Creative Child Nursery School May Issue 2014 | Newsletter
Introduction Director’s Message Dear Parents, We would like to thank all the parents who gave us their feedback regarding the new educational practices at Creative Child this year. We are so pleased that the majority of parents are happy with the implementation of the emergent curriculum, however, as we anticipated there are a few parents who require more information and involvement in our new framework. This is why we have decided to prepare this newsletter about documentation. Documentation is without a doubt one of the most important elements in the implementation of an emergent curriculum. The documentation reﬂects the children’s learning process. The documentation helps the educators to identify what children know about life and more important how they encounter new situations, concepts, and challenges. In a few words it is what and how they are learning. Our job in that sense is to provoke, stimulate and help them to make sense of what they are encountering. It is not about teaching; it is about learning, and they are deﬁnitely not the same. We know that the change in an educational paradigm is not easy to explain and at times, to understand. I hope to be able to interpret and give more context to the educational work we have been doing this year. The change is simple, but radical. We are applying a real child-centered “curriculum”. How do we do that? By following the interests and learning style of the children. What we need is to listen, observe and follow them. This is why we take photos, videos and notes about what they do during the day. It is not about creating a photo album of souvenirs. It is about interpreting the exploration, the search for answers, the wonder of learning. Real learning is multidisciplinary and multi-sensorial. Children learn in a social and situational context. This is a holistic approach where the traditional academic concepts are present but as a part of the whole experience. It is not about learning an abstract color or shape, a number, a letter as a pure sign or learning only music or art. It is about a context where those concepts are applied. What is the color of the apple? How many chairs do we need for lunch time? Which placemat has your name?
Would you like to write a letter for mom and dad? In addition, when the children do pretend play they create scenarios where they apply all the knowledge they have from the world around them. Each child might be in a diﬀerent developmental stage and what seems to be obvious to our eyes is a completely new discovery for them. For this issue we have selected one example of documentation from each class to show diﬀerent learning activities that are relevant for young children. In all these cases the children expressed their interest to the educators that they were ready to listen to them and encourage them to continue with their exploration. To help to appreciate the learning activity we have interpreted the documentation using the Key Developmental Indicators from the HighScope Curriculum. KDIs are observable skills and knowledge that children from 0-3 and 3-5 years old should be practicing in the preschool years. Some of the samples are episodes and others are projects. I have attached the KDIs for your reference. We hope you enjoy reading these interesting learning experiences where the children are the protagonists. We apologize if you don’t see your child in the documentation that the teacher has selected for this issue. As we have previously explained, the learning is individual and not all children are always interested in the same activity or project. The teachers also need to choose the most representative photo that can illustrate the concept of the documentation and they might not be able to include all photos. Rest assured all our children have participated in several learning experiences. The teachers keep the evidence in their portfolios displayed inside the classroom. Some of the teachers have opted to send the documentation by email. If you have doubts about how to interpret what you see in the documentation, do not hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher. I hope you really enjoy this newsletter and I am looking forward to your feedback. Sincerely, Fabiola Barrios
The Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings by Susan Stacey 2009
Infant section Children aged 10 - 15 months
Who’s there? Mirrors are fascinating things to work and play with. For children, they hold an element of magic to them. Infants respond to their reflection in mirrors. They are interested and devote much time and effort exploring the connections between their bodies and their images. The educators in the infant group followed their interest and put lots of mirrors around them. During mirror play, children communicate through reflections to understand their sense of awareness and help them distinguish themselves from others.
Isabel looking at the mirror Linda leans towards the glass door as she sees herself
The educators put wide reﬂective sheets on highchairs and walls where they can see their reﬂections
Children love looking at mirrors attached to the wall while changing diapers
Mirror play helps foster children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Infants were now introduced to new games like hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo. These simple games are not only for fun but also helps them learn how to focus, track images, gaze on their own, and discover the wonderful things a face can do.
Eelke playing peek-a-boo
More hide and seek games with Julia Key Development Indicators: • • • •
Exploring print Self-help and self-awareness Listening and responding Relationship with adults and peers
Noah, Olseya, Max playing hide and seek with the educators
Creative Child Nursery
Maggie and Alia playing
Infant section Children aged 1 - 2 years
Where is the ball? The story of Tiny Observers and balls started during their school adaptation process to the nursery environment. Being in the ball pool distracted the children from crying.
A group picture in the ball pit
Children extended the ball play outside the pool. It is clear that there is a cognitive development taking place. They can hold the ball, throw, insert, or hide it.
On the other hand, a new toy was added to the piazza (the play area): The Ball Machine. The kids welcomed the addition with great pleasure especially since it involves playing music when a ball is Three tiny observers playing with the ball inserted. machine: Hanna, Keiden, Olivia A surprise for Max was waiting for him while he was playing in the kitchen: a glowing ball.
