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GMWS Blog

New York Times: Let the Kids Learn Through Play

This New York Times article, published on May 16, 2015, details how the increasing push towards early academics is well-intentioned, but misguided. Children's potential might actually be hampered in the long run by academic instruction that doesn't match the child's development.

Per the experts, play based learning is the best approach for children under the age of 7 or 8. “Play is often perceived as immature behavior that doesn’t achieve anything,” says David Whitebread, a psychologist at Cambridge University who has studied the topic for decades. “But it’s essential to their development. They need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions. Kids learn these things through playing.”

Read the full article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

Posted by mmcdonagh in curriculum, pedagogy, play, child development on Monday May 18 at 12:01PM
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How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity

Green Meadow students play an instrument from third through twelfth grades. This article highlights some of the neurological benefits. We know there are many other benefits as well, both tangible and intangible.

The PolyGnomes at the World Championships

The Green Meadow robotics team, The PolyGnomes, traveled to the FTC World Championships from April 21-26 and left tied for 5th place, out of 4500 teams. We are so proud of their accomplishments, and grateful to their coaches, math teachers James Madsen and Lisa Krogh!

Here they are, practicing at the tournament:

 

 

 

A Strong Trust in Children's Abilities

This piece from The Washington Post is worth reading. Our favorite quote: "I also believe that competence can only be gained through experience; therefore, allowing our children to take risks will actually make them safer. Behind this philosophy is a strong trust in children’s abilities in general; I often feel that we don’t give children enough credit in this area."

The Indefatigable PolyGnomes

Our Robotics Team, the indefatigable PolyGnomes, has worked incredibly hard this year and has advanced to the FTC World Championships in St. Louis. They leave on April 21 to compete for three days against the best teams in the world, and they are the only Waldorf school participating at this level, in this championship.

We hope you will consider helping to fund their trip, in honor of their tremendous efforts and their strong spirit.

This video shows you what their robot, #28, can do.

A Taste of Storytelling on April 19

Green Meadow is proud to be co-sponsoring the Rockland Storytelling Festival this coming November. A key fundraiser for the event is coming up this Sunday, April 19A Taste of Storytelling at Union Restaurant and Bar Latino in Haverstraw will feature great food and great stories. Join us at the event!

Valentine's Day Craft

Share the love with our fine feathered friends this Valentine's Day! Thanks to our Kindergarten for sharing the directions and photos for this sweet birdseed valentine.

1. Combine the following ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup boiling water
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 tbs corn syrup

Mix. Then stir in 4 cups of birdseed.


2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay out your molds.

3. Spray the inside of your molds (we used heart shaped cookie cutters!) with vegetable oil.


4. Fill the molds with the birdseed mixture, poke a straw where you would like a hole to be, and allow to set.


5. Release the birdseed cakes, add a string, and affix to a spot outside for the birds to enjoy!


Posted by mmcdonagh in creativity, play, family, wonder, Early Childhood on Wednesday February 11 at 04:02PM
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Parenting Advice From "America’s Worst Mom"

This recent piece from The New York Times reminds us of the importance of letting our children have experiences that build their resilience and self-confidence.

A salient quote: "Dr. Gray links the astronomical rise in childhood depression and anxiety disorders, which are five to eight times more common than they were in the 1950s, to the decline in free play among young children. 'Young people today are less likely to have a sense of control over their own lives and more likely to feel they are the victims of circumstances, which is predictive of anxiety and depression,' he said."

Green Meadow Robotics Club Engineers a Big Victory

The Green Meadow Waldorf School robotics club, aptly named the PolyGnomes, won the FIRST Tech Challenge Mid-Hudson Tournament on Saturday, January 10 at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY. In this year's game, Cascade Effect, students designed and operated a robot that placed plastic balls in various goals on a playing field in a complex game. This season, the PolyGnomes were the only team to go undefeated with a 9-0 record. They also achieved the honors of #1 seed, Captain of the Winning Alliance, and won 3rd place for outstanding robotic design out of 22 teams.

The Green Meadow PolyGnomes were led to victory by students Danny Chang, Brian Frei, Chester Lee, Takama Saeki, and James Yang. The team is coached by Physics and Math teacher James Madsen and Math teacher Lisa Krogh. According to Mr. Madsen, "Even though our robot was only about 80% healthy on Saturday with some control issues, the team compensated with brilliant strategy, outstanding driving, and a versatile engineering design that was able to do secondary tasks in addition to its primary goals. This group, especially the seniors, is highly motivated and tirelessly dedicated. The design is exceedingly innovative and versatile."

The team's next tournament will be on January 25 in Yonkers, then they will move on to play in the Empire Division Regional Tournament at Pace University on February 8.

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