As summer comes to an end, Bank Street’s Head Start has been busy exploring different summer concepts. We have learned about things like gardens, animals, and the sun.
Though organizing learning around a theme as broad as summer is very helpful, Bank Street also firmly believes that learning not only happens intentionally but organically, as well. Our approach comes from a rich history of progressive educational thought, and the conviction that our founder, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, and other educators like John Dewey had, that children learn through direct experience with the world and curriculum must emerge from their interests and experiences.
We believe children are always learning through their experiences, especially those that are meaningful to them. While we spend time discussing and reading about summer with the children, we want children to explore concepts with their entire bodies and their senses. We bring in outside materials like beach sand, seashells, and flowers, in order for the children to make their own discoveries and connections. We, as their teachers, are simply facilitators of learning. The children cultivate their own knowledge, which is one of the characteristics that make our school so special.
Here are a few summer-themed projects being taught in our 3-4-year-old classrooms:
- Alphabet City is a mixed age classroom (3-year-old and 4-year-old children) that is currently studying plants and using the neighborhood gardens to connect what is being learned in the classroom to the outside world.
- The Broadway Classroom just wrapped up their unit on chicks, which was a huge sensation in our school. All of the children played in active part in caring and nurturing the chicks until they were ready to go back to the farm.
- The Central Park Classroom is currently studying colors. Each week, the students engage in sensory-based learning experiences that help deepen their understanding of colors.
- The Downtown Classroom just ended an exciting journey of observing caterpillars. The children engaged in many conversation and inquiry based activities around caterpillars; the children were thrilled to watch them transition into butterflies and release them this week.
Stay tuned to the Head Start blogs to learn more about our core principles of the program and an inside look into our Pre-K classrooms!