Lower School News

A Peek Into PreK
Mitzi Mock, digital storyteller & Rachel Freeman, communications/web manager


Nueva's PreK students had the opportunity to return to campus at the start of the school year. Get an inside look at the ways students are learning in person, while connecting with classmates who are learning remotely. Watch a day in the life of the PreK class and read on for a Q&A with PreK students.

Video: A Day in PreK 

 

Q&A with PreK Students

Associate Director of Admissions Kim Overton sat down with three Nueva pre-kindergarteners—Jake L., David S., and Leon S.—to learn more about what it has been like being on campus. 

So now that you are back on campus, what are the things you like doing in PreK?

Leon S.: I like doing art. We went down into the woods one time and saw a lot of balls that fell over the fence. 
David S.: I like the sand pit and water table. At the water table, I do volcanoes. You fill up a bottle with lots of water and when it reaches the top you do another pour and then it erupts! 

Have you made friends in PreK?

D: Yes. Taylor, Donovan, and Jake are my good friends. We play in the sand pit; we dig and dig and dig or we make sand castles.
Jake L.: I think that you already know that, because you asked David and he told you! 
L: Yes, and I like playing tag with my friends, especially when all the kids chase me. It’s hard because they couldn’t tag me, because of the virus.

How do you feel about wearing your mask?

J: I feel pretty good. 
L: It’s hard. It’s hard to keep it on my face.
D: It keeps slipping over my nose. Sometimes my teachers and friends remind me to pull my mask up. 

I hear kindergarteners are coming back to campus. What are you doing to welcome them?

L: We are making signs that say, “Welcome.” Today, I actually made a Halloween sign and I put scary stickers on it.
J: Did you know we made signs to say welcome back to welcome them back, and we also put some Halloween stickers on it because it’s almost Halloween. 

Do you think you could tell the kindergarteners about the safety rules? What are some of the rules?

J: You need to stay six feet apart. If someone gets too close, you can say, “Space please,” or you could move back or you could ask a teacher to help. 
L: You need to keep the mask on all day besides eating lunch and when you’re drinking water, and you have to stay six feet from your friends.If someone is close to you, you can use sign language and put your hand up, that way you don’t have to worry if they can’t hear you. 
D: You have to get tested. It tickled, but it took like one second. 

What is your favorite thing about being at PreK?

L:  I like playing on the play structure and playing in the sandbox with my friends. 
J: We have been looking for the skeleton key. Do you know what the skeleton key is? We have been digging for the skeleton key in the sandbox. Everyone thinks there’s a ghost. 
D: My favorite part of PreK is feeding the birds some bird seed. A bird came to eat some yesterday, and look! One is there right now!



Read More

A PreK student playing in a puddle in a sandbox

PreK students have been our pioneers of hybrid learning! Watch scenes from their life on campus and hear more from students about their experiences this year.

Lower School Mavericks Days Provide Teachers Time to Prepare for our Return to Campus

As the lower school plans to return to campus came into greater focus late last month, Lower School Head Megan Terra felt strongly that she needed to find an extended amount of time for her teachers to plan, discuss, and put in action all that is involved with welcoming students back to their in-person classrooms.

Lower school teachers were incredibly grateful for the time Megan and our Mavericks Days programs afforded them. They used the time to prepare, create, and discuss every aspect of the upcoming return to campus.

Investigation Provides Foundational Theme of Kindergarten

Questions abound in our lower school classrooms, and student inquiry is the driving force behind the yearlong theme in kindergarten. This theme of investigation provides a through line for a number of explorations that kindergarteners will engage in over the course of the year, the first of which is a focus on identity. 

Literably Literally Helps Build Student Literacy

With the move to remote learning, and the challenges teachers face of being able to meet one-on-one with their young students, reading specialist Liza Zassenhaus introduced the lower school faculty to Literably, a reading assessment tool that provides teachers with information on student accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. 

Lower School Social-emotional Learning Classes Equip Students with Important Remote Learning Skills

Since remote learning began, students have been faced with a multitude of challenges that are unique to the times. Dedicated weekly social-emotional learning (SEL) classes for students in 1st through 12th grades (SEL is integrated into the curriculum in preK and K) have proven to be particularly valuable during this time, equipping students with the tools needed to develop resilience, confidence, and well-being. 

In the spring, lower school SEL specialist Lisa Hinshelwood noticed there was a need for third and fourth grade students to develop executive skills, such as skills around organization, planning, and prioritization. 

Lower School Hosts Virtual STEAMlet Expo

The Lower School STEAMlet Expo was originally  scheduled to take place March 13, the first day of Nueva’s campus closure. While the event could not be held in person this year, it did move into a virtual space.

Traveling Back in Time

At Nueva, you can travel the world. From ancient Egypt and Mali to Suva, Fiji, we are constantly exploring. The fourth graders, on April 8, traveled back approximately 3,000 years ago to the School of Athens.