Archive for August 2013

Leading Researcher on Play Speaks at Bing

By Melissa Guevara, Teacher
Stuart Brown, MD, a pioneer of research on play, believes that play is essential for both children and adults to maintain and even increase happiness. “Beyond play’s role in our personal fulfillment,” Brown told Bing staff…

Exploring Tools in the Twos

By Mary Munday, Head Teacher
“Where is the hammer? I need a hammer. I need to fix the house!” said Chase as he entered the classroom, quickly looking for the tools. A teacher showed him the toolboxes she had placed on the deck nearby.

Researcher in Profile: Rodolfo Cortes on Reciprocity

By Chia-wa Yeh, Head Teacher and Research Coordinator
An adult accidentally drops a pen on the floor near a child. The adult tries to retrieve it unsuccessfully due to a table blocking the way. Watching this happening, how likely is it that the child will help the adult pick up the pen?

Parent Programs with the Bing Institute: Aiming for Interaction

By Beverley Hartman, Head Teacher and Director of the Bing Institute
This past year the Bing Institute experimented with increasing interaction in our programs for parents.

Creative Thinking with Design Materials

By Adrienne Lomangino, Head Teacher
It’s 12:44 p.m. The afternoon session in the East PM class starts in one minute. Taking a last scan around the classroom, I think, “We’ll see what happens today.” This moment of anticipatory uncertainty is not due to lack of planning: The teachers have set out materials indoors and outdoors for the children to use. However …

Creative Arts Curriculum in the Twos: Visual, Tactile and Auditory

By Kitti Pecka, Head Teacher
Children enter a new and expanded world when they begin school. Two-year-olds can be intimidated by the big step they are taking, but creative arts often provide the platform for entry that they need to establish comfort.

What Does This Say?

By Sarah Wright, Head Teacher
When presented with a sample of writing that is clearly scribble and asked by a young child to read it, what is an appropriate response?

Community Through the Eyes of West AM Children

By Peckie Peters, Head Teacher
Sloan watched carefully as Bo gently removed the pea seedling from its plastic container. Bo held the tiny plant in one hand as she used two fingers to make a small hole in the flowerbed where Sloan had recently hunted for worms in the rich, dark soil. Bo placed the plant and began to cover it with dirt. Suddenly…

CAEYC Conference

By Stephanie Swenson, Teacher
“Make a Difference! Motivate. Educate. Advocate,” is a slogan that epitomizes and inspires the work of early childhood educators. In fact, it was the theme of the 2013 California Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual conference and expo held March 14-16 in San Jose, Calif.

Highlighting Play: The 2012 NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo

By L. Jasmine Dobbs-Marsh, Teacher
Play is a set of behaviors that are freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated.” (Almon, Bundy, Sullivan & VanderMolen, 2012). At Bing Nursery School, children play. Our school’s educators and parents value play and all that it adds to children’s learning and development.

The Wool Project in Center AM

By Parul Chandra, Head Teacher
Just like in this familiar nursery rhyme where the lamb follows Mary to school one day and delights the children there, a little lamb did indeed visit Center AM on one occasion, and its fleece, or rather wool and yarn, was the subject of an in-depth exploration.

Recycled Materials: A Resource for Young Children’s Creative Expression and Design Thinking

By Nancy Howe, Head Teacher
Exploring and creating with recycled or “found” materials is a big part of everyday life at Bing Nursery School, much to the benefit of both the children and the environment.

String Theory: Playing with Line and Curve

By Mark Mabry, Head Teacher, and Betsy Koning, Emma McCarthy, Teachers
Teachers in play-based programs take the lead from children in guiding the curriculum. They observe, listen and wonder about what ideas children seem to be interested in pursuing. Themes emerge in their play as they develop relationships with each other, learn what they can do with the classroom materials and agree upon scripts and activities.

Fall Staff Development Day: A Learning Opportunity for Bing Staff

By Jenna Rist, Teacher
At Bing Nursery School, we often talk about giving children the “gift of time,” ample time without interruptions to explore, problem solve and grow. On Oct. 19, 2012, Bing staff members were given our own “gift of time” to grow and develop together professionally through our quarterly staff development day.

Learning and the Brain Conference: Adults as Models in Cultivating Creativity

By Sheilan Kazzaz, Teacher
Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make very small use of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.” This observation by noted psychologist and philosopher William James speaks to the immense and drastically underestimated potential within all of us.

Spring Staff Development Day: Research Update

By Cole Murphy-Hockett, Teacher
This spring, three Stanford graduate students updated Bing teachers on their research in developmental and social psychology at the nursery school. The presentations took place at Bing’s staff development day on April 29.

The Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting

By Emma McCarthy, Teacher
This past April’s meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development focused on the growth of research on child development around the world and on the “multiple levels” approach to research. The impact of immigration on youth, global perspectives on resilience, and bullying interventions in diverse regions of the world are a few examples of this trend towards a more global and diverse field of study.

Music at Bing

By Beth Wise, Assistant Director
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” I often find myself agreeing to these words…

Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000

By Nancy Howe, Head Teacher
A “two-way conversation between children and designers” is how curator Juliet Kinchin described Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000, the exhibition she co-organized at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit, which Kinchin discussed in the New York Times’ T Magazine, represented the first major overview of 20th century childhood viewed through the lens of design.

A Glimpse of the AERA Annual Conference

By Adrienne Lomangino, Head Teacher
Bing teacher Beverley Hartman and I joined over 15,500 registrants at this year’s annual conference of the American Educational Research Association. The event, Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis, took place in San Francisco April 27-May 1. The conference topics spanned from preschool through higher education, with each time slot offering sessions of interest to early childhood educators.

Summer 2012 Bing Institute: The Importance of Basic Materials in Early Childhood

By Karen Robinette, Head Teacher
What are the elements that contribute to a successful group experience? In the case of our 3rd annual Bing Institute’s summer session, held on July 16-20, they were as follows: Take 30 educators from as far away as India and Hong Kong and as close as Foster City and Sunnyvale…

Kindergarten Information Night: A Reminder to Enjoy the Present

By Kate Dwelley, Teacher
As adults it is impossible to take on this mentality in its entirety, but it’s an important mindset to practice. Reminding parents to live with their children “in the now” was a recurring theme at this year’s Kindergarten Information Night.

The Native American Student Advocacy Institute

By Aubrey Gamble, Teacher
“No matter what your circumstances or the problems that you’re facing, without an education it will be harder,” said Joyce Silverthorne, director of the U.S. Office of Indian Education, to attendees of the Native American Student Advocacy Institute.

Harvest Moon Auction 2012: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

By Sandra Gedeon, Business Manager
ALL ABOARD! Planes, Trains & Automobiles was the theme of Bing’s 24th annual Harvest Moon Auction, which took place Nov. 17, 2012 at the Stanford Arrillaga Alumni Center.

Prof. Ellen Markman on Teaching Young Children About Nutrition

By Melanie Thernstrom, author and Bing parent
The thrilling beginning of nursery school also marks the dark onset of the Parent-Child Food Wars. The toddler who once ate everything you put on his plate, as long as it was the rocket ship plate, not the rabbit plate, has turned into a preschooler who also insists on choosing the food on that plate.

Director’s Column: 100 Years of Blocks: Why Blocks Continue to be a Cornerstone in the Curriculum

By Jennifer Winters, Director
The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the unit block designed by Caroline Pratt in 1913. After a century, unit blocks remain one of the most integral and fundamental materials used in early childhood classrooms today.