Director's Column: Full Day Experience and Play-Based Exploration in Extended Day

After years of studies and talk, full day Kindergarten is finally becoming a reality in Newton. Although this is a welcome change for many, there are also many parents who feel that, at this age, a half day program provides sufficient experience needed for the development of school readiness and social skills, while providing downtime or time for other community experiences. It is my hope that full day Kindergarten will result in a more relaxed day, with room for play, which seems to be lacking in today's Kindergarten classrooms. I also hope it will give teachers more time to get to know children, and spend more one-on-one time with them. Time will tell! The fact that Bowen just implemented an extended day program for those children who may be entering Kindergarten next year seems very well-timed! This small group program allows children to try out a full day, in a relaxed, play-based setting. This month, children are exploring the works of Eric Carle, as both a writer and an illustrator. This week, they created their own painted tissue paper art, then cut it up to create a collaborative collage design. They will be reading a variety of Eric Carle books, such as A House for Hermit Crab, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Secret Birthday Message, each with a corresponding art project related to the story. If you have a 5-Day or Pre-K child, you are welcome to drop in to the extended day program any day, provided space is available. You can also sign up for a day (or more) per week. The feedback on extended day has been overwhelmingly positive; we hope to have more families take advantage of this program! Best, Nina

#kindergarten #extendedday #ericcarle #playbasedlearning

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