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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Happy Chanukah with Still Life Studies from the Blue Room

Our preschoolers regularly practice careful observation. This is a life skill, preparing them for really looking at what's in front of them, a great skill to have in Science classes later on, and in life in general.

For Chanukah, the four-year-olds in our Blue Room classroom studied Chanukah menorahs and drew their forms utilizing light tables. Drawing, in turn, builds fine motor skills. How much can children transform what they see in front of them into lines on a piece of paper? And of course there is the aspect of learning the characteristics of a Chanukah menorah: How many spots of lights are there? And how are they arranged? Why is one higher or apart from the others? How is one menorah different from another?

Then, water coloring followed their drawings, and that incorporates learning how this different art material behaves on paper. Does it do what you want it to do? When you think about it, a lot is involved in creating a still life like this, especially when you're four years old.

Who knew that Chanukiot could look this whimsical, and this beautiful? Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Preschoolers Study Ocean Life

Sea anemone habitat
Our four-year-olds preschoolers recently decided to learn about ocean life. Each child chose an animal she or he was interested in and researched it. After watching a video and learning about the animal, each child went to the art supply room to select materials to create a diorama of the animal's habitat.

Sea anemone eat fish. They are jelly fish's cousin and shoot off poison. They can live on hermit crabs.

This project was an amazing journey for each child. It touched on different domains of child development, such as social, emotional, cognitive and language development. Most importantly, what began as an individual research project became a communal endeavor, and students learned a lot from each other.

Sea jellies are everywhere. They come in different sizes and shapes and colors. They have no bones, eyes, ears, brains.