Off to Wintry Adventures, We Go!

I walked into one of our Pre-Kindergarten classrooms this week only to be immediately surrounded by a bunny, a scientist, a polar bear, and a fox. Our Early Childhood teachers have been busy taking advantage of our wintry weather to immerse the students in units about the seasons, Arctic life, penguins, and hibernation cycles. 

One of the fascinating attributes of Early Childhood education is the rich learning that occurs through play–even some of the simplest activities have a significant purpose and foster critical brain development. 

In Pre-Kindergarten this week, the students explored the Arctic tundra. After learning about this ecosystem, the children brainstormed ways to create an Arctic tundra in their classroom for dramatic play. They dressed up as animals and scientists and went hunting to look for food (stuffies). A sensory table filled with ice and water provided opportunities for our Dragons to practice descriptive language, expand their vocabulary, and have conversations around scientific phenomena (ie, why does ice melt). During writing time, they utilized inventive spelling to write one fact about an arctic animal. 

In Kindergarten, they are investigating the 17 different species of penguins, using resources from National Geographic Kids and Scholastic News. Morning Meeting is filled with waddles, bows, gargling noises, and head shakes as the children greet one another. Today they studied the various parts of the penguin and also put on a blubber “glove” as they explored how a penguin is able to stay warm in freezing waters. At home, the children are each researching one type of penguin. Then they will create a poster sharing information about their species and make a presentation in front of the class in a few weeks, practicing their public-speaking skills. 

In the next few weeks, Nursery will discuss hibernation and go on a bear hunt. This beloved favorite brings our youngest Dragons all through the building as they explore different habitats that one might expect to find a bear. When they return to the classroom, they discover their bear is sleeping (because he is hibernating). However, he leaves a snack and a note for all of his friends. 

I’m incredibly thankful for our creative educators who create such rich and meaningful learning opportunities for our Dragons.

Danny Vogelman

Head of School