-ne el primer). 

El que jo estic fent és llegir els seus propis escrits i algunes obres interessants escrites per altres autors per tal d'obtindre una visió més profunda de la seva manera de veure la infància. En realitat, la majoria de les innovacions de les quals va ser pioner en el seu temps, estàn més o menys en sintonia amb el que els enfocaments progressistes defensen avui dia. 
Ací teniu la llista dels principals llibres que podeu llegir (recomanació de Tiffeni Goesel). Podeu trobar tots aquests llibres en els següents enllaços: The Froebel Archive de la Universitat de Roehampton i Internet Archive.

The Education of Man  [Die Menschenerziehung] per Friedrich Froebel
The Pedagogics of the Kindergarten per Friedrich Froebel
The Paradise of Childhood  per Edward Wiebe
The Kindergarten Guide: vol. 1 The Gifts per Maria Kraus-Boelte & John Kraus
The Kindergarten Building Gifts  per Elizabeth Harrison
The Republic of Childhood vol 1: Froebel's Gifts and The Republic of Childhood vol 2: Froebel's Occupations per Kate Douglas Wiggin & Nora A. Smith
Daily Program of Gift & Occupation Work per Carolyn S. Bailey, Clara M. Lewis
The Psychology of Froebel's Play-Gifts  per Denton J. Snider
Symbolic Education  per Susan Blow

Third & Last Volume of Friedrich Froebel's Pedagogics of the Kindergarten  per Josephine Jarvis

Per saber sobre Froebel al segle XXI i com altres persones treballen a l'estil Froebel, m'agrada llegir: 
La pàgina Facebook de Tiffeni Goesel  
La sèrie de posts escrits per Deb Chitwood sobre les joguines educatives Spielgaben. 
Pàgina de recursos per a l'aprenentatge de Spielgaben. 

També podeu fer una ullada al meu tauler Pinterest

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Jul 7, 2014

Fascinated by Froebel / Fascinada per Froebel

Friedrich FroebelCredit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

(La versió en valencià la trobareu més avall)

I'm planning to start a series of blog posts on Friedich Froebel. And for those of you who are not familiar with him, here is the first post: Why Froebel?

- Because he was a German pedagogue born 232 years ago and known as the father of kindergarten. 
- Because he honoured and deeply respected children.
- Because he saw mothers as the best teachers his kindergartens could have.
- Because he also valued the role of fathers as fundamental.
- Because he believed in the importance of play and guided self-activity of the child.
- Because he educated children to be creators.
- Because his vision was wholistic.
- Because his model was Nature.
- Because he was inspired by Pestalozzi, Rousseau and the German Romantic philosophers
- Because he inspired and informed the work of Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner or the Reggio Emilia approach.
- Because he influenced Modern Art (Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian) and Design (architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright).
- Because his educational view is still alive and far way valid (150 years before science could confirm it, he talked about such things as multiple intelligences).
- Because, if we want to prepare our children for the future world, we need to go back to such basics in order to harness their impulse for play as a biological imperative.

Froebel developed a system of gifts (wooden block play) and occupations (construction and workshop experiences and crafts) to be used at his kindergartens. However, they were not meant to be followed as a curriculum. In fact, they were part of a more holistic approach which included such other aspects as the use of garden, finger play, songs, nature exploration, etc.

All in all, the gifts hold an important place in Froebel's approach. 
Stay tuned for the next post... 

Tinc pensat començar una sèrie d'entrades sobre Friedrich Froebel. I per a aquells de vosaltres que no esteu familiaritzats amb ell, ací teniu el primer post: Per què Froebel? 

- Perquè era un pedagog alemany nascut fa 232 anys i conegut com el creador de les guarderies. 
- Perquè honrava i respectava profundament els xiquets/es. 
- Perquè considerava les mares com les millors mestres que les seues guarderies podrien tenir. 
- Perquè també valora el paper dels pares com a fonamental. 
- Perquè creia en la importància del joc i l'auto-activitat guiada dels xiquets i xiquetes. 
- Perquè va educar als xiquets/es per a ser creadors. 
- Perquè la seva visió era holística. 
- Perquè el seu model era la Natura. 
- Perquè va ser inspirat per Pestalozzi, Rousseau i els filòsofs romàntics alemanys. 
- Perquè va inspirar l'obra de Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner o l'enfocament Reggio Emilia. 
- Perquè va influenciar l'Art Modern (Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Pete Mondrian) i el disseny (arquitectes com Frank Lloyd Wright). 
- Perquè el seu punt de vista educatiu és encara molt viu i molt vàlid (150 anys abans que la ciència puguera confirmar-ho, va parlar de coses com ara les intel · ligències múltiples). 
- Perquè, si volem preparar els nostres fills/es per al món del futur, hem de tornar a aquests conceptes bàsics per tal d'aprofitar la seua necessitat de jugar com un imperatiu biològic. 
Mirror play with gifts 7 and 8

