Teachers Teaching Teachers
By Betsy Koning, Teacher
On Friday, February 28, 2003, Bing Nursery School did not hold children’s classes, but the staff had an opportunity to learn a great deal. The winter staff development day began with presentations from each teaching team on their curriculum projects. There was much opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas among the staff. West AM presented their bread project, which included an in-depth study of flour and experimentation with recipes. East PM and Center PM introduced their projects on flight, including studies of birds, insects, aircraft, and kites. East AM shared their project on East Room itself, which involved detailed mapping of both the indoor and outdoor environments. Center AM and West PM presented their projects on art and painting and explained their use of basic materials (mainly paint) as a method of communication. The Twos classes gave updates on the children’s growing skills in social interaction, problem solving, and use of basic materials. Our music specialist, Beth Wise, showed examples of the activities she introduced in each class to expand and enrich the projects. Sharing of these projects made us aware of many opportunities for collaboration among teams and made us proud of our creative and resourceful colleagues. Everyone was inspired.
In the afternoon, Vikram Jaswal, a researcher from Stanford’s Psychology Department, discussed research with children. He explained how he develops rapport with children, defined “game room etiquette,” for example, how researchers are to behave toward children, gave examples of the games used in studies, and elaborated on how studies are designed. Jaswal will start as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia in the fall after six years of conducting research at Bing School.
The last sessions of the day dealt with the use of technology in documenting children’s work. Tom Limbert demonstrated how to use QuarkXpress, a graphic design program, that helps in making page layouts for books and newsletters. Then, Jennifer Winters introduced the PowerPoint program for making slide presentations of work in the classroom.