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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Big Busy World

I have the window open in my office today which is a welcomed and joyous occasion. I can hear the song of male Red-wing Blackbirds, children playing in Forest School, and the snow melting off the roof of the nature center. Drip, drip, drip.
After last weeks 12 inches of snow on the first day spring, this day brings hope of green mountains, green plants, and the much needed sunshine. Activity at NBNC begins to speed up with the running of the sap. Not that we aren't already busy, but let's add summer camp registration to our plates along with a side of public speaking engagements, grant writing, amphibian monitoring trainings across the state, and our feathered friends returning to their summer nesting grounds!
With spring also comes spring cleaning. So, I took it upon myself to tackle my desk and get reorganized before the onslaught of busyness. I found a sheet of notes from an ECO meeting on April 4th of 2011. At first glance I wondered why I kept this slightly crinkled piece of paper,...as I read it became very clear to me.
Read what teachers, parents, and community members were saying about ECO in the spring of 2011.

The purpose of ECO at our school:
- Exploration and discovery
- Building community
- Scientific method, observing and asking questions
- Developing independence
- Increasing sensory learning
- Nature as science
- Reflecting on learning
- Meaningful hands on lessons
- Physical contact with outdoor materials
- Increases language development
- Deeper thinking, time to look, time to ask, time to reflect
- Provides a chance for SILENCE
- Value of rituals
- Closure provides time to look at what they experienced
- Stress reduction, fewer strong stimuli, choosing what we engage in
- Opportunities to construct meaning slowly
- ECO gives children a chance to know where they fit in the big, busy world.

What do you want for your children?

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