Settling In

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We had some serious gardening work to do! The area that will soon be the home for our garlic needed to be weeded. The children were hard working and when Nikolas declared himself a “farmer”, soon we had many children proclaiming they too were farmers!  They worked together very well really, considering they are all just getting to know each other. Yes, soil was flung onto people’s shoulders, trowels scraped other’s hands and worms were fought over. But, all in all, there was harmony in the garden bed!

On another day, the children used magnifying glasses to discover the treasures that lie within. They used them both in the garden and walking on the pathways. Needless to say, it slowed the walk down immensely which was absolutely lovely. I realized it sort of gave them an intention, a focus for their walk. I know in yoga class many instructors will invite you to set an intention for that particular class- a practice I find quite beneficial. I wonder if children can set an intention for their walks and carry them through?

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Katie and Amelia bond over the tiniest of worms

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A small gesture that sends the message ” I like you”.

The conversation I overheard  in the garden bed during the Owl class.

Amelia: I found a worm.

Finn: I found a weed. A weed!

Colin: I found a woodbug.

Sola: I found a weed-look!

Ezra: Can I see?

Sola: It’s dead. Do you know what that means? It means someone stepped on it.

Charleigh: There is hair on my plant.

Katie: (Holds out her hand to reveal a worm)

Kingston: Can I see it? Katie, do you need help?

Katie: (shakes her head, no)

A few other pictures that speak to our day–

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Improving our cardio running up hill and coordination running downhill.

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Kingston looks closely at a scarlet runner bean.

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Mr. Lai gave us 4 poles of beans to take off the vine and shell.

After discussing how we wanted to introduce colours to the children, we thought it would be best to slowly investigate one colour at a time. By allowing children to work with one colour, they can explore in a different way than if presented with a lot all at once. They will come to see this colour for all its worth- what shades, hues, tones and tints can be created? What does blue convey? What in my world is blue? Kate gently asked questions as she encouraged them to discover the beauty of blue.

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Heidi and I took the children on a new path, and like all our walks, it lead us to an unexpected little sanctuary. I invited the children to follow me into this little space. It was small so we all had to squeeze in to make sure we all could fit.  Honestly it wasn’t anything extraordinary but somehow it felt it anyway. We took out our sketch boards so the children could draw what they saw, heard, smelled and felt. Rylan coined the space as a “Tree Cottage” and since we are trying to encourage children to begin mapping the land for themselves, this is now what it is referred to for the time being. We remained in the Tree Cottage for a long time; Damon and Tia found sticks and started to draw with them, watching in awe as brown colouring swept across their pages.

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Max map his own map.

The Owls enjoyed a few days of loose parts on the gravel–

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Believing in the importance of following through on our experiences and teaching our children to reflect on them, we laid out the vegetables from our last weeks’ harvest. We encouraged the children to investigate them and then draw representations of them.  Again, we worked slowly. First we left the vegetables intact for several days and then we cut them open to reveal their insides.  Many children are able to identify these vegetables- will they be able to transfer this knowledge when they are in the grocery store or in someone else’s garden?

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Ryan spent a long time drawing his carrot.

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Another wonderful week at Terra Nova Nature School!

Emily