In 2021, we will using our Staff Spotlights to learn more about individual staff, their inspirations, and their incredible resilience in adapting to Outdoor Learning in a pandemic.
Spotlight on the Blue Room
Kathleen Blass and Susan Spotts gave us some insight into the Kindergarten Class.
What makes the Blue Room different from other Kindergarten experiences? Why is play so important to it?
Our Playschool Kindergarten has always been centered on active learning through play. This year, as we moved permanently outside, we have watched this transform into more extensive nature play. We’ve used natural materials to make letters and numbers, count and pattern nearly every day! To the children, it may seem like we’re just having fun, but in the process they’re learning academics as well as invaluable lessons about cooperation, sharing, and social skills.
What changed (or did not change) with being outside this year? How did you or the children have to adapt?
Our clothing choices were the biggest change this year. We had to wear long johns, turtlenecks, hoodies, snowsuits and accessories nearly every day through Fall and Winter. We amended our calendar and curriculum to do more large motor skills development during the winter months and more writing and fine motor skills in the Spring when we could finally take off our gloves and mittens!
What is the biggest takeaway you hope your students take away from their time in Blue?
We think that the children have learned to adapt and change this year more than any other. We’ve all learned and grown through the process.
Any funny or memorable moment to share?
Singing and performing The Playschool Song with Mr. Michael (Bacon) was highlight for us all.
Do you have a favorite children's book to share?
Our reading library is so extensive, it’s impossible to narrow it to just one favorite. This time of year we think of Puff the Magic Dragon as the best symbol of the Playschool years coming to an end as children move on to their next educational experiences.
Why do you choose to be a teacher and/or work here?
We’ve chosen to work at Playschool because we believe that learning through play is best practice.