Kimonas said “Wooow” when he held the ball.
Key Developmental Indicators: • • • • •
Cognitive development Filling and emptying Playing with others Exploring objects Moving with objects
Hanna, Olivia, Kosuke and Joep playing one game sharing space and items
As Max joined their class, his father noted that he was very interested in light. It did not take long for the teacher and assistants to notice that themselves. So, they wanted a new ball with new features... One that once you throw, it glows and shines. Take a look at our magic ball:
Keiden holding up the ball with pride playing up and down
Balls fueled countless hours of fun for toddlers and stimulated large motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They are learning how to bounce, catch, aim and throw, play cooperative games and even play a few games of their own. Most children of Tiny Observers learnt how to say “ball” and “look”. Through playing, they are also developing their communication skills.
Creative Child Nursery
Box with holes to insert balls
The latter observation inspired the teacher and assistants to construct a box with holes to insert balls. Apart from the obvious development in filling and emptying, the game presented a transition in Tiny Observers relationship, moving from solitary play to pair/group play.
Infant section Children aged 1 - 2 years
Reﬂections On and Oﬀ There is something alluring about light and mirrors, particularly to children. In this activity, the teachers and the children had the chance to explore and play with them. It also allowed the teachers to see a child's distinct aspect of curiosity and creativity: how every light source inside the room attracted the little ones, or how the lights looked impressive taking up a lot of space in the wall. This gave the children inspiration to experiment with shadows and reflections, or to play with light after the educators saw their enthusiasm.
“It’s a circle!” - Sara
Lights out, bring the mirrors and torches and proceed to exploring. Children were able to discover the wonderful things a light can make. They knew how torches work, or how rays of light and mirrors relate to each other. Teresa switching the torch on
Arian showing the torch to Zayna
Children manipulated the torches by making them produce different shapes on the wall by using their hands to block some areas of it, making the torches' light size bigger and smaller by zooming it in and out, turning them on and off or even creating light effects inside the classroom. Children were fascinated handling the torches, they were smiling and shouting in excitement. Playing with the torch Yamen is watching the reﬂections travel to the ceiling
Anton touching the light reﬂection on the door
“Hi” - Meme
Key Development Indicators: • • • • •
Cognitive Development Identifying visual images Seeing from different viewpoints Moving with objects Exploring print
Min putting his hand over the light while Teresa is watching
Creative Child Nursery
Children got to play with mirrors too, rotating and flipping them to control directions to where the light will bounce in, reflecting light in multiple dimensions. Mirrors spread light in the room and add light to dark corners. They used mirrors in different ways to make everything interesting.
By Connie Hine
Current research on the brain, learning and human intelligence from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, cognitive sciences, and education has provided information with profound implications to education. This research is challenging and stretches the traditional approaches to education and teaching, particularly with regard to the ability to learn, human intelligence, and how eﬃcient learning occurs. Intelligence—What Is It? The traditional theory of intelligence has two fundamental assumptions: 1. that human cognition is unitary; and 2. that individuals can be adequately described as having a single, quantiﬁable intelligence. The traditional theory of intelligence has helped create a mindset or paradigm as to what "smart" or "intelligent" is, who has potential or ability to be smart, and how we can or cannot become smart. This has clearly inﬂuenced current educational practices. It is still common educational practice to use the score from standardized intelligence tests to qualify children for various special programs. It is assumed these tests measure intelligence accurately and meaningfully.
Research also indicates that intelligence is not a static structure that can be measured and meaningfully quantiﬁed, but an open, dynamic system that can continue to develop throughout life. Current research indicates that the only limit to one's intelligence is what the individual believes is possible and how his or her behaviors either foster or limit his or her intelligence. Research also indicates that intelligence is not a static structure that can be measured and meaningfully quantiﬁed, but an open, dynamic system that can continue to develop throughout life. Through his work and studies, Reuven Feuerstein, an Israeli psychologist and educator, has developed a theory of the "Modiﬁability of Intelligence." He has linked the importance of how teachers, through facilitating learning experiences, impact the quality of learning and inﬂuence the potential intelligence of each student. Feuerstein's educational approach focuses on the quality of interaction between the teacher and the learner, which he calls Mediated Learning Experiences (MLE). He has successfully demonstrated how, through systematic and planned enrichment, intelligence can be modiﬁed, expanded, and developed. (Feuerstein, 1988).
