"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nature Study...in the Classroom


Our student teacher, Ms. Hannah had a Nature theme prepared for her head-teaching day and had lots of fun activities planned for us. 


Mud painting, fun with a paintbrush, even MORE fun with your hands. Ms. Hannah had added organic food dye to the mud to give it a little color.


Painting with her hands was a HUGE hit for this friend!


She had a variety of natural materials displayed on a wooden tray and I invited friends over to create a nature story. Almost all of the kiddos participated in this activity and had some creative ideas floating around. 


The plan was for us to spend the majority of the rest of the day outside. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we became part of a precautionary lock-down and had to finish the day indoors. Ms. Hannah was a trooper and took it all in stride. 



We continued with our Scavenger Hunt, as planned, just indoors. We have LOTS  of natural items in the classroom, so the kiddos were still able to find everything on the list. 


We divided the kiddos into smaller groups and they were off. They quickly began scanning the classroom looking for items on the list.

 

This friend was quickly able to find a tree, right in the middle of the room. 


These friends were excited to find a rock and quickly marked it off of their list.


Ms. Hannah shared her Five Little Turtles story and the kiddos loved doing the countdown with her. 


We even had time for each child to come up and listen to Ms. Hannah share their Nature Stories. 

The day's format changed from the original plan, but Ms. Hannah transitioned beautifully and it was truly a success. 

One of my college instructors always told us when you work with children you have to be emergent and flexible. Those words come back to my memory often as ideas are extinguished or extended based on the children's interests or plans are suddenly changed beyond our control. One thing is for sure, in this profession, you've got to always be on your toes and ready to pivot. 



13 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that your plans had a wrench thrown into them, but you worked it out beautifully! You're right about always needing to be on your toes! Love that muddy fun, and you know what? A scavenger hunt inside would be fun for a change!

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    1. I was amazed how well it turned out, too. I felt bad for Hannah with it being her first time in charge and things not going as planned, but she's a real trooper and chalked it up to being a good experience in having a back-up plan.

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  2. I am loving the idea of mud painting, my girls love making mud pies, digging and of course splashing through it. I never thought about letting them paint with it, we will definitely do this now.

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    1. I had never done it before either. It was really cool seeing how the layers dried. I will warn you that it becomes very fragile and will flake off pretty easily. I don't know of a way to preserve it. Need to do a little research.

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  3. Found your link on Teach Me Tuesday This looks like a lot of fun, especially the mud painting it is something my daughter would love! Would love it if you checked my sensory and art and crafts section of my blog :-)

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    1. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the mud painting, for sure!

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  4. How lovely how it turned out. Love the mud!
    Thanks for linking with Motivational Monday

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    1. Thanks, Pinkoddy! Thanks for providing a forum for us to share.

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  5. I think you guys pulled off that flexibility thing fabulously--nice job moving inside!! And I *love* those muddy paint-y hands!! Thanks for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday on Preschool Powol Packets!!

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    1. Thanks, Carla! Working with little ones, we definitely have to learn to be flexible.

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful day and a wonderful student teacher! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

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    1. You're welcome, Carrie. She is an amazing student teacher.

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  7. Thanks for the great ideas to indulge preschool kids in these wonderful activities so that they can learn with fun. Play school cds

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