Musings from the Educators
Alix: April was such a remarkably beautiful month, that it almost felt like vacation! The abundance of life around us in the forest, the warmer temperatures, and the strong bonds that have developed between all of us (educators, children and parents too) made April a beautiful month for exploring. With Earth Day in April, it was a month for us to examine our role as stewards of the forest, and to think of ways to help keep the forest healthy. The children have definitely developed a strong tie to the place where they learn and play, and often don’t need Heather or I to remind others about showing respect and care for the forest, and each other. Rather, they give each other friendly reminders, and have dialogue surrounding issues where not everyone agrees. These Seeds have grown so much since September – and we still have two months to continue growing! I’m looking forward to what May will bring!
Heather: As a new teacher, I’ve only had a few opportunities to watch kids grow and develop from September until now. Stepping back, I am truly awed and excited when I see how far these little ones have come. The lifelong learning habits, social strengths and character they’ve matured so far are so neat to witness. And I have you to thank for sharing this special time in your child’s life with us, and I recognize that most of the learning they do is at home, so well done! I’ve especially noticed their development of inquiry into the natural world. They have more questions, observations and interactions with the world down on the ground and high in the skies. They picked up a whole repertoire of species names and edible food that they can positively identify. And they seem to revel in sharing their knowledge and excitement about this world with others. What a great achievement, and there’s two more months of it to come! (Yes, I’m already starting to feel sad)
Themes from April
Fire Making and Exploration at Comox Lake
Thanks to Emily from the Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society (and also Maeve’s mom) we had a great day at Comox Lake starting a fire, making bannock and exploring the steep and tricky trails!
Frogs, Pond Life and other Springtime Discoveries
April is surely a time alive with wonders of birth, sprouting and growth. We spent the first few weeks delving deep into the murky waters of the pond by the Bridge classroom. There we found a plethora of insects, tadpoles, salamander eggs, not to mention the shoots of many young and intriguing plants. We focused on the frog life cycle, and learned about tadpoles and froglets. Iris’s family brought us some tadpoles from a pond near their house, and we look forward to watching as they develop!
Earth Day and the Great Plastic Round Up We were lucky to have Jarrett join us to read the book he co-authored “The Great Plastic Round Up” leading up to Earth Day. It sparked conversation about what we can do to help our planet stay healthy, and specifically how we need to take care of the forest that we have grown to love. This is one of the main proponents of Nature School – place based learning, which creates a deep connection between the students and the space they learn in. In order for people to care about the Earth (or forest), they must first love the Earth (and forest)!
New Shovels, New Classroom! As our Seeds grow stronger and stronger, we are able to explore further and further from the pavilion. This month we made it to the Log Jam classroom, which is a perfect place to use our fabulous new shovels, which were generously donated to our group! The children really enjoy using them, with many asking to bring them home!
Community of Learners
Learning, growing and sharing experiences since September has resulted in a group of close-knit preschoolers – which is one of our aims! These kids are so capable – they know our routines, expectations and are such keen observers that us educators can take another step back and watch them lead the way! We’ve seen friends delegate cone placement, friendly behaviour reminders and taking the reins on leading play and exploration.