Marian Diamond, a neuropsychologist at the University of California-Berkeley, has discovered that the human brain can change and improve with use. Diamond's theory of the "Plasticity of the Brain" implies that environmental conditions, interpersonal stimulation, and the way in which individuals think and behave actually change the body, brain, and intelligence. (Diamond, 1988). The Theory of Multiple Intelligences Supporting the new paradigm of intelligence, Howard Gardner of Project Zero at Harvard University has determined that intelligence is a pluralistic phenomenon, rather than a static structure with a single type of intelligence. Gardner deﬁnes intelligence as: • • •
the ability to solve problems that one encounters in real life; the ability to generate new problems to solve the ability to make something or oﬀer a service that is valued within one's culture, in his cross-cultural exploration of the ways in which people are intelligent • he has identiﬁed seven distinct types of intelligences: - Verbal/Linguistic - Logical/Mathematical - Musical - Visual/Spatial - Body/Kinesthetic - Interpersonal - Intrapersonal
According to Gardner's theory, one form of intelligence is not better than another; they are equally valuable and viable. Yet, he discovered that diﬀerent cultures are biased towards and against certain types of intelligences.
Our western, North American culture, for instance, favors verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical intelligences and tends to undervalue others, such as body/kinesthetic intelligence. These biases, added to the traditional theory of intelligence, have limited our development of curricula, instructional strategies, and current methods of assessment-including how we measure intelligence. Recent brain/mind research and new theories of human intelligence redirect our attention in three speciﬁc areas-ﬁrst, on the environmental conditions and messages we provide children; second, on the kind of support and relationships we develop between caregivers, educators, and children; and third, on the need to match what we know about the ways kids are intelligent and learn with teaching strategies designed to maximize the full development of each individual child.
By Connie Hine
Environmental Strategies to Support Multiple Intelligences Because circle time and whole group instruction activities dictate that we do the same thing with all or most of the children at the same time, these activities are among the least eﬀective strategies for meeting the diverse needs and intelligences of young children. Group activities often favor a teacher's strengths while meeting the strengths of only a few of the children. The most signiﬁcant modiﬁcation we can make to meet diverse needs is to reduce the use of circle time and replace it by incorporating and using well-planned learning stations or centers where children can spend most of their day. Learning stations are temporary activity locations where materials are put out and later put away, usually by an adult. Learning centers are permanent locations, visually and spatially deﬁned areas, ideally three-sided, where materials are organized by subject and available for children to select independently.
Conclusion Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences honors and promotes the development of all seven avenues of intelligence in young children. This approach provides a framework to identify how children learn; to build on their strongest assets; to help them become more intelligent by exposing them to a variety of ways of learning; to better individualize for their interests and needs; and to use teaching strategies that make learning more eﬃcient, successful, and enjoyable for all children. We can foster meaningful learning experiences by using multiple teaching tools and strategies and by building positive, supportive relationships with children. Through environments that oﬀer a variety of stimulating, hands-on materials that children individually select, and by creating learning centers that provide natural opportunities to move, be active, and fully engaged in either solo or small group experiences, we better serve and meet the needs of more children.
Connie Hine is an educational consultant, professional speaker, trainer, and author of Engaging Young Learners: The Teacher's Role in Early Childhood Classrooms. Read the complete article at : http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx ?ArticleID=251
All the ﬁsh are swimming in the water Toddlers section Children aged 2 -3 years
The children always watch the fish tank displayed in the piazza. They are excited to see the fish move around the water. So, the educators decided to talk about animals that live underwater and explore other things that can be found in the ocean.
The children and the educators sang “1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a ﬁsh alive” & “All the ﬁsh are swimming in the water”
They watched videos about the ocean and later on the children took different sea animals and waved them in front of the screen with an ocean background pretending that they were swimming in the water.
The teachers along with the children also explored coral reefs. Children painted shells which they used in the constructive play with clay, and did shell drawing.
Key Development Indicators: • Listening and understanding speech • Role playing & moving with objects • Exploring and identifying
Dillon, Elis, and Jayden painted attentively. Norah drew a straight line by a frame while Lara & Jayden used them as necklaces
“Green ﬁsh, orange ﬁsh” -Lachlan
Jayden pretending he’s hearing the sound from the shell and said “Hi”
Ako tracing the dolphin on the paper and said “ﬁsh”
Creative Child Nursery
They had a one big jar with lots of small ﬁsh hanging which looked like an aquarium to the children.
Chloe (left) and Caleb (right) working on the bean experiment.
Here we can see the beans in action. Sprout, beans, sprout!
Here they are talking about parts of the plant and what they require to live.
Toddler section Children aged 2 -3 years
Caring for living things
These activities allowed them to work on many different important areas of development. The discussions of caring for the plants emphasized empathy and caring. The bean experiment involved a lot of listening and responding. The teacher explained what they were going to do and how the experiment works. The students actively listened and repeated some of the relevant vocabulary following the steps described. These activities also fostered socialization since there were many opportunities for the students to interact with each other and the adults in the room.
To make the bird feeders, they used empty water and milk bottles, dry sticks, string, and bird food. The students were repeating relevant vocabulary as they were making the feeders.
