I am Karin de Lange and I have been a teacher in primary schools for many years. Together with a colleague, I currently teach, an infant class at the Jenaplanschool in Wageningen. One day a week I am also a mentor for highly gifted children at our school. In which children from group 1 to 8 have an advanced development.
What I find most fun in education is to invent new things and try it out in practice. In addition, I prefer to work with tangible materials from the immediate vicinity of the children. I always bring all sorts of materials and items to school and work with objectives for the infants to achieve. I furthermore get the appropriate developmental materials out of the cupboard having watched the child and can see what he or she needs at that moment.
Some years ago I came into contact with the product developer from Educo, because I had an idea for one of the core objectives, for which I could not find a suitable material. I further developed that idea with her, resulting in “Pin the sentence”. My daughter Roos and son Koen play a leading role by being on the pictures in the game. They are of course very proud that this game is used in other countries where Educo development materials are supplied to schools and children learn to split sentences into words, with these pictures.
One thing led to another and I developed a number of developing materials for Educo. It is very special to come up with an idea, develop it and then finally be able to use it myself in the classroom in such a beautiful wooden box of Educo.
I sometimes hear from fellow primary school teachers what they are still missing in the classroom and which goals are still missing the correct materials. Or I notice that the children from my highly gifted group need more age-appropriate materials to work at their own level. It is very important, for example, before the kids do something on paper (worksheets, not in test form), then they should first do an exercise with tangible materials or with their own body. In addition, all children must above all be able to learn and discover through playing!
There are still some ideas on the (Educo) shelf! Hopefully a few of them will make their way into such a beautiful chest!