Danya Lanphear // Art Teacher
Every child begins life with a passion for creating and a thirst for knowledge. Children’s innate curiosity is something to nourish, encourage and grow. Nurturing a child’s approach to the world results in a self-motivated learner who seeks increasing opportunities to grow and express their capacity. A student like that knows no limits!
Within each art experience, students’ freedom to choose a subject or material allows self discovery and opportunity to problem solve. A wide range of media and concepts, including composition, balance, contrast, repetition, emphasis and storytelling come together to form the students’ art foundation. Group work encourages cooperation, compromise, inspiration and problem-solving among students. Students begin to develop their voice and style as an artist, supported by classroom discussion. Integrating with classroom curriculum, the working art studio is an excellent place to teach and practice social justice skills for young students. Art is explored as a window into history and culture, and by combining the practice of art with exposure to art from around the world, students gain a deeper understanding of what art is as well as an appreciation of the cultures that created it.
Aviv Kammay // Music Teacher
Nest students engage with music through song, play, composition, improvisation, performance, movement, recording, and listening. These experiences nurture students’ listening and collaboration habits, encourage their creativity and confidence, and support them as they build developmentally-appropriate musical skills. The Nest music curriculum is centered around the children’s own creations. As they compose original music – from percussive improvisations to written scores with invented or traditional notation systems – the Nesters learn key musical concepts such as pitch, timbre, form, dynamics, and rhythm in an active, hands-on way. We celebrate music as a creative art form, a joyful part of everyday life for people everywhere, an integral part of our identity as individuals in a diverse community, and a treasure of exciting skills and ideas for each child to explore.
Instruments available for the students include pianos, keyboards, recorders, guitars, ukuleles, lap-harps, computers with recording and notation software, pitched and non-pitched percussion, electronic drum set, and more.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Sarah Melton // Health & Wellness Teacher
In the Nest, the Physical Education curriculum balances sports related skills, cooperative play, and teamwork. Teaching friendly and inclusive game play and movement plants the seeds for lifetime love of physical activity. Individual physical development and progress is equally as important as effort, interest, and participation. We invite students to contribute their ideas to the curriculum and play. Student voice is an important component of the activities we choose and the guidelines or rules of the game. Integration with classroom thematic units and other all-school programming happens as often as possible.
We introduce exercise, sports and healthy competition in an atmosphere of inclusion and shared celebration of our abilities and accomplishments. Through a wide variety of activities and learning goals students develop the foundation and tools necessary to develop a physically active and healthy lifestyle. Students are able to have fun while learning to respect one another, challenging themselves and setting personal goals.
Stacy Corona // Spanish Teacher
Nest Spanish brings together the dynamics of progressive education – valuing interaction, movement, curiosity and play—with fundamental concepts of language acquisition such as exposure to vocabulary in context and physical response to language. Students are exposed to large amounts of rich comprehensible input in Spanish—spoken language made accessible by careful word choice, repetition, gestures, and visuals—so that they can begin forming an ear for the language. The language ear is an intuitive understanding of inherent patterns, sounds and procedures in a language, an invaluable base for all further study. A casual, playful atmosphere is established to lower the affective filter, the inhibitions and fear of failure that obstruct language learning. Students are not pressured to produce flawless Spanish, but are instead free to develop a natural curiosity and desire to learn new words. Reading and writing support is available but students are not rushed in these areas.
Social justice concepts guide Nest Spanish work in multiple ways. Nest students are regularly exposed to other cultures, their traditions and ways of life through books, music, videos and artifacts. They are encouraged to practice demonstrating interest, respect, and an open mind while exploring these cultures and comparing them to their own. They also learn about historical and contemporary figures such as Cesar Chavez who worked to stop unfairness and make a difference. The classroom community embodies social justice as all members treat one another with fairness and support one another in “giving it a try,” and celebrating each other’s successes.
Miranda Waldman // Technology Teacher
Nesters learn the fundamentals of hardware and software through exploration and investigation. Students will navigate both computer and internet browser interfaces with different operating systems. By utilizing kid-safe websites related to their classroom unit, Nest students familiarize themselves with mouse to screen coordination while learning integrated material. Through games and play, students become fluent with computer functions. Nest students also learn shortcuts and gestures with touchscreens and how to troubleshoot. While using tablets as cameras and video recorders, students discuss and evaluate when and how it is acceptable to record other people. They are introduced to the idea of being a digital citizen, making safe choices, limiting screen time, and what to do if you feel unsure.
Angie Sparks // Librarian & Literacy Teacher
Cultivating a love of words, stories, and reading is a foundational skill for our youngest students. By reading to students and discussing ideas from a wide range of texts (picture books, biographies, folklore and mythology, poetry, beginning readers, and non-fiction), they learn to become great storytellers as well as keen listeners. Books are social justice tools and help teach about identity, diversity, and equity; they can act as both mirrors in which students see themselves and as a windows in which students observe, learn from, and empathize with others’ experiences. Our Nest students come to Wingra with a range of literacy experiences. We use writing, drawing, painting, and drama to give students opportunities to express their thoughts and feelings about a story or poem. Students in the Nest create collaborative books in the library on a variety of themes and practice their oral, visual, and written storytelling skills. Students at the Nest level have lots of questions about how the world works and are learning ways to get some of their questions answered.