Key Development Indicators: • • • •
Social and emotional development Group participation Exploring objects filling/emptying Relationships with adults and peers Herbs ready to grow!
The ﬁnished bird feeders hanging on the back porch.
Creative Child Nursery
Caring for living things was the focus of the following projects: bean experiment and bird feeders. The educators did a variety of plant-related activities: they brought a real plant to the classroom so the students could see and touch it; they did a bean experiment that involves putting wet cotton balls inside a Ziploc bag with beans and waiting for them to sprout; looked at books that showed different kinds of plants, flowers, and herbs; and started a garden outside.
Children have seen a few birds coming to the windows in their classroom. The children got very excited and showed a lot of interest, so the educators decided to plan activities around things that have to do with birds. They made bird feeders together as a class hoping that soon the birds would come again and let the Break out your magnifying children have a better look at glass and try to ﬁnd the bird in them.
Dynamic Explorers Toddlers section Children aged 2 -3 years
Children said, “Flowers, ﬂowers!”
Gardening project Garden pot, soil, shovel, seeds, and water... these are the things we need in planting.
Children were excited to do planting.
These are the children’s pots.
Clement shared his watering can in the class. Key Developmental Indicators: • • • • •
Self-help Group participation Listening and responding Exploring objects Physical activity After a week of planting, the seeds grew into plants.
“My pink ﬂower” - Alissabeth
Creative Child Nursery
Parents and children brought plants and flowers to share in the class.
Aesthetic awareness refers to a heightened sensitivity to the beauty around us. Because the natural world is filled with beautiful sights, sounds, and textures, it's the perfect resource for the development of aesthetics in young children. Toddlerss learn much through their senses. Outside there are many different and wonderful things for them to see (animals, birds, and green leafy plants), to hear (the wind rustling through the leaves, a robin's song), to smell (fragrant flowers and the rain-soaked ground,) to touch (a fuzzy caterpillar or the bark of a tree), and even to taste (newly fallen snow or a raindrop on the tongue).While playing outdoors, children found a garden box with plants and flowers. They sat beside the box, looked, touched and picked the flowers. Every time they play outdoors children are observing and gathering flowers. So the educators in the class decided to conduct a gardening project.
Toddlers section Children aged 2 -3 years
Infancy and early childhood are prime times to capitalize on children’s innate musical spontaneity and to encourage their natural inclinations to sing, move, and play with sound. Young children engage in music as an exploratory activity, one that is interactive, social, creative, and joyful.
They are having so much fun! Other children pick up some shakers and ribbons to join in!
After snack time, Angus was at the large blocks corner and he started standing the blocks up and decided to start using them as drums. He called out for Ms D and said, “Look, look what I’m doing!” Then the rest of the children started to join the fun one by one using the wooden blocks as drums. Angus was the one with the original idea, and the rest of the children followed his beat.
Maurizio, Tamim, Angus, Sebastian, Adelina, Nikki, Camille and Ciara all joined in the fun! “Twinkle, twinkle!” -Maurizio
Omar decided to join with his own instrument!
Aidan and Angus pretending to perform together, Aidan singing while Angus is playing a trumpet!
Angus and Adam drumming and singing together the “All the ﬁsh are swimming in the water” song
Sidra joined and she went to get the bright colourful scarves.
Key Development Indicators: • Creative arts (listening/responding to music) • Sounds and vocal pitch
Creative Child Nursery
“Where did you get these drums, Ms. D?” - Angus
When young children have a rich musical environment along with appropriate guidance from adults, they can learn, for example, to imitate and with increasing precision, distinguish among rhythm and tone patterns (Gordon 1997).
