Can you learn from a broken telephone?
While studying how machines work, nursery students used real screwdrivers to dismantle and examine broken office equipment. Then, with just their imaginations and their teachers to guide them, they transformed the old telephones, typewriters, and adding machines into “robots” with pretend special powers.
One of the robots could wash a dog and wore a crown. She was a princess, of course.
Students per class: 16-18
Teachers per class: 3
Children age 3 to 5 are brimming with wonder and curiosity. In the context of play and social interaction, we help students make rich discoveries about them selves, their classmates, the larger school community, and the world. Hands-on investigation is at the core of the program. What young child doesn’t love digging, pouring, sifting, drawing, cooking, sorting, singing, building, and painting? Science, math, art, and language are integrated into each day’s activities. Whether it’s counting pumpkin seeds, filling different sized containers at the water table, hammering at the workbench, stringing beads in a pattern, making dough, or zooming down a slide, nursery children learn by doing. And with their teachers help, their sense of wonder leads them to love learning.
A Quick Peek into the Nursery
- With a 6:1 ratio in the classroom, teachers are able to nurture the social and emotional growth of each child. One way Nursery students learn about diversity, belonging, and respect for others is through two annual studies—Ourselves as Babies, and Our Families. Other topics might include Machines, Seeds and Pods, Butterflies, Spiders, Farms, and Gardens.
- On a daily basis, nursery teachers read to children. During quiet “book time,” children “read” to themselves, and at “drama time,” they create stories and act them out. Once a week they visit the library for a story.
- Nursery classes sing together each day. Twice a week, they learn Spanish through stories, games and song.
- Nursery students are embraced by the entire school community. Older students often help out in the Nursery classrooms during morning Choice Times. Each Friday, the Nurseries join the whole school at “Big Sing.”
- The Nursery program provides a solid foundation for children who continue on to primary education at The Common School and elsewhere.