This week was one of building confidence– within ourselves, in others and the world around us. Children worked at trusting themselves whether it be physically or emotionally; they put trust in their teachers, their buddies and in the landscape. The Owls spent a lot of time testing their physical boundaries and the Eagles devoted time to challenging their minds and spirits as they met up with two buddy groups. Creating openings for learning in these areas is important and holds great value.
Wyatt wants desperately to climb the tree but once he is up his nerves take over. He starts to giggle nervously, feeling unsure of his balance. After some reminders about deep breathing and stillness, he finds his place and confidently perches on the branch. Sophia is eager to scamper up the trunk.
Haymie challenges himself. He really wants to try this maze but he is very uncertain about his ability to balance. This exercise takes a lot of motor planning and coordination. Haymie works through his fear with the help of a gentle hand held by his side for reassurance. How will he tackle this next time?
The Owls enjoy spinning each other around. There are many negotiations between them as they determine who is spinning, who is on the spinner and stopping when someone calls out. As an educator, we must remember to step back and let children figure out their own set of rules.
Mason bravely wobbles along this rope, determined to reach the other side. HIs disposition is calm as he moves through the movements of reaching with his hands and then bringing his feet forward.
Without talking, Louie and Thomas work together to design a chute. Often we need very few words to express a thought. How do these children communicate their ideas?
The Owls experiment together using their outdoor materials. Sometimes playing together, sometimes working side by side, there are moments of passivity and moments of conflict. Each and every moment is an opportunity for learning.
The Eagles also have time to play in the Healing Garden. Uninterrupted play, “slow play”, is something we value here at Nature School.
Kaya and Damon work hard to keep the wheelbarrows balanced. After several top overs, they learn how to place their weight evenly. Will this skill transfer to a larger wheelbarrow?
We had some work to do to get ready to meet the culinary students from the Northwest Culinary Academy and Chef Ian Lai for a different kind of buddy session. Our preschoolers are going to teach them about the lands of Terra Nova! To prepare, we went back to our mapping inquiry from earlier this year and asked the children what is important to them on the land. What do they care about? What areas influence them and what do they know about that place? Rather than focusing on their actual knowledge, we wanted to focus on the process of developing their connections and schemas. It was a very interesting and revealing activity.
Children are sketching their ideas about this place, outlining what is important to them.
While in the area most children have termed “Tree Tunnel”, Olina draws “this” tree. She pulls me over to show me that her bark matches the bark on “this” tree!
Hannah explains her drawing to Heidi. Heidi uses skillful questions to bring out more of Hannah’s ideas.
Ty immediately takes to his big buddy, holding his hand and later going on his back as they bend down to pick remnant carrots.
We lead the culinary students to one of our garden beds and share our knowledge with them. We teach them about compost, garlic, carrots. parsnips, bugs and more. Perhaps most importantly we show them we are curious about the world around us and we are very deep thinkers!
Cleaning up after ourselves is a life long lesson. When we use tools, we wash them and care for them properly.
Another day brings the gift of more community connections- our Quilchena Buddies! It was a very VERY wet day and we were so proud of our buddies for biking over in the downpour. Going through challenging moments together deepens relationships.
Mr Vines is our first “Eagle” in our game. Similar to hide n’ seek, children find a place to cache themselves without the eagle seeing them. This game develops awareness and agility.
Cooking and eating together creates a family feeling- it is a great way to get to know each other on new levels. For a cooking activity, we are making Vietnamese salad rolls. For some students, the ingredients are new and unfamiliar. It is a pleasure sharing new flavours with them.
Will the students get inspired to make these at home?
A full and most rewarding week!
‘Till the next post,