Tag Archives: nature

Big learning from short observations of birds: February 17-20, 2017






Walk outside with your children, watch and count birds for 15 minutes while recording the names of those you know, and report your bird count to be part of a world-wide citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds, creating an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. On any or all of these four […]

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Seeing the Real Me: Using Loose Parts from Nature to Create Self Portraits






  Guest bloggers Stacey Francois MS, and Hannah Goble presented a poster session at the national conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. I was delighted to be able to talk with them about their work and am pleased to share it here. Welcome Stacey and Hannah! Stacey Francois MS, and […]

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Noticing natural phenomena






This week friends who live on opposite sides of the country messaged me to go look at the Moon and a bright “star” in the southern skies, the planet Venus. The Geminid meteor shower is also happening but the urban light pollution in my area plus the full Moon makes seeing a meteor unlikely. Still I […]

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Recess: Outdoors and sometimes indoors






When the children and I leave the school building for playground time or recess, I feel a sense of relaxation and heightened awareness. We can see farther and the input from the surrounding environment to our senses changes every minute as the wind blows, the sun moves across the sky, and we cross paths with […]

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Taking a nature walk






Upon reflection on last year’s practice of taking children on “nature walks” outside, I see how much they enjoyed nature, made gains in vocabulary and became familiar with diversity in plants. In June, at the end of the school year, I had the occasion to write to the school families about their children’s nature learning from experiences in the […]

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Preschool experiences in a winter forest






Once a month each three-year-old and four-year-old class at the Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool (AUCP) spends the morning on a fieldtrip at a local natural area. The lead nature teacher arrives and spreads out a large tarp and a few sleeping bags as a place for their morning meeting. On this occasion the ground is cold […]

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Supporting children’s interests






As we take a nature walk on the paths through a large garden area tended by church members, the children always want to “go to the pond.” This body of water is an 8’ by 10’ pool with pump-circulated water flowing from a raised area. We watch the flow, bubbles and talk about the fine […]

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Do children in your program have direct access to nature?






Being outside under the sky is different from being inside under a roof. The experiences that can happen in either place are not necessarily better than the other place, but they are different. We know that children can learn about distant places and the living organisms in those places by using non-fiction books and videos, […]

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Q&A about natural spaces for children






It was a perfect early summer day with temperatures in the low 70s (F) and a gentle breeze that make it easy to be outdoors for hours. We had a combination of shade, sunscreen or hats to protect from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and a pitcher of water to drink when thirsty. And we had […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility






Whether from Spiderman or Voltaire, the sentiment proves critically important to our approach to science education. As such, we hold great power to encourage, enlighten, and nurture young minds that are inherently curious and full of poignant questions. As good teachers, we are responsible not to be the authority that provides the answers to students, […]

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