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

  • Legos... To Be Changed Needed!
    Written by

    Even before All School Lego Day, some Nurseries have been wanting to bring their own lego constructions from home to show friends, use at school, share, and also put on display. My reminders that their pieces could get mixed in with our school legos has gained no traction with them. They have all been adamant that the Nursery display shelf or in the communal lego bin is the best place for them to be.

    These are generous individuals who have made a generous group and so this has worked for them this year very well until last week, oops, when it suddenly didn't.

    There were some deeply felt discussions about whose were those and which were whose. It got sorted out for the moment, but it was clear, to me at least, that we would need to talk as a group to go forward.

    Later on, when I brought up the problem with legos, they had ideas of what to do. I asked if I could write their ideas down, and, as it turned out, it would take more than one go at it to really figure it out. What follows are their thoughts and words they dictated to me so parents could know their new plan.

    Here is the part they came up with on that first morning after snack.

    Dear Moms and Dads,

    Please, we are asking that we not have any legos at school.

    Because they keep getting mixed up with the school legos.

    It's making us feel sad.

    And please don't bring legos to school; they'll get lost and you can't find them.

    But on [All School] Lego Day you can bring them… of course.



    I read it back several times and these were the words they wanted me to email to their parents. But I got home late after school, ran out of time that evening, and couldn't get it done.

    My thinking was also that, of course, All School Lego Day is only once a year, and once a year is a looong time and a difficult concept at three or four or five years old. Also I understand that sometimes when children are solving a problem they can be pretty absolute.

    So later in the week I told them that I ran out of time and couldn't get their letter typed out on my computer for their parents like we planned. I asked if I could read it to them one more time to be sure their words were the ones they wanted me to write.

    I read it and I asked, "Does everyone agree that we shouldn't bring lego constructions from home anymore?"

    One right after another, five people immediately said, "No, I don't agree!"

    I asked, "Should we change it."

    "Yes!" they said.

    "Well, how can we change it? I can write down your words."

    One person said, "Keep them in your cubby."

    Another person added, " Instead… when you're done playing with them, keep them in your cubby."

    Another person capped it off with, "And take them home at the end of the day!"

    I read it back to them with the changes and everyone agreed.

    So here is their newly amended and agreed upon version:

    Dear Moms and Dads,

    Please, we are asking that we not have any legos at school. Because they keep getting mixed up with the school legos.

    It's making us feel sad.

    And please don't bring legos to school; they'll get lost and you can't find them.

    But on [All School] Lego Day you can bring them… of course.

    Instead... when your done playing with them, keep them in your cubbies and take them home at the end of the day.



    Their work was in-depth, over time, and makes a fine snapshot of their group process and the sort of problem solving they are capable of doing.

    To be changed as needed!

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

Sat Aug 24 @ 9:00AM - 02:00PM
Opening of School Work Bee

Mon Aug 26 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM
Nursery Room Meeting

Wed Aug 28 @ 8:30AM - 03:00PM
First Day of School

Thu Aug 29 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
School Welcome Picnic

Mon Sep 02 @12:00AM
Labor Day - School Closed

Tue Sep 10 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM
Faculty Panel/Orientation

Sun Sep 22 @12:00PM - 03:00PM
Anything on Wheels

Fri Oct 04 @12:00AM
Grandfriend's Day

Fri Oct 11 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

Fri Oct 18 @12:00AM
Conference Day - School Closed

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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