Fresh Eyes

I suppose this is why we have spring break- to refresh, rejuvenate, restore. Ahhhh,  we are feeling ready to enjoy the last few months of this school year! Over the break, Kate and I spent some time working on an online outdoor school training course (which has many more modules to complete-yikes!). The course content is not necessarily new material but it is inspiring as it offers an opportunity to think about our beliefs and practices as outdoor educators. Some of the theories have sparked new ideas for me and overtime I hope to incorporate them into my teaching. It is always healthy to see things with fresh eyes; looking closely with curiosity, intrigue and a sense of wonder. Doesn’t this sound like a perfect way to look at our new spring season?

Speaking of fresh eyes and looking closely, the Richmond Nature Park generously donated 25 pairs of beautiful children’s binoculars to us! It was quite a coincidence because we were raising money in our fundraising initiatives to purchase binoculars (the children’s request). Then, one day, we received the call about the donation- uncanny!

On Monday, both the Eagles and the Owls, were involved in the opening of the packages and learned how to use the binoculars properly; how to take them out of the case, use the neck cord safely while wearing them, and wind the cord around the centre to put them back in the little pouch. We discussed the importance of treating our equipment respectfully. And then we became spring detectives, looking for tiny things and far away things- what a gift!

Using our binoculars:

The children are invited to guess what was in the box before opening it. Brianna is shaking it to hear if there is a sound.

Enjoying being together outside for our first week back:

Misuzu reads a story while the children finish their snack.

Shantelle takes a moment to get down to the children’s level to listen to their ideas about what they are seeing. Beautiful!

Misuzu brought in a very tricky puzzle; several groups of children had a go at it.

Heidi overheard some children wondering about the hearts in our body so she brought in diagrams of human hearts. What will this provocation lead to?

Heidi’s photos and reflections…..

Soyon observes the image of a human heart closely. No one has informed Soyon of what this unusual organ is and I am interested to know what her understanding of it is.

Elsa and Kingston pretend to be a mother and father sea otter. They have a small rock that is their “baby.” Elsa and Kingston coparent as otters, an animal that Misuzu had introduced during a game in first circle. Even though the game had herons and fish, animals we are more closely familiar with, the children seemed most interested in otters.

Will K. explores buoyancy as he finds a piece of lumber that he can float. He places wood chips and pebbles atop its surface. I wonder if Will had tried floating any other items prior to this discovery?

Until walking close to them, I didn’t know which back was Leo’s and which was Will’s. Unintentional twins today!

William and Kingston race through the water splashing water up around them. I wonder if they notice a difference in how much energy they exert moving through the water versus on a dry pathway?

Annabelle stays dry atop an overturned bathtub. “I am a princess!” She announces. What is Annabelle using this tub as? Is there a reason that she waited to stand on the tub only once the other children had left?

‘Till the next post,

Emily