Gifts

It was a special week here at Nature School–we had our first parent meeting! This was not a parent meeting about housekeeping details, registration, or clothing. This meeting was about coming together to discuss education: our thoughts, hopes and dreams, our concerns, our vision. Adhering to our beliefs and core values, we invited parents to join us in partnering together as co- educators to build a community around our children that fosters their learning. As an introduction, we talked about the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach and how we can apply them in our own context. We challenged parents to think about why they came to the meeting and where they see themselves in this journey.

Another incredible gift this week was a painting by Lindsay, a mother in our program. Lindsay had approached us long ago about offering a gift to the school. We walked the land with her and discussed the animals with whom we co-inhabit this space .  She presented her work at our parent meeting and spoke to the meaning and symbolism of the work. It was a joyous moment for us all and we are so humbled and grateful for this gift. Lindsay, thank you for your artistry and kindness.

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The original piece by Lindsay Heller. Stay tuned for the name plaque in the near future.

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This room is set up for our parent evening. Cozy, isn’t it? We love this Cottage!

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Parents share ideas in small groups.

In both the Eagle and Owl classes, the children connected to a new place this week. The Eagles call it “Eagle Tunnel”, the Owls have not named it anything as of yet. It has been interesting to watch as each child connected to a different element of this pathway and found pleasure in varying activities. What made this place special to them? For the Eagle class,  perhaps it resonated deeply because it reminded them of Tree Tunnel. The Owls seemed attracted to the “fort” which soon became a bat cave. Children love hiding amongst the brush- what is it about being hidden that is so inherently exciting?

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Chloe is invited to play along with Hannah, Damon and Damian. The log becomes a train and a boat. Balancing on uneven surfaces, negotiating getting on and off and making up stories are all learning outcomes from this one simple log.

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The same log… different group… different ideas!

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The fort has a small opening on either side which leads to lots of in and out. Here we see children learn how to move through the brush without getting hurt while developing their social play skills.

 

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An impromptu sketch time allows for everyone to express their ideas on paper. We have noticed that many children are often drawing the same thing over and over, with very subtle changes or modifications. It seems they need time to assimilate their ideas and make sense of their work.Our team has been wondering about how to support and develop their ideas further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heidi invites the children to play a new game she created. The group is ready to follow rules, a new stage in their development.

The Eagle class played a variation of the Blindfold Game. The leading partner led them to a tree; once at the tree, children were encouraged to touch, smell and listen. After, partners created tree rubbings together. In order to make a rubbing, the children had to be patient, figure out how to hold the paper and discover the best way to make a mark.

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Taking advantage of the beautiful, sunny day, the Owls are weeding one of the garden beds.

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The Eagles turn the soil and pull weeds

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Jasmine proudly shows Cyrus “the longest worm ever”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are looking at the sky”. I love this photo– the children are so comfortable on this land, even the gravel paths. How glorious to be able to take a moment in your day, lie down and gaze at the sky. We can certainly learn from these small folks.

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Ezra is concentrating on his work, even as his friends play around him. How do we learn to attend to a task without disruption?

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Sola explores the fort. I wonder if she prefers to run through it without stopping– is there a reason why she didn’t stop half way through?

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Ella and William are enjoying working in close proximity (look at their feet touching). What will happen when they get up? Will they play together?

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Using their muscles to tackle this slippery climber, the boys engage in a dynamic pretend play. Thomas seems to be enjoying Kingston and Ezra’s sense of humour!

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Community spirit- Ezra’s grandpa starts to build the shed. Soon, Ella’s dad and mom arrive to help.

 

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Bonnie is doing a great job reading the assembly instructions and uses the heavy drill- yay Bonnie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tea, soup, and cookies. Damon is serving a bowl of soup to Nicole. At what point in our development does it become harder to make believe?

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This friendship has been growing this week and is demonstrated in an act of trading jackets. These small interactions are the foundations of relationships. Will they trade another article of clothing or an object next week?

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Kate, Heidi and I spend several hours looking at our notes and documentation. We are discussing the children’s interests, where to take the ideas and how to manage our systems.

‘Till the next post,

Emily