By Connie Hine
The following descriptions can be helpful to identify basic personal characteristics, traits, behaviors, and preferences for each of the seven intelligences. Remember, we are all intelligent to varying degrees in all seven ways. Each person has a unique proﬁle. You may be very strong in one or two intelligences, medium in a few, and perhaps weak or empty (not yet ﬁlled) in one or two. Consequently, you may have four or ﬁve intelligences that are equally developed and two that are less developed. The important thing is to identify and build on one's strengths to modify and increase the less developed intelligences in ourselves and in children. 1) Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence—"The Writer/Orator/Attorney" People with high verbal/linguistic intelligence love words. They prefer to process information through words and language versus pictures. They may prefer oral or written methods, or excel in both. Additional characteristics include the following: • Sensitive to the meaning, order, and sound of words • Uses varied language • Avid talkers; good speakers • Likes to explain, convince, and persuade through words • Enjoys and excels at word games • Enjoys listening to, telling, and reading stories • Enjoys rhymes and poetry • Has good memory recall for names and dates 2) Logical/Mathematical Intelligence—"The Scientist/Philosopher" People with high logical/mathematical intelligence create order out of chaos by analyzing, grouping, and categorizing. They recognize relationships, connections, and patterns more easily than people with less logical intelligence. Additional characteristics include the following: • Ability to handle long chains of reasoning • Likes reasons for doing things • Possesses good inductive and deductive reasoning • Quick to learn equivalencies • Asks "why" and "how" questions • Solves problems rapidly • Likes to predict, analyze, and theorize • Enjoys dealing with abstraction • Strong at math and problem solving skills • Sequential thinker • Enjoys board games and games with rules 3) Musical Intelligence—"The Entertainer/Musician" People with high musical intelligence learn best through sound, rhythm, and music. These people learn better when music is playing and through musical metaphors. Additional characteristics include the following: • Ability to perceive pitch, tone, and rhythmic pattern • Well developed auditory sense and discrimination • Ability to create, organize rhythmically, and compose music • Picks up and creates melodies/rhythm easily • Remembers songs easily • Ability to sing or play instruments • Sensitive and drawn to sounds • Possesses "schemas" for hearing music • Constantly humming, tapping, and singing 4) Visual/Spatial Intelligence—"The Architect/Engineer/ Sculptor" People with high visual intelligence process information best using pictures, visuals, and imagery. They have a sense of direction and an ability to think and plan in three dimensions. Additional characteristics include the following: • • •
Ability to create complex mental images Active imagination Ability to ﬁnd their way mentally and physically around environment
• • • • • • •
Ability to see the physical world accurately and translate it into new forms Ability to see things in relationship to others Ability to use "mind maps" Uses imagery and guided visualizations Likes visual support-video, pictures, photos, charts, posters Organizes space, objects, and areas Enjoys designing and decorating
5) Body/Kinesthetic Intelligence—"The Athlete/ Dancer/Actor/Surgeon" People with high kinesthetic intelligence process information through their bodies-through muscle, sensation, and movement. Their bodies are their avenue to learning and understanding any content or subject and is also their preferred form of self-expression. Additional characteristics include the following: • A ﬁne-tuned ability to use the body and handle objects (ﬁne and gross motor) • Ability to express emotions through bodily movement • Enjoys physical movement and dance • Constant movement-likes to get up and move around • Commitment to comfort • Uses body to accomplish a task • Experiences a strong mind/body connection • Expands awareness through the body • Experiences a total physical response • Often good at creative drama 6) Interpersonal Intelligence—"The Counselor/Minister/Teacher" People with high interpersonal intelligence process information through relatedness to others. They are "people" people. It is in relationship to and with other people that they best understand themselves and the world. Additional characteristics include the following: • Ability to notice and discern subtleties among others, such as moods, temperaments, and feelings • Discerns underlying intentions, behavior, and perspectives • Easily makes friends and enjoys the company of others • Ability to get into the perspective of another • Responds to verbal and nonverbal communications-facial cues and body movements • Recognizes and empathizes with others' feelings • Ability to negotiate and handle conﬂict resolution • Works cooperatively in a group • Works well with a diverse group of people • Good communication skills • Loves to talk and inﬂuence 7) Intrapersonal Intelligence—"The Poet/Eﬃciency Expert" People with high intrapersonal intelligence have a strong sense of themselves, their wants, and needs. They are self reﬂective and in touch with themselves. They may be the nonconformist individuals who march to their own drummer. Additional characteristics include the following: • Well developed sense of self • Awareness and expression of diﬀerent feelings • Self reﬂection and mindfulness • Ability to think about thinking (i.e., metacognition) • Transpersonal sense of self. Asks big questions—"Why are we here?" and "What happens when we die?" • Often is a daydreamer • Often writes introspectively including prose, poetry, or journal writing • Excellent self planners and good at goal setting • Enjoys solitude and likes to think alone • Good understanding of strengths and weaknesses • Enjoys self discovery
Preschool section Children aged 3 - 4 years
The children were randomly paired up with a “Sock Buddy” during Large Group Time through diﬀerent activities like:
The Art of Friendship
When Ms. Zeina started teaching in January the little ones were still content playing with anyone and everyone. By March they began forming opinions not only about their favorite books and toys, but also about their favorite people. They actively communicated their decisions about who they wanted and didn’t want to play with. On the one hand, it was magical to watch genuine friendships develop, yet on the other hand, it was heartbreaking to watch some children deal with blunt rejection. The educators decided that it was time to start understanding and practicing kindness. The project “The Art of Friendship” developed out of a need they observed in the group. Since empathy is a very visceral concept, acquiring it requires activities that engage growth on an emotional level. One of the teacher’s strategies was to activate empathy via collaboration. If students are given enough opportunity to work side-by-side, they begin to communicate; more possibilities are present for free exchange of ideas and feelings, and understanding your partner becomes imperative for achieving the activity’s objectives. Beyond understanding comes the very difficult but wonderful task of respecting an idea that differs from theirs.
