Curriculum

The Importance of Play

Children learn best through play: making choices, solving problems, planning what they are going to do and gaining a sense of control. Play, the foundation of every child’s social, emotional, physical, creative and cognitive development, is a natural medium for children to work through experiences, ideas and feelings. It is the foundation of curriculum at LNS.

At Lincoln Nursery School, our curriculum is rooted in our respect for children’s interests, ideas, and abilities. We build meaningful curriculum through a dynamic process of observation and documentation of children’s play, teachers’ interests, and school traditions. The curriculum emerges and evolves as our children‘s interests and curiosities unfold. Open-ended materials are offered in intentionally designed environments, inspiring children to make meaning and connections within their world: Beauty and authenticity are invitations to explore. Through exploration, children becomes agents of their play, sharing ideas, developing theories, experimenting, and recognizing their similarities and differences as citizens of the world.

Play provides a window into young children’s thinking and social-emotional development. Play based learning allows for a holistic experience, as children negotiate concepts embedded in science, math, art, history, literacy, language, music and movement, in their daily activities. At Lincoln Nursery School, children are invited to explore and make connections related to their interests, each other, and their environment through a wide variety of materials and experiences …

Visual Arts & Materials

Children use a rich variety of materials to tell their stories, solve problems, and develop relationships.

Their thinking processes are represented through play, painting, sculpting, drawing, and writing. Teachers and children collaborate and reflect, continuing a process of inquiry until the process or project meets the child’s expressed intent.

Documentation

Observing children’s play and documenting their dialogue and interactions, brings us to an understanding of each child and of the group.

Children’s learning processes become shared knowledge through documentation. By taking time to listen to the child, we understand how they give meaning to their world. Documentation can be seen throughout the classroom in the form of written pieces, displays of works, and photographs.

Music & Movement

The music and movement program at LNS is taught by Mark Weltner (also a teacher in the Blue Class). Mark models a love for music and movement, responding to the children’s interests and talents.

Activities include creating our own movements for songs, yoga (sometimes creating our own poses), free-form dance, and acting out lyrics. Instruments may be brought out to play rhythms or to imitate the sound of moose hooves on rocks (reflecting current classroom curriculum) although we are more likely to use our own bodies as instruments, as we clap, tap and stomp in different ways and rhythms. Children participate at their own pace and in their own style, as there are as many ways of learning as there are children in the world.

Nature

At LNS, much of our curriculum grows, quite literally, from the extraordinary richness of our outdoor environment. We find ourselves constantly returning to the important presence of nature: nature’s slower pace mirrors the children’s inclination to observe, to make connections and form new thoughts to understand their world. We spend a lot of time in the woods, ponds, and fields of the neighboring conservation land, and our experiences with nature inform our curriculum and classroom spaces in a myriad of ways.

Gathering

Over these first days of Studio Red, adults and children have been gathering together. In large groups and small, we have been deep in conversation

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Traditions

woodland walk

The Woodland Walk is celebrated in the fall. Children walk through the forest, discovering several magical, woodland characters (parents!) along the way.

the winter sing and family gathering

The LNS community gathers in the Dewey Gallery for a short program of songs, followed by a shadow play put on by the LNS Staff, after which all return to their classrooms to enjoy a brunch prepared by the children.

May Day

May Day is celebrated on or near the first day of May. The children parade through the sculpture park and dance around a maypole with the music teacher to celebrate the arrival of spring.