Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wondering, Planning, Watching

Last week, I flipped over a plant pot and everyone was very excited to see the slug that was hiding underneath.  SC was the first to notice and quickly went to get T, saying "Look!"  We spent some time watching and wondering about the slug.   We also spent sometime figuring out how to be respectful to the needs of the slug, making sure it had space and room to move.

After watching for a moment, the boys were ready to make a plan.  Everyone was very interested in ways to integrate the slug into our play.  There has been a lot of truck-ness happening lately, especially with the garbage truck shown in the video.  It was only natural that the slug would like to go into the back!

We have been spending time over the last few weeks observing different plant and animal life in our yard.  We kept a large jumping spider in a jar and enjoyed our celery experiment of water absorption.  We have been noticing the leaves and buds forming and opening and began planting seeds both inside and out.  It is quite satisfying to support our natural world in such a way that they children can wrap their entire hand and mind around it as I support a general sense of wonder and inquiry with everything that we meet.  The restraint and interest that the boys show in this video speak to their respect for the world that surround them.  Supporting the process of learning through asking questions and wondering, "What if" or "Why" is a large part of our work right now, as I encourage the development of active, child led learning.

This is a process that begins the first day a child begins at Tumbleweed.  We find any moment possible for an infant to go outside and now sometimes one of the cohort 5 children joins us outside.  It's a wonderful moment for the infant to experience outdoors and for the toddlers to find ways to interact safely and happily with a baby.  For an infant, the toddlers are the model for what play and inquiry can look like.  We take any advantage to draw attention to the details of the world outside and what effect we have on it.  Even with LC we begin talking about how to be gentle, even if it before her ability to act on what we are saying, we set the expectation and sense  of respect from their first experiences.

By giving the children the gift of wonder and joy in the parts of their world, it is natural that they become active, questioning participants who are constantly hungry to know more.

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