Nursery is the beginning of a child's Far Brook journey where friendship, community, and love of learning are fostered through a broad range of play experiences.
In the Nursery at Far Brook, we endeavor to foster the love of reading and the written word by creating an environment rich in literacy. As play is the school work of every young child, literacy is embraced and developed through this essential daily activity. We hope to encourage the life-long love of reading by immersing children in story with daily exposure to books of all types and to the written word throughout the classroom. The opportunity for informal writing by our students is encouraged and developed as it presents itself through our theme studies and the day to day activities in our classroom.
Library: In Nursery, students build up their pre-literacy skills in their weekly library class by using a book’s illustrations as clues to understand the meaning of a story. They practice "reading" and mimicking the non-verbal expressions and emotions of characters in books as a key stepping-stone in the development of empathy. They begin to explore the difference between fiction and non-fiction and to learn how the spine label on a library book can help them to determine whether a book is an expression of the author’s imagination or a source of factual information.
Music: Our music goals in Nursery are to inspire appropriate and imaginative responses to music using the voice and the body, and to lay groundwork for music literacy through guided critical listening. We achieve these goals via singing and movement, using folk songs, games, chants, finger plays, gross motor movement activities, and listening exercises. Materials include American folk songs and games, Far Brook songs, songs and games from around the world in their original foreign language (such as Spanish, French, Japanese, Maori and Chinese), and formal repertoire of the classical canon, with a focus on Saint-Säens’ Carnival of the Animals. The overarching theme to our repertoire selection in Nursery is “Animals and Food”! Students learn to respond to music individually (hopping, skipping, finger plays), in groups (circles, partners), and with vocal sounds (animal sounds, head voice, and melodic singing). Specialized activities encourage students to listen critically (matching pitch, recognizing individual instruments, high sounds and low sounds, loud and soft). Participation in and observation of the school-wide Traditions allow Nursery students to gain a sense of themselves as being a part of a larger community that values singing together, for example singing during Morning Meeting.
Dance: Dance for Nursery students is an introduction to movement and creativity, with an emphasis on game-playing and active learning with our bodies. Students learn the importance of listening to others, both verbally and visually, and assuming the roles of both leader and follower in weekly dance activities. Creative dances will be made with direction from the dance teaching artists and incorporating movement invention from the students, building towards the performance of dance work the following year in Kindergarten and beyond.
Art: In the nursery program students are encouraged to enjoy the process of producing art. They develop confidence in the use of tools, techniques, and methods which support that process. Experimentation permits students to develop critical thinking and an independent approach to problem solving. Students are encouraged to participate in direct observation. Frequently, the core curriculum is referenced and a study of birds and family can create an opportunity to present a project that includes a painting of bird families.
Woodshop: In the Nursery woodshop classroom, the students are slowly and methodically introduced to the woodshop tools. Each of the teacher designed projects introduce a new tool or skill into the students hands. Nursery students begin working with rasps and sandpaper, then hammers and nails, and eventually, light cutting with a coping saw.