Yertle the Turtle Stack Up in the Library!

To honor Dr. Seuss, this year’s featured reading in Library was Yertle the Turtle as part of a STEAM activity. The students carefully counted, and then stacked up “turtles”; making sure to keep their construction balanced so that King Yertle was able to perch on top of the stack, sometimes only momentarily!

We also discussed one of the morals of this story: leaders need to be kind to the people they lead!

Great Backyard Bird Count

Our Citizen Scientists and their families kept count of the birds they saw over the long Presidents’ Day Weekend!

In class, the students’ tallies of sightings by bird type were added together for the grand totals written on the eggs that you see in each “nest”.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share.

Full STEAM Ahead

“Full STEAM Ahead!”

Play is a child’s work. There is a pattern of natural play behaviors that help prepare children for scientific study and thinking. We actively encourage play behaviors with rich STEAM activities that are intentionally integrated within the Comprehensive Curriculum.

Children are naturally curious. While playing, they cooperate and work together, practicing and learning essential skills like problem solving, sorting, observing, classifying, experimenting, predicting, drawing conclusions, connecting knowledge and communicating their ideas.

You can see the scientific process in action at VGDS in the classrooms, in the hallways, on the playground, and outdoors in the School’s surrounds. Real, meaningful experiences inspire children to extend their learning into their everyday play and exploration of the world around them. It’s a two way street. Natural play encourages scientific thinking. Children construct understanding and meaning which assists the transition from concrete to abstract thinking and the transfer of thinking skills to other academic domains. (Eshach & Fried, 2005; Ravanis & Bagakis, 1998).

The illustration on the far right shows a VGDS Junior Kindergarten (Giraffes) Science Journal.

The activities are recorded after the hands-on, indoor and outdoor activities have been experienced. The observations, thoughts, ideas, predictions and outcomes are recorded and shared in science journals. The Traditional Kindergarten (Pandas), class in addition, take part in a Science Fair with a display of, and conversation about, each child’s research, observations and recordings of birds in their backyards. This activity was conceived, designed and driven by our Curriculum Director Paula Shapiro. Our children and our teachers are so fortunate to be the beneficiaries of her enthusiasm and experience.

The experts agree, young children are motivated to explore the world around them, and early science experiences capitalize on this inclination (French, 2004). Young children need and benefit from quality hands-on science experiences that are related to their real-life experiences. At Village Green we embrace this and we make it happen. Watch out for opportunities to share Math Madness and Science Fair project experiences with your children at VGDS. Come along on our wildlife and local, nature fieldtrips. Yes, we let apples rot and we record the experience. Yes, we think a six week old pumpkin stinks, we wonder why, then, we figure it out! Yes, we dig for worms and turn over stones to see and catch grubs. A leaf is a yearlong companion in all its states. Mud is rich and soil is clean and our children are up to their elbows in nature and their senses are full.

Carly Guy
Head of School

ART SHOWCASE – March 22, 2017

Our ART SHOWCASE was a spectacular event! It was wonderful to see our young artists “Get Dressed Up” and come with their families to view their beautiful creations on display the evening of March 22nd. Ms. Haden, our Art Specialist, helped the children select their best work from Art Class to put on exhibit.

STEAM: BIRDS’ BEAKS AND HOW BIRDS EAT

Through a variety of hands-on activities, our Upper School and Montessori students moved from center to center learning how songbirds, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and water fowl find and eat food. Beaks can crush seeds and nuts, pump nectar from flowers and blossoms, and filter water. Amazing!

EVERGREENS ARE A “SCENT-SATION” IN ART!

Our latest STEAM activity featured a selection of “scent-sational” evergreens in ART class. Our young artists learned the technique of “stamping” using sprigs of southern pine, yew, fir, cedar and boxwood dipped into paint (and in the process observed that yellow+blue=green). Their class conifers will be part of the decorations for the Winter Concerts. Our JK and Kindergarten students applied gold and silver paint and glitter to magnolia branches to create truly magnificent decorations.

In addition to enjoying a unique experiential art process, the students learned some scientific facts about evergreens. Many evergreen species (like conifers) existed before the dinosaurs, and magnolias have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth!

STEAM ACTIVITY OWL PELLETS!

Our WonderLab STEAM activity with the Kindergarten class focused on the subject of owls! Our scientists discovered how and what these nocturnal creatures eat by dissecting owl pellets and matching their discoveries of skulls, vertebrae, hip, rib, leg and shoulder bones, to bone sorting charts. So, just what does an owl eat? Lots of rodents (mice, moles, voles and rabbits), birds, and sometimes snakes!

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR HAS BEGUN!

School is back in session! There was a sense of excitement and anticipation as everyone came ready for the first day of the new school year. Phones, Ipads, and even a few cameras captured those precious “first day of school” photos that will be looked at fondly for years to come.
Students attending our 3 Day and 5 Day Preschool and Montessori Classes arrived with their parents and were greeted with smiles throughout the school. Parents spent time transitioning their children into their classrooms and attended a short parent orientation. Our Upper School children waved goodbye to their parents at carpool and walked with an escort into their classrooms full of confidence as they started the school year.

Our Extended Day children transitioned last week into their classrooms as our School Age students worked on their routines at both their public school and at Village Green. Many new friends were made in the classrooms and on the playgrounds. Our teachers have planned even more activities this week to ensure that all of our children feel at home here at Village Green!

We look forward to a wonderful year together!