Monthly Archives: October 2014

RIck Goldin Children’s Concert, Sat. Nov. 8th, 11 am

Rick Goldin’s concert is just about a week away! We hope you can save the date for a performance your child will love. We often get a crowd from the community, so please feel free to invite your neighbors and friends. Tickets at the door are $8 per person, with a maximum of $25 per family.  Proceeds benefit financial assistance at the school.

Rick GoldinRick Goldin’s lively, interactive and humorous children’s songs have made
him one of the most popular children’s entertainers in New England, and
the winner of the Parents’ Choice Recommended Award.
Children love his performances because they get to sing, dance, and jump
along with Rick and his singing animal puppets Henry the Horse,
Quackleberry Duck, and others. Rick’s web site.

Learning Circle Preschool Celebrates Food Day Friday October 24, 2014

Parents of young children are invited to join us at Learning Circle Preschool, 3 Blue Hill River Road, Canton MA, for activities planned as part of Food Day, the nationwide movement for more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Parents will be able to participate in activities with their children, see the school, and talk with staff and parents at the school.

Celebrating Food Day gives us an occasion to highlight what our children practice throughout the year as a part of the school’s dedication to exposing students to sustainable living, nutrition, and the sciences.

We’ll plant garlic and dig in our garden beds, investigate and draw a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, create art projects like vegetable printing and marble painting, and walk together to neighboring Brookwood Farm.
Young children learn through hands on experiences. Planting foods, watching the plants grow, eating foods from their gardens or from a local farm like Brookwood, connects children directly to real foods. It opens them to new food choices and leads to healthier attitudes about food.

For parents unable to attend the Food Day Festival and Open House on October 24, the school offers opportunities to visit its facilities individually. The visits, held during school hours, give parents and children a chance to meet with director Katrina Selawsky, to talk about each family’s specific needs, and to see the classrooms while children are in session.

Please call the Director, Katrina Selawsky at 781-828-4800 for more information or to arrange a tour of the facility. Parents may also contact the school by email ( or visit the school’s website at

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When is a leaf an egg?

When three-year-old children investigate together, we teachers model a process of looking, collecting information, and testing ideas. This is a scientific approach, but because the children are three, a form of magical thinking can override their direct observations.

The children had been thinking together about leaves, fall colors, and the shapes and sizes of leaves.

I brought in a large hosta leaf from my garden that I thought would make some beautiful crayon rubbings.

At meeting, I brought crayons and the leaf, sandwiched between two pieces of paper on a clipboard so that the children could see only a shadow of its shape. I told them that I brought something for them to investigate together.

I held up the covered leaf and asked them if they had ideas about what I brought. As I held it up, I rubbed the leaf shape with my hand.

Children were engaged and curious, but at first no one had an idea to share. They agreed they saw a shadow and one child suggested there was a mystery.

Then a child said, “It’s an egg!” I replied, “You see an egg,” and agreed that the oval shape we saw in the shadow looked like the shape of an egg. I then used the opportunity to talk about flat vs. three-dimensional shapes, following up on previous conversations and interests among the children.

I suggested that the eggs I had seen could be held and looked at from all sides – that they fit in your hand. I pretended I had an egg in my hand and showed them it’s pretend shape. I pointed out again that what we were looking at was flat, and I rubbed the paper, asking if the children agreed it was flat like the paper – that we could see a flat shape that couldn’t be held like an egg.

Yes, they agreed, it was a flat chicken egg.

As children took turns feeling the leaf shape under the paper, talking about the veins they felt, all agreed that under the paper was a chicken egg.

We began to take turns rubbing a crayon over the paper, with beautiful patterns of veins revealed along with the outer edge of the leaf. One child pointed out that “It looks like a tree!” and we talked together about the central vein and all the other veins moving out from it to other parts of the leaf. We talked about how the veins move nutrition and water to all the parts of the leaf as it grows. We looked at our own veins on our bodies and compared them to the veins on the leaf. This continued until we had a beautiful rubbing of a complete, fully veined hosta leaf.

It was time to remove the paper and reveal the original leaf. We did so, and children were delighted to see what they called “a chicken egg with veins”.

If I’d originally replied to the first child, “No, this is not an egg. It’s a leaf with an oval shape,” I do not doubt that child would have immediately accepted my explanation. But because I neither confirmed nor rejected her statement, our conversation was able to continue with more direct observations and attempts at explanation, bringing in the thoughts of all the children, with each observation considered and valued.

In this case, as in all science with young children, the facts are less important than the process of investigation – direct observation, forming a hypothesis or theory, collaborating with others, evaluation, and thoughtful conclusion built on previous experiences. If we join the children “where they are” in their thinking and development, we can invite them to join us as they develop habits of learning that will last a lifetime.

Corn Harvest Comes to School

When a parent brought in some fresh corn and a dried stalk, some terrific curriculum opportunities were taken in the Nuthatch Class.

Children explored the corn stalk at meeting, laying it out on the carpet first to see it’s length (how many pieces of corn would it take to be as long as this corn stalk?), and then holding it up to discover that the stalk reached the ceiling!

Children husked fresh corn, and had a taste of raw kernels (delicious!) for snack.

After this investigation, children and teachers worked together to think about how to make their own stalk. What could be better as a classroom growth chart?

Everyone began the work that would take many days. Children used brayers on bubble wrap to print their own corn kernels. They twisted paper bags into a corn stalk as tall as the natural one and found a spot in the classroom to display them side-by-side. They used brayers and green paint on large paper to create just the right shade for the leaves they would cut out together. They wrapped their corncobs in paper husks. Then everything was ready for the construction of the classroom corn stalk!

Now that the stalk is in place, teachers will help children measure themselves and mark their height periodically.

When classroom projects emerge from family resources and child interests, teachers can offer children opportunities to investigate, observe, document, create, taste, measure, revisit knowledge and past experiences, graph, write and learn in an integrated and engaging shared experience!

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