Love in Labor Sock-buddies paired up to clean their socks at the end of the week. Weather was perfect and socks were ready for a nice scrubbing. It encouraged the children to enjoy cleaning, help each other, do it properly as opposed inadvertently making a mess, and to empathize with those who constantly clean up after them. Key Developmental Indicators: • • •
Group participation & fine motor skills Relationship with adults and peers Social and emotional development
Me and My Sock Buddy Each group would have to accept their new partner and spend the rest of the day getting to know them. “I am with Annabel!” - Alfred “Who has the stripes?” - Drew Their Favorite Things Children chose one of their classmate’s pictures and were encouraged to describe them out of context. “I choose Nasser. He’s not here anymore. He loved to cut and glue. He always wanted scissors.” -Mazen Bargaining with Art “I want to make Sock buddies were a door” - Mazen instructed to cut the same piece of paper. This helped develop verbal and “Okay, I’m cutting non-verbal communication here.” -Louis skills and conﬂict resolution. I’ll Make You Pretty The children were given a length of yarn, some cut up straws, and the instruction to adorn their sock-buddy with a necklace. “I’m giving it to my Mommy and my Daddy and my brother and “This is for Haya my sister.” Mermaid.” - Alfred -Mary A Friend in Mommy After observing that most children wanted their necklace for Mommy, they decided to dedicate a whole gluing activity to making a ﬂower for her too. “This is for my mommy. I will buy her a big yellow Lamborghini. I love her so much.” - Huzayfa “Annabel you want to clean it two times?” - Karim “Drew how do I squeeze it?” - Khloe
Creative Child Nursery
“ I will pass the bridge” - Sebastian
“ I am under this one.. I will hide and play with the blocks. It is like a house” - Hala
“Nasser, look there is hammer and screw. What do you want to build?” - Rania
“I will put the sand inside the drill” - Lydia
“I need to ﬁx it. It is broken. Then I will ﬁx the house” - Marcus
“ Wait I will ﬁx it ﬁrst. Gregory help me please.” - Joseph
Preschool section Children aged 3 - 4 years
Our Little Engineers
As part of the Emergent Curriculum, the educators focus on the children’s interests and initiatives. One of the centers in the classroom that is very interesting for children is the block area. This is one of the episodes where the children pretended and created their own game using different open-ended materials available in the classroom.
“I will give this to you so the castle will not fall down.” - Joseph
“ We are doing a nice place for the animals to live. This is to decorate their house and be colorful. It is very nice and the animals will be happy” -Analeigh
“Let’s build the house for the animals and people.” - Joseph “I will put this up” - Gregory
Animals Castle Done by: Joseph and Analeigh with the help of Gregorio, Sebastian, and Antoine
Key Development Indicators: • • • • • •
Initiative, planning & engagement Problem solving Use of resources Cooperative play Language Pretend play
“I am ﬁxing these for the house.” - Gregory
Creative Child Nursery
The blocks center is a very important part of any early childhood classroom. When children build with blocks, they learn about mathematical concepts such as size, shape, number, and quantity. They become aware of scientific principles such as the force of gravity and the functioning of simple machines such as levers and inclined planes. They learn to think, plan, and problem-solve as their structures take form. This center has special appeal for children whose intelligences are strong in the visual/spatial, logical/mathematical, and bodily/kinesthetic areas.
I love butterﬂies
Preschool section Children aged 3 - 4 years
What do you know about butterflies?
Children drew pictures of how they thought the butterflies looked like and where they live. mommy butterﬂy
“I have mommy, daddy and baby butterﬂies. Mommy and baby butterﬂies are ﬂying and daddy butterﬂy is laying down on the bed at home. Mommy butterﬂy is looking for the food. There is ﬁre and they will cook marshmallow in the ﬁre. There are also rocks so butterﬂies will go there to sleep.” -Daniel
The Butterflies Project started with the story book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. The children showed real interest through the many questions that came to their minds after the story: What the butterflies look like? How do they fly? What do they eat? So the educators decided to initiate an investigation in the classroom.
At the beginning of the project, some children were invited to draw what they knew about butterflies. The teacher continued bringing more books and video clips for their research. Children had the opportunity to express their learning process throughout different art media. During one activity where they were making butterflies with plastic bags, tempera paint, and pipe cleaners, the children “My butterﬂy needs to eat nectar from ﬂowers to ﬂy decided to go to the Dark Room to see (on the light table) the color of the butterflies they made. While doing so Celia away” -Layla said that she wanted her butterfly to fly away. That opened a new investigation… "How do you think you can make your butterfly fly?”, the teacher asked. Children came up with the idea of using a piece of cord. The teacher provided the materials and the children successfully made the “See my butterﬂy is “I want my butterﬂy to butterflies fly away. The children ﬂying through the ﬂy away” -Yassin continue with their investigation. light table” -Celia
Others also drew pictures of what they learned about butterflies by the end of our project.
