Archive for October 2011

The Pedagogy of Sand Play

By Nancy Howe, Head Teacher
Educators have long valued sand as an important material for exploration, play and learning. In 1847, Friedrich Froebel, German founder of the kindergarten movement, discovered the adaptability of sand …

Sharing Music with Two-Year-Olds

By Kitti Pecka, Head Teacher
Music is an integral part of our curriculum in the Two’s. Just as parents select specific music when they are expecting a baby and then adapt their music choices to the child as she grows, Bing’s teachers respond to …

Developing Self-Regulated Learners Through Play

By Adrienne Lomangino, Head Teacher
During a session at Bing Nursery School, children have many opportunities to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it. The open-ended nature of the play materials encourages children to form their own goals about how to use them, or to plan.

Working Together: Building a Community

By Betsy Koning, Teacher
“I like the pig best!” “No, the cow is best!” “But my favorite is the chicken!” As the 2010-2011 school year began, the children in East AM were very interested in expressing their preferences about every type of information presented by the teachers. …

Exploring Art in West AM

By Peckie Peters, Head Teacher
Macawber is a squirrel with aspirations to be an artist—a fictional squirrel, that is. He’s the main character in a children’s book by the same name, which we read in West AM this January.

Samuel McClure on Decision Making

By Rinna Sanchez-Baluyut, Teacher
Every day we are faced with countless decisions in life. We make choices that affect our long-term and short-term goals. These decisions are sometimes driven by our impulsivity or after much thought and consideration.

Researcher in Profile: Sarah Gripshover on Children’s Understanding of Nutrition

By Chia-wa Yeh, Head Teacher and Research Coordinator
What might be an effective way to help children learn about nutrition? Is it possible to teach young children biological concepts about food and nutrition? If so, does it make a difference in children’s food choices?

The Bing Institute

By Beverley Hartman, Head Teacher and Director of the Bing Institute, and Sarah Wright, Head Teacher and Manager of Special Projects
“If you build it, he will come,” is the famous line from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. Similarly, if you renovate the Tower House at Bing Nursery School, adults will come. The restoration of the historic building has enabled the school to…

The Competence Model

By Karen Robinette, Head Teacher, and Beverley Hartman, Head Teacher and Director of the Bing Institute
Edith Dowley, the founding director of Bing Nursery School, called upon teachers to consider the children in our programs as “honored guests.” Her ideas on how to accomplish this have permeated every aspect of the program, curriculum and culture at the school since its beginning in 1966.

Michael Frank on Multitasking in Language Learning

By L. Jasmine Dobbs-Marsh, Assistant Teacher
Multitasking often has drawbacks: Gains in efficiency may be canceled out by losses in accuracy, comprehension or production quality. Language learning, however, is definitely “a time when multitasking is good,” says professor Michael Frank, PhD, a recent addition to the Stanford faculty.

Praising Intelligence: Costs to Children’s Self-Esteem and Motivation

By Jennifer Paley, Writer and Bing Parent
A child runs up to you with a painting still wet. You hold it up and think what to say. A maelstrom of blue and red covers the paper. Praise the process, not the person, proclaims Professor Carol Dweck, an eminent social and developmental psychologist at Stanford.

Director’s Column: A Love of Learning Starts with Play

By Jennifer Winters, Director
A young child’s love for learning starts with play. Play is a vital part of the cognitive, social and emotional development of young children. But play has been and continues to be under attack. For decades play and its many benefits to young children have been unintended casualties of some educational-reform efforts.

Kindergarten Information Night

By Katherine Jordan, Enrollment Administrator
Kindergarten is a child’s garden, a place where children grow. Many parents of preschoolers wonder if their child will be ready to blossom there. Bing parents pondering this question attended …

River Project in Center AM

By Parul Chandra, Head Teacher
During Center AM’s river project, we observed the children’s imagination flowing as they posited questions, created amazing scenarios and learned scientific facts about rivers….

Facilitating the Reflective Process

By Sarah Wright, Head Teacher and Manager of Special Projects, and Beverley Hartman, Head Teacher and Director of the Bing Institute
Standing where the edges meet, observing the frictions and incongruities of learning, is a situation in which we rarely find ourselves as teachers….

New Bing Storytelling CD: Happy Tales from Bing

By Beth Wise, Assistant Director
As a child, I fondly remember listening to record albums of children’s stories. This early experience gave me an opportunity to create the characters in my mind, to listen intently to the words and music and …

Fall Staff Development Day

By Nancy Verdtzabella, Teacher
This past fall, Bing Nursery School teachers spent a day discussing and practicing ways to study their own teaching methods. The technique, called reflective practice, was the focus of the Fall 2010 Staff Development Day.

Winter Staff Development Day

By Seyon Verdtzabella, Teacher
The beautifully designed and spacious yards at Bing Nursery School would not exist without the vision of its founding director, Edith Dowley, PhD, a Stanford professor of education and psychology. …

Spring Staff Development Day

By Caitlin Francis, Assistant Teacher
“What we need are people at the front lines who can be constantly reflective about the needs of young children” (D. Castleberry). This quotation is from a presentation that Bing teacher Laura Berquist delivered …

2010 NAEYC Conference

By Colin Johnson, Teacher
In November 2010, eleven Bing teachers made the trip to Anaheim to attend the largest early childhood conference in the country, the annual conference and expo held by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. …

Learning and the Brain Conference

By Chia-wa Yeh, Head Teacher and Research Coordinator
What skills are needed to become productive citizens as advances in technology and globalization continue in the 21st century? What does research on the brain tell us about how neural networks affect learning? …

Making Rules: Developing Self-Regulation Skills

By Sarah Wright, Head Teacher and Manager of Special Projects
Children come to school with a wealth of knowledge gained from their home environment. This past year in the West PM classroom, children’s in-depth knowledge about sports and games spawned great interest in the topic …

Harvest Moon Auction 2010

By Beth Wise, Assistant Director
The 2010 Harvest Moon Auction raised over $300,000 for the Bing Nursery School Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid for approximately 20 percent of our children. Our theme for the 22nd annual event, …