All Filled Up

Our minds and spirits are all filled up from the two workshops we attended! We are feeling amazingly inspired and all agree we are on the right pathways in terms of our teaching and curriculum but wow, we have lots of exciting work to do ahead! We met some incredible educators who are doing innovative and responsive work within the field of education. We are all grateful for these training opportunities as they help us to reflect, grow, contemplate and connect to ourselves and each other in new and meaningful ways.

The Friday Pro- D Conference, attended by Kate, Heidi and myself, was hosted by the Vancouver Reggio Consortium with the presenters coming from Opal School of the Children’s Portland Museum. The conference title “Powerful Literacy and the Power of their Ideas”, truly encompasses their message: literacy is much larger than how we usually define it; children are intelligent, sensitive and knowledgable human beings who can take on new challenges and create endless possibilities when allowed the time and freedom to explore. We love this way of thinking as it relates to our “Image of the Child” and will continue to use it as a way of guiding our curriculum.

On Saturday, Kate and I attended a symposium, “Growing More Knowledge” at Royal Roads University. It was equally interesting and inspiring, in different ways. Focusing on Forest Schools, Nature Programs and Outdoor Learning, we heard and engaged with other educators in the field. It is refreshing to hear other’s journeys of transforming their classes into outdoor learning experiences. Being in a room full of people who believe in the importance of place-based education  (our passion), respect the wide variety of ways of knowing based on Indigenous teachings and incorporating a Reggio model of philosophy, was soul filling indeed!

When you look through these pictures, I invite you to see children as we do- capable, creative, intelligent, humourous, engaging and fun to be around!

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The Eagles encounter a special gift along a path- someone has scattered white stones on the gravel. It is fascinating to watch many of our Eagle children quickly pounce on the stones and begin to collect the stones for themselves. More to come on this topic in future documentation!

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With some discussion, children begin to create designs with the stones. This is a ‘snail’.

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Hannah and Nell decide to leave the stones and play ‘house. They are sleeping in their beds.

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Some Eagles work together to make one long line. Heidi, Kate and I are so intrigued by this work, we will definitely be capturing our observations and thoughts in another form of documentation.

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Is it a mouse? A rat? A slug? A raccoon? These were some of the guesses that are offered as we watch something moving under the soil and the weed fabric.

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Ayleen is cautious about crossing the ditch. She waits for a long while, hoping a hand will reach out to pull her up. Kate and I stand by, watching and encouraging her to try by herself. Finally, with only a small hand support from Kate, she does it! How will this confidence affect her in other areas, physically and emotionally?

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Tyler, Mason and Ian are investigating clover; they ask before they pick, a Nature School rule!

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Miles is our ‘soap manager’ for this hand washing session. We encourage children to take on new roles and see themselves as responsible and capable. The more they can do as a group, the better community they make for themselves.

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After asking if it is safe, Esuh picks dandelion leaves and keeps them until he is in the Cottage. Here he is having his first taste. We are so fortunate our land has so many offerings. The lowly dandelion is actually quite the gem!

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This is an exciting day as we find a branch and the children offer theories of where it came from and how it came to have fallen off. We are impressed with their ideas and knowledge.

‘Till the next post,

Emily