Thursday, 29 September 2016

Spanish families opinion 2015-2016

  • Mathematics for life

These were some of the family comments:

- You can see the enthusiasm they greet you with, their insatiable curiosity, their desire to learn, to try things out, to prove that they can do it themselves, their order in chaos, their gratitude when they make a purchase… And I am happy to know that my son, who is now still a baby, will be able to enjoy experiences like this at this school.

- I felt integrated and welcomed by the teachers and the pupils. I particularly liked the horizontal approach of the teaching team and towards the families and their personal treatment.

- I think the action was an intense experience for the children and it helped them to internalise the idea of using money, its value, how to count it… etc. We could perhaps improve it by introducing the concept of “services”

- A great activity where everything was really well organised and where I felt comfortable both with the other parents, and with the teachers and, of course, the children, with which it is always a pleasure to deal.

- Personally, I now have a trusting relationship with many kids who have got to know me through the different activities I took part in. In this action, what stood out for me was how smoothly it all went, which really allowed us to enjoy it properly. To reinforce the learning, we should perhaps carry out the workshop on a regular basis.

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • Weaving togheter

As I wrote elsewhere, writing “doing crochet” on a piece of paper ended up having charming, exciting and unexpected consequences. It drew out creative ideas from the whole team that got involved and things arose as we went along and we weaved them into shape as carefully and respectfully as we could, so we could put them into practice with the children at Zaleo.

This activity benefited from: team work, the spontaneous incorporation of families, the willingness of the teaching staff and the time allotted to the workshop, because the fact that it was always the same day at the same time gave it more continuity and ensured greater commitment to the task.

The space provided for the school was also very appropriate. Aspects to be improved: knowing sufficiently in advance how many grown- ups will be there on the day of the workshop to be able to divide up the children and ensure they get the necessary attention to carry out the task. Evaluate the need to specify certain aims or goals to ensure proper planning.

Things that fascinated me: the enthusiasm of the children for this kind of weaving, the participation of families and teachers, the smiles and skills of the children and above all, what they showed us. Indeed, so much so that the crocheting ability of one of the Zaleo pupils helped us to teach the technique to the other children. All the work, time, enthusiasm and excitement were worthwhile as it has been a very moving, pleasurable and a learning experience. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. (Sara, Julia's mum (Colasa Giraffe class)

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • Sign Languaje
I felt a bit nervous before I started the activity, as I didn’t know how I would get on standing up in front of the children and I wanted them to enjoy it. My nerves began to fade as we carried out the activity and the youngsters made us feel great and we had the general feeling that they love having their families working with them in class. I don’t know if it was so much about learnings as about some of the kids starting to realise that diversity exists. I think it is an issue of such significance that it needs to be worked on continuously so that the children can focus on it from different perspectives. Working on these issues from an early age can prevent situations of bullying, intolerance etc., and empower students who feel in some way different or diverse.

The relationship with the teachers and the school was a good one and they were both willing and available whenever necessary.

I think it is essential to implement this kind of action with families at school. Progressing towards a more democratic and inclusive school, open to the community and their needs, and towards an integral educational model, where curricular aspects do not take priority over everything else (values, social participation...), inevitably involves the participation of the families, community and pupils at school, and has a very positive impact on children’s learning and results.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity for mutual enrichment and learning. (Cristina, Amaia's Mum - Marcelina cow class)

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • Sitting in cindy´s chair 
My experience with this activity was very satisfactory. The children showed me that when they saw and handled the wheelchair, they didn’t see a disability, but quite the opposite, they were amazed by how disabled people could get around and more than seeing them as ‘dis’-abled, they saw them as ‘super’-abled.

The time allotted for the activity was sufficient although a couple more sessions would have been good to have a little assembly with questions from the boys and girls.

The school’s teachers were like “children” who also wanted to learn about wheelchair basketball and were very receptive.

What I learned from this activity was the naturalness, as well as the amazement shown by the children when they got into the chair and not seeing it as a substitute for basketball on foot.

