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6  Introduction COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL between Teachers and Families, To See Takes Time, and Side by Side (available at Pelo describes her evolving pedagogy of listening, observing, and documenting in the book she coauthored with Fran Davidson, That’s Not Fair! (Pelo and Davidson 2000). When I first began the practice of taking notes about children’s play and making recordings of children’s conversations, I didn’t really understand how to use all the documentation I gathered. I did it because I’d read about it being the right thing to do. I’d carefully transcribe a recorded conversation among children, then go on with the plans I’d already made. I mostly thought of the notes and conversations as ways to capture on paper the sweet and appealing thinking of young children. I’d share my transcriptions with parents, inviting them to “listen in” on conversations that they would otherwise miss. As I grew into the practice of supporting emerging projects, I learned more about how to use the documentation that I collected. I noticed myself wishing to understand if my guesses about the children’s interests were on target or way off base, knowing that it mattered deeply to the success of an emerging project. I began to turn to my carefully collected notes for guidance. When I studied my notes and transcriptions alone or with a coteacher, I could see underneath the children’s words to the themes and issues undergirding them. I noticed when ideas were repeated or when a theme showed up over and over. I began to see through to the heart of children’s play. And with an understanding of the heart of their play, I could respond in meaningful ways and take an active role in shap- ing an activism project. I could better supply the classroom with props that would sustain play. I could plan trips or invite visitors to the class- room. I could ask provocative questions of the children. I could develop strategies for the children to represent their thinking. Listening to the children is my best guide for supporting emerging projects. The documen- tation I collect while the children play and talk deepens my listening. (Pelo and Davidson 2000, 76, 78) Later Pelo went on to author The Language of Art: Inquiry-Based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings (2007), in which she describes how she used her observations to design in-depth studies for children using art media as “thinking tools.” You’ll see examples of this kind of work in several of the chapters of The Art of Awareness. First-grade teacher Karen Gallas has written a number of books charting her journey as a teacher. Gallas makes children’s words, actions, and artistic expressions a focal point for her own development. In her book The Languages of Learning, Gallas (1994, 5–6) describes her pedagogy of creating the class- room as a research community. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL