by Tammy Crowe, Lisa Crandall, and Donna Kwiatkowski
Allendale Columbia Nursery and Pre-K students hopped and raised $2,150.00 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the MDA Hop-A-Thon on Wednesday, March 28th. The MDA disability awareness program helps children to learn about awareness, acceptance, and assistance. We were joined this year by Heather Powers, MDA Regional Fundraising Coordinator, who honored us with her praise of the students’ enthusiastic participation.
Our 4th grade friends join us for this special event every year. The 4th graders are the “counters”, and the Nursery and Pre-K students are the “hoppers”. We hop for 2 minutes! This is our class community service project.
Leading up to the project, the class watched some short videos and learned “hands-on” how to move in a wheelchair. We also learned that:
- Everybody is different, nobody is perfect…But all of us are special!
- Our bodies are amazing and can do lots of things. Every person has different abilities.
- When somebody has a lot of trouble doing something — no matter how hard they try or how old they get — they have a “disability”.
- There are many kinds of disabilities. People don’t have disabilities because they are bad or lazy. You can’t “catch” a disability the way you catch a cold.
- Some kids have a disability in their muscles caused by a disease called muscular dystrophy. They might use leg braces or wheelchairs, but they still like to play and be friends.
- Doctors and scientists are working to help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy. We can help, too, by being in the MDA Hop-a-Thon!
Thank you to all of our Nursery & Pre-K “Hoppers”, our 4th grade “counters” and all of the family and friends who sponsored our students.
Tammy CroweTammy joined Allendale Columbia over 15 years ago working in the Pre-Primary School and Rainbow Room after school program before becoming a pre-kindergarten teacher full-time. Prior to AC, Tammy taught in a variety of educational settings including creative arts, the YMCA, and daycare programs. She's a graduate of SUNY Brockport where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children. Tammy was honored with the Virginia and Fred Gordon Chair in Elementary Education in 2007.
Lisa CrandallLisa has been working at Allendale Columbia School since 1996, starting in our Admissions Department as the Admissions Assistant as well as a substitute teacher before securing her current role as a Pre-K teacher in 2002. Prior to joining AC she worked at Monroe Community College as the Student Association Secretary where she supervised office operations for the Student Senate, and at Progressive Childcare Center as a preschool teacher. Lisa is a graduate of Nazareth College where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in English Literature with a concentration in Elementary Education.
Donna KwiatkowskiDonna has been teaching nursery school at Allendale Columbia for 30 years! Prior to teaching at AC, Donna was a Graduate Assistant at the Early Childhood Research Center at the University of Buffalo while getting her master's degree in Elementary Education with Specialization in Early Childhood Education. She is also New York State certified in nursery through grade six and holds two bachelor's degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, The Birches
Post written by Nursery teacher Donna Kwiatkoswki
Nursery and pre-kindergarten students had a visit from Taylor’s Dad, Goody Thomas, who spoke to us about his job as an AirTran pilot. He showed us a poster of the inside of a Boeing 737 cockpit with all of the controls and we looked at models of airplanes. Mr. Thomas wore his pilot uniform and let us try on his official hat. We also learned about another plane he flies as a member of the US Unlimited Aerobatic Team.
We watched a video of Mr. Thomas flying in Italy in the World Championship.
The children had many excellent questions and comments, such as:
- “How do the controls get controlled?”
- “What if lightning hits the plane?”
- “What if the two engines fall off?”
- “What happens if the wind sweeps the plane away?”
- “How does the plane turn?”
- “I want to be a policeman and a pilot.” This led to a discussion about air marshalls
- Looking at Mr. Thomas’ USA flag pin on his uniform, a student said proudly “I live in that flag!”
Posted in: Highlights, Pre-Primary School
To wrap up our unit on fairy tales, students in nursery and pre-kindergarten went on a “Gingerbread Adventure” today. The Gingerbread Man left a note in our classroom giving us clues leading us to different places throughout the campus.
Our clues took us to the following places:
1. The Library
2. The Welcome Desk
3. The Dining Commons
4. The Music Room
5. The Gym
6. The Art Room
7. The Nurse’s Office
The final clue led us back to the classroom where we found all of the candy to make our gingerbread houses. (We kept hearing, “Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man!”) Upon our return, we also found the Gingerbread Man sleeping in our book, Gingerbread Friends. He was apparently very tired from all of his running and mischief! We all enjoyed decorating ginberbread houses together which the children took home with them. Students truly enjoyed the opportunity to further explore this story through this variety of activities!
Posted in: Highlights, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten
The Nursery and Pre-K children have been investigating our recently renovated Book Nook in the classroom. The children are learning how to care for our classroom library, books, and materials. A puppet theater, flannel board, and other storytelling materials are also featured in this space. We’ve added a writing center as part of this updated space and a listening center will be incorporated in the near future.
The Nursery and Pre-K teachers have been working with Abbey Gebel, the Lower School reading specialist, to enhance the reading program to differentiate instruction and further prepare our children for Kindergarten. This is being explored through Reading Workshop as well as Letter and Word Study.
A Word Wall will be a prominent feature in the classroom, and children will add names, samples of environmental prints, and key words that are being learned through literature and shared reading and writing experiences.
The photos offer a glimpse into the level of interest and involvement the children are experiencing already!
Posted in: Highlights, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten
As we move into our second week of camp, the campus is alive with over 200 campers and 11 different camps already. From music theatre, to weird science, Allendale Columbia continues to buzz with exciting and unique summer programs.
One of the camps offered during the first week of camp each year is Step Into School camp by nursery school teacher, Donna Kwiatkowski’s. Throughout the week, incoming Allendale Columbia nursery school students Declan, Taylor, Keegan and Rocco were all introduced to the nursery classroom through arts, shared playtime, music activities, group games and hands-on activities.
“The goal of the Step Into School camp is to help get each student ready for school,” said Kwiatkowski. “Before their first school experience in the fall, they’ll already have an understanding of the routine of a school day and have a familiarity with their environment and Allendale Columbia campus.”
The Step Into School camp week is both a positive experience for each student, to get used to being away from home for the first time, and a week that Kwiatkowski very much looks forward to each year.
“One of the best parts of camp is seeing the increased confidence that each student gains day-by-day as they feel more and more at home.”
As the students get more and more acclimated to Allendale Columbia, they not only grow as individuals, but they also bond together as a class. At AC, we believe we offer a different school of thought in part because from the earliest ages, our students are part of something larger than themselves and character development goes hand in hand with their intellectual development in a very personal way.
When nursery school then starts in the fall, the classroom experience becomes even more enriched and these students surely have an easy time joining the AC community as our youngest learners.
Want to see more nursery activity at Allendale Columbia? Check out the following photo galleries from the 2012-2013 school year.
- Splish Splash Day
- In the Garden
- Lettuce Harvest
- Nursery in the STEM classroom
- Ice Skating on Shaving Cream
- Mother’s Tea
Posted in: Highlights, Nursery, Pre-Primary School