Welcome to Preschool of the Arts at the Charleston Center for Jewish Life - Evoking wonder, creativity, and joy! Established 2016 Preschool of the Arts at the Charleston Center for Jewish Life is founded on the principle that children have an intrinsic desire to explore, and are capable and competent learners.
Operating as usual
This week at POTA, the Adventurer’s studied the work of Lois Ehlert, a well-known illustrator of children’s books, and learned new art techniques while creating their own collages. After reading several stories containing Ehlert’s illustrations, the children noticed her art used many smaller pieces or shapes to create bigger pictures. With Elhert as inspiration, the children worked both collaboratively and independently as they arranged different shapes, natural materials, or loose parts to create their own collages.
Photos from Dr. Nicole's post
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebrating Chanukah. At POTA, the children enjoyed the story of the miracle of light, experimenting with the properties of oil and light, menorah making, playing dreidel, doughnut decorating, singing and dancing, and an extra special gelt drop from the Mount Pleasant fire department! Chag Sameach!
Many of the projects and art experiences we offer at POTA are collaborative in nature. They provide chances for the children to interact with both the creative materials and each other in different ways, resulting in beautiful and meaningful joint work. With collaborative art, kids get to:
*negotiate their space with others
*notice others’ contributions
*work together to add more or decide when it is finished
*share a joint excitement when their work is displayed
*reflect on their contribution through displayed documentation
*develop visual discrimination skills
*exhibit sensory awareness
*move in and out of the experience
*offer unique perspective
Throughout the school year’s learning journey, POTA teachers practice an emergent curriculum based on the children’s interests. Tapping into children’s innate sense of awe and wonder is critical. When children become excited about something, their sense of wonder leads to their own authentic pursuit for knowledge about that subject.
For the past several weeks the children in the Adventurer’s class have been fascinated with outer space! Based on this interest, the children completed an exciting learning adventure as they traveled through the solar system. Along the way they gathered and identified numerous specimens, identified the differences between living and nonliving things, carefully designed a rocket ship (complete with a control panel of patterns and numbers), studied what makes life on planet Earth possible, trained to be astronauts, and traveled through the entire solar system. They completed all of this while learning about the planets along the way! We are so proud of the Adventurers and look forward to seeing where this school year takes us next!
Last week the children at POTA worked in a variety of mediums to create decorations for our sukkah. A sukkah is a symbolic temporary shelter that during Sukkot, people spend their time eating in while giving thanks for the shelter provided to the Israelites in the desert long ago. The walls of the children’s sukkah became an amazing collaborative art gallery that both our Adventurers and Explorers classes painted, wove, and created.
Students at POTA have been working on their self-portraits. Self-portraits enable the artist to express various aspects of their identity beyond the surface of their physical appearance. Not only are the self-portraits a fun exercise but they can be quite revealing. The portrait can show the development of a child’s fine motor, observation, and focusing skills. Additionally, it gives insight into the child’s concept of self allowing an adult to see the world through the child’s own eyes.
Congratulations to all of our graduates! We will miss you dearly. Please visit often!
Shhh, don't wake the baby birds!
This week, we have been captivated by the baby chicks that hatched in our classroom. We wondered what it might be like to be a baby bird, so we built our own nest and tried it out for ourselves.
“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning and how to learn." Loris Malaguzzi
We are constantly learning, creating and experimenting right alongside these precious children. Thankful for the opportunity to experience the world as they do.
Our little school has been welcoming new life! Between our flourishing garden, the chicken eggs that are on the brink of hatching, and our beautiful butterfly that just this morning emerged from its chrysalis, there is so much to celebrate!
We hope you are enjoying this beautiful Springtime weather as much as we are! Whether we are practicing yoga, playing instruments, or experimenting with the magnet wall, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to keep our minds and bodies busy!
Happy Passover! Last week at POTA, the Explorers and the Adventurers learned all about the Exodus from Egypt. We ended the week with a celebration where we danced and paraded through the parted Red Sea!
Working on our Spring planting on this beautiful day! Many thanks to Farmer Katie for sharing her gardening knowledge with us today. We were also able to squeeze in some water play once the sun warmed us up!
Making the best of a mostly rainy week! Between drawing in our nature journals, building houses and making our own noise-makers, we had lots to do!
Experimenting with our new magnet wall! POTA students are able to explore physical science concepts like momentum, energy, speed, force and acceleration as they create their own paths with the ramps and balls. By trying out the different options for themselves, the children were able to gain a deeper understanding of how objects interact and move in space.
This week we have been recognizing all of the wonderful things that trees do for us. They give us good food to eat, provide air for us to breathe, offer shelter for animals, and much more. We have had so much fun finding ways that we can give back to the trees to thank them for all that they do for us!
The learning opportunities are never ending with these inquisitive minds. From color science to recipe building; paper mache creating to understanding the world that exists under the sea, we love watching how concepts and skills develop over time.
Winter break offered us some important rest and relaxation, but we're so happy to be playing with our friends again. Everyone picked up right where they left off, as if no time had passed, as special friends often do.
Happy from all of us here at POTA. We love looking back at these familiar faces and are amazed at how far they have come since we first met!
Happiest Thanksgiving week to you and yours from all of us here at POTA.
Our little gardeners, sidewalk chalk artists, and science experimenters have been busy showing us just how much there is to discover inside and outside of the classroom.
Lots going on this week at POTA! Between making our very own scrapbooks, building with wooden blocks and finding out what happens when primary colors mix, we have plenty of activities to keep our minds and bodies occupied!
We are making the most of this crisp weather! There is plenty of outdoor playing and learning to do and we are taking full advantage of these comfortable temperatures.
Today, our Atelierista, Ms. Avery, visited and helped us create salad spinner art! That, combined with an endless amount of other activities (gardening, block building, ball throwing, fort making...) kept us going all day long.
The outdoor fun continues for the Adventurers and the Explorers! Thankful for beautiful weather to help our curious minds stay busy while we explore the great outdoors.
"Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more." Loris Malaguzzi
Watching these creative minds grow and develop is one of life's most precious gifts. We are in awe of these children each and every day!
As we prepare for the Rosh Hashanah holiday, we have been as busy as bees experiencing the complete process of the anatomy of the bee, how it produces honey, and then how that honeycomb is handled by the beekeeper.
Have you met the newest addition to our Explorers classroom? Dumbo the Elephant Ear Betta Fish has stolen our hearts and fueled our brains as we learn all about the ecosystem he calls home.
What a fabulous at POTA! We have been busy exploring our environments, making new friends and visiting with familiar faces. We can hardly wait to see what this week has in store!
Hold tight parents, and thanks for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented closure. We hope your days at home have been filled with joy, peace, and health. We are busily preparing individual lessons, so be on the look out for materials sent to your inbox at 9:00 tomorrow morning. We'll also be offering art workshops to "check out" for extra fun at home. We miss you all, and we're looking forward to seeing you all again when we can. In the meantime, let's all stay healthy everyone!
Chag Purim! Our preschoolers had an amazing day celebrating Purim today!
A long-awaited photo update of the many adventures and works in our Adventurers class the last few weeks!
A long-awaited photo update of the many amazing inquiries and works from our Explorers class for the past few weeks.
Did you know that Swiss Chard roots are pink? They’re related to beet family! Our garden has survived both the cold weather and the nutritionally curious children who visit it multiple times a day!
|Monday||9am - 3pm|
|Tuesday||9am - 3pm|
|Wednesday||9am - 3pm|
|Thursday||9am - 3pm|
|Friday||9am - 3pm|
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