Arachnids, Crustaceans, and Diplopods—Oh My!

Middle School seminar teacher and naturalist Kate Ziminsky recently  presented a program called “Arthropods: Insects and their Relatives” to K-1 students.

The students, who have been studying spiders for over a month, learned about the similarities between insects, arachnids, crustaceans (lobsters), and Diplopods (millipedes/centipedes). Kate also helped students recognize what makes each group unique by focusing on body parts, how they eat, how they protect themselves, how they grow, and where they live. Students used lobster and fly costumes to help understand body parts.

Lower School faculty prepares for global focus on Spain

Each year the Lower School chooses a country to study in depth, culminating in a weeklong intensive during the first week of February. Yesterday the Lower School faculty launched its study of Spain by inviting three Spanish guests to school to share information about their culture.   Teachers contributed dishes such as Tortilla de Patatas, Albondigas, Arroz al horno, Crema Catalana, and much more while the Spanish guests taught us lessons on the language and politics of Spain and the daily life of Spanish children.

It was a wonderfully informative afternoon thanks to the generosity of the Spanish visitors!


Community Art in K-1

Community Art is a weekly period in which visual art collaborates with the classroom curriculum. Students recently created three murals to represent their home station habitats of Forest, Marsh, and Meadow. In the classroom, students brainstormed what elements exist to create each habitat: animals, birds, plants, and aquatic creatures. During Community Art they learned to draw these elements on colorful papers. Classroom teachers cut out hundreds of images.

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Early Childhood students learn about the science behind waterfalls

Middle School teacher Katrina St. John visited the Lower School’s Early Childhood program yesterday to teach the school’s youngest students about the science behind waterfalls.

The concept of an “emergent curriculum”—an essential aspect of the Reggio Emilia Approach—comes into play throughout the school year, with 3-and-4-year-olds literally deciding what they will study. “Our students feel great ownership of our classroom, in part because our curriculum is driven by their ideas, questions, and interests,” says teacher Bob Mills. “Their natural engagement in the content allows them to deepen and refine skills such as language, math, science, music, geography, and art—without losing their excitement for learning.” Students selected waterfalls for the first area of in-depth study this academic year.

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Mindful technology evening for parents

Erica Marcus, educator and wellness instructor from “Wise Minds, Big Hearts,” led parents last Monday in an evening of reflection that began with an inquiry into our own technology use as a window into understanding the impact of screens and devices for our children.

The conversation centered on how to be more intentional in determining your family’s “technology diet” and reclaim “screen free family time,” including ideas for how to respond when tech use feels out of balance. An interesting related article on rising concerns about the impact of devices on children appeared last Friday in the New York Times.

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