Under the Sea

May 31, 2023 | Grants, Our Stories

Instructional Coach, Fatima Vasquez, walks us through the “Under the Sea Classroom” program at NEISD’s Pre-K Academy. This outdoor learning area came to life with a 2021 NEEF Innovative Grant of $3,297.34. She points out that the outdoor learning area has sea-related items and decorations. There are structures the children can enter, like boats, covered cabana chairs, and sandboxes. Children can play with water tables, paint easels with paints, dress-up items, books, puppets, and other items.

In the outdoor classroom, you see the children’s sense of wonder as they learn through play. In the sandbox, there are buried jewels with numbers on them. The children are exposed to numbers and books at an early age, preparing them for kindergarten. At another table, there are placemats with sea settings and numbers. The teacher asks the student what number is featured. The young girl says “four” and then places four plastic fish on the mat.

Fatima says, “All the sensory items that we have, it’s for them to develop those fine motor skills that they need.” Not a single child is bored in the Under the Sea Outdoor Classroom! Every one of them was happily engaged in activities that built their social and learning skills.

NEEF provides innovative grants to support NEISD teachers and students and prepare them for success in school and life!

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