Looking

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Captivated by a Great Blue Heron stalking its prey, Nicole and Nell watch intently as they wait for its next move.

We do a lot of “looking” at Nature School. Each day we hear children loudly exclaim “Look!” Whether it is outside or inside, children invite you to look with them; either at something that interests them or something they have created and want to proudly show you. The instinct to share and delight in looking together is so inherent and so important for our collective experiences. When someone says “Look!”, we always look for if we don’t we could possibly be missing the most important moment ever! In some of these photos, you will notice children looking with intention. Enjoy!

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More Great Blue Heron gazing- we are learning how to be still and quiet.

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This photo is very similar to one I took last year of Hannah and Kaya bending over on the road. Bodies bigger and intellect advanced but still the same curious cuties they were last year. They are investigating a slug.

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Alison and Mason enjoy a private conversation together. I did not see what provoked this shared moment and I wonder what activity created this bond?

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The Owls sketch a bird’s nest that is nestled in a nearby tree. Learning to look closely, focus on detail and develop fine motor skills are all learning benefits of sketching.

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Finn collects dandelions and later finds an old container to make a vase for them. He fills it with water and wants to give it to his mom. So thoughtful and kind. It is interesting that children recognize flowers are special and therefore make a special gift.

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Hayden enjoys carrying the pine collection along the pathways. Baskets and collecting is so appealing to children and adults. What else would Hayden be interested in collecting? How can we teach collecting without needing ownership- this idea is always in our minds at Nature School.

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Esuh and Keaton have fun pushing the bucket around and making roadways. The bucket is generally used for storage but Esuh creatively turns it into a vehicle.

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It is always fun to bring out new equipment, this set of blocks had been long forgotten. Nicholas, Will and Yohan spend a lot of time building, re-creating and then knocking them down. Building on uneven ground offers different challenges than building inside.

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Connor experiments with the water colour mixing. What else can we put in the dish to use with the pipettes?

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Elsa and Tricia enjoy a playful moment filled with laughter and later cuddles. It takes time and commitment to develop relationships; here we see the benefits of exactly this!

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Connor and Ariel cautiously straddle the ditch. Developing their muscle strength and balance as well as their friendship.

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Nathan, Nell, Miles and Ella paint their pestles in their small group. Based on their interest of crushing berries and other things, we are making personal mortar and pestle kits.

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Mason loves this vest and belt. In fact he loves it so much that he puts it on everyday! Is it the fringe? Is it the holder for items such as the kitchen utensils? Is it the fabric? How does it make him feel when he wears it?

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Beans, beans, beans- always beans to shell here at Nature School. Here we are shelling beans to give as gifts for parents that have spent extra time helping in our garden beds. Children learn to appreciate others and say thank you by giving something back.

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Ella watches with interest as Nell uses the sand tray. Copying a design card, Nell practices her pre- writing skills in a sensorial way.

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Spring-boarding off Ian’s work in his small group with Kate, Chloe invites Ian to think about the concept of shortest and longest.

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We are fortunate to have a new volunteer, Barry, in our program. Barry is the grandfather of one of our students from last year and has stayed connected through his second granddaughter in our Parent & Tot class. It is so lovely to have Elders in our program, sharing their knowledge and warmth.

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Ludwig becomes the door keeper to this house. This seems to be an ongoing theme that began outside in a tree fort area. There is a lot of learning around this as we discuss ideas around inclusion and group play.

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The Owls work on their self-portraits for their documentation binder covers. It is interesting to observe them looking in the mirrors, marvelling at their features. How can they translate what they see to paper?

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Pearson: looking closely

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Lorraine begins drawing her face but then quickly shifts to drawing what she identifies as herself as a female; a dress and fancy clothes. This makes me wonder about children’s image of themselves and how it develops.

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Chloe sets up a treasure hunt for one of the groups. Here they are reading their first clue. This idea stemmed from much dialogue about treasures, maps, “X” marks the spot and buried gems last week. Needless to say, these children are so excited to be on this adventure!

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Ashton is learning about weight as he uses the scale to weigh sticks and pine cones.

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Alison and Ken work together to create magnificent patterns on the walls and ceiling with the light projector.

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Our team sits down to discuss children’s interests and learning opportunities. Looking at photos together allows for collaboration and generates new ideas. Each educator has a different lens which helps to guide our practice.

‘Till the next post,

Emily