Recently, we traveled to China and Taiwan to share NeuroNet with schools in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Taipei. We visited preschools and met with engaged teachers and staff who were eager to learn how NeuroNet could be used with their curriculum.
In Beijing we stepped up to a 3-day training for school directors at Peide International School, an early childhood education program (birth to 3).
Peide is an international school with strong roots in Chinese language and culture. The school’s nature-based teaching provides an aesthetic and meaningful environment where students explore the world and their inner selves. Children play and learn with toys collected from nature, using real life resources that supplement and enrich their classroom time, and build on children’s natural curiosity and desire to explore and learn.
We presented an introductory program on the neuroscience research behind NeuroNet for the teachers of Peide School. The teachers participated with great interest and enthusiasm!
At Peide School there is a focus on using real life resources that supplement and enrich their classroom time...in NeuroNet we call this "practical life learning." There is a cooking class once a week, and a tea ceremony once a week as well.
This baby was one of our best teachers! During our training at the Peide International School, we talked about how babies need room to move and explore. This little one showed us how simple things (blocks of wood) can be the best toys. At first he was a little shy, being surrounded by 50 teachers, but then he quickly became curious and enjoyed playing and learning!
At Peide School there is also a focus on nature and natural toys. The large outdoor playground contains some traditional equipment and also a wooden tunnel the children can run through.
The playground has lots of space for running and playing, and equipment for climbing and learning through movement!
Pollution is a national concern in China, and each day the government publishes regional measurements of air quality for that day. Above a certain level, the children are not allowed to play outside. On the day we visited, they were not allowed to play outside because of the pollution.
During our 3-day training, we did a lot of NeuroNet exercises together, in a large group and in small groups. I was very happy to see the teachers participating so much in our training, asking questions, sharing ideas and joining in the exercises! Thank you for a wonderful teacher training, Peide International School!
While in Beijing, Dr. Shih Fen Yeh and I made sure to schedule in a visit to the Great Wall of China. We had a wonderful time followed by a delicious lunch in a hot pot restaurant where we cooked our own food at the table. Yum!
We also got a chance to visit the Director of Learnroom Kindergarten an American Montessori Society member school. Learnroom provides high quality education and environment for children birth through age 6 years. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet their director and present NeuroNet Learning to the teachers at this fabulous preschool!
Next we headed south to Guangzhou and what a welcome from our friends at Daohe School, our hosts of our next 3-day workshop! They welcomed us with a formal tea ceremony at the school then we went out to lunch at a great Cantonese restaurant nearby.
Daohe School Guangzhou has a unique philosophy envisioning an activity-based education with a balanced development of mind, body and spirit, focusing on the five senses and bodily-kinesthetic learning to experience and do, rather than be told or sit and listen. Their curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including art, health, games, music, work, languages, agriculture, and nature.
On our second day at Daohe School Guangzhou we measured how we improved compared to the first day. What a fun and engaged group of teachers!
This wouldn't have been possible without our NeuroNet partner, Dr. Shih Fen Yeh. Dr. Yeh is a professor of early childhood education, and she currently works for the University of Beijing. Dr. Yeh provided the translation for all of our workshops. It was wonderful to have a her as our partner in learning!
Our final stop was at Daohe School Taipei. It is located in a small town near Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The name of the school means Natural Way. The kindergarten director, Maria, has developed a wonderful program for caring for babies...offering so many opportunities for loving and learning!
On the playground at Daohe School Taipei, children can take a mini hike up the hill or walk & balance on a beam. This is great area for young children to play! Every student in the school studies archery and other hands-on sports and arts related to Chinese culture.
What an engaged group of teachers at Daohe School Taipei! Their energy and enthusiasm created a fun learning environment for us all.
We said a fond farewell to our last class of workshop participants. It was a pleasure to have so many interested teachers joining in with our exercises and activities!
We had time for a little sightseeing at the end of the trip, including a visit to the famous Hot Springs, and a great hike up the mountainside in the Sun Yat Sen Gardens. In this picture, we see a bridge on the trail. One side is for walking, and the other for bikes!
Dinner with our NeuroNet partner Dr. Shih Fen Yeh and her family at a waterside restaurant was delightful! Dr. Yeh's son entertained us with great jokes and stories. We invited him to come to Fort Lauderdale when he visits the States in June!
Although Wenya and Jonathan live in Washington D.C. and were not traveling with us, we did meet up for a delicious hot pot dinner with Wenya's family on our last night in Taipei. Hot pot dinners are great -- we cook a lot of the food right at the table!
We said a fond farewell to Wenya's family and hope to see them again when we return to Taiwan!
What a fascinating adventure we've had from Beijing to Guangzhou to Taipei! We visited preschools and met with engaged teachers and staff who were eager to learn how NeuroNet could be used with their curriculum. We can't wait to see how they apply all that they've learned with their students!
NeuroNet programs combine gross motor development with any PreK-Grade 2 curriculum and have been shown to improve engagement, reading, math, and handwriting skills. If your school would like a more in depth presentation about how NeuroNet can work for your students, request an online program demonstration here. An online demonstration allows us to connect for a video conference, share screens, and walk you through the programs and assessments. A demo usually lasts 30-45 minutes and covers the science behind the program, implementation, and research. See how our new cloud-based program, StepUp to Learn, can enrich your PreK - Grade 2 curriculum or be used as an intervention for struggling learners. Schedule a demo today!