It would be a good activity to have in the school, although not only with the pupils but also with the parents so they can discover the different abilities of the “disabled”.(Sebas, Samuel´s dad - Meliton dragon class)

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • Robotics 
 I learned a lot. I had never taken a workshop with 5-year-olds before and I was impressed by how capable they were. Right from the start, , I was surprised by their questions which showed how much they knew about robotics. The autonomy they showed in building the robots was also incredible, looking for the pieces and above all putting them in the right places. I was also struck that they stayed attentive right throughout the hour. They looked very motivated, their faces were very excited when, after assembling the robot they connected it to the computer, executed the program and it worked. That all meant this workshop was worth doing. I have also learned a lot about teaching and pedagogy from Mariano and I love working with them. It was excellent the way they facilitated access to resources. When I arrived, everything was perfectly prepared. I am very grateful for the help of their teacher Mariano and the dad who was there throughout the workshop. Thanks to that it all turned out perfectly. (Lidia, Julia's aunt - Colasa giraffe class)

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • An introduction to braille

From the start, I thought the idea was very interesting, because I felt that working on empathy to increase sensitivity towards certain groups in the school setting was essential. The idea was to make use of certain experiences as a small group (recognising musical instruments without seeing them, as well as other objects from daily life, writing their name, walking around) and introduce the dynamics of braille into a larger group using a matrix made from an egg box and six ping pong balls so they could handle these more easily when it came to setting out their name. Afterwards, the big group was once again shown how to use the pattern and the awl so they could how braille is written manually. Finally, they were shown individually how to use the Perkins Brailler so they could see how braille is written mechanically. The workshop was very gratifying right from the beginning when setting-up with the teacher, preparing materials and implementation. I think it was a very interesting experience, both for me, the form teacher and the pupils. It would certainly be worth repeating. (Sonia, Nora's and Leo's Mum)

Activity report
Leer en Español

  • School yard and garden

This workshop was carried on by families together with children (from 3 to 6 years old) throughout last year.

Performed activities: Starting up of a vegetable garden in the schoolyard by installing a prefabricated containers (by families), decorating them with mosaics (by Dragon Meliton´s pupils), planting vegetables, watering and caring for them (by Jirafa Colasa, Mono Pepe and Dragon Meliton´s pupils) as installing an irrigation drip (by families).

The most interesting thing for me has been trying to involve classroom pupils at all stages of creating the vegetable garden. Children have participated in the transformation of playground area by decorating the containers, filling with soil and planting vegetables for them.

The activity has been completed with a weekly routine that consisted of caring and watering plants, by assigning one group of plants to each group of pupils. It has allowed them to observe the transformation of the plants and their growth.

The process has been long and slow, but the hardest work has been done. I believe that it is very important to plant seasonal vegetables throughout the year; moreover, this activity should be included in annual school scheduling.

I think that we need to improve coordination between families and teachers, so it will allow us to include this resource (vegetable garden activity) within the programming of each 3-to-6 year old school classroom. (Jesús, Julia´s father - Colasa Giraffe class)

Activity report

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Croatian Families opinion

We asked the parents that participated in activities what was thier impression and opinion. Here is what they said:

Carnival - Activities in family surroundings

Children enjoyed and felt the festive carnival atmosphere with singing, dancing and noisy instruments. We used to visit both known and unknown families during carnival in our childhood but now it’s all gone. This renewed and revived my memories of joy we felt when we sang and danced under masks. I think children should be allowed to participate in the traditional ways in which children were involved once upon a time. (Maya's mom)

First mountain trip – Kalnik

I am very pleased with this common activity in the mountains. I especially liked that I met parents and children, which I have not seen so far in the kindergarten. I made friends with other children and their parents, and I'm going back home refreshed and filled with new strength and vigor (Mark's dad)

It was wonderful. If I did not go to this trip I would spend time home alone with my daughter. This way we were in good company, together with parents, children and staff from the kindergarten. We will definitely go next time. (Marina's mom)

Activity report

Travelogue -  India

Time that was offered was not enough for everything that the mother had prepared. Children’s questions led her to variety of topics and she wanted to show photos and video for each topic. Just the search for contents had taken away a lot of time. She had a lot of materials and she got the impression that the activity is not brought to an end as she planned. After the activities when we talked she said that she was lost in the multitude of videos and photos and that she should have to put in a one place so that children don’t wait too long.

