On most Friday afternoons between 2 and 3 p.m., the energy at the Lower School buzzes with excitement as students participate in all sorts of enriching activities. There’s no time for afternoon yawns, because the classrooms are bustling with opportunities ranging from cooking and sewing to board games and astounding art activities all led by Nueva students and parents. The idea is to take a break from regular classroom subjects while trying something new.
“It’s a beautiful way to end the week,” said first grade teacher Emily Mitchell. “It’s important to make time for kids to play. Their parents come in to lead activities, and the children are encouraged to lead activities as well. It’s a great opportunity for parents to spend time with the kids in the classroom.”
Last week, Nueva students had fun celebrating Chinese New Year. They made paper lanterns during choice time. Other recent choices included kung fu, wooden string art, even liar’s dice and poker! They have also enjoyed making slime, smoothies, sushi, and muffins in the kitchen. Third and fourth graders have learned how to code. Second graders have picked up trash, while PreK students have returned items from the lost and found. There have been mindfulness activities, including yoga in the ballroom, soccer, and basketball.
One first grader made a beautiful, light blue string art design. “I’m going to give it to my mom for Valentine’s Day,” she said.
“I love the level of engagement,” said first grade teacher Diana Friedman. “It’s also a great leadership opportunity for our students. I love how they rise to the occasion, and it’s great for them to connect with students with similar interests. Choice time has helped to strengthen friendships and bonds.”