Luckily, they found a real butterfly in the garden that allowed them to validate their theories and consolidate their knowledge about the butterflies.
“My tiny butterﬂy can ﬂy see Layla” -Celia (left) “Mine too..” -Layla (right)
food for the caterpillar
“butterﬂy is ﬂying and ﬂying on ﬂowers to sit”
egg of butterﬂy leaf
“The butterﬂy doesn’t have food. It needs to eat nectar from ﬂowers. It needs to go out so that it can eat food. It has huge eyes and four wings and six legs. I think it’s a boy. It is cute” -Ethan Key Development Indicators:
“In the blue sky orange butterﬂy, orange butterﬂy ﬂy ﬂy ﬂy” -Tae
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Use of resources/reflection Drawing conclusion Pretend play & experimenting Fine motor skills Observing, communicating ideas
Creative Child Nursery
Creative Child Nursery Curriculum Content Children from 0 to 3 years old
In the HighScope Curriculum, the learning content is organized in areas of development guided by the key developmental indicators (KDIs) that meet all state standards in the USA. Each KDI is linked to one of the dimensions of school readiness, and each is a statement that identifies an observable child behavior reflecting knowledge and skills in those areas.
Approaches to Learning • Initiative: Children express initiative. • Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in exploration and play. • Self-help: Children do things for themselves. Social and Emotional Development • Distinguishing self and others: Children distinguish themselves from others. • Attachment: Children form an attachment to a primary caregiver. • Relationships with adults: Children build relationships with other adults. •Relationships with peers: Children build relationships with peers. • Emotions: Children express emotions. • Empathy: Children show empathy toward the feelings and needs of others. • Playing with others: Children play with others. • Group participation: Children participate in group routines. Physical Development and Health • Moving parts of the body: Children move parts of the body (turning head, grasping, kicking). • Moving the whole body: Children move the whole body (rolling, crawling, cruising, walking, running, balancing). • Moving with objects: Children move with objects. • Steady beat: Children feel and experience steady beat. • Food education: Children talk about and choose healthy food options, enjoy and share meals together in school. Communication, Language, and Literacy • Listening and responding: Children listen and respond. • Nonverbal communication: Children communicate nonverbally. • Two-way communication: Children participate in two-way communication. • Speaking: Children speak. • Exploring print: Children explore picture books and magazines. • Enjoying language: Children enjoy stories, rhymes, and songs.
Cognitive Development • Exploring objects: Children explore objects with their hands, feet, mouth, eyes, ears, and nose. • Object permanence: Children discover object permanence. • Exploring same and diﬀerent: Children explore and notice how things are the same or diﬀerent. • Exploring more: Children experience "more." • One-to-one correspondence: Children experience one-to-one correspondence. • Number: Children experience the number of things. • Locating objects: Children explore and notice the location of objects. • Filling and emptying: Children ﬁll and empty, put in and take out. • Taking apart and putting together: Children take things apart and ﬁt them together. • Seeing from diﬀerent viewpoints: Children observe people and things from various perspectives. • Anticipating events: Children anticipate familiar events. • Time intervals: Children notice the beginning and ending of time intervals. • Speed: Children experience "fast" and "slow." • Cause and eﬀect: Children repeat an action to make something happen again, experience cause and eﬀect. Creative Arts • Imitating and pretending: Children imitate and pretend. • Exploring art materials: Children explore building and art materials. • Identifying visual images: Children respond to and identify pictures and photographs. • Listening to music: Children listen to music. • Responding to music: Children respond to music. • Sounds: Children explore and imitate sounds. • Vocal pitch: Children explore vocal pitch sounds.