Activity report

Night of Books

Mother which conducted the activity was especially honored with our invitation and gladly accepted. Communication with children ran very well and the children in activity were extremely interested and were asking a lot of sub-questions. She was delighted when the children told her that they make picture books themselves, especially when she found out that her elder son Michael took part in one illustration. In an interview after the activity she has expressed surprise and delight with children’s creativity and their interest in making up their own stories. 

Activity report

Math as a game

Children enjoyed the games, it is an easy and interesting way to learn math in a longer period of time. Everyone had a very interesting and enjoyable time. We were especially pleased by the image that came as a result of the game of drawing different lines. The painting of unusual shapes and diverse lines was inspired by a variety of natural phenomena and this time we looked at the stone – agate for inspiration.  (Vid's mother)

Activity report

Visiting an interacive exhibition “Elektro Baroque”

“This way we will develop the ability to "do it yourself“ and strengthen the confidence of children in their own capabilities. In addition to educational value there is chance of reducing the consumer way of thinking in children." (Mark's dad) 

Activity report

Mini Olympics

This kind of cooperation we really liked. New customs, culture, language as many possible for children to broaden their horizons and become citizens of the world. Cooperation with parents was great. More and more parents should get involved to recognize the importance of cooperation in the joint education of children. (Andro’smother)

Spanish and Flamenco

It was a great pleasure to participate in activities with the children and my experience helped me, as a parent, to connect with kindergarten and the teachers. When selecting activities I was led by the desire to offer children something that will expand their horizons, in appropriate and fun way, and that is closely related to my profession and preferences. I am very pleased with the results and the reaction of the children participating and others who were not directly involved. I also want to point out a wonderful feeling of sharing activities with my own child, which helped to connect and open a window to her small world and the world of her friends. And all of that through acting, rhythm, movement, dance and of course lots of laughter. (Leona’s mom)

Traditional games

Mom N.L.: "Moy son told me that they are playing games in kindergarten, and that us parents will do the same. I was surprised how much he talked about it and ask me whether I was working that day or not. It was important to him that I come and participate. "
Mom RJ: "At first I was embarrassed when I thought about how I'm going to jump in the sack, but it turned out really fun, in the end we all tried, even my husband. It was crowded but the atmosphere was great because a lot of fans applauded, shouting... We goofed around and talked with other parents, the time passed quickly. "


“Time spent with children in yoga gatherings, as part of the SELF project, was first of all a lot of fun and a wonderful experience :-) It gave me the opportunity to remind myself that the priceless value of the game-based learning, but it also gave some new aspects of self-knowledge, insight into the parent-child and teacher-child relationship given that one a child from the group was my son. At the same time I received a new view of the teachers who work in a kindergarten ... a little deeper insight into their daily work and particularly large involvement in activities that need continuous planning and implementing. Once again I confirmed the great value of yoga for children (and not only them) in the development of important skills, in the supportive and non-competitive environment.
Personally, it means a lot to get such a possibility of cooperation of parents in the educational process that normally is performed by teachers. Through interaction with children I also got positive feedback from their side. I believe that through this, and other activities (which includes the parents) strengthens the relationship and trust between child-teacher-parent.
With gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the project SELF.” 


Friday, 10 July 2015

Drifting Poetry

This was a beautiful project, and as far as I can see, completely thought and carried out by one of the teachers, Bernardo, who relied on the whole educational community to carry this through. It was an activity that let us go outside Zaleo’s doors, and not only did the teachers and families get involved but also external people and most importantly, the kids. Not just as observers, but also an active and necessary part of the development of the activity.

I would note that I would have liked the project to have been explained fully from the start to have a global vision that could help me understand it as a whole; this would have then fed my motivation in the opportunities that arose to actively participate.

However, it did have a special beauty, and as I mentioned it let you participate in different ways, times and spaces so that no matter who you were, you enjoyed the project. The final exhibition was stunning and really symbolic. The vocals were incredible, although I missed a space for the little ones from Zaleo to listen.

I especially liked the “whispers from Zaleo”, it was tender, magic and beautiful. What a shame to miss the ones in the library, they must have been fantastic.

Thanks Bernardo and to everybody who made it possible.

Sara Quiles, Julia’s Mum (Caballo Ramón)

Activity report

Leer en español

Multisensory spaces

Alicia´s family had the idea to give a fairy light bulb of colours (like in a disco) to be used at the classroom because at home is really successful with Alicia and her siblings. According to this initiative, the tutor asks us to provide material for children.

