A community learning through play:
connecting parents, teachers & children
Children are avid story-tellers so the Co-op is excited to be pioneering a new literacy program which embraces this natural excitement and helps our students to develop their emerging language skills such as storytelling, retelling, and book making.
This unique initiative was developed by Manhattanville College Professor of Early Childhood Development Victoria Fantozzi, Ph.D., who has been overseeing its use at the Co-op.
The program employs Seesaw, a special iPad-based application, which children use to create, narrate, illustrate or even act out their own stories, often about the events of their day at school. Essentially, Seesaw functions as an innovative ‘learning journal,’ and allows students of all ages to capture what they are learning at school using photos, videos, and their own voices.
In recent months, the Co-op has used Seesaw to make whole-class books about shared experiences, such as making applesauce, or about the class pet, Pearl the Bunny. We also use it to make individual books, such as All-About-Me books, or to describe a special project.
Each child has his or her own Seesaw journal and teachers upload children’s final documents into the Seesaw parent application so that children’s digital portfolios are accessible to their families. Parents are notified (via text message, email or the Seesaw parent app) when new items are added to their child’s Seesaw journal so that they can immediately see and hear what their child did at school that day.
Co-op parents love the program because Seesaw provides them with a unique view into their child’s school day. Plus, it gives parents the chance to have deeper conversations with their child about the work they do at the Co-op each day.
As digital natives, children are very comfortable with the technology and our teachers ensure that the technology is fully integrated into our play-based curriculum.
The Co-op’s literacy program is primarily implemented in our Discovery-Pre-Kindergarten (DPK) classroom, for children ages 3-5 but aspects of the program have also been introduced into our Creative Play classroom for students ages 2-3.
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