As part of an ongoing Sunflower Study at Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Center, preschool students designed and built a raised garden bed in the school playground last spring. With the support of their "studio" teacher, Dawn Pulsipher, they planted sunflowers around the border to create a sunflower house.
"When we came back to school the flowers were giant!" Pulsipher said. The flowers were starting to lose their seeds and petals...so it is time to harvest. As part of the Harvesting Sunflowers lesson, students collected the seeds, studied and drew the sunflowers outside and inside. Then, the class began discussing what to do with the seeds now - toast and eat them, save them to plant, or maybe feed the birds!
What do you think their final decision was?
When asked if she is the school's atelier, Pulsipher responded, "We go by the American terminology of studio/studio teacher for atelier/atelierista, but the concept is the same." She added, "I help all the classes develop projects... Although 'art teacher' is one of my roles, we integrate with all subjects, especially a lot of science."
In 2014 as part of incorporating the Reggio Emilia-Inspired approach, an atelier (studio) space was created at JGEC, essentially for children to discover through experiences and play.