Every morning in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom, the teacher excitingly and lovingly greets the students. This is Ms. Marcela and Ms. Lauren’s favorite part of the day. They begin their day with a morning meeting where the children discuss how their day was previous and what they look forward to today. The day follows a flexible schedule to include proposals, meaningful centers, snack, recess, lunch, specials, individualized and group learning. With a large, inviting playground, benches and picnic tables throughout campus, learning extends beyond the classroom bringing the learning to life and making connections to their surroundings. Students also attend their specials throughout the week including Art, Music, Physical Education and Spanish Immersion. A dedicated teacher for each special allows for the students to learn from those whose passions and techniques are honed for the skill.
The student’s classroom is dynamic and constantly reflects the main idea of the activity they are working on that week. Student work is displayed throughout the classroom for them to track their learning and their progress. This also allows for the teachers to develop student skills when necessary and expand on skills they mastered.
To learn more about their interests and passions, Miki Dayan, Early Childhood Center Director, and Chelsea Friedman, Admissions Director, asked questions that foster their imagination and creativity. The eagerness to answer the questions was evident and listening to their peers was on point. Every child has a superpower and today they imagined powers they wish they could have to better the world. Reese and Dov want to “run really fast” to save others and Levi offered his “super strength to move heavy objects” away from their path. Both Vicki and Gaby want to work in collaboration saving people like “Wonder Woman and Supergirl” and Gaby specified that she would ask mom for a cape to fly. Noa’s love for mermaids inspired her super power of saving people in the water by “turning into a mermaid”. Jacob wants to use a “trampoline” as his launchpad to “run really fast in the sky” and Emma-Rose will “fly” and act as the reporter to all superheroes to inform if someone is in trouble and needs to be saved. Adrian will help by using his “super heat” and “heat up the bad guys”. Alona and Noam will “fly” to save others and cool off by “going to the pool”. The students are led by their superhero teachers whose powers include lots of hugs and being amazing. They exclaimed “their [Ms. Marcela and Ms. Lauren’s] superpowers make us happy!” and that Ms. Marcela “makes us work a lot” while Ms. Lauren “gives lots of hugs”. A great balance to the children’s learning.
According to the Pre-Kindergarten class, “all of it” is their favorite part of school. Majority of the students could not pinpoint a part of the day they love best. Some exclaimed they love “drawing center” and “blocks” center so they can build “a big, gigantic building and train tracks”. Ms. Marcela and Ms. Lauren’s dedication and love for teaching is evident and seen by their students’ excitement and eagerness to attend to learning activities. It is apparent that their thinking and their ideas are validated in the class, because they were all eager to respond and were happy to express their thoughts in a unique way.
Aside from student teacher bond, the students develop a close bond with their peers. The best friends in the class are in agreement of who their best friends are within the class. The students exclaimed that their favorite activity to do with their best friend is to play on the playground and in the classroom. When asked, what makes a best friend, Noa simply stated it is “when you love her”. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the class had great friends across other grades in the school, from ECC to Day School. Friendships that develop in all the activities we do in Enrichment and After Care, but also as a community and in how we can engage Gordon School students in school-wide events throughout the year. Many friendships are long lasting and it warms my heart to see that twinkle in their eyes.
It was an honor to spend time in the Pre-Kindergarten B class to gain deeper insight of their individuality. I look forward to speaking to them in the future and learning more about them.