Putnam Indian Field School Tag

  The Putnam Indian Field School’s virtual Book Fair this year featured the author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers. His book What We’ll Build inspired the children to embark on collaborative building projects, using boxes supplied by studio art teacher, Debbie Chodoff. As Debbie said, “What child doesn’t love a box?” Each class was able to choose from a variety of large boxes, and then decided together what they would build. Debbie then provided them with the...

  Written by - Marianne Riess Some recent Moms of the Week have described their favorite part of the day as the time spent cuddling and reading bedtime stories with their children. Besides the obvious closeness of the experience, reading to children offers so many benefits. Children gain a rich vocabulary, learn that print tells the story, and most important find out that books open up exciting new worlds to them. You cannot overestimate the value of...

  This was Anne’s first Parenting Column ever, published 8 years ago from today on 12/18/12. As young Mothers and Grandmothers gladly and wholeheartedly comb the earth to find a very special something for a little relative, they might be surprised to know they have this present already. What the child most wants is their attention and time. A child’s heart’s desire is unquestionably just a few hours with a parent or grandparent, somewhere simple, maybe at...

  Written by Marianne Riess Many of us find ourselves with more time to read, as we are isolated from other pleasures such as movies, restaurants, or shopping. I was excited to order Isabel Wilkerson’s new book, Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents. I had enjoyed her first book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award (non-fiction) and several other prizes. That...

  Written by Marianne Riess While we can complain about many unpleasant, frightening, sad and depressing 2020 developments, we certainly can’t complain about the weather in the Northeast. We have been blessed with lots of absolutely beautiful sunny days, and warm, but not really hot temperatures. And thank goodness for that, because it allows us to see family and friends in the relative safety of the outdoors. This summer, we had lots of visits with our children and...

  PIFS recently completed a new, multi-platform outdoor playscape. Outdoor play has always been central to the school’s mission and now, perhaps more than ever, it will serve as the backdrop for its students’ learning. The CDC has mandated that when schools re-open, they must keep children in small groups, distanced from one another. With the new playscape, PIFS can easily uphold these new safety measures with a fun, enhanced outdoor play experience. The new Smokey’s Playscape will...

  Written by - Marianne Riess T. S. Eliot started his famous poem “The Wasteland” with the line “April is the cruelest month.” We can only hope those words hold true, and that the worst of Covid-19 will be behind us as we enter May and look forward to summer. The virus has turned lives upside down, even for those lucky enough to avoid catching it. Who could have imagined children missing 3 months of school before...

  Written by - Marianne Riess  We are in unknown waters. “Unprecedented” is a word we hear on the news every two minutes. We don’t know when children will go back to school or when life will return to some kind of normalcy. We are stuck at home and all the places we like to go are closed. What good can we take from this time of social distancing and home time? Oddly enough, as I FaceTime with...

  In late October, the Putnam Indian Field announced plans to replace the outworn Smokey’s Bounders play structures with new and challenging designs, made from natural materials. Working with Environment Design, the firm that created the Stamford Museum’s Nature Playground, and inspired by the late Headmaster Fred Wierdsma’s original plan, the school is now happy to say that Phase 1 of the project has been completed. The children are enjoying the new zip line, the log balance...

  By Marianne Riess It is no secret that modern children spend a lot more time indoors and on screens than did previous generations. Yet studies continue to show that children need lots of outdoor time to develop in all domains of learning. Children who spend time outdoors not only have better muscle development and coordination, but they are also more curious, more independent and more creative learners. They tend to be more resilient, more willing to...

  “Every Child is an Artist” – Pablo Picasso The Putnam Indian Field School Annual Art Show never fails to impress and inspire, and this year was no different. In addition to bright and beautiful paintings, drawings, prints and 3-D constructions, the show featured extended project work done by the classes. The Art Show preview party for parents offered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a chance to admire the work and socialize in relative peace on Friday evening, April...

  Fall light bathed the walls of the Bates’ house. The morning sun made dappled images and everything looked beautiful. Then came a peace-piercing scream. Charlie ran into the kitchen with a pencil in his hand and with the saddest expression a four-year old could have on his still tan little face. The screaming continued. Josh Bates ran up the back stairs. His wife Molly was in the baby’s room, holding Finney, who had a deep cut...

  A nursery school like no other, PIFS offers the perfect summer experience for a young child. All facilities and grounds are specifically designed for 2 – 5 year olds, with classrooms and play yards full of wonderful, age appropriate activities. PIFS staff know how to introduce a young child to the first school experience, and to make a successful transition from home to school. They combine comfort and assurance with interesting and exciting activities that any...

  In Case You Missed Part 1, Help Lorraine and Jane sat opposite each other at the coffee shop. “So tell me about Jared,” Jane said. “What worries you about him?” Lorraine thought for a moment. “Well, he seems to be out of control a lot of the time. I never know what he’ll do next. No matter how I try to guide him in advance, he just does whatever he feels like. And usually the result is not...

  Lorraine Finch and her two children, Jared and Liza were going to story hour at the Library. Mrs. Etheridge, the librarian was a kind, older woman who had been reading stories to very young children for decades. During the last story hour, Jared had thrown a book at Mrs. Etheridge and knocked her glasses off. “Remember Jared, be nice to Mrs. Etheridge and listen to the story. No bad behavior this time,” Lorraine reminded him. As they walked...

By Marianne Riess Your high school junior daughter is invited to a party, but she has a big test the next day. Will she forego the party to study for the test? Your college freshman son has a paper due, but would prefer to watch a football game in the lounge with his friends. How confident are you that he will make the right choice? The ability to stick with an unattractive, but necessary task rather than...

By Marianne Riess Most parents understand that children learn primarily through play. Yet, when their child attends a play-based nursery school, they may wonder whether he or she is being challenged, being thoroughly prepared for elementary school, being exposed to “academics.” Studies show that rote learning at a young age does not stick. Children may develop a temporary edge over their playing peers, but it is just that, temporary. And while they are being taught and drilled,...

Article By Marianne Riess     Photo By Marianne Riess   Thanksgiving lunch at Putnam Indian Field School has always been special.   Alba and Susanna carried on the tradition started by Nolda Joseph, serving delicious turkey, stuffing and gravy as well as potatoes, acorn squash, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. Yummy desserts, too.   Thanks Alba and Susanna for all the hard work and thanks Nolda for the inspiration. A special lunch for a special school.   HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!       www.pifs.net Phone – 203 –...

It’s an annual tradition now. In the middle of October, the trucks roll in delivering the pumpkins and hay bales that transform the Putnam Indian Field School play yard into a wonderful outdoor classroom with so much to learn and do! The hay bales make a wonderful maze for climbing on, running through or jumping off. The children can’t believe their good fortune, or get enough time in the outdoors. The air is crisp and cool,...

By Marianne Riess Most parents are aware of the importance of building confidence and self-esteem in their children. How to do it effectively? One way is to listen when they talk and then respond, letting them know you take their ideas seriously. Ask their opinions at times. Whenever possible, give them choices about what they will eat or wear. Spend uninterrupted time with them to show you enjoy their company. Building self-confidence too often involves a lot...

  Last Saturday, Party with Moms lost a dear friend. Wife, Mother of 3, Long Time Teacher at Putnam Indian Field School. We will all miss her. Calling Hours - Thursday, June 28, 4 - 8 PM Leo P. Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home 31 Arch Street, Greenwich, CT Funeral - Friday, June 29, 10 AM Sacred Heart Church (Byram) 38 Gold Street, Greenwich, CT Burial immediately following at St. Mary’s Cemetery 399 North Street, Greenwich, CT...

  The school year had come to an end. It had been an absolutely great year and the teachers were as sad as the children to say goodbye. Fortunately for the teachers and the children who were able to stay on, there was a little three week summer camp. This was essentially an extension of the school year along with sprinklers and more time for everything, because of the longer day. It was heaven for all. The...

  What was originally predicted to be a wet Saturday turned warm and sunny just in time for the Putnam Indian Field School’s 40th Anniversary celebration. Head of School, Susan Donaghy and Former Head Marianne Riess welcomed the over 300 people who showed up to connect with old friends and share memories. Parents and former children (now adults) were there from the first classes in 1978 and on. Past and present teachers were happy to reminisce...

  2018 is Putnam Indian Field School’s 40th year, and to celebrate, the school is throwing a party for former parents and alumni on June 9th, from 4 - 7 PM on the school grounds. It has the potential to be a very big bash with so many parents and their grown up children invited. Refreshments will be provided by the Boxcar Cantina truck serving its New Mexican food and delicious margaritas, and by Aux Delices serving...

  It is so important that the first school experience be a happy and positive one, enabling a child to build self-confidence and independence. PIFS knows how to help children transition successfully from home to school. Staffed by caring teachers from the PIFS staff and other area nursery schools, the PIFS Summer Camp features sand and water play, art, imaginative play, music and nature experiences and lots of outdoor time with other young children. The PIFS...

What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?  I have an 8-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. Maybe it sounds crazy but I love to travel with them. I love their anticipation and planning leading up to big trips; I love how excited they are at every stage of the journey; and of course I love exploring new places and exposing them to...

  During the Thanksgiving holiday, four-year-old John Colligan became tearful at every turn. He was feeling extra attached to his mother, Liz, and wanted to be with her all the time. She did make special times for each of her four children but loved time with all of them as well. The children were happy altogether too. Yet John suddenly began to separate himself from the board games, the family fun outdoors and even the cozy movie...

  Last week the N.Y. Times published an article entitled “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?” Nursery school teachers have been dismissed as glorified babysitters, paid low hourly wages with few other benefits, and expected to put up with chaotic working conditions. After all, they were only teaching preschoolers. They had no need for academic expertise in any field. Perceptions have changed. First, brain research done at Harvard with Project Zero showed the importance...

  The holidays are around the corner. As I leaf through the toy catalogs this year, in search of the perfect presents for my grandchildren, I am amazed by the number and variety of STEM toys. They are everywhere! Build your own robot or lunar lander or drone. Make electricity and learn about circuitry, magnets and gears. Learn coding to remote control your (fill in the blank). Take on an engineering project, simple or complex. I...

  Nolda and Alba have done it again! Each year, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the school’s chefs plan a wonderful and healthy lunch for the children and teachers that is above and beyond any concept of school food. Each year, the recipes change as new vegetables, different stuffings, and side dishes are tried out. [caption id="attachment_8941" align="aligncenter" width="288"] Chris carves more turkey as the first lunch group enjoys their meal.[/caption] Today’s lunch was no exception, as the...