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Marble Painting

Process Art: Marble Painting

Posted by: Rhonda August 14, 2018

Process art is certainly a buzzword in early childhood education, and rightly so. Art for children should be free of adult-imposed constraints and expectations of a particular product. However, many teachers cringe at the idea of letting young children loose with paints, glue, glitter, and other art materials, fearing the disasters that could possibly ensue.

But process art doesn't have to leave a wake of mess for the teacher to clean up. (At least not every time!) Marble painting, a great example of process art, can be quite manageable for both young children and their caregivers. Find out how.

Wonder Many Splendored 2

What is Wonder?

Posted by: Rhonda August 7, 2018

Socrates famously declared, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” Most educators will heartily echo this statement. However, while the definition of wisdom is easy to agree upon, what about wonder? What exactly is wonder and how is it generated? Do young children possess an innate disposition to wonder? If so, how can this capacity be preserved as they grow older?

While much has been said and written about this powerful motivator for learning, Dr. Ruth Wilson believes there is still something missing in the discussion. Read her thoughts here.

Preschool Environment

The Power of a Purposeful Environment

Posted by: Rhonda July 31, 2018

A good teacher inspires learning. But each classroom has another teacher, often overlooked, that has the potential to dramatically increase or decrease learning opportunities as well.

Often referred to as “the third teacher,” the environment can have a powerful effect on both behavior and learning. “When you walk into a well-designed classroom you see children constructively engaged and teachers busy observing, facilitating, and challenging the children,” writes Amy Sussna Klein. “The environment supports all this by assuming several of the responsibilities we typically associate with teachers.”

How do you set up an environment that teaches? Find out here.

 

Petal Prints

Petal Prints

Posted by: Rhonda July 24, 2018

Nature makes a stunning show at this time of year with brilliant displays of flowers both in gardens and in the wild. Here’s a fun way to capture and preserve some of that color on paper.

You’ll have to experiment with the different kinds of flowers and leaves available in your area to discover what makes the most successful prints. We found that marigolds and parsley (both abundant in our Pre-K garden) contained the most vibrant pigments. Besides flowers, all you will need is paper, wax paper, and a tree cookie or small stone to pound the petals with. Watch how to do it here.

Nature Preschool legacy

Life After Nature Preschool

Posted by: Rhonda July 17, 2018

After decades of success in Europe, the concept of nature preschools is rapidly gaining popularity in the U.S. This is not without reason—the benefits of young children spending time in nature are abundant and well-articulated.

However, like all good things that come to an end, preschoolers inevitably become first graders. The forest turns into a four-walled classroom. Mud puddles and rustling leaves move aside to make space for desks and books. But does the magic of a childhood nature experience somehow prevail in spite of this? What happens to nature preschoolers as they move on through life?

In this article Catherine Koons-Hubbard, Preschool Director at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center explores this thought. Read now.