On and Off

The rain was really on and really off this week! Some moments the sun warmed us up with its rays so that our layers were peeled off and other times we zipped right up as much as we could to shelter ourselves from its pelting drops. Working with the weather, not against it, is what we do each and every day here at Nature School and I think it is an amazing way to live and feel very alive!

IMG_0796

A new game for the Eagles- matching animal clues to their animal card. It is quite challenging but we see they are engaged and are using all their knowledge to come up with the answers. Perhaps we shall try the same exact animals again this week and see what transpires.

IMG_0800

A common theme for this group– they often find something to sit on to line up in a row like this. It is playful, fun and has meaning for them as they pretend to be kittens in a row or on a train.

IMG_0806

Snack in the glorious sunshine in the Healing Garden.

IMG_0809

Tyler is determined to finish zipping up his snack by himself despite the zipper getting stuck. This relates to our image of the child as competent and skilled. Making time for Tyler to finish his task allows him the opportunity to develop his fine motor skills and well as develop his pride.

IMG_0817

Ludwig invites his friends Mason, Ken, Zoë and Brianna to cover him up with gravel. Doe he enjoy the weight of the rocks? Is he excited about ‘bursting’ out of the covering? His friends find it very funny- will they want a turn too?

IMG_0818

Making Valentines Day envelopes to put on our bins in the pod. Friendship is a a theme that weaves into our curriculum all year but it is fun to mark its importance with a special day. Being a good friend takes a lot of thought and consideration, for both children and adults. Talking about it and taking positive action is supported at school.

IMG_0821

Owen is completely captivated by this worm and then notices there is a small plant and exclaims ” I think the worm is going to eat this plant. I am going to watch it.”

IMG_0822

The Owls hard at work weeding one of our garden beds in preparation for future planting.

IMG_0826

Worms, soil, weeds, and beetle larvae all provide for learning and fun in the garden.

IMG_0828

Ariel helps to take out the rotting pumpkin vines. Hands on learning like this teaches about the life cycle of a plant and the seasons in a very real and concrete way.

IMG_0830

Finn discovers a carrot and pulls it from the soil. We are equally amazed by its diameter and length. Perhaps not so delicious though?

IMG_0833

This campfire play continues on in the Owl group. They have set aside their loose parts for this play and I wonder if they will build it again this week. It is important for our staff team to bring in something new to continue the play and see where it can go. What shall we add in?

IMG_0835

Participating in household chores is important for our children to learn. The Owls help take in our green bin, recycling and garbage can.

The Eagles went to Quilchena Elementary to visit tour buddies. Our children had a chance to see ‘the big kids school’ and learned how to respect the hallways and classroom settings. It was a wonderful day filled with documentary video clips of two very inspiring explorers, a look around their classroom and projects, snack and a fun and wild gym time! Thanks to Mr Vines and the buddies for the invite!

IMG_0853

What teachers put up not their walls reveals a lot about their teaching style. Mr Vines creates an open atmosphere of learning for all.

IMG_0868

After the videos, Mr Vines asked the buddy teams to think about the explorer’s journey and wonders if they were mainly driven by knowledge, hope or friendship. He then requests them to show this concept by using their loose parts. Some interesting work develops!

IMG_0869

IMG_0872

IMG_0873

IMG_0884

Nathan spends a long time trying to make ‘something to catch the wind.”

IMG_0885

Andy spends most of his indoor time throughout the week on building in this area. By offering the same materials for an extended period of time, children have a chance to extend their own play.

IMG_0887

Outdoor painting in the Beaver Group.

IMG_0827

IMG_0903

Gifted a natural bird seed feeder by Levi’s family, the Owls return the next day to see if the birds ate the seeds. The general consensus is that another animal ate the seeds and “left a big mess!”

IMG_0898

Ella and Damian dismantle the rice sensory tray and pour the rice onto the mat, pretending it is sushi. Next cooking project in the works!

IMG_0904

Working together to complete this tricky puzzle, Cyrus and Owen patiently put in one piece at a time. Working together builds friendship and confidence as when Cyrus says ” I cannot find it”, Owen replies ” I can help”.

IMG_0906

The Owls making Valentine cards.

IMG_0907

Yohan and Finn make tracks for their cars. Will this grow into something more?

IMG_0909

Heidi finds some lichen on a fallen branch and wonders what kind it is so she opens the field guide to compare. Abby is curious as well and helps Heidi to match the photo to the specimen.

IMG_0912

Conor pretends he is a pirate and uses the kaleidoscope as his viewer.

IMG_0913

Chaos in the pod as our wonderful parents help their children put Valentines in their envelopes.

‘Till the next post,

Emily