Week of August 28

We’ve come to the end of our first full week of the 2015-2016 school year in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay, and it’s been a great one! We believe in starting the year off slowly to enable the students to become comfortable in their new environment. Interactive modeling is used to involve the children in becoming familiar with procedures and routines, from sitting in a circle for morning meeting to using the bathroom, washing hands (frequently!), responding to a signal for attention, and moving respectfully from one place to another as a group. In interactive modeling, the teacher demonstrates an action after asking the children to watch how she does it; she then asks the children to describe what she did and then has one or more students copy her actions. By having to describe what they saw, the boys and girls learn to observe and to use language to relate what they see,… [Read more]

Back to School 2015!

What an amazing first half week in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay! The preschoolers were all smiles as they began exploring the many areas – and animals – in the classrooms. They are making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, discovering many facts about their classroom pets and learning many new routines. The 4-5 year olds in Junior Kindergarten spent their first few days getting to know one another, learning each other’s names, talking about measurements and helping their teachers weigh and measure each classmate. “I’m 42 inches tall but Mr. Hedgehog is only 6 inches tall!” They really enjoyed measuring different items found around the classroom and began discussing which object was the tallest. More photos from JK this week. Mrs. Carson and Ms. Wiltshire’s “Tiny Seeds” planted Forget-me-not seeds on the first day in their 3-4 year old Alpha classroom. The Tiny Seeds were delighted to help mix a batch of… [Read more]

Week of May 29 + Back to School Info

As a teacher, time is measured in school years rather than calendar years, and I don’t know if it is a phenomenon of getting older or the pace of society, but every year seems to go faster. This year in The Experiential School has been no exception! Though it feels as if it has gone by in a flash, the passage of time is evident in the children who have touched my life this year. They each have grown physically, but that is slight compared to the leaps and bounds they’ve taken personally, socially, and emotionally as well as cognitively. They have been building a foundation along with the life skills and habits of mind that will serve them well in their academic, personal and professional futures, and they did so through discovery, experimentation and inquiry and a wide variety of experiences. My wish for them is that the enthusiasm they have developed for learning and their caring ways never waver, for in… [Read more]