Winter seemed to hang around especially stubbornly this year, but in the last week leaves have suddenly begun to emerge on trees, the grass seems to have sprung up another inch every morning, and the seeds we planted are all sprouting happily in the garden. With so much new plant growth, it’s the perfect time to dive in to some basic botany exploration, and the 6 books I’ve selected this month offer a perfect framework for doing just that.Read More
The official start of spring may be in March, but around here it's often in April when things start to really feel "springy." On warm days the birdsong is surprisingly loud, and the trees are filled with busy birds, many of whom are beginning their nesting season. April is also a damp month for us, with frequent rainfalls helping to bring life back to the landscape. The six books I've selected this month focus on the themes of nesting and rainfall and offer a great jumping-off point for springtime exploration and investigation.Read More
“So all you do is play outside?”
If you’re in this field, chances are you’ve heard that question more times than you can count. Whether you’re trying to enroll new students, secure grant funding, convince administrators to get on board, or simply explain what you do at a cocktail party, you need to be armed with information that quickly and clearly conveys the depth of learning that takes place through early childhood outdoor play...Read More
After a long, cold winter, it's always a relief when March rolls around, bringing with it the first signs of spring. There are few things that children love more than the chance to splash in puddles and squelch in the mud that invariably appears in my neck of the wood this time of year. There's something magical and invigorating about seeing life gradually returning to the landscape, and the six books I've selected this month all capture that feeling...Read More
Picture walking into your classroom without a lesson plan. How does it make you feel? Unprepared? Anxious? Are you already envisioning a Lord of the Flies scenario, with total chaos reigning as you cower in the corner? If so, you’re probably not alone...Read More
While it's easy to write off winter as a season where there just isn't that much going on outdoors, I've found the opposite to be true. Though the ground may be frozen and the trees may be bare, the changed landscape offers a fresh perspective for observation of the natural world.
The six books I've selected this month all help foster appreciation for the natural wonder to be found at this time of year...Read More
Since weather is such an integral part of any outdoor learning experience, it's a no-brainer to use it as a jumping off point for deeper exploration and learning. While children will learn plenty simply by being outdoors, introducing a basic weather tracking routine will give them a richer understanding of the world around them and allow for meaningful integration of key math and science skills.Read More
In our neck of the woods we tend to get our first real snows in January, so it's perfect time to pull out books that capture the magic of snowfall from a range of perspectives. I find that the richest learning occurs when students are presented with a combination of fact and fiction, helping deepen their naturalist knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts while also providing fodder for creative exploration and thematic dramatic play. These six books do just that...Read More
Since taking the nature play plunge, I've made a lot of changes...
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is my belief in the incredible importance of quality books in early childhood education.Read More
This approach has quickly become a favorite part of the day for my preschool students, and now that I’ve seen the incredible impact of this practice I’m convinced that it should be a part of all early childhood programs.
Not convinced yet? Here are eight reasons to try whole-group journaling with your early childhood students…Read More