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Art Beyond Sight closing event at the New York Institute

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments


March 21st marked the end of Art beyond Sight Social Skills Program at the New York Institute for Special Education. Students gathered with music therapist, Christine Nasol and drama therapist, Liah Rozenman to celebrate their hard work. Students warmed up with a few games before performing their original song. As a graduation gifts, students received cool hats generously donated by Stetson-Bulova foundation.

Perfumer En Herbe: final session – making bath bombs!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

For the last session of the Perfurmer En Herbe’s program at the New York Institute for Special Education, Eliza made bath bombs with the students, who were first introduced to a “British candy”: sherbet dip. Made of citric acid, sugar and baking soda, the dip gives a licorice candy a fizzy and acidic quality as the students’ faces show on the pictures. The same principle is used in making the bath bombs.  Students mixed up citric acid, baking soda, grapeseed oil and cornstarch and of course added some essential oils of their choice for the fragrance. Although we all got a little dirty, it was worth it!

Perfumer en Herbe: body wash

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

The students were in for a treat again! They discussed body odor with Ms. Eliza , and learned why our smell changes depending on what we eat, how much we sweat, and whether our sweat comes  from exertion or fear. We learned that our feet have 250, 000 sweat glands and that our feet are especially prone to smelling bad because bacteria favor dark, warm, and humid environments.  Students discussed how this can be avoided from washing our feet and our shoes, to wearing cotton or socks made from other natural material so that our feet can breath.

Ms. Eliza also brought in some raw ingredients like verbena and lavender for students to explore and get their nooses into. We discussed how these plants and many others could also be used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Before moving on to making their own body wash, students smelled a scent from Paris in 1738! One can imagine the reactions.

Perfumer em Herbe: making natural lip balm

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

Already in its fourth week, the Art Beyond Sight Perfurmer en Herbe program focused on lip balm. Students discussed with Eliza why caring for our lips is important and learned the best ways to do so. Students were introduced to natural ingredients used in the making of lip balm such as Aloe Vera, beeswax, licorice and mint. Students got to smell and touch the raw materials and even tasted some of them too!

Using beeswax, they made their own lip balm and included fragrances like rose or peppermint.

Updates from the New York Institute For Special Education

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

It has been a very exciting  three weeks for our 3rd and 4th graders at the New York Institute for Special Education.  They left the  Studio Museum in Harlem excited and inspired and have used this inspiration to create self portraits made with everything from clay to collage.  All the students were excited to finally finish their amazing works of art and share them with each other.  It was empowering to see each child showcase their creativity through their self portraits, as well as compose poetry inspired by the museum visit.


In the next coming weeks, we will be self critiquing our work, as well as describing what emotions are conveyed through our art. Soon we will display our creative pieces, and add music and student-composed songs to accompany our self portraits. It’s such an exciting time for our 3rd and 4th graders at NYISE!

Perfumers en Herbe: hair care and sustainability

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

For the third week of the Perfumer en Herbe program, students continued to work on their label reading skills while discussing natural products, those containing chemicals and the impact not only on their hair and skin but also on the environment. Eliza invited the students to taste ginger snap cookies and coconut water to demonstrate that a natural products are edible and easily recognizable. She encouraged them to read labels before buying  products and to make sure that they can recognize and understand the ingredients in a product.

Students then created their own natural shampoo. Students first explored a variety of scents and discussed the different notes that every scent contains.  They also discussed how scents can affect mood.  Lemon was elected the “happy scent.” They learned that rosemary helps with focus and that ylang-ylang is “the poor cousin of the famous jasmine.”  Using a base of coconut and ginger shampoo, students added different oils that they enjoyed and put together their own creation!

Conflict resolution through storytelling

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

Third graders at Hyde Charter School explored a valuable story from Native American tradition.  As an introduction to the lesson, group members shook shaker-eggs to a constant beat while the music therapist introduced a lively melody with a Native American flute.  After the music, students shared their personal reactions.  They also discussed essential aspects of Native American life and culture.  The following Cherokee story was read out loud by the teacher and then discussed with the students:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

After reading the story, the teacher reinforced the idea that philosophy is a way of thinking or a way of understanding events, and that this story was an example of Cherokee philosophy.

Through group discussion, students identified the meaning of the metaphors in the story and shared their personal thoughts on what it meant to “feed one of the wolves”.   The teacher reinforced the notion that the most valuable lesson to be drawn from the story is that according to the wise old Cherokee, we choose which “wolf we feed”, or in other words, what behaviors we engage in. Finally the teacher reminded the students about the importance of constructive choices when facing difficult situations and conflict.


Art Beyond Sight’s Perfumer en Herbe: making hand cream

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

As part of  the Art Beyond Sight’s new program “Perfumer en Herbe,” students at the New York Institute for Special Education were introduced to skin care this week. Eliza and the students discussed the functions of skin, our largest organ, from protecting us, to regulating our body temperature, to helping us eliminate toxins.  They also reflected on the importance of skin care, applying sunscreen, and having a daily skin care routine. Students learned about ingredients and what information to look for on cosmetic labels.  They came up with a few rules of thumb including; if you cannot read the names of the ingredients, forget about it. They explored a variety of components included in hand lotion from oils to beeswax and Shea butter. Students were then invited to create their own hand cream.

and give each other a hand massage!

Standing Tall at PS 231 K

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

Over the past several weeks students at PS K231 have been making wonderful progress using the Standing Tall curriculum.

Classes X04 and V01 focussed on learning the concrete physical aspects of greetings like shaking hands and making eye contact through social and musical interactions. This has paved the way to introduce the importance of facial expressions and body language in social interactions.

Classes V11and V12 developed social skills through interactive musical exercises.  They have also learned about body language and conversation techniques through role play. This has led them to create collective songs with Music Therapist Aaron using garage band (on ipad) that center around the theme and vocabulary of Standing Tall.

Portraits, Greetings, and Handshakes at PS 102

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Lab for Learning | 0 comments

At PS 102 Ms. Marie began with discussing the camera and posing for the camera. The students explored the functions of the camera and took turns to taking pictures of each other.

Then they discussed the various elements of introduction, the importance of eye contact, firm handshake, and a smile.  Each group created a colorful tactile map which was used to practice racing small cars and to practice greetings.  The tactile map was complete with braille signage that students created themselves in a record time and without spelling mistakes!


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