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Back to the Top Teaching Blog
August 2, 2016

Welcome to Preschool!

By Elaine Winter
Grades PreK–K

    Hello, early childhood teachers!

    My name is Elaine Winter, and I direct a preschool in New York City. I am very excited to begin my blogger’s journey with Scholastic for the 2016-2017 school year. I hope you’ll bear with me as I get my sea legs! My career and my passion is early childhood. I think a lot about what goes into creating a welcoming, responsive learning environment. So much fun to explore! I do know that preschoolers are very smart young people: curious, opinionated, friend-seeking, creative, inventive, sensitive, and hilarious. Maybe you agree?

    Currently, I’m reading a very interesting book. It’s so good, in fact, that our whole faculty is reading it. The title is, The Importance of Being Little, What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, by Erika Christakis. I recommend it. In the realm of children’s literature, one of the most beautiful books I’ve encountered recently is Last Stop on Market Street with “words by” Matt de la Peña and “pictures by” Christina Robinson. The visualizations and illustrations and the language and message of this lovely book bring a generous view of urban reality within the grasp of young children.

    At the beginning of summer, I’m busy setting up our six-week preschool camp. In New York City, many outdoor play spaces are on (very people-safe, secure) rooftops, and this is where we turn on the sprinklers, fill water tables, and bring out bubbles and bouncy balls.

    Once camp ends in August, my husband and I will finally get away to spend 10 days in Barcelona, a city I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time! I’m excited to see the artwork and architecture, and to put my rusty Spanish to work a bit. And, of course, to eat yummy foods and trek to the beach! Most recently, Spanish came in handy when a friend and I visited Havana, Cuba an absolutely amazing city at a cultural crossroads. We peeked into schools, watched children playing Blind Man’s Bluff, and attended a private (not state-run) music class. I learned that music instruction in the schools is provided via television.

    As a swing dancer, I look forward to the outdoor dance opportunities that pop up in the city.  There is nothing like dancing under the stars to a great band. Summertime also means a little more time with my two dogs, Dwayne and Jack. We go to the dog runs and the city’s small dog-friendly beaches! 

    And how did I forget to mention my 5-year-old grandson Luca, the light of my life?! Luca attended Third Street Preschool this past year and moves on to kindergarten in the fall. You’ll hear more about him I’m sure! My twin sons, Toby and Light, both live here in New York. Toby owns an amazing Italian restaurant, and Light runs a chess school. Light is Luca’s Papa; Toby is expecting in September. Lucky me!

    Warm wishes,

    Elaine

    Hello, early childhood teachers!

    My name is Elaine Winter, and I direct a preschool in New York City. I am very excited to begin my blogger’s journey with Scholastic for the 2016-2017 school year. I hope you’ll bear with me as I get my sea legs! My career and my passion is early childhood. I think a lot about what goes into creating a welcoming, responsive learning environment. So much fun to explore! I do know that preschoolers are very smart young people: curious, opinionated, friend-seeking, creative, inventive, sensitive, and hilarious. Maybe you agree?

    Currently, I’m reading a very interesting book. It’s so good, in fact, that our whole faculty is reading it. The title is, The Importance of Being Little, What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, by Erika Christakis. I recommend it. In the realm of children’s literature, one of the most beautiful books I’ve encountered recently is Last Stop on Market Street with “words by” Matt de la Peña and “pictures by” Christina Robinson. The visualizations and illustrations and the language and message of this lovely book bring a generous view of urban reality within the grasp of young children.

    At the beginning of summer, I’m busy setting up our six-week preschool camp. In New York City, many outdoor play spaces are on (very people-safe, secure) rooftops, and this is where we turn on the sprinklers, fill water tables, and bring out bubbles and bouncy balls.

    Once camp ends in August, my husband and I will finally get away to spend 10 days in Barcelona, a city I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time! I’m excited to see the artwork and architecture, and to put my rusty Spanish to work a bit. And, of course, to eat yummy foods and trek to the beach! Most recently, Spanish came in handy when a friend and I visited Havana, Cuba an absolutely amazing city at a cultural crossroads. We peeked into schools, watched children playing Blind Man’s Bluff, and attended a private (not state-run) music class. I learned that music instruction in the schools is provided via television.

    As a swing dancer, I look forward to the outdoor dance opportunities that pop up in the city.  There is nothing like dancing under the stars to a great band. Summertime also means a little more time with my two dogs, Dwayne and Jack. We go to the dog runs and the city’s small dog-friendly beaches! 

    And how did I forget to mention my 5-year-old grandson Luca, the light of my life?! Luca attended Third Street Preschool this past year and moves on to kindergarten in the fall. You’ll hear more about him I’m sure! My twin sons, Toby and Light, both live here in New York. Toby owns an amazing Italian restaurant, and Light runs a chess school. Light is Luca’s Papa; Toby is expecting in September. Lucky me!

    Warm wishes,

    Elaine

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Susan Cheyney

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