Because of the working reasons we couldn´t arrange the activity in the mornings; finally it was developed after the nap time.

Little by little, new ideas were aroused to enrich the purpose: carry a tent to hide children inside, an outdoor light tube…

We refused taking music to focus on the visual aim.

The proper day to do the activity, Mila is in charge of the location of the tent, the light bulb, the hose of light and try to make the classroom, as dark as possible.

Children seemed to be surprised by the new atmosphere and they run to hide themselves inside the tent, anyway, they decided to explore the environment very soon.

In the end, the majority of the family participated. For instance, the elder brother (a former Zaleo pupil) surprised us suggesting brilliant ideas, helping us at any time and enriching the activity.

We shared a good time all together. It has been a pleasure to feel like at home along with the school staff.

Flor Ibáñez, Alicia´s mother.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Washing Up Bowl Activity

Free play with specific materials fascinates me. I wanted to strengthen this activity in class involving all the families. The idea was to bring an object from our daily life, which we use at home, but without having to buy or make anything. Participation was essential but at the same time effort was hardly required.

I felt very happy doing the activity, when I suggested it to Loli, she didn’t doubt it; “Do it”. After that I asked families what they thought and they loved the idea. That helped me feel sure in setting up the activity.

My relationship with the kids consisted of presenting the activity with a sentence and afterwards allowing them to observe, and enjoy what they created. They built, transformed, laughed, invented, smiled, imagined, cried and resolved problems without hardly any adult intervention, only on one or two occasions when we thought there could be a problematic conflict. I also accepted anyone that needed comforting.

In this case we used washing up bowls, but it could have been anything. The activity could easily be carried out during the year with any type of material that families decided, and they take turns in carrying out the activity.

What was learnt: It was fantastic to be able to share the classroom with your own daughter and teacher. Confront and enjoy different ways of doing something together. Regarding the kids, I think that this activity promotes autonomy, imagination and a never ending set of skills that enrich the presence of family members as a new reference in the classroom.

Sara, Julia’s Mum. (Ramón the Horse class)


The whole artistic works are in a certain way, interactive. They arouse a question and we are in charge of elaborating the answers taking into account our sensitiveness and our knowledge and interest field. An interactive installation is an artistic mechanism which is essential for our work. This activity will not have sense without the active participation of the observer.

When I am in charge of an interactive installation I always pay attention to children and I learn a lot just observing them and their reactions. Additionally, it has a crucial role as far as their leisure is concerned. I am really interested in checking that the child discovers an individual and direct method of relate with work. As well as I do with adults.

At Zaleo school they know perfectly what I mean. They learn to touch, to breathe, to see, to smell and to listen. Experience is considered the key vehicle to obtain the teaching from the environment, as a tool of knowledge that requires being stimulated. Therefore, they use artistic languages naturally and convincingly. Having the possibility of sharing this experience with them has been a pleasure. Sensitiveness, dedication and conviction are examples to be followed and their pedagogy is highly valued. We hope other teaching and learning spaces learn the procedure of this school. We hope to see that very soon due to be essential to live in a society where people learn how to know and value their world.

I would like to say thank you to all Zaleo nursery school which has given me a hand during this ambitious journey. I have learnt much and therefore, I say thank you very much. In concrete, I would like to express my gratitude to people who have worked very close to me: Goya, Mariano and Ana. Thanks for inviting me and I hope to see each other in future projects. A big hug to everybody.

Arturo Moya Villén

Activity report

Leer en español

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Chess educational workshop

In over all, I find so positive to develop this sort of activities. On one hand, incorporating at the educational curriculum the chess learning from an early age. On the other hand, making easier the families’ participation.

Firstly, according to little children, it has been so illustrative the teaching methodology, the practice and the explanations provided by the teachers. It is incredible see how quick our children learn. 

Secondly, see in first person the relations generated at the classrooms, the habits, and the links between the educational personnel and pupils. 

It has been so interesting to spend time with boys and girls sharing spaces, activities, etc. The complicity and confidence in children has been increased. 

At last, personally has been so rewarding sharing space with my own daughter. We have known each other even more. Thanks for providing me this opportunity!!

Ane Varela Mateos, Ada Manuela's  mother (Mono pepe)

Activity report

Leer en español