Preschool - Grade 3

The Preschool - Grade 3 Experience


Open House
Sunday, November 3
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
 
Click here to register!
Welcome to the Lower School

Lower School is a wonderful time of growth and learning at Nashoba Brooks. Our boys and girls — whether shy or outgoing, silly or serious — find a home here for their energy and learning styles. We delight in their accomplishments and in the relationships that we develop with them and their families. We are a community in the Lower School.

In Lower School, students transition from focusing on their individual needs to thinking about the group and the world around them. This is a rewarding period for students as they develop knowledge, skills, and strategies that help them solve problems independently and collaboratively. We know that to thrive children need the freedom to explore ideas, to ask questions, and to take risks. We provide those opportunities and much more. Our classrooms provide an atmosphere where creative thinking and joyful learning thrive.

We offer:

  • Small Classes: With 10 to 16 students
  • Small Reading Groups: Sections are divided into several small groups for reading to provide focus on each child’s developmental needs and to help each child develop confidence as a reader.
  • Integrated Curriculum: Technology, science, math, music, Spanish, visual art, and physical education are all essential parts of each student’s everyday experience.
  • Campus: Our 30-acre campus includes large athletic fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, woods with nature trails, and ponds. We feature two gyms, two science centers, a dining commons, an engaging library, and a dedicated arts area with studios for the visual arts, music labs, and an auditorium with a performance stage.

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Why We Play: The Power of Play at Nashoba Brooks School

    When it comes to learning, work and play are not mutually exclusive; they complement one another. For children, one is literally not complete without the other. 
     
     by Jacqueline Waters
     
    In our over-scheduled, fast-paced lives—where child anxiety, depression, and stress continue to rise—it is imperative to understand the importance of play and to protect it. At Nashoba Brooks, we work hard at play because we know what years of educational research supports: play is valuable and necessary for healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development.  
     
    Step inside Michelle Perreault and Kelley Jammal’s Preschool classroom, and you will notice the room has been cultivated intentionally to promote cooperation. Perreault views child-directed play as integral to the development of autonomy gained throughout the year. Time outside to investigate, collect, and explore the seasonal changes allows all students opportunities for discovery and a chance to refocus and decompress. “We honor what they need,” Perreault remarks. “Play is crucial to their mental and emotional health.”

    “Our core values, like integrity and collaboration, are invoked through play,” agrees Assistant Head of Lower School Jane O’Connor. “Play keeps us nimble,” she says. “You can always connect through play.” O’Connor points out that play is an invitation for the mind to expand and highlights a classroom makerspace as a place where students go to invent. “Play is not idle time,” she says. “It’s a chance to explore.”
     
    In the art rooms, Lisa Stanley and Kara Angeloni Williams invite students to explore materials. They can uncover all of the properties of glue—and of cardboard and oil and acrylic paints—and they can discover what happens when they mix and blend colors. Some children want perfection, but Stanley and Williams encourage them to play, to try new things, to be curious and persistent.

    “We have fun here, and we are not afraid to say that,” exclaims Assistant Head of Middle School Regina Nixon. Whether building a collaborative fort outside, or using cardboard boxes to create our own version of Caine’s Arcade in Grade 3, students are “engaging in a passion” here, and teachers are sharing their passion with students.

    All around Nashoba Brooks, students actively investigate, negotiate, and iterate. In jazz band, they are encouraged to improvise. On the new Middle School play structure, they are encouraged to connect. When it comes to learning, work and play are not mutually exclusive; they complement one another. For children, one is literally not complete without the other.

    “Creative problem solving, critical thinking, flexibility, empathy, metacognitive awareness: these are all skills that will serve students well in a future in which many of the jobs our students will hold have yet to be imagined,” explains Head of School Danielle Heard. “We are giving them opportunities to play intellectually.” She is quick to mention that entrepreneurs and those on the cutting edge of technology become successful through ingenuity—and the confidence to play. “They are not following anyone else’s script,” she says.  At Nashoba Brooks, neither are we.
     
    Books mentioned in this article and recommended reading:
     
    Free to Learn by Peter Gray
    Brain Rules by John Medina
    Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
    Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
    The Play’s the Thing: Teachers’ Roles in Children’s Play by Elizabeth Jones & Gretchen Reynolds
    Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey
    Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally by David Elkind
    Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 
  • Teaching Your Child to Take Healthy Risks

    by Meredith Gannon, Grade 4 homeroom and humanities teacher

    In all aspects of our children’s lives, we want them to engage in new experiences. Our hope is that children will grasp new opportunities, build connections with peers and mentors, and diversify their skill sets. However, taking that first step is challenging.
    Reaching out to an unfamiliar classmate, trying a new sport, or attempting the challenge problem in math class all require children to take a risk, and as we know, fear and fear of failure drive our aversion to risk. So, how can you support your child and encourage healthy risk taking at home?

    • Develop a growth mindset. It’s true that we are most often unsuccessful the first time we try something new. This is why it is so important to embrace the gift of failure. Mistakes are valuable because we can learn from them. Knowing what didn’t work will help us reframe and better strategize our next attempt. Books like Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, and Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster are all picture books you can read with you child. The first two titles explain how the brain works and illustrate the positive impact of mistakes. The last title addresses the fear of failure and the way it holds us back from trying new things and engaging in positive experiences.

    • Model healthy risk taking. Did you try a new recipe for dinner or sign up for a new yoga class at the gym? Maybe you recently attended your first community meeting or presented a project at work. Share your experience in a child friendly, appropriate way. State the risk and share what you learned. “I took a healthy risk by cooking this chicken dish. It didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would, but I learned to use a bit less salt next time.”

    • Notice when your child takes a healthy risk and celebrate it. Children take risks without realizing it. Notice these small victories and show your child that you value their efforts. For example, “I love that you took a healthy risk and joined in that game at the park. It’s a great way to meet new people.” Or maybe, “It’s great that you tried to fold that origami figure. You tried something new and more complicated rather than sticking with the figures you know well. Attempting challenges is part of risk taking.” Of course, when you and your child discuss an obvious risk, highlight the value of attempting something new. “I’m so proud of you for auditioning for the play. You really pushed your comfort zone.”
  • An Evening Under the Stars: Kindergarten Night Magic

    Culminating their integrated classroom unit on nighttime, Kindergarten students and their families gathered at Nashoba Brooks School for Kindergarten Night Magic, a beloved decades-long School tradition and an important part of the Kindergarten curriculum.
     
    After an early sunset on November 8, everyone took part in a wide a variety of night-themed activities, including stargazing with science teacher Kelly Western, playing with glow in the dark balls in a giant parachute with Lower School P.E. teacher Megan McGuin, campfire sing-a-longs with music teacher Paul Benzaquin, and roasting marshmallows with their parents.
     
    For six weeks leading up to Night Magic, students learned about night workers, nocturnal animals, and why the day is light while the night is dark. They read night books, solved night themed math problems, learned about animal habitats, studied the solar system, played cooperative night themed games, wrote books about night, and learned nighttime poems. Night Magic provided an opportunity for students and teachers to share what they have learned with their families, while enjoying a memorable evening at school under the stars.
     
    “Night Magic is a wonderful example of curriculum integration here at Nashoba Brooks,” said Kindergarten teacher Caroline Ashley. “The event incorporated the work we do in our classrooms with music, science, library, art, and physical education.”
     
    Kindergarten teacher Kath Moriarty added “working under the same thematic umbrella makes the subject matter resonate that much more with our students.”
     
    It was a magical evening for students, teachers, and families.




Boys in the Lower School


Welcome to the Lower School
Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.