This year began differently than any other as the two Nursery classrooms have been divided for the first time. In past years, the Nursery students would explore throughout the Nursery suite weaving both classrooms together and being able to engage daily. This year, a window was installed between the classrooms, allowing the students to observe each other’s play, while also making unique connections.
The teachers have been creative in inviting the students to unite and expand their classroom community beyond their space. Some of these ways of staying connected have been through participating in Zoom conversations a few times a week, joining together to sing and dance with Mr. Todd and Ha’Morah Hagit or listening to stories together during a virtual library visit. They see one another and get to know each other in this new normal way of interaction.
Even though they do not get to engage and play together, the students are innately interested in their peers and are excited to find any way to get to know their classmates. They say hello through our plexiglass window, wave to each other through gates outside, or set up a game of soccer by kicking a ball over field lines between the two classes.
The teachers have also embraced the power of art to join the classes together and explored ways to create on the same surface, just not at the same time. A canvas called The “Create and Pass Canvas,” has been introduced to each classroom as they each have the opportunity to add layers of different materials and then pass it to the other class, inviting them to add another layer. Then, the canvas is passed back and forth and will continue throughout the year. The students are so excited to send and share new layers, as well as be surprised by the new layers when received.
Each year, the two Nursery classes each choose a class name. With the two classrooms renaming themselves as the Kochavim (the stars), and the Eytzim (the trees), this year the teachers and students are already conceptualizing new ideas to collaboratively create art highlighting the class names, as well as other opportunities to foster community among the whole Nursery suite.