Transcending the First Layer

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Andy went off the path to touch this tree. I am not sure what sparked his interest but look how gently he is running his hands along the bark. What will happen next time he walks by this same tree?

We had an exciting week at Nature School! This week, our staff spent much time dialoguing amongst each other to uncover the multiple layers of children’s thinking. Upon hearing a comment or witnessing a certain reaction or behaviour, we have been extremely diligent about making sure we do not take that one piece at face value. We asked a lot of questions– which led to more questions. We explored responses together; agreeing on some, disagreeing on others. We had healthy and respectful debates on programming. This work– the work of teaching young children, is so rewarding and energizing!

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On Tuesday, Olina cut pieces of yarn and pretended they were noodles. The following day we offer her a bowl of hard pasta to cut into pieces. Nicole joins in and soon there is a bowl of short noodles ready to be cooked for our lunch. Perhaps this can lead to other discussions about pasta? Maybe it is time to bring my pasta maker into class?

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The Studio offers children a place to discover. These four children continue to work on their boats- they are adding dimension and new layers. Will it float? Will the colour remain steadfast? What is the best way to attach the foam pieces to the wood?

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Ty demonstrates keen self-awareness as he takes a break from the energetic building area to find a quiet moment to himself.

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In preparation for our big buddy day, photos from our last visit together are put on a slide show. Kaya is intently examining the photos, enjoying seeing herself and her buddies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A new idea emerges for us… while children are waiting for others to arrive at Gathering Circle, we offer children a clipboard for drawing. Everyone is very busy translating what they see in front of them to paper.

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Adam and Ella share a laugh. It is so wonderful when children share humour- it can deepen friendships or even create new ones. Could this be the start of a new one? Or , will it just be that one singular moment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ella and Anna Sophia are making up stories about their turtles. Like their classmates, they are covering them up with mud. I wonder if we bring other play animal figures outside, will they be inclined to cover them up as well?

 

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Mason and Joel,having just watched others do the same, cover the turtles with mud. Are they trying to protect the turtles? Are they making a secondary shell? Are they using the mud like a blanket?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jack enjoys collecting! Beans, rocks, pine cones- he loves finding his treasures and carrying them around. What it is about collecting things do we like? What do you collect?

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Heidi opens a discussion about nests. The Owl classes have shown an interest in nests; we are trying to figure out what interests them about nests? Is it about who lives in them or what are they made of? Is it more about the idea of being safely hidden from others? This interest began long ago so we are having fun exploring ideas with the children.

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Kingston is constructing using tape, paper and a ruler. With this simple activity, he is developing his fine motor skills and creativity. Allowing him time on his own promotes independent thinking.

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Finn and Sophia work together in the building area. If this building is left there, will they return to it the next day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After a long, long walk we find “clay”. Our group works hard to dig, scoop, rip, tear, pull weeds and clay in the area. Due to time constraints we had to leave despite the protests from the group. They want to return this week. Nikolas said he needs a shovel so perhaps we can bring a few spades.

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This small group really bonds during this long walk. Each child needs help at some point and it is lovely to see the younger helping the older and vice versa.

Looking forward to a new week!

‘Till the next post,

Emily