The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.

Art is Everywhere

Art shines through every part of our day. We incorporate painting into reading groups, musicians into genre studies, famous songs into morning meeting and visual art into inquiry. Check out how our college students and classroom teachers integrate these important things into our day.


Ms. Vonder Haar introduces the concept of Medium and Media that we can use to create artwork.
Ms. Vonder Haar shares a piece of artwork that she made out of wire, a wooden picture frame and spray paint.
The students participate in a fishbowl to model the appropriate way to use the medium of tempera paint.
Students make a web after reading about John Lennon in our new study of biographies.

Students web about the famous composer George Gershwin and how he composed Rhapsody in Blue.
Students paint a picture of the setting in reading groups.
The song of the day is another way we incorporate music into our day!

Let’s Make a Tree House!

As we begin focusing on the fall season, we brainstormed different ideas for the loft. Students chose to transform our loft into a fun tree house! We discussed how we could change the leaves on our tree house when the leaves outside begin to change. Students used brown butcher paper to twist and make into the tree trunk and green paper to use as the leaves. During work time, we decorated the green paper with leaves, birds, and squirrels.

Butterfly Discovery

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Two weeks ago, Jan, Cooper’s mom brought us two huge leaves with a chrysalis attached to each. Mrs. Clifton placed the leaves in a corner near windows and students were able to observe changes. Last week we noticed that one chrysalis that was originally bright green turned a light blue.  Yesterday morning as teachers were preparing for the day in elementary, Ms. James discovered a monarch butterfly in the window sill drying its wings. Ms. Jessie checked the leaves and saw that one of the chrysalis was broken and empty. She carefully took our new friend outside so that it could eat and be in its natural habitat.

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Interview Etiquette


As we are finishing up bridges this week, students are conducting research on different departments on campus. Earlier this school year we went on a walking tour of campus using the campus map. Students took pictures of the places we stopped at and learned some interesting facts about their campus.

Students are now in groups finding out information about a department or building of their choosing. They will eventually be going to meet and interview the people who are a part of the building or department they are researching.

Using a fishbowl, Mrs. Clifton and Ms. James demonstrated the interview process and shared interview tips with students.

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Using Streamers to Create Fire and Water

This afternoon, we decided to get out the streamers so the students could participate in a movement, experience.  We used the streamers to act out fire and water.  We are wrapping up our safety week, and this was a great way for students to practice spatial awareness and take on different roles during play!

Arts Infusion


What happens when you infuse the arts into every part of your day? The avenues for students to be successful are drastically increased, learning is powerful and engaging, expression is enhanced, and students grow creative thinking skills.
Today during literacy our college students were teaching elements of descriptive writing. While listening to a descriptive excerpt from the “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, students illustrated the vivid image that the author created. The following is the actual excerpt that students listened to.

“No human eye can isolate the unhappy coincidence of line and place which suggests evil in the face of a house, and yet somehow a maniac juxtaposition, a badly turned angle, some chance meeting of roof and sky, turned Hill House into a place of despair, more frightening because the face of Hill House seemed awake, with a watchfulness from the blank windows and a touch of glee in the eyebrow of a cornice. Almost any house, caught unexpectedly or at an odd angle, can turn a deeply humorous look on a watching person; even a mischievous little chimney, or a dormer like a dimple, can catch up a beholder with a sense of fellowship; but a house arrogant and hating, never off guard, can only be evil.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Students in this focus lesson looked at this famous painting by Norman Rockwell. They looked at the details in the painting and imagined what was going on in the picture. Through their discussions they were able to create a story together with a clear beginning, middle and end.


Firemen Come to the Preschool

What an exciting visit we had with firemen and exploring their firetruck! Our preschool has been focusing on transportation, and the emergency vehicle section has been a big hit. When real firemen came to our classroom and we were able to visit their firetruck, a tangible adventure ensued. We learned about fire and fire safety, watched as one of the firemen geared up with his fire safety clothing, and then everyone took a turn climbing aboard the firetruck! What fun!

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Graphic Novel Sharing

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Today we were so excited to share some of our completed graphic novels with creative writing college students on campus. Dr. Ann Breidenbach is an adjunct instructor on campus teaching college students about graphic novels. This morning a couple of our students were thrilled to be able to share their work with someone other than their own classmates. The college students asked us what our favorite part about the process was and we shared that we really enjoyed drawing pictures along with our completed stories.

Special Visitors!

Yesterday afternoon we were excited to see two of our old friends. Marley was a Mystery Reader. She read Don’t Be Silly Mrs. Millie! We were also thrilled that Nora stopped by as well. She shared with us how things are going in Middle School after graduating from our program.


Fireman Tool Hunt

Today in Roxaboxen, we spent our small group time traveling around the room recording information. 

To begin our study on safety we talked about the tools a fireman uses and discussed what we should do during a fire. The students then had their own clipboards and were able to find the different tools posted around the room. 

Each card had a picture of a tool posted on it and also had a number printed on it.  It was the students job to work on number recognition  – after they recognized the number, they would draw the corresponding number of dots on their papers.

Before we began,  we disscussed as a group that if someone needed help they could ask a friend in the room to help them and then they could count together. As the students began they used those communicated skills to help each other! All the students were engaged and worked hard identifying numbers! 


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