Developing Friendships

Recently, I wrote about the importance of children having opportunities to build social relationships with their school friends outside of school. These outside interactions help the children form relationships with the peers they will be in school with for many years. Interactions only in a structured environment promote a different type of interaction as those outside of the school setting. Even meeting at a park or going somewhere together while convenient (and less challenging or messy!), does not promote the same type of interaction as playing together on children’s “own turf.” It is one thing to share communal toys; it is totally different to share your own things. Having sustained interaction with one child for a period of time (one to two hours is plenty) is quite different from playing at school where you can easily move on to another child or group that will accede to your wishes. Spending… [Read more]

Week of Sept. 26, 2014

The experiences go on Every day is an adventure in The Experiential School, and every week brings new experiences and learning, some of it obvious and some more subtle. Our success lies in providing a comfortable environment where learning is a natural process that comes about through hands-on experiences that are relevant to the preschool-age children we have the privilege of guiding and teaching. Whether it is one child attempt a new skill for the first time, two start to build a friendship, or a group come together with a common goal, we never cease to be excited about or to celebrate every milestone. Who is whom? The children in Alpha are getting to know each other and how to be a member of a community, no small feat for three-year-olds. Since the first day of school, they have been learning each other’s names through their morning greeting, singing songs, and hearing… [Read more]

Week of Sept. 18, 2014

Explore and Experience The doors between the classrooms and the Exploratorium were left open last Friday as the Alpha students participated in their first exploring day. During this 90 minute period, the children move freely between the rooms engaging in a variety of messy and fun-filled discovery. The morning of color exploration began with the reading of “Mouse Paint” by Denise Cronin. Then, with shaving cream and dry tempera, colored water and pipettes, and even stuffed mice and tempera, the boys and girls mixed and experimented with color to their hearts’ content. Even snack was a mixing activity as the students choose two colors of sprinkles to sprinkle and stir into their yogurt! Do height and weight affect velocity? Supplied with plastic gutters of different lengths and a variety of balls, the Junior Kindergartners created ramps and bridges. Gutters stretched from one end of the room to another and were… [Read more]