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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Spiders, and Crickets, and Grasshoppers, oh my!

  Last Friday I ventured out with Twinfield kindergarten teacher, Sharyn Baum, and her eager  students for our first ECO outing of the year.  The focus of our first outing is to get to know each other and our outdoor classroom, all while practicing the ECO routines and rhythms. 

It was a pretty chilly morning, so we were happy to venture out of the shady woods of our base camp into "Milkweed Meadow" to continue our scavenger hunt.  The field was alive, with students finding daddy longleg spiders, grasshoppers, and crickets with every step.  We even found a pair of mating grasshoppers like the ones pictured above! (Photo credit: Mary Holland)  Don't worry--we gave them their privacy back after just a few minutes of checking them out in a jar.  One child in particular found he had a real knack for catching grasshoppers.  He caught three in about five minutes!  He was beaming, having discovered a new-found talent and feeling a level of awe from his five year-old peers. 

Moments like this, where children uncover parts of themselves that shine in the outdoor classroom, are why I love being an outdoor educator.  During our inside circle time on the rug, this same child was 'wiggly' and had a hard time keeping hands to himself.  Outside, these same attributes that were challenging inside, were assets that helped him excel in gaining a closer look at the natural world around him. 

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