Froebel va desenvolupar un sistema de dons (el joc amb blocs de fusta) i ocupacions (experiències i activitats de creació i manualitats) per ser utilitzats en els seus jardins d'infants. No obstant això, no estaven destinats a ser seguits com un pla d'estudis o curriculum. De fet, són part d'un enfocament més integral que inclou altres aspectes com ara l'ús del jardí, jocs amb els dits, cançons, exploració de la natura, etc. Amb tot, els regals ocupen un lloc molt important en l'enfocament de Froebel. 

No us perdeu el proper post ...

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Jun 11, 2014

First fingerpaint experience ... and an unexpected outcome / Primera experiència amb pintura de dits ... amb un resultat inesperat

(Please, scroll down for the English version)

Ja vos he contat que últimament m'he interessat pel tema de la creativitat. L'altre dia vaig posar en pràctica una proposta que vaig llegir a aquest llibre: Young at Art, de Susan Striker, que també vos recomane (i sobre el qual espere fer una ressenya pròximament).
L'autora recomana que proposem activitats de pintura de dits als xiquets/es pels seus beneficis com a activitats motora, manipulativa i d'exploració de textures. Ha de ser abans dels 3 anys, quan ja han desenvolupat un sentit de què és "net" i què és "brut", o pitjor encara, quan els sap mal embrutar-se les mans. Ademés, és la base per a que després utilitzen altres eines com ara els pinzells. Han d'explorar lliurement. I nosaltres hem de deixar-los... sense patir pel possible "empastre" que ens puguen fer... Però, com conjuguem pintura de dits, lliure exploració i 2 xiquets? Doncs, clavant-los en la banyera!

Crec que Aitana i Martí van disfrutar tant com jo de veure'ls, i viceversa. Ho van passar genial pintant al paper, al seu cos, tancant els punys i vegent com la pintura eixia entre els seus dits... 
Quan es van cansar de pintar, va arribar l'hora del bany, una cosa que també els encanta. Però, inesperadament, Martí es va posar a plorar quan vaig obrir l'aixeta, no volia estar a la banyera, es va agarrar un disgust de por. 

El resultat: mamà plena de pintura i aigua, Martí disgustat i amb un principi d'aversió al bany que encara li dura, banyera amb taques de pintura roja que ara és rosa i que espere que desaparega amb el temps i les netejades, Aitana flipant, pare diguent "Ho sabia", etc.
A pesar de tot, ho tornarem a repetir quan Aitana i Martí tornen a mostrar interés.

I've already told you that I've been interested in the subject of creativity lately. The other day I put into practice a proposal that I read in this book: Young at Art, by Susan Striker, which I also recommend you (and on which I hope to do a review soon).
 The authoress recommends that we propose finger painting activities to children for their benefits as motor activities, material manipulation and texture exploration. It should be done before children are 3 years old, before they have developed a sense of what is "clean" and what is "dirty" or even worse, before they develop a preference for clean hands. In addition, finger painting is the base for later use of other tools such as brushes. They must explore freely. And we must let them ... without being concerned with the possible mess. But how can we put together finger paint, free exploration and 2 children? Well, sticking them in the tub!
 I think Aitana and Martí enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed watching them and vice versa. They had a great time painting on paper, their body, smearing the paint, etc.
When they got tired of painting, it was bath time, something they also love. But, unexpectedly, Martí started to cry as soon as I opened the tap, he did not want to be in the tub anymore, he got really upset.
The result: mom full of paint and water, Martí upset and with a budding aversion to water that still lasts, bathtub with red paint stains which are now pink and will hopefully disappear with time and cleaning, Aitana freaking out, father saying "I told you", etc.
Despite everything, we'll repeat this experience when Aitana and Martí show interest again.

Thanks for your comments 
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