Dear Preschool Parents,
To those of you who attended our BTSN, thank you. I hope it was informative, enjoyable and that you walked away with insights into your child’s day at school.
We have an exciting year ahead as we celebrate our school wide theme of “Inspiring our Individuality”. For those of you who have asked about the new approach we are implementing in the classroom, thank you for your questions. This approach is based on Russian psychologist and early childhood theorist, Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky believed that social interaction is key to learning. He also popularized the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Simply put, this is the zone where learning takes place. The ZPD is the zone between what a learner can do with help and what he/she can do without assistance. Through mindful interactions, guidance and support a child can acquire those new skills. Vygotsky’s theory also promotes the idea that children take an active role in their learning. This is easily accomplished through thoughtful scaffolding, differentiation and honoring the uniqueness of each child’s development.
Dr. T has written a blog about self-regulation. She has also posted a clip of the Marshmallow Test that I referenced at back to school night. Please take a moment to check out St. Anne’s website and Dr. T’s. blog under “academics” and “Lower School”. Dr. T explains the three stages of self-regulation:
- Being regulated by others
- Regulating others
There are also three steps required to accomplish self-regulation:
- Knowing what to do
- Knowing when to do it
- Knowing how to go about accomplishing it
Of more interest is our outdoor classroom. Learning abounds in our outdoor classroom. Preschool has been using it daily. We are setting up routines and entering the space with a lot of imagination, creativity and an enormous sense of awe.
From day one we saw the benefits of the outdoor space. We see cooperation in a non-competitive environment. The children are learning effective ways of practicing communication, language and their problem solving skills. It's apparent that the children appreciate and respect nature.
This is a perfect example of the Reggio belief that the environment is the 3rd teacher, which goes hand in hand with the thought that nature is a powerful teacher.
A big thanks to our room moms, Emily Barrett and Alicia Tlapek, for organizing our Preschool Parent Social. Thank you for a wonderful evening of food, fun and friends!
The average 4-year-old asks 437 questions a day! (No big surprise there!)