Week of October 9

With the onset of fall comes many opportunities for exploration and inquiry connected to our students’ environment and interests. Fall gardening, leaves and fruits of the season are all leading to lots of discovery and learning in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay — take a look! Service Learning starts in Alpha Our collaboration with Ray Wunderlich of the Boyd Hill Pioneer Settlement Garden in St Petersburg, Florida, is providing opportunities for learning organic gardening at school. It’s also a chance for the Alpha students to learn about the crops at the Pioneer Garden and the purpose of their growth, which is help provide fresh produce for charitable food kitchens. This past week, it was off for their first visit to the Garden where “Farmer Ray” showed them so many things! They watched him pick a papaya right off the tree. Did you know that papaya seeds are edible? They have a peppery flavor that is somewhat bitter. There was… [Read more]

Week of October 2

Explore: probe, examine, research, study, inquire into… Explore is the word we use most often to describe the actions that take place in The Experiential School. It and all of its synonyms as listed above provide insight into the ways our students learn. These pictures and accompanying stories below illustrate just how this happens. Friday Exploring Though the three-year-olds in Alpha and four- and five-year-olds students in Junior Kindergarten explore every day through the activities and materials available during both center and free choice time at school, Exploring – with a capital E – is extra special. These are the days when the children from all the classes in their grade interact with each other and all the teachers as they move freely from room to room engaging in investigation and experimentation. In Alpha, it was all about purple as the children used mice feet with paint (as in the book Mouse Paint), colored water with… [Read more]

Week of September 25

Welcome (back) to this private preschool blog that gives a glimpse into a few of the adventures of the students of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay. If you ever read about or see pictures of experiences that you would like to know more about, I’d love to hear from you. To contact me, email bgootson@shorecrest.org . From Seeing to Hearing After several days of learning about the sense of sight last week, the three-year-olds in Alpha began to explore hearing, listening and sounds this week. Shaking sound-making canisters allowed the children to hear a variety of sounds and discover those that matched, while tapping tuning forks together illustrated how sounds can be created through vibration. Working in small groups with the teacher, tuning forks and jars of colored water led to the students discover that varying the amount of water affects the sounds created by tapping the tuning fork on the glass. Seeds Sprout Since they planted the cabbage and chive seeds just a… [Read more]