Creative Child Preschool Curriculum Content Children from 3 to 5 years old
Approaches to Learning • Initiative: Children demonstrate initiative as they explore their world. • Planning: Children make plans and follow through on their intentions. • Engagement: Children focus on activities that interest them. • Problem solving: Children solve problems encountered in play. • Use of resources: Children gather information and formulate ideas about their world. • Reﬂection: Children reﬂect on their experiences. Social and Emotional Development • Self-identity: children have a positive self-identity. • Sense of competence: children feel they are competent. • Emotions: Children recognize, label, and regulate their feelings. • Empathy: Children demonstrate empathy toward others. • Community: Children participate in the community of the classroom. • Building relationships: Children build relationships with other children and adults. • Cooperative play: Children engage in cooperative play. Moral development: Children develop an internal sense of right and wrong. • Conﬂict resolution: Children resolve social conﬂicts. • Decision-making: Children participate in making classroom decisions. Physical Development and Health • Gross-motor skills: Children demonstrate strength, ﬂexibility, balance and timing in using their large muscles. • Fine-motor skills: Children demonstrate dexterity and hand-eye coordination in using their small muscles. • Body awareness: Children know about their bodies and how to navigate them in space. • Personal care: Children carry out personal care routines on their own. • Healthy behavior: Children engage in healthy practices. • Food education: Children talk about and choose healthy food options, enjoy and share meals together in school. Language Development and Emergent Literacy • Multilingual awareness: Children acquire and use diﬀerent languages in school and at home. • Comprehension: Children understand language(s). • Speaking: Children express themselves using language(s). • Vocabulary: Children understand and use a variety of words and phrases. • For non-native speakers: Children understand and use basic words and phrases. • Phonological awareness: Children identify distinct sounds in spoken language. • Alphabetic knowledge: Children know some letter names and some letter sound associations. • Concepts about print: Children understand that written language conveys messages. Children demonstrate knowledge about environmental print. (e.g. signs, newspapers and magazines, lists, menus, packaging). • Book knowledge: Children demonstrate knowledge about books. (e.g. they hold a book upright and face-forward, read it front to back and diﬀerentiate text and pictures).
• Pre-Writing: Children make scribbles or strings of random letters with no spaces. Children write letters, usually those in their own names. • Pre-reading: Children pretend reading as they turn pages of books, invent story using pictures and their memory of the story. Mathematics • Number words and symbols: Children recognize numbers from 1-10. • Counting: Children count things. They understand that the last number counted tells “how many”. • Part-whole relationships: Children combine and separate quantities of objects. • Shapes: Children identify, name and describe shapes. • Spatial awareness: Children recognize spatial relationships among people and objects. They use position, direction and distance words to describe actions and the location of objects in their environment. • Measuring: Children measure to describe, compare, and order things. (i.e. length, volume, weight; some/diﬀerent, bigger/smaller, more/less; shortest/longest). • Unit: Children understand and use the concept of unit. They measure using unconventional (e.g. block, shoe) and conventional (e.g., ruler) measuring tools. • Patterns: Children identify, describe, copy, complete and create patterns. Creative Arts • Art: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through two-and three-dimensional art. • Music: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through music. • Movement: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through movement. • Pretend play: Children express and represent what they observe, think, imagine, and feel through pretend play. • Appreciating the arts: Children appreciate the creative arts. Science and Technology • Observing: Children observe the materials and processes in their environment. • Classifying: Children classify materials, actions, people, and events. • Experimenting: Children experiment to test their ideas. • Predicting: Children predict what they expect will happen. • Drawing conclusions: Children draw conclusions based on their experiences and observations. • Communicating ideas: Children communicate their ideas about the characteristics of things and how they work. • Natural and physical world: Children gather knowledge about the natural and physical world. • Tools and technology: Children explore and use tools and technology. Social Studies • Diversity: Children understand that people have diverse characteristics, interests, and abilities. • Community roles: Children recognize that people have diﬀerent roles and functions in the community. • Geography: Children recognize and interpret features and locations in their environment. • History: Children understand past, present, and future. • Citizenship and Identity: Children know their country of origin, their nationalities. They share their heritage.
September 2013- June 2014 Yellow Room Teacher: Ameera Fuentes Aguasan Assistants: Roselie Teologo & Vanessa Mendoza Blue Room Teacher: Cinta Sanchez Assistants: Joy Baralin & Ma. Fatima Hernandez Pink Room Teacher: Manel Miaadi Assistants: Funmi Adebayo & Muskan Dangi Cute Discoverers Teacher: Ray Qiu Assistants: Thelma Rodriguez & Fe Palad Happy Helpers Teacher: Aymara Baquero Assistants: Rona Miclat & Evangeline Gonzalez Dynamic Explorers Teacher: Ma Lisa Capila Assistants: Halimat Makinde & Lea Dela Cruz Curious Creators Teacher: Diana Randall Assistants: Monaira Ara & Cyril Andaya Independent Inventors Teacher: Zeina Hamady Assistants: Joanna Fernandez & Vilma Borejon Mystery Makers Teacher: Hayat El-Siss Assistants: Monalisa Baltazar & Felmary Noneza
Support Staﬀ: Aileen De la Cruz (Preschool) – Library and supplies Jannie Hernandez (Nursery) – Documentation Center Hamed Rasheed - Security Guard Ida Rahmouni -Morning Cleaner Fatima Beyassine – French Teacher Marilyn Hall – School Nurse Kimberly Astillo (Nido) - Nurse Assistant Administrative Team: Fabiola Barrios - Director Josephine Cerillo - Educational Coordinator Mira El Dessouky - Administrative Assistant Soﬁa Bach- Registrar
This issue was edited by Jannie Rose Hernandez
Fantastic Designers Teacher: Arife Bilgin Assistants: Mary Ann Virtudazo & Leni Toledana