Colliding

We bumped up against each other this week; sometimes in very playful ways and sometimes in more challenging ways because that is what you do when you live together. One of our favourite quotes by Loris Mallaguzzi, a widely respected and revered educator who was pivotal in the development of the Reggio philosophy of education, says “Sometimes we find ourselves together within the forest, sometimes we may get lost from each other, sometimes we’ll greet each other from far away across the forest; but it’s living together in this forest that is important. And this living together is not easy.”

We do not shy away from these moments for they are, after all, the stuff that deep relationships are made of. Working through differences in opinions, negotiating space for one self, and setting guidelines for oneself are all part of our time together. And, no, it isn’t always easy! But is most certainly valuable.

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Brianna, Ludwig and Zoë enjoy a snuggle after being apart for roughly two minutes while walking across the street!

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Levi and Ibrahim negotiate sharing this pile of logs. Levi is trying to execute an idea and Ibrahim has his own agenda. Taking time to listen to each other’s ideas and learning to share space is an important part of our time together.

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Kaya and Alison attempt to attach the rope to the tree branch. Kaya is frustrated the rope keeps falling off and seeks Alison’s help.

The Owls made a delicious kale soup by first harvesting kale from the garden, then cutting vegetables on our table outside. Each time we introduce a new food in school, we notice more children are willing to try it. Many children surprised themselves by actually liking it and one family reported back that their child wanted to make it at home so they went to the market, bought the ingredients and made their own batch- talk about heart warming!

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Ty, Nathan and Ezra are having a hard time deciding on the rules of the game they are making up as they go along; a game involving ninjas. With some support from me, they determine the rules and begin to act out their designated roles.

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A relaxing moment in the deep ‘pond’.

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Building with straws in small quarters requires spatial awareness, sensitivity and patience. These Owls are working hard to build their own designs while still respecting others need for space and building materials.

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We honour holidays in subtle ways at Nature School. Adding colour and small artefacts that echo the holiday are a couple of ways we address the diversity of our group. Happy New Year to all who celebrate Chinese New Year! We wish you a prosperous year!

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Inspired by a book about fire fighters (Thanks for putting it on the shelf, Kate!) Damon and Mason discuss how to build their own firehouse.

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Using wooden figurines, Misuzu shares the story of the Chinese Zodiac.

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Ludwig has determined he is stuck and shouts out ” I am stuck, I am stuck. Help me.” I am thinking he knows he is not stuck and wants to play a game. Where can we go with this next time?

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Damian finds a hiding spot during the hide n’ seek game. This game, initiated by the children themselves, is fun but also opens the door for a lot of learning as arguments arise about who is it, who has actually been seen, who is playing and not playing etc. Working through these conflicts is hard and tiring work for these young children.

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While at the Beaver Dam, this Eagle group meets Rich and Kevin from the City of Richmond. They kindly take the time to show our children a map of Terra Nova and chat with them about beavers. We are ever so grateful for these interactions with people in our community.

One morning, Nicole picked up her art work from the art cart to send home with her mother. She is clearly very proud of her work and asks if she can show it at circle. She displays her work for all to see and I begin to ask her questions about her process. The children seem interested in the colours, especially when Nicole exclaimed “It is a rainbow”. Building on this interest, we quickly went in the pod to fetch the outdoor chalk. The children enjoyed colouring on the bricks and the stumps. Look at their beautiful work!

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Tricia leads the Owl children in a Lion Dance.

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Jenny, Alison’s mother, offers to bring in all the ingredients to make a special cake for Chinese New Year. How lucky we are to have supportive and involved parents!

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Popcorn and an article are ready for our Parent Evening. We watched a wonderful documentary on a Forest School in Norway; we discussed risk and pushing boundaries. Thanks to all that attended!

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The Owls are busy making a fire pit at their camp site. Taking turns with the wagon, sharing the rocks and creating the design, open the door for lots of learning about compromise.

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Kingston and William play out a story line about bears and bridges. Tricia is gently connecting the two children as she helps to support the play without taking over.

‘Till the next post,

Emily