How Do We Incorporate More “Languages” Into Our Learning Spaces?

I continue to work through the #5days5words blogging challenge. With my own little twist, I’m focusing on five questions instead of five words. Today’s question was inspired by one of our campers.

I was down in the gym this afternoon, and one child went running past me to get a huge drink at the water fountain. I had to connect with her instructor for a minute, and this camper ran through us as she went back to join the play. This is when she apologized for her long drink, and said, “It took me longer because I was talking to the water.” I didn’t think anything of this, but the child’s instructor quickly made the connection to the water learning from the morning with Sheila Maracle: our Indigenous Learning Consultant. This is when I called the child back to talk with her more.

Our conversation made me think about the 100 languages of children.

I started to reflect on the numerous times that I’ve had all children share their learning through a written reflection or a picture. Every child reflecting in the very same way. This child stopped me though. How might we incorporate more “languages” into our learning spaces? Or how might we even create an environment where thinking, wondering, sharing theories, and communicating in different ways is embraced and celebrated? Not just in kindergarten. Not just for some kids. But for every single child, every single day. If I asked this same child to write or draw me about her water learning, I’m not sure that she would have applied as much in quite as insightful a way. I keep thinking about our view of the child, explicitly outlined in the Kindergarten Program Document, as “competent and capable of complex thought.” If this is what we view, how do we create learning environments where all children can express this “complex thought” in the many ways that work for them? As another school year approaches, I wonder how this fourth question of mine — and the questions that stem from it — might impact on our classroom design and pedagogy. Will it impact on yours?


2 thoughts on “How Do We Incorporate More “Languages” Into Our Learning Spaces?

  1. Your post had me thinking about the work of Dr. Priscilla George. It’s hard to find her things on the Internet these days, but I found this slideshare. I”m now caught in a circle trying to find more information about Dr. George and her theory! LOL It’s hard to find. But I keep coming back to it in my mind. As you point out here, literacy is everywhere if we look hard enough. She advocates for all of us thinking not only about literacy as an academic skill, but the rainbow of literacy skills – listening, spirituality, …I got interrupted in the middle of writing this and have now lost my train of thought. I guess I’m trying to say, “I AGREE WITH YOU!”

    • Thanks Lisa! I have never heard of Dr. Priscilla George, but now you have me eager to check out her work. I’m curious to see how her thinking overlaps with the 100 languages of children.


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