Archive | March 2013

A High Flying Adventure!

“I loved the idea of seeing the world through a boy’s eyes.”

Martin Scorsese

 Although I don’t have a lot of commercially made products intended to be used in early childhood classrooms in the Garden Classroom (I tend to shop thrift shops, rummage sales and dumpsters) I did purchase a set of goggles for the Science Lab that promotes a lot of creative and imaginative play.

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Children will put them on while experimenting with color or making potions. I’ve seen them being used as a prop for superhero play. On Thursday of this week, G put on a pair and his imagination went into high gear! He asked us, “Do you have any skydiving gear?” After asking him, what kind of gear did he need? G answered, “Helmets and parachutes.”

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Thanks to teacher Marta, Hanna has a good stock of accessories for dramatic play. As teacher Lisa went into the storage shed, I suggested that she look in the “race car” bin. Sure enough, this box contained the perfect helmets needed by skydivers.  G and his buddy W were quick to adapt flags and safety vests (used by construction workers) also found in the bin, as skydiving apparel. G grabbed a superhero cape found elsewhere in the Garden Classroom for good measure!

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 I wish I had caught their language as they launched themselves off the slide, but I was so enamored with their high sense of adventure and focusing my camera on trying to catch their leaps “mid-air” I missed the comments.

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They were only able to do a couple of leaps before going into lunch; I wasn’t able to check in with Lisa to see if she heard what they were saying. The pictures alone will have to do! I hope you enjoy their high-flying adventure as much as I did. (On Monday, the adventures will continue, I’m sure!) 

With Joy! 

Francie 

For the Birds!

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For months, our beautiful, tranquil Garden Classroom has been overwhelmed by  the terrible noise coming from road work being done on Highway 101 that backs up to the school property. As we approach spring, the noise has finally dissipated and we have heaved a great sign of relief! We are particularly grateful because many children have been working on several projects to welcome the song birds back to the Garden Classroom. Although a couple of crows show up regularly scrounging up leftovers from the children from the transition class who eat lunch in the Garden Classroom while waiting for their brothers and sisters from the 5 day class get out of class, we have not seen a single sign of any song birds nibbling from our feeders.

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To help the birds feel welcome, I have offered several resources to entice the children to learn more about birds and their behaviors and invite them to create some amenities to make the birds want to visit and enjoy their stay.

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A favorite book, Smithsonian: Bird Watcher by David Burnie has provided many ideas for attracting birds and inspired our young naturalists from the 3 Day afternoon class to create a simple bird bath. This book also inspired several children to create hanging bird feeders using plastic water bottles. .

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I have invited the children to take a close look at several bird’s nest I have collected and invited them to create a list of materials the birds used to make their nests. We have started to gather similar items and put them in a metal suet holder as a way to provide nesting materials for our new (hopefully!) birdie friends.

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One of the more ambitious and creative projects is creating a welcome sign for the birds that lets the birds know that food is available. This sign will include messages such as, “Birdies! Have food there!”, “Eat it! It’s good for you!” and “Only birds!”

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Besides providing food, shelter and water for birds and butterflies we have met the needs to qualify to be certified as a wildlife habitat for the National Wildlife Federation! I will be filling out the form and in the process, provide pictures of our beautiful environment and tell the story of how the children of Hanna have created a lovely, TRANQUIL refuge for the wildlife AND people!

 

 

An Absence Explained

I am very sad to share with you that my mother has passed away. She had been in the hospital for 5 weeks. We had hoped and prayed that she would recover and continue to enrich our lives with her effervescent personality, curiosity and unconditional love. I along with my two sisters, one brother, two children, two grandchildren, one nephew plus many cousins and step-brothers and all our spouses are devastated. I know people can’t live forever. I especially knew that. I experienced the extremely, unexpected death of my father when he was only 49 years old. But as many as you know, a mother’s love and caring never ends.  Our relationship was never perfect, but I always knew she loved me. It was the ultimate safety net. It is very hard to fathom that she is gone. 

 

So I am sharing this with you, not because I want to say anything particularly profound or meaningful, but to send out a message of gratefulness for being the daughter of a loving mother.

Dolores “Dolly” Guidry Doucette 1931- 2013

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2013. 8 Comments