At Giving Tree Early Learning children are valued and their "voice" is recognized in various ways. None more prominent than in the Ganon's children's most recent project- The Turtle Project Artist Collaboration.
This project brought the collective vision and experience of the children to life as they expressed themselves creatively. It all began with a question from Artist Seth: "Can you draw me a turtle?"
Well of course- that meant that we first needed to learn more about turtles! After researching turtles through books, pictures and manipulation of toy turtles, the class was ready to begin.
Using black sharpie markers, the children created various sketches of turtles, refining their point of view with each new edition.
Artist Seth was impressed to see the variations of turtles and surprised the class with the opportunity to bring one of their creations to life! The class then voted to pick a class favorite to be brought to life using wood, tools and colorful paint! It was decided the E's drawing would be used.
Over the next several days, Artist Seth kept in close contact with the class to share his progress! First, Artist Seth recreated E's drawing onto a large sheet of plywood. Next, he cut out the turtle before adding color!
On Monday, May 10th, 2021 the turtle was ready! Artist Seth brought the life size cut out to school to help place it into its forever home in the outdoor classroom.
Thank you Seth Mahern for helping to bring to life the imagination of our students!
You can read more about the project by visiting:
One of our favorite creative play spaces is the Light Studio which was inspired by one of our family Reggio- inspired events, the Light Expo in 2018.
(read about it here: https://hhaireggiojourney.blogspot.com/2018/04/upcoming-family-reggio-event.html)
The Light Studio is home to various explorations of light, color and sound. Throughout the school year, a committee of innovative educators come together to routinely rotate and shift the Light Studio environment to support the children's current interests.
Various themes are explored each year including color, seasons, ocean, winter, artic animals, Jewish holidays, weather, insects and more!
The Light Studio is set up as what we call a "yes environment." Every item is meant to be controlled by your child. They are allowed to turn switches on and off, move and manipulate light sources, construct and deconstruct invitations and transport material from one center to the next to support their play.
Materials include projector and computer, overhead projectors, various lamps, rope lights, strings of lights, battery powered lights, light tables, black lights, mirrors, light curtains, "party lights" like disco balls, various translucent materials and manipulatives such as magnatiles, dramatic play items such as umbrellas, flashlights, clamp lights, tap lights, icicle lights, blocks, window blocks, various height platforms/surfaces, and recycled materials.
In the Light Studio aesthetics, accessibility, intention and creativity shine to provide your child with a world of wonder and discovery.
Giving Tree Early Learning is proud join educators across the nation to participate in the annual NAEYC Week of the Young Child. This week long event celebrates the important work that your child and their teachers are performing each and every day.
Themes for the week are:
Work Together Wednesday (Science and STEM)
The fun doesn't have to stop at the end of the school day! Here are some ideas that you can do at home too!
Have a dance party! Put on your favorite tunes and get your body moving.
Prepare dinner together as a family or prepare a special dessert.
This week, the children baked and decorated cupcakes for Yom Ha'azmaut, Israel's birthday.
Work Together Wednesday-
Take a walk through the neighborhood to observe signs of SPRING!
You can download a Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt by clicking the photo below.
Create side walk chalk murals for your whole neighborhood to enjoy.
Create pictures or write a letter to family near or far to let them know how much they mean to you!
Passover is a busy time in the Early Childhood. As the holiday is based around the retelling of the exodus from Egypt, you will find many explorations that are centered around story telling, dramatic play and interactive play opportunities. Common themes include Baby Moses, frogs, 10 plagues, matzah, construction/pyramids, music and puppetry. The children explored Passover activities both inside and outside of the classroom with a plethora of activities available in the Light Studio.
In the Light Studio, children could swim in the River Nile and save Baby Moshe or bake their own matzah at the Matzah Factory. Or they could take a frog for a dip in the frog pond or recreate Monet’s Waterlilies using loose parts on the light table! If that wasn't enough... they could experience engineering as they recreate 2d and 3d replicas of the Great Pyramids or even host their own Passover seder in the Light Studio cottage.
We continued the fun with various food experiences throughout the week. Children tasted hard boiled eggs, recreated one of the 10 plagues using raisins, soy nut butter and celery (Bugs on a Log), made charoset- a sweet mixture of apples, cinnamon and grape juice and baked matzah from scratch with Rabbi Schusterman and the Matzah Factory!
Each class also offered various activities within their classroom. Take a look at the pictures below to view more or visit our classroom blogs located under the CLASSROOMS tab at the top of the page.
Did you know that 90% of your child's brain development occurs between the years 0 to 5? High quality early education can set your child up for a lifetime of success. Join one of our virtual open house sessions to learn how Giving Tree Early Learning can help support a strong foundation for your child's future. To register for a session or to schedule a tour, click the ADMISSIONS tab above.
Let's start writing your child's story together...
The Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis has been serving as a pillar of Jewish education in the Indianapolis community for over 50 years. In 1971, the school was started in response to a community need for high-quality Jewish education options. Since that time, the school has continued to evolve and advance to provide innovative education opportunities focusing on both secular and Judaic studies.
Giving Tree Early Learning is the next step in HHAI's growth to serve our community. Our Reggio inspired early education program focuses on creating not just the future leaders of tomorrow but also on creating connections both within the Jewish community and the community at large. We are excited to start this next chapter with our friends, neighbors and families as we continue to fulfill our mission of providing high quality education options for our community.
Mrs. Ashley is the Director of Giving Tree Early Learning and mother to 3 busy boys! You can reach her by emailing- email@example.com