All too often when I am giving a tour of the school, I am asked, “What kind of learning is truly happening in a one-year-old classroom?” The simple answer is A LOT! The research is clear that learning begins at birth. Babies learn early learning skills through everyday activities with adults. Brains are built over time and responsive interactions between babies and their parents, family members, caregivers and teachers are a critical ingredient to building a child’s brain. These positive interactions shape and build the brain. Early experiences matter and impact learning, behavior and health later in life.
While visiting the one-year-old classroom at various times while they were “studying” birds, I was amazed by the activities, interactions between teachers and children and the interest of the children. Teachers and children were:
· Building bird feeders with different materials
· Listening to a story, “The Best Nest”
· Reading a rhyming book about a hungry cat on the prowl for wild birds
· Looking at images and real birds as an inspiration to create art
· Using paint brushes and choosing colors to paint with
And check out the final product from the two-year-old classroom…
Now that is learning! Our children were artists, scientists, mathematicians and engineers exploring and working together during the STREAM activities as they were learning about birds and the world around them through play.