Vivvi’s approach to learning is an inquiry-based model that uses the questions that children ask to create thematic units of study and lesson plans. Once a topic has been decided on, the classroom becomes a laboratory of learning and discovery to nurture our student’s innate curiosity and lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.
Our teachers play a critical role through rich classroom experiences which provide an educational environment dedicated to integrating, building upon and valuing the differing needs and unique talents of all our students. As activities are planned, Vivvi’s Learning Domains are always at the forefront of ideas to ensure that each child is working towards their potential in all areas of development.
To provide you with a deeper perspective about how our learning domains are integrated into daily activities across different ages, beginning this month we will be featuring one of our unique learning domains and discussing it for two months in order for you to learn about and explore. The first month will be an overview that describes the domain and how it supports children’s learning, followed by campus newsletters that illustrate how each age group has integrated this domain in activities throughout the month.
This month, our new Identity and Belonging domain is the topic of conversation. Supporting young children’s understanding of the dimensions of human differences begins in infancy. Through discussions of culture, race, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and age, children gain a better understanding of themselves and others. By valuing each other’s experiences; openness and an appreciation for diversity and social justice become an important part of the lens through which children view the world around them. As a result, children will be cognizant of bias 一 making choices that help create a more just and equitable world.
So you might be wondering how this domain is translated into activities for young children. Here are two examples of how a class might incorporate identity and belonging into an activity:
INFANTS – Domain: IDENTITY & BELONGING
Theme: Sense of Touch
I&B Goal: Children will become aware of different textures to begin understanding the concept of similarities and differences.
1. Create a sensory bin with feathers and bumpy cardboard for your child to explore.
2. Engage in descriptive conversations about how materials feel.
3. Read texture books throughout the day.
4. Listen to and sing the 5 Senses Song.
- Books: Touch and Feel Infant Books, Pat The Bunny Book and Bunny
- Feathers and Bumpy Cardboard
- 5 Senses Song
TODDLER/PRESCHOOL – Domain: IDENTITY & BELONGING
Theme: Creating Community
I&B Goal: Children will become cognizant of what makes us alike and different in a positive way that celebrates each individual in our class.
1. Read “We Are Alike, We Are All Different,” pausing to point out the characters’ similarities and differences.
2. Give your child a mirror and have them share a distinct facial feature with the group.
3. Demo drawing self-portrait process.
4. Work with your child to create self-portraits with a mirror and black marker.
5. Share self-portraits.
6. Take self-portraits and create a book.
Next month, be on the lookout for your campus newsletter to see how our Identity and Belonging domain was implemented across the age groups at your school!
If you would like to learn more about why it is so important to start conversations about Identity and Belonging at a young age here are some additional resources:
Raising Race Conscious Children | Resource for Talking About Race & Diversity