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Week 8 Spring Session

Updated: Jun 9

What Happened?

A magical week of learning and growing through play in one of our planet's most beautiful forests. Children's voices rang with wonder at discovering insects, birds, flowers, frogs and fish. Accompanying the joyful moments were more difficult feelings. These other big feelings were expressed, felt, and released. Some big feelings were from separation anxiety from a parent, others were from conflicts with peers, or frustration with rules like taking turns and sharing materials. All part of the learning of social skills, emotional regulation and being part of a group. We also learned more about identifying stinging nettle and poison ivy to stay safe. We adjusted our perimeter boundary to stay well away from harmful plants. We continued to write our names on lists to organize ourselves to take turns with popular activities like riding the hammock swing and using the tools.





Monday


A rainy morning perfect for puddle jumping, catching rain water from the tarp, and a bucket brigade to refill the puddles with river water.

Water, mud and lava tiger play continued into the warmer, sunny afternoon with teachers Ian and Chey. They took care of the lava tiger, they brought him to the doctor, fed him, and gave him a bath! A crib was made for the baby doll and Milo & Isaac threw water up in the river and tried not to get splashed. Gwen made a guessing game “is there a bowl buried under the sand?” The girls made a fire to make dinner, while others played train ride on a log.


Teamwork: bucket brigade to make a big puddle!


Tuesday

Lots of hide and go seek blended with ghost, animal and dinosaur role play in the morning. Construction and demolition were popular, with Elio leading the way sharing his extensive knowledge of tools. The afternoon was full of potion and army soup making led by Jackson and his grandmother!



Wednesday (younger group)

Demolition, excavation and construction, feats of strength, and fishing were popular again. Ronin pretended to be a fish caught in the line! Lucy caught a giant log! Daisy joined Elio's work crew hammering nails. We measured lengths of fishing line multiple times to make sure Thomas and Milo had the same length. Mira brought a velcro dart game led by her mother. We continued to write our names on lists to organize ourselves to take turns with popular activities like riding the hammock swing and using the tools. Milo created and led a game pointing out some bear tracks. He said “don’t worry I know how to handle this. And it’s NOT dog tracks, it’s bear tracks” and the kids kept going over to it then running like a bear was chasing them 🐻 We modified our meeting talking stick routine in the afternoon to share one idea and one or two feelings, with no snacks and inside the giant pink fabric loop. It was very successful!




Wednesday (older group)

A wonderful day with sketching, garter snake discovery, and games. The group discussed what to do for their upcoming last sessions. Many are interested in farming and fishing so will organize trips to Heartbeet farm and fishing in Thompson park. More details coming soon!



Thursday

We stayed at our spot by the water all day. Big group of 11 this AM with lots of action!

Minnow and moths were captured, saw lots of patience/sharing. Hide and seek. Cheetah tag which turned into jaguar tag once Milo re-identified his stuffy after consulting "Who Would Win:Wild Warriors" for the proper classification) The whole "Who Would Win" series is absurd in a way... they pit 2 animals that don't even live on the same continent and imagine who would win... but kids seem to LOVE it.

Some mud art, practice and play tying ropes and the usual potion concoctions.

I read Who Put The Pepper In The Pot..

We saw lots of what I’d described as emotional waves from the children today.. fine one minute and outbursts the next... it was a bit odd like that today.

The bugs matched the emotions as they were annoying and present at certain times and absent at others.



Friday

A smaller group today enjoyed minimal mosqitoes, a harmless crane fly, butterflies, damsel flies and sunshine back at our original riverbank location. We welcomed Seth, a friend of Elio's and missed seeing Parker and Nisla. Many children investigated an ant colony in a dead log watching the ants carry their eggs. We wondered if ant eggs are edible for humans. Henry and Stephano enjoyed cutting and ripping a log with the saw and their hands. Stephano was excited to find a centipede to show his brother! Zoe helped him show it to Santino.


Friday morning crew re-enacted Jaguar v Skunk from the Who Would Win compilation 3 times at lunch time. Milo's request. Zoe was the skunk and the rest were jaguars. It reminded me of Pokemon battles.


What Does It Mean?

The excitement of spring discoveries and warmer weather fuels the learning of the children as they connect with nature, themselves and our group community. Writing names on a waiting list allows for meaningful engagement with print, fine motor development, sequencing, ordinal numbers, and supports emotional regulation. The process of organizing the flow of the sessions around the ideas of the children is inspired from the famous early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia in Italy. The purpose is to empower the children by valuing their ideas and taking them seriously as citizens.


What's Next?

We look forward to further enjoying learning in community with each other and nature. The children lead the way and we help support and organize their ideas. Part of this support is direct teaching of social skills, emotional regulation skills and communication skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening.) We will continue to integrate more French language.

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