Earth Day at Nature School

When we declared we would celebrate Earth Day this week at Nature School, one child exclaimed  “Well every day is Earth Day at Nature School.” We couldn’t agree more! We hope that each and every day our children think about our Earth and its gifts. We all work hard to instil these beliefs through modelling, conversations and actions. This week we paid extra attention of course so we went on a specific clean up of some of our favourite spots. We also planted in all our classes as an offering to our Earth; learning how to take resources and replenish new ones is an important concept for life. We hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day too and continue to make every day Earth Day!

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The Eagles head out to the dyke to clean up unwanted debris. Children learned about what can make animals and water sick.

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We want to bring this back to school but are challenged with space to carry it. Perhaps the next week we can bring an empty wagon to continue our clean up.

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Patting ourselves on the back for our clean up work, the Eagles display the bucket of garbage collected on the shore.

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Many children are fascinated with the cracks in the dried up mud. The children notice this area used to be filled with wet, gooey mud but now is dried up. The change invites many discussions on weather.

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Lately, this area is one of great interest for Eagles and Owls. Here the Owls are making buildings and collecting rocks to use for their projects. The children are amazing at using what they have in front of them; exploring materials offered by the land. Thanks Earth!

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Bees are out foraging around the gardens which makes for a perfect opportunity to learn about these wonderfully intelligent insects! Many children are enamoured with the honey bee, as am I, so we begin to learn about the life cycle of the bee and life in the hive. Another Earth Day gift!

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Olina is the ‘teacher’ and Kaya and Nicole are her students. The day is rainy and stormy so a cozy blanket feels ever so good! Children often enjoy playing ‘school’. Interestingly it often seems to be re-acted with stories or circle time. I wonder if this is what they think is actually the learning part of their day from an adult perspective?

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Ethan, Nell and Ty care for their babies, displaying nurturing and caring qualities- how lovely!

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Shantelle generously supports Tia’s idea to spell her friend’s names with rock tiles. Tia is using her knowledge of sounds to put the letters together. The interest in letters often perks up at this time of the year; without the idea being pushed from us, the children instinctually want to know more about letter sounds. Our job is to scaffold this learning without taking the joy away.

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This small group loves stories so we are having fun acting out “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Purely accidentally, we find ourselves at the bridge we made long ago- a perfect set for this storyline. The children all take turns in different roles. The ending changes as the group offers creative solutions. Where will the story go this week?

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Observing our mason bee tubes is an important ritual at this time of year. As educators, it is vital that we allow for multiple opportunities to observe the same thing over and over, whether it be mason bees, flowers, or landscape. it is only though these careful and repeated observations that children can notice the subtle changes of the world around.

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Next to the mason bee tubes, lands this leatherjacket. The leatherjacket is fascinating to us and in its stillness, allows for us to really look at its body parts. Perhaps this interest will carry though this week? I wonder if the children see this insect in other places will they will identify it as the same insect?

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Playing a game called “Firekeeper” inside our classroom makes for a lot of laughter and excitement. The children are enjoying games with rules; learning how to listen to the instructions and follow through is a natural developmental stage for many children.

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The Owls plant nasturtiums for Earth Day. Worms always seem to take the spotlight though!

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Sweetness

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Ella excitedly points at a spider or other crawling insect ( not really sure). Alex is called over to share in the moment. Often, but certainly not always, moments are enhanced by sharing it with others.

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The Owls use their gross motor skills to climb, balance and nimbly move amongst the branches.

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Enjoying a quiet moment, Amelia, Katie and Jasmine look closely.

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A pile up on Tricia! Children and teachers enjoy being close to teach other, both physically and emotionally.

‘Till the next post,

Emily