LREI // LS News 11/11/21
Recently, as we have continued to bring your children to learning experiences outside the classroom, I’ve been reflecting on the experience your children are having this fall. I have thought a lot about my own children’s first precious years of learning. I remember marveling at my sons’ natural curiosity about the world around them, their wonder in each novel moment, and the immediate craving to learn that accompanied each moment. A simple walk down the block would often lead to new words and expressions: “It’s a truck. Can you say truck?” “Look, that’s your favorite color. It’s purple.” A weekend of apple picking could fuel bathtime conversations and activities like coloring and block building for a week.
At LREI, our Lower School students have been learning outside the building almost every day over the last few weeks. They have hopped on school buses and ferries. They have visited farms, rivers, a Lenape village, and a botanical garden, as well as multiple monuments and art exhibitions. These experiences have fueled our young writers, artists, mathematicians, and researchers in a way that no textbook could ever rival. The result: our students are tapping into that natural love of learning we witnessed when we held them in our arms as toddlers.
What does experiential learning look like in the Lower School? Kindergarten students using words like “colorful” and “gigantic” “creative” to describe their own drawings inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s art. Second graders creating maps that include Liberty Island and the Brooklyn Bridge to deepen their understanding of New York City’s geography. Fourth graders writing clear expository paragraphs about their trips to the Statue of Liberty, the reclining statue of liberty, and the Harriet Tubman statue, to demonstrate what they have learned about the history behind these monuments that surround us.
One of my favorite recent emails from a parent included this message: “My child does not normally love coming home and doing his written homework. After today’s class trip, he couldn’t have been more excited about doing his written homework. It was incredible to watch.”
Click the image below for a slideshow of some of our students’ experiences: