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Partner Play – Making New Friends

September 16, 2020 | Clara Buckley

Every year Rivers Class parents look forward to their child making new friends. The teachers provide opportunities for students to get to know each other.

Everyone has a partner for activity time. With this partner each child visits the teacher activities – this week drama, drawing, and cutting.


After completing the teacher activity the children choose an independent activity with a friend or by themselves.

Research shows that intentionally forming small groups (such as partner pairs) facilitates conversations that deepen student and teacher learning. Partner pairs nurture preschool students’ capacity to learn together, practice communication, develop friendships, learn to compromise.

To deepen conversations at home, ask your child:
“Who was your partner during activity time? (We’re beginning to learn names)
What did you and your partner work on together?

Clara Buckley

Preschool Art Specialist; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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