PreKTransformationThe study of transformation in prekindergarten provides an elegant example of how learning happens at Nueva and illustrates teaching practices repeated throughout the grades: thematic, multidisciplinary, and child-centered.

Thematic
Themes in prekindergarten emerge from the interaction of three elements: the carefully prepared environment; the behavior of the children encountering the environment and revealing their thoughts, feelings and capabilities; and the deep listening, documentation, reflection and charting of the teachers. According to Carolee Fucigna, prekindergarten teacher, “We never choose the theme for the students; we make offerings and provocations, and then we observe, document, and plan.”

Emily and studentsFirst graders are learning to pause and take a moment each day to reflect on what they are thankful for through writing in gratitude journals.

“We want them to understand that when you take the time to think about what you’re grateful for it makes you happier,” first-grade teacher Emily Mitchell said. “What you put into the world is what you get back. We talk about putting out gratitude and positivity.”

Students in both Mitchell’s and Diana Friedman’s class are asked a question every morning for 21 days — the amount of time research suggests it takes to build a habit — such as “What book are you grateful for?” and “What building are you grateful for and why?” They then write their answers and draw a picture that illustrates it in their journals.

November 20, 2015

Mystery Readers article photoKindergartners in Michelle Barreras’ class are developing their critical thinking and logic skills while learning the value of having guests read to them through a mystery reader program.

“I think it’s just a nice opportunity for parents to come in and volunteer and be part of the classroom,” Associate Teacher Paul Knight said. “It provides a connection with the parents. They start to feel more comfortable with them being a part of our community.

November 20, 2015

SEL Night article photoEducation isn’t just about the core academic subjects at Nueva — it is also about meeting the needs of the whole child. This is what parents were reminded of at a Social-Emotional Learning parent night on Tuesday.

At the event, parents with children in grades preK through first were given a broad view of what SEL is and why it’s vital to a child’s education.

This Wednesday, students from Nueva's Lower School joined members of the San Francisco Opera Guild onstage to perform vignettes from La Bohéme, an opera portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s.

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