Winter Break

Welcome back from Winter Break and Happy New Year. I spent much of the break in Cancun with my two brothers, two sisters, their spouses and all of our children (and children's significant others) to celebrate my parents' 60th anniversary. We had a great time and I enjoyed the change of pace. I hope everyone had a chance to relax and connect with family and/or good friends. These times are, I think, what matter most to us in the long run.

As we shift into a long period of regular school attendance (barring a "snowpocalypse"), we are into the "meat" of the year. Each class will explore different topics, but all explorations will include learning across all domains. What does this learning look like? Using current brain research and the latest in pedagogical techniques, we know that the best learning occurs in the classroom when the teacher is a partner in the learning. Gone are the days of "sage on a stage" where teachers did the “teaching” at the children, and the children were supposed to “absorb” the lessons. Our classrooms are hands-on learning laboratories and our teachers are the facilitators of this play-based learning process.

For some insight into why this model works so well, I invite you to check out this article by Alison Gopnik (whose fascinating TED talk on what babies know and think is here). Families, too, are partners in our learning at the Gan. Please take advantage of communication you receive from your child's teacher to help spark conversations that relate your world at home to the world at the Gan. We are honored to work with your entire family.

Sheri Brown, Director