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Archive for the ‘Our community’ Category

autumn at the farm

Nature’s bounty was on display this week as we visited the Pearlstone Retreat Center and farm. From harvesting potatoes to discovering how goats are milked, the children experienced what fall is like on a farm. The children continued their investigations of seeds and fall food through play with wheat dough and acorns, while some classes made purple dough with pokeweed dye*. Children also gathered seeds to make seed crowns, explored ears of corn in the sensory table, and learned about root vegetables by touch and smell.

*Pokeweed berries are amazing in color but should never be eaten. All parts of pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) are toxic at different times in the plant’s growth cycle and can be harmful if ingested. The berries are the least toxic when ripe; the root is the most toxic part of the plant. That said, pokeweed has many medicinal uses and even shows promise in some cancer treatments. Poke berries are highly valuable to wildlife and the ink is wonderful for painting and writing. If you incorporate poke berries in your play, please be sure that children know not to eat them!

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It can be scary for students and parents when the first day of school arrives. There are many new faces, routines and expectations. While there’s no way to eliminate first day jitters altogether, we were grateful that families participated in Monday’s Preschool Family Orientation. This gentle starts offers a glimpse into our routine (EX. signing the class roster and finding an arrival stone). It also allows teachers and peers to meet, followed by a scavenger hunt of our indoor/outdoor learning environments.

Orientation seemed to put everyone at ease, as classes this week ran beautifully! The children began feeling out the rhythm of our day and their role as a student in our learning community. Favorite activities this week include learning how to tell stories using story stones, sharing summer adventures with photos from home, and hiking to the overlook on the trails for the first time together.

One challenge for students is learning how trail walks in nature preschool are different from walks as a family. Staying behind the teacher is necessary for each child’s safety and something we will continue to work on all year!

Enjoy the photos below to see your child in action. We can’t picture every child each week, but this will give you a feel for what we’ve been up to.

exploring milkweed in the meadow 004 011 075 097 053 072 067 068 016

 

 

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As we continue to celebrate what makes each of us special, we also continue to explore the spring thaw. The children had another adventure-filled week. Here’s what they were up to:

-finding 17 bones in a pile on the trail
-finishing up our chapter book, The Story Snail (Miss Sophie’s M/W/F morning class)
-using binoculars
-having imagination stations and circle time in the dark, in honor of Pajama Day
-puddle jumping in the giant Outdoor Classroom puddles! (See Miss Karen jumping on FB)
-discovering worms, worms, and more worms during and following heavy rains
-visiting the meadow to watch the tree swallows swoop and dive
-making dams and streams in the torrential rain
-sharing more All About Me Posters
-writing letters to the Audubon Nature Preschool about our bird sightings with Bird-A-Thon

preschool friends E is for Earth!

shadow tracing drawing shadows friends on the trail self portraits with preschoolers "Who am I?" eyes guessing game

teamwork with wheelbarrow planting in the greenhouse cutting out an "All About Me" puzzle

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We visited a favorite local farm at the Pearlstone Retreat Center to learn about life on a farm in spring. We harvested chicken eggs, planted lettuce seeds, explored worms in vermi-compost bins, met baby chicks, and had a wonderful time!

did you pet a chicken today?

did you pet a chicken today?

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staring contest

staring contest!

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What could be better than cider around a campfire? The children learned all about how fire is helpful to people firsthand. Our students loved gathering fire wood (mouse tails, chickadee perches and beaver wood) to build the fire together. They painted and then placed “firesticks” around the fire pit to delineate a circle for safety. The storytelling with cider was a bonus! Once cooled, children also used charcoal from the fire to draw in their jourals. Fire paintings at the easel and campfire crowns to wear were also a hit!

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Thanks to our families for submitting these excellent pictures of The Nature Preschool students! We were curious to know what the children would be up to when school was out due to snow…(is anyone really surprised to see?!)

Abby 1 Alex 1 Alex 2 Bailey 1 Bailey 2 Cooper in snow Ruby 2 Ruby 3 Ruby 4 Solomen 1 Thomas 1 Thomas 2 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Zach 1 Zach 2

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It was a short week with the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays, but we still took time to express our gratitude for each other and the natural community. Children wrote and dictated things they are grateful for onto wallpaper hearts and hung them on our tree of thanks. We also made bird feeders outside using apples, oranges, and cranberries strung upon the trees. We donated small gifts to our Basket of Thanks for the local fire fighters, too.

writing "Vv" for vegetable using vegetable paint to write letters class strings fruit for bird feeders fruit bird feeder made by preschoolers stringing oranges and cranberries to make bird feeder paintings of things we are grateful for grateful heart artwork hanging hearts on our tree of thanks stringing fruit to make bird feeders! oranges and cranberries make lovely bird feeders

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