Showing posts from 2014

Alumni Spotlight - Luiza Flynn-Goodlett

"Abintra encouraged me to pursue my passions and curiosity, and trust that those impulses would lead me in the right direction."
-- Luiza, Poet
Luiza Flynn-Goodlett graduated from Abintra in 1997 and studied poetry in high school at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She continued her studies as a poetry major at Sarah Lawrence College, and earned her MFA in poetry at The New School in New York City. Luiza currently works as a poet and Content Editor at the Academy of Art University's Cyber Campus. This is an exciting time for Luiza as she prepares for the release of her first book of poetry. Read on to learn more!
Abintra: Tell us a little about yourself. Luiza: Right now, I'm very excited about my chapbook (a collection of poetry, shorter than a full-length book), Congress of Mud, which is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press (you can reserve your copy now!) in March. I moved to the Bay Area after finishing up my MFA at The New School and spent a couple of years t…

December Spanish News

Who says that learning another language can’t be fun?
During the month of December students from the Elementary classes learned about 
families and celebrations.  

Familias - Families:
Students created portraits of families, made books about things that they like to do with their families, made family puppets, did a reading activity, and put on a play.  They did it all!

Casas - Houses + vivir (To live) Using shoe boxes to make houses and clay to make muebles (furniture), students made replicas of their houses. They each had a turn to describe their house to their friends.  They also put on a play.
Celebraciones -Celebrations  In each elementary class, students had the opportunity to learn how people in some parts of the world celebrate. To supplement this lesson, Andrea from the Global Education Center taught the students about styles of dancing in Spain.

We finished with a presentation from Spain on how Spaniards welcome the New Year by eating 12 grapes, one for each month of the year.


Consistency for Early Childhood Students During Winter Break

Winter break is quickly approaching! With two weeks away from school, this is a great opportunity for some quality time with your child. While there is a lot of excitement about the long break, the holidays can be stressful for children with all of the changes in routine, out of town guests, travel, and crowded shopping areas.

In order to help your child enjoy this time with you, try to maintain a consistent routine as much as possible, keeping meal time, nap time, and bed time the same, and planning outings during the time that your child would normally be at school. Be mindful of their energy level and try to keep outings to an appropriate length of time.
If you are planning to stay in Nashville, there are a variety of enriching experiences that you and your child might enjoy! Below is a list of places that are family friendly and offer educational and active opportunities: Public Library - The libraries have weekly storytelling and concerts, all of which are posted …

The Arts at Abintra - November News

As Early Childhood artists talked about autumn and leaves, they also learned about nature artist Andy Goldsworthy. They explored Abintra's campus and picked up fallen leaves to create their own nature sculptures. 
To integrate their classroom study of Africa, Early Childhood artists learned about African patterns. They are creating beads out of patterns they created.
Early Childhood A artists also pin-punched animals and trees from Africa and painted a landscape to put them on.  Early Childhood practiced rhythm and movement using hoops during Musikgarten. 
Lower Elementary artists ended their lessons on the elements of design with "texture.”  In an effort to reference their classroom study of land and water forms as well as to explore texture, they created encaustic (beeswax) paintings. LE parent Matt Slocum donated blocks of beeswax from his bee farm for the students to melt and mix with pigment. The students were fascinated by the hot wax drying immediately after they brushed i…

November - Español

T.P.R.S. - Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling Lower Elementary, Middle Elementary, and Upper Elementary work with activities that involve food from around the world.  Preparing, serving, and asking for food in Spanish is fun! We made ensalada de frutas - fruit salad.

A great start to Spanish class is a “Mingling Warm-Up". Lower Elementary students begin to speak naturally to find out more about each other. When I call, “Cambien de compañeros,” (change partners), the students change. This warm-up lasts 5 minutes.

Lower Elementary performed a play about a family of mice who is looking for food.

Lower Elementary had a great time learning how to dance by watching dancers from the Global Education Center perform dances from around the world.

During our Lower Elementary Parent Education Night we had a great time learning first hand how we use TPRS.  It was fun!
Middle Elementary performed a play, “Los Tres Cantantes.”  The play took place in a restaurant.  It was abo…

The Benefits of Crocheting in the Lower Elementary Classroom

As Lower Elementary students are learning about the Coming of Humans to Earth and the Fundamental Human Needs (food, clothing, transportation, shelter, religion, and defense), they received a lesson from a guest on crocheting. The students learned about the uses for crocheting: clothing, gifts, re-sale, and donations for needy people. The students had fun listening to the guest speaker, Dan Trimmer, give the lesson and discuss how he started crocheting because of his need for a winter hat while skiing. As each student had their own individual ball of yarn and a crochet hook, the students learned about the importance of care and responsibility for materials, as well as how to utilize their fine motor skills in a creative way. The students  will have the opportunity to work on their crocheting each day while listening to the read-aloud Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

We have already begun to see the benefits of crocheting in the LE classroom as students practice key habits such as …

Influences on Social Interaction in Early Childhood: Temperament and Styles of Play - by Casey Nathan

Now that we have described solitary, parallel, associative, and cooperative play, let's look more closely at some of the reasons why children may have preferences for one style of play over another.

Just like adults, children have innate tendencies that influence their thoughts and feelings about social activities. At Abintra, we respect these inclinations while encouraging children to develop the social competencies that will enable them to be active community members. This often requires individualized support that builds upon student strengths and addresses any social and emotional weaknesses.
Temperament is one of the greatest influences on a child's preferred style of play. The construct of temperament is, sadly, too often over-simplified. Infants and young children may be broadly characterized as easy, slow to warm up, or difficult. In reality, temperament reflects the culmination of a vast number of social and emotional traits. Here are a few of the tempera…

Abintra's Annual Bongo Java Coffee and Cocoa Sale

As a fundraiser for the school, we are partnering with Bongo Java to do a once a year Abintra coffee and cocoa sale. these make great gifts for family, friends, and clients. Coffee will be packaged in a commemorative Abintra tin, and cocoa will be packaged in bags.

To order, please use the PayPal link below. All orders must be placed by Tuesday, November 25th. Coffee and cocoa will be available for pickup beginning Friday, December 5th at Friday Coffee in the Parent Education room.

Coffee orders are now closed at this time.

October Art


Early Childhood artists had their first lesson with our artist in residence guide, Sarah. To celebrate Picasso's birthday and to integrate their classroom study of diversity, they created artwork inspired by Picasso's "Flowers in Hand."

Early Childhood A artists are studying South America. They created this three-dimensional model of the Chilean national flower.

Early Childhood B artists learned about artist Wassily Kandinsky and created family trees 
inspired by his work.  Kandinsky's work is currently exhibited at the Frist.  
Please take your little ones to see his work in person!

Lower Elementary artists explored the element of design and form by making 3D circles inspired by Wassily Kandinsky.  To integrate their classroom study of the solar system, 
they each created their circle as a planet.  

Lower Elementary artists also explore the element of design and space through several projects.  To integrate their classroom study of the Great Lesson, The Coming of Li…