“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.
Head of School