Nursery Students Resolve Conflicts with Respect and Kindness
Nursery Teachers
After celebrating and reflecting on the last of the fall holidays, the youngest Bernard Zell students jumped back into their day to day play and learning. Within the first couple months of school, we have noticed more life skills and play schemas being practiced, and inside of those the foundational academic skills of science, mathematics, and language development. This year the Nursery students have demonstrated a strong, collective interest in vehicles. During their play, we, as educators, have observed key moments of conflict, communication, and collaboration–three foundational skills that provide fertile ground for all learning in Nursery and beyond. 
Although many might shy away from conflict, we in fact believe conflict is healthy and a vehicle for building problem solvers, leaders and collaborators. In moments of conflict, students practice and test different outcomes of resolutions. Though not all might agree on the resolution, our Nursery students have been learning how to communicate their likes and dislikes when playing with peers. Additionally, both verbal and non-verbal communication is a tool for collaboration, as many students share interactions between one another, building upon each other’s ideas and imaginary play. With the combination of these three skills, our Nursery students have begun to grow a beautiful community, or kehillah, within the walls of our suite. 
As our students continue to play and explore with cars, they have worked together to find different ways of play. For example, towards the beginning of the year their play-schemas involved lining up cars through parallel play. Since then, they have also measured with, counted, and been architects and builders of complex roads and communities to house these vehicles. They also have engaged with vehicles in gross motor play, such as making their bodies into various vehicles (i.e. wheelbarrows) as well as moving through the hallways collectively as different types of vehicles (trains or airplanes). Additionally, the students have explored the impact of using ramps or experimenting with varying levels and elevations, where they have learned about velocity. In the spirit of Reggio Emilia, we hope to continue to foster and build on our students’ interests in vehicles through multi-disciplinary mediums and through the three C’s (conflict, communication and collaboration).

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