Week of December 15

Sharing new Knowledge It was culmination time for the Junior Kindergarten projects this week. After several weeks of research, fieldwork, guest experts and discussion, it was time for the 4- and 5-year old JK students to share their knowledge. After creating individual blueprints of how they wanted to share their favorite thing they had learned and what they needed to do so, the students set to work on their sculptures, posters or books. Then it was share time; each class invited an older class to its culmination event so the younger children could share their work and learning with the older students. The interaction between the ages was an amazing sight as The Experiential School students exhibited poise and confidence under the patient questioning and interest of the second and fourth graders. Mystery Reader On some of their visits to the library, The Experiential School classes have a visiting reader whose identity is kept… [Read more]

Week of December 5

Dear Friends, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving week and holiday with plenty of time to rest, relax and enjoy the company of loved  ones. When we returned to school on Monday, the children and teachers jumped right back into the swing of things. This is a great time of year to learn a bit more about each other’s cultures and traditions, so we ask our families to share a bit about how they celebrate their favorite holiday. By sharing this information with their friends, the children feel that their holiday and they, whether it is the same or different than those of their friends, are valued and respected. At the same time, everyone else has the opportunity to develop an understanding and respect for and to embrace the diversity of others. Busy Kitchens One thing that every holiday seems to have in common is food! Each has its traditional dishes, some… [Read more]

Week of November 21

Dear Readers, It is always busy in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay. Holidays add to the fun but are not the centerpiece of our curriculum. Instead, some related activities are integrated in meaningful ways into our units of study and project work. In Alpha, our 3- & 4-year-old program, Thanksgiving is woven into their food study, which includes conversations and activities pertinent to healthy eating and where food comes from.  In Junior Kindergarten, our 4- & 5-year-old PreK program, the children learn about the Seminole Indians who inhabited Florida along with their Living Off the Land study. Thanksgiving also relates into our Responsive Classroom activities that build character and community as we learn to respect differences and find commonalities, such as what we are thankful for and participating in our food drive to help hungry children. With our experiential, exploratory and discovery approach to learning, literacy, math and science and social studies can be woven together… [Read more]