15 thoughts on “Links

  1. Karen L

    As an early grade science teacher and a former Pre-K teacher who worked with Renee, I want to mention how valuable the Reggio ideas are. I aim to have constructive, hands-on activities in kindergarten and first grade science, and knowing something about the Reggo Emilio school is a helpful mindset. I just recently designed a simple canoe for my K students to make out of the foam construction material, the stuff like construction paper but thicker and pliable. After the form is cut out, the children will lace the ends of the canoe together and fit in 2 straws to keep it open. It floats and rocks just like a canoe and will go home for fun in the bathtub. This fits into our Kindergarten science unit on balance and motion. My students will learn valuable teaching points on the center of gravity and aspects of floating on water. These concepts will then go home with them for reinforcement through repetition and parents will start to understand our scientific process. You rock, Renee!!

    1. Renee Dinnerstein

      Karen, I sat in on project time in a second grade class at The Brooklyn New School. The children were working in small groups designing and then building various structures. It was fascinating to observe how children, based on their particular strengths, took on different roles in the process. There was an incredible amount of dialogue and collaboration taking place.

      On a less sophisticated level, I have a memory of children in my kindergarten class working in pairs trying to design boats, using tin foil, that would float in the water table. This was something that they were doing during Choice Time. There was a combination of “Oh No’s”, “Yeas” “We did it” “Let’s Try Again” coming from the center. Other children occasionally wandered over to see what was happening. When a pair was successful, they shared their boat at meeting. Children who were not successful also shared at meeting so that we could come up with some ideas and solutions together.

      Just a suggestion. Why not see what happens when the children are challenged to design and build their own boats. Then you can again discuss balance, gravity, etc.

  2. Janet Alexander

    I came across this site while looking for the author of the lyrics for a childrens’ song called “Little Wendy Wombat”.
    Very inspiring to read about the work being done by Renee Dinnerstein in NY in the early childhood education sector.
    I am a Music Specialist teaching in the Primary (your Elementary level) school system. I also have a Secondary teaching qualification and from time to time work at that level also. I love teaching the little ones and feel strongly that singing , with its literacy-rich links, is a vital component from Kindergarten or as early as possible prior to that.
    A Sound center in the kindergarten classroom is also incredibly enriching for children.
    I am looking forward to finding out about the book, when is it due to be published?

    1. Renee Post author

      Hi Janet

      A sound center! What a wonderful idea. I’m going to share it with teachers this week.

      The book is in the planning stage right now. I keep revising my vision for it! I’m always open for suggestions from teachers.

      Thank you for responding!


  3. Jennifer Woodruff

    Hi Renee, Donna Santman suggested that I get in touch with you about a UPK Professional Development Day that I’m organizing through Bank Street. Now that I look at your blog I think you are probably overqualified to be a facilitator! But I would love to talk to you about the day if you might be interested in being involved. Thanks, Jennifer Woodruff [email protected]

  4. Brett Blair

    Hi Renee,
    I’m lucky to work in a NYC school that still does studies of inquiry. I’m interested in doing a “classroom” study in k, where we dive deep into our community, emotions, sharing, friendship. Before I start writing this from scratch, I was wondering if you know of any school who has a curriculum like this written that I could use as a starting point?
    Thank you,
    [email protected]

  5. Erin Adair

    Hello Renee,
    I came upon your blog (after some web surfing) as I was listening to your daughter’s conversation with our local classical station in Portland Oregon (https://soundcloud.com/all-classical-portland/simone-dinnerstein-a-character-of-quiet). I have such warm and delightful memories of my life in Park Slope, Brooklyn…oh so many years ago (1987-1990)! My son, Adam Shirk, was fortunate to have been in your Kindergarten class (before our move to Portland). At the time, you and Connie were sharing your teaching space and my friend Nadine’s (Post-Farr) daughter was in Connie’s class. If fact, Nadine and I played some viola/flute duets for your classes at some point during that school year!
    Thank you for your beautiful blog….I will continue to read it, as I’m also a long-time educator (currently retired but supervising/mentoring student teachers). I’m also still playing music…at least, until covid happened….but we will get through this damnit!

    Fondest regards,
    Erin Adair

    1. Renee Post author

      Hello Erin. Of course I remember you and Adam. What is he doing now? My grandson is in Portland now. He’s an 18 year old acting student and he’s co-staring in a new Netflix movie. We’re all pretty excited about this.
      All my best wishes

    1. Renee Post author

      Hello Resa

      We completed discussing the book but our conversations about classroom practices became so interesting that we decided to continue our meetings. I haven’t set up a schedule yet but we are going to read some of Vivian Gussin Paley’s books together. If you’re interested, you can email me at [email protected].
      Best wishes


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