Archive for August 2012

Director’s Column: Today’s Play is Tomorrow’s Pursuit

By Jennifer Winters, Director
Play is like nothing else in life, especially for young children. It brings alive their creativity and passion, and it leads them to learn. In the magical world of play, children act out what is on their minds; they practice life, as they know it, on their own terms.

Creating Innovators

By Amanda Enayati, CNN Columnist and Alumni Parent
What does it mean to raise innovative children? Are we teaching our children the skills they need to create, innovate, to go out and change the world?

Promoting Inquiry in Early Childhood Education: An Inservice with Barbara Henderson and Daniel Meier

By Todd Erickson, Teacher
Teacher inquiry, in its various forms and functions, was the invigorating topic of the Feb. 17, 2012 Bing staff inservice session with San Francisco State University professors Barbara Henderson, PhD, and Daniel Meier PhD.

Jeannie Kahwajy on Effective Communication

By Stephanie Swenson, Teacher
“People remember how you make them feel,” Jeannie Kahwajy, PhD, advised the Bing staff at a lecture on tools for effective communication during fall set-up week. Her talk, “Effective Interactions: The Language of Leadership,” was on Sept. 1, 2011.

Researcher in Profile: Marisa Casillas on Children’s Interpretation and Understanding of “Almost” and “Sort of”

By Chia-wa Yeh, Head Teacher and Research Coordinator
“Cow!” a 3-year-old exclaimed, pointing to the picture of a bison. Her parent said, “It’s sort of a cow,” and went on to explain that it’s really a bison. How might the child interpret the information modified by the phrase “sort of”?

Parent Events at the Bing Institute

By Andrea Hart, Teacher
The Bing Institute increased its programs for parents in its second year, 2011-2012. As part of its mission to foster a community dedicated to improving the lives of young children and their families, the institute offered a variety of events for parents: Coffee Talks, Study Groups and Parent Seminars.

Engaging Children in Musical Games: Meaningful Connections Through Music

By Kitti Pecka, Head Teacher
Young children come to music activities with eagerness and attention. In exploring this world of music, how can teachers sustain children’s interest and enhance their cognitive development?

Exploring Motion on Inclined Planes

By Adrienne Lomangino, Head Teacher, and Colin Johnson, Teacher
During the autumn and winter quarters, the children in East PM took part in an ongoing exploration of motion on inclined planes, using wheels, balls, gutters, tubes and planks on the hills of East Room.


By Mark Mabry, Head Teacher, in collaboration with the East AM Team
Children often remind us that wonder and beauty can be found in the simplest things. Anyone who has ever taken a hike with young children knows that their curiosity is piqued by hundreds of things along their not-so-straight line between two points.

West PM Story Time: An Active Learning Opportunity?

By Sarah Wright, Head Teacher
During the spring quarter, the West PM teaching team launched an inquiry to answer the question: How do we structure story time in a way that actively engages more children to share their thoughts and ideas?

Young Children and Geographic Literacy: A Collaborative Project on Maps

By Parul Chandra and Nancy Howe, Head Teachers
Children’s understanding of geography is a natural outgrowth of their unfolding spatial awareness. Opportunities for open-ended play and concrete experiences give children a kinesthetic foundation for spatial understanding, a sense of place literacy.

Thinking Through Transitions: From a Child’s View

By Peckie Peters, Head Teacher
The sun is shining brightly, reflecting off the dew on the bridge and creating a sparkling, glittery image. The chicken appears under the bridge, pecking at the ground in search of food.

Staff Development Day in a Piazza

By Lars Gustafson, Teacher
On October 17, 2011, the entire Bing staff boarded a bus to see “The Wonder of Learning” exhibit at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. The exhibit displayed work by children from infant-toddler centers, preschools and primary schools within the municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Winter Staff Development Day

By Melissa Guevara, Teacher
Bing Nursery School’s winter staff development day this year, held on Feb. 17, launched an ongoing commitment to the study of play. Leading up to the winter staff development day, the staff met several times to brainstorm potential topics in early childhood education for an in-depth study for the entire school.

Spring Staff Development Day

By Jake Wachtel, Teacher
On a beautiful spring morning on April 30, the Bing Nursery School staff convened in the Tower House for a forum to continue the school-wide inquiry on play. Each teaching team shared how they had progressed since the inquiry began during the winter quarter.

The Project Approach Workshop with Lilian Katz

By Stephanie Holson, Teacher
Lilian Katz, PhD, co-author of Engaging Children’s Minds: The Project Approach, was in the Bay Area last October, lecturing at Stanford and conducting a workshop on the popular method in Palo Alto.

Learning and the Brain Conference: Preparing Future Minds

By Beverley Hartman, Head Teacher and Director of the Bing Institute
Preparing 21st Century Minds: Using Brain Research to Enhance Cognitive Skills For The Future” was the theme of the 30th Learning & the Brain conference.

Learning and the Brain Conference: Promoting Happier and Healthier Learners

By Rinna Sanchez-Baluyut, Teacher
Using brain science for happier and healthier learners was the focus of discussion at the Learning & the Brain Conference in San Francisco February 2012. The Learning and the Brain conferences provide the latest research on neuroscience and its impact among interdisciplinary professionals in education, research and technology.

The Innovative Learning Conference: New Paths to Learning

By Nancy Howe, Parul Chandra and Chia-wa Yeh, Head Teachers
Internationally prominent experts in education, neuroscience, gaming, design thinking, and learners with special needs spoke at The Nueva School’s biennial Innovative Learning Conference, held Oct. 20-21, 2011.

CAEYC Conference

By Colin Johnson, Teacher
Early childhood education is a field rich with important and widely varied issues. Nowhere is this demonstrated as comprehensively as a professional conference for early childhood educators.

Kindergarten Information Night

By Nandini Mukherjee, Teacher
Bing Nursery School holds Kindergarten Information Night every year to ease the journey into kindergarten for parents and their children. The evening event features a panel of experts that includes principals and teachers from neighboring elementary schools, local pediatricians and teachers from Bing.

Teacher Training from Bing to Washington, D.C.

By Parul Chandra, Head Teacher
This past November, I was excited to lead a day-long professional development workshop for more than 20 teachers and administrators at Communi-Kids Preschool in Washington, D.C.

Harvest Moon Auction 2011

By Beth Wise, Assistant Director
The 23rd annual Harvest Moon Auction, which benefits the Bing Nursery School Scholarship Fund, raised approximately $300,000 to help provide scholarship assistance to over 20 percent of the children attending Bing.