Hilltown Families


Engage in creative free play during school vacation week by visiting the Berkshire Museum for 10 Days of play, an annual celebration that honors the importance of play in the everyday lives of folks of all ages. Featuring special activities and the limitless creative possibilities offered by current exhibit If/Then, 10 Days of Play provides an excellent opportunity for families to draw inspiration from unique surroundings!

A wonderfully innovative project, run by Professor Thomas E. Wartenberg’s “Philosophy for Children” class in Mount Holyoke College, gets the documentary treatment on WGBY Channel. The project is built on sparking intellectual organizing, critical thinking and the development of core philosophies in kids. It’s a wonderfully enriching aspect of community-based learning. The project actually gets put into practice! Read on to learn more, and to check out the broadcast schedule.

Using film to teach children about philosophy, “What’s the Big Idea?” helps to promote the development of critical thinking skills in middle school learners. Providing them with resources from which to gain philosophical and educational perspective on challenging life situations, the project encourages students to become empowered by learning to draw their own meaningful conclusions through powerful thought. Utilize the project’s resources to tackle peer pressure, bullying, and other tough stuff through philosophical discussion!

How about that “thinking outside the box” concept. It can be an irritating buzzing fly of a term when you are not in an environment to truly stimulate invention, innovation and creativity. Enter: Spark!Lab that drives kids to jump right out of that box and mine the “ideas” part of their creativity, in an environment that demands innovative application. It’s a hands-on learning opportunity that’s fun and innovating! There are only three in the country so far- and one is coming to the Berkshire Museum in Pittfield. Lucky us!

Public radio stations offer a daily stream of information, bringing with it nearly endless learning potential. Listen Current offers educators short public radio news stories alongside resources for facilitating learning amongst teens and tweens, providing support for news-based learning. Using Listen Current’s resources, middle- and high-school-aged students can tackle topics in social studies, science, and english/language arts – all through the entry point of current events.

Greater consideration these days is being given to the power of a single word. Is it because of marketing where everything is analyzed for hidden messaging, or is it that people are more sensitive to how words can empower or suppress? Whatever the reason, the result is that we are stimulated to be more creative when considering what words we choose to communicate.

And now comes the learning opportunity for children: words were never meant to exist within rigid mechanical boundaries. They have personality. What you’ll read here is how to really expand on some creative thinking for your child to build richer vocabulary with deeper meaning inspired by a Vocabulary Parade where children are encouraged to bring their words to life! Find out fun ways to broaden your child’s range of vocabulary, and then parade them all together…

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