“Look at my picture!”

by Cassie Tondreau, Educator, Hilltop Children’s Center Have you ever seen a child furiously scribbling on paper and narrating as they go?  It can sound something like this: “I’m making a big truck, it has big wheels and a driver-‘Beep! Beep!’” or “This is a party and everyone is dancing.  Look at their long dresses!”  Looking at the mess of wild […]

Interconnecting through Art

Art is a tool that can be powerful for any age. It has the power to stretch us outside of our comfort zone, as well as where we might go to seek comfort all at the same time. For young children (preschoolers/toddlers), art can have a profound impact on their comfort as they enter into a new space, and works quickly to build relationships and community…

ECE Celebrities

Some people go nuts over movie stars, sports figures, or political candidates…but there is a select group of folks – and I’m definitely one of them – who freak out when we meet legends and luminaries of the early childhood field…

What do children learn through physical play?

Young children are drawn to wrestling, jumping, tumbling, running, and many other forms of physical play. Some of this play can seem risky, or tricky to manage, and parents or early childhood educators may wish to suppress it. However, there are many benefits children gain from these types of play…

Providing a “provocative” environment

Should a classroom for young children be provocative? Maybe not in the sense of being risqué or unsettling, but educators in the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy do hold a notion that the classroom environment itself can offer inspirations and challenges to the children. Every day at Hilltop Children’s Center we prepare our classrooms and studios with “provocations” and “invitations […]

In Defense of Failure

In-depths are a perfect example of reflective practice enriching curriculum. The teacher must lead even though they don’t know where they are going. They supply the means, not the drive or the inspiration. If they think they know where they are going, then they must hope to be proven wrong, because by making an assumption, they have already closed their minds to many unpredictable experiences.

“We’re playing Big Thunder!”

by Becky Krueger, Educator, Hilltop Children’s Center In my classroom, I used to think of taking a “first group” of children outside at 3:45 as a benefit mainly to the children who remained in the classroom: more time one-on-one with my co-teacher, more opportunities for focused work, or a space for quiet play in a smaller group. Over the past […]