The Nursery

Nursery Picture


Ann Guthrie is the teacher of the Nursery's inquisitive and active 3 1/2- to 5-year-olds. Ann's philosophy is that children are innately curious and that by providing a rich environment that supports self-direction and a sense of wonder, children will learn, grow and develop: They are intrinsically competent learners who want to take on challenge and to master their worlds.

Another foundational belief is that young children learn how to get along with one another, to know themselves and to learn about the world around them through play and playfulness. Their play is seen to be on a continuum from the quite silly to the quite serious. It is understood that they sense the differences and gain from it all. 

The Nursery supports the belief that children learn in different ways and develop at different rates. In all things there is a developmental timescale for children that is respected. A great deal of patience, support and repetition are provided. 

Students in the Nursery have a regularly scheduled time each week for Art & Science with Brian Brogan and Music with Dennis Farmer. They also take part in school-wide events and celebrations.




Nursery Newsletter

  • "Oh, I Guess the Show is Over"
    Written by

    It's always so interesting to see how the Nurseryers take on the challenge of more and more complex group process to match what they want to accomplish together. Lately they have been using our set of hollow hard wood blocks as a backdrop for their plays. One afternoon in December, while the others finished eating lunch, one child used all of the Nursery big blocks to build a huge stage and announced that there would be a play after lunch. Later there indeed was a play and and one that they wanted me to write down.

    Included here are not only the written words of their play, but also notes recording some of their process as they worked out the rough spots. First the process:

    Child 1:     It's called "Mighty Pups Ready for Mighty Action!"
    Child 2:     playing piano accompaniment
    Child 3:     announcing, "I'm Sky."
                     "Mighty Pups ready for mighty action!
                     We're here to save the world!"
    Child 4:     singing and dancing….
                     "And now we begin!"
    Child 1:     "No, no. You don't sing… you just play!"
    Child 3:     "Oh… I guess the show is over….
                      pausing she begins to leave….
    Child 2:     "Ruff-ruff, ruff-ruff, ruff-ruff…."     
                     barking insistently to bring them back together….
    Child 3:     returning...
    All:            joined in pup chorus…
                     "Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff…."
    Child 5:     "Tornado… take cover!"
    Child 3 and 4 and 5:     
                     "Ready to dance, ready to dance…."
    Child 1:     "No. Don't dance. No, it's a show that talks."

    At this point, one-by-one, the other actors simply leave the stage for the circle table where one other child has been observing. They all quietly begin drawing.
    Child 1 has lost his players.

    I watch him as he makes the realization that, in order for the show to go on, he will have to let go of the kind of control he would like. He begins to work hard to get them back.

    "Guys guys... come back... come back!"

    He begins enthusiastically talking about the play, focusing on the story line that they were all developing and on their characters.

    This whole time, I have been sitting watching and taking notes in the chair they gave me to be part of their audience. As they come back over, they notice that I have a pencil and paper and ask me what I'm writing. I tell them I've been writing down some of their ideas. Child 3 suggests I should write down their words for the play. I tell them I could do that. And if they want me to I could be the narrator in their play.

    "What's a narrator."

    I tell them it's the person who reads words the actors have written in order to tell their story while the actors act and say their lines. They think that is a good idea.
    The child who had been observing from the circle table comes over to join with the rest and be in the play. I ask who they will each be in their play so I can write that down too. They already have the title!

    Here is their play… these are their words written in fine collaboration. It was enthusiastically performed two times on the afternoon of Thursday, December 6, 2018.

    Mighty Pups Ready for Mighty Action

    Child 1………………. Chase
    Child 2………………. Zooma
                                   also plays music for the play
    Child 3………………. Sky
    Child 4………………. Another Sky
    Child 5………………. Another Sky
    Child 6………………. Marshall
    Teacher/scribe  …. Narrator + Rider
    *Note: Rider is portrayed by a picture posted on the wall

    The Nurseries…
    *Note: Child 1 suggested playwrights should be written down as all of them… The Nurseries... and this was agreed upon by the entire group.

    Narrator:         "The beginning of the story is when the pups are playing on
                             the field. And then the tornado comes and Rider calls the
    Narrator/Rider: "Paw Patrol to the look-out."
    All the pups:    "Rider needs us. All pups into action!"
    All the pups:    "Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff…."
    Narrator:          "Paw Patrol was playing volley-ball and lava comes and Rider
                             called the pups.
    Narrator/Rider: "Paw Patrol to the look-out."
    All the pups:    "Rider needs us. All pups into action!"
    All the pups:    "Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff…."
    Narrator:          "The pups went out at the playground one day and there was
                               a terrible storm and they had to go home."
    Narrator/Rider:  "Paw Patrol to the look-out."
    All the pups:     "Rider needs us. All pups into action!"
    All the pups:     "Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff. Ruff-ruff…."
    Narrator:          "The robot shoots the metal net on Chase. Chase gets out of
                               the trap with his super speed."
    Narrator:          "Sky finds a shovel and when Rider calls the pups, the robot
                               traps the metal net on Another Sky. She got a sword and she
                               flies back with her mighty wings."
    Narrator:          "It ends when the robot has no use for the powers and the
                               robot breaks apart. Mayor Humdinger's nephew Gerald was
                               controlling the robot."
    The End

    This is their process and their play... with the rough spots, limit setting, problem solving, compromise, and collaboration along the way!




Read more from Ann's blog...
Ann - Nursery

Ann Guthrie - Nursery

From my earliest, I have been intrigued by the natural world and animal behavior--including human.  Among my ongoing interests are the brain, brain research, individual temperament and personality, child development, social organization of groups, language acquisition, history of  the English language, writing, and words in general.

In many ways an autodidact, I left high school for part of a year when I was 15 to work on a research project which took me to the Kansas City Science Fair and then on to the 1964 National Science Fair-International as a finalist, where I was awarded second place by the American Psychological Association.  I had parents who very much respected personal autonomy, trusted in me, and found ways to support my somewhat quirky and passionate interests which ranged from field study, brown capuchin monkeys, to gymnastics with a lot of other stuff in between.

I did go back to high school and also have a BA from Antioch College in Education with certification K-6.  My post-graduate work is ongoing and mostly of my own design.  Over these past 28 plus years, a good part of it has taken place at the educational laboratory of The Antioch School and in an ongoing collaboration seminar with my colleagues, past and present, who are rare and gifted teachers and profound educational thinkers.

Each year I also have the opportunity to get to know 12 individuals, young children, who bring with them their own unique temperaments, personalities, interests, and learning styles.  I am honored to be part of their process as they learn and grow as individuals, see themselves and one another, and collaborate to create their group.

My husband is a writer whose special interests are music, literature, and history.  Our daughter is an alum of The Antioch School and teaches in the Theater Department at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

For 3 1/2 - 5-year-olds
8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
8:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M.

Upcoming Nursery Events

Mon Feb 18 @12:00AM
President's Day - School Closed

Tue Feb 19 @12:00AM
Mid-Winter Break - School Closed

Thu Feb 21 @12:00AM
Swim & Gym

Fri Feb 22 @12:00AM
Intention Forms Due

Sun Feb 24 @ 1:00PM - 03:00PM
Open House

Thu Mar 07 @12:00AM
Swim & Gym

Thu Mar 21 @12:00AM
Swim & Gym

Fri Mar 22 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Mon Mar 25 @12:00AM
Spring Holiday

Tue Mar 26 @12:00AM
Spring Holiday

Contact Ann

If you have a question for Ann, please use the form below to send her an email.

Testimonial of Selah Griffin.

Selah Griffin
The Antioch School 2009-2015

An Older Group student at the time this testimonial was written

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