Dear Families and Friends,
LEAPS is about fortifying connections. Connections of all kinds. One of the first things we do while imagining a program is to envision the connective tissue that will link children’s learning in the classroom to the skills we can teach them in LEAPS. Fourth grade teacher, Jaime MacCaffray is a pro at helping us synchronize our two programs. Add to that a partnership with Jackson Memorial Library, and the contribution of children’s librarian, Sharon Moskowitz, and we experience the daily delight of digging into learning together.
Inviting kids to use materials they’ve never tried before gives them another vehicle for building connections. With time to experiment, they’ve shown us how they can take chunks of cardboard, wood, and leather, pull them apart, and then piece them back together in new configurations. They’re giving one another feedback and offering assistance.
Now several weeks into the study, kids are developing relationships with their animals. Back in school they are fully invested in research. Today I learned that, “The back of a moose can be 7 feet high!” While kids are acquiring new information, they’re also writing animal poetry. This morning we got our first delicious taste of it!
Topping off their connection-making process, they are sketching portraits of one another in their artists’ notebooks. The practice of looking closely helps prepare them for their own self-portraits, coming up next week.
On a rainy day of making art together, kids felt quite pleased with themselves. Take a look at their expressions and imagine what it would be like to be learning this way!