Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – March 2016

Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – March 2016

By Erin Kenny ©2016 The mild March weather yielded many signs of spring, including dandelion flowers, red huckleberry flowers and salmonberry flowers; cottonwood husks on the ground; babies in the sword fern nests and measurable and remarkable bracken fern growth; new sprouts of miner’s lettuce, sticky wicky and shot weed; and new leaves on the […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – February 2016

Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – February 2016

By Erin Kenny ©2016 February was a mix of dark low hanging clouds, lots of fog, light sprinkles of rain and downpours although we did notice some early signs of Spring. There were even several days when the temperature was warm enough for bare feet. We talked a lot this month about how even though […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – January 2016

Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – January 2016

By Erin Kenny ©2016 January was the coldest month so far and we got a chance to study ice. During the coldest week, we took field trips to the meadow every day where the little stream and vernal pond had frozen. As the week progressed and the weather warmed, the ice diminished and we could […]

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This is Why Finland Has the Best Schools

This is Why Finland Has the Best Schools

The Harvard education professor Howard Gardner once advised Americans, “Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States.” Following his recommendation, I enrolled my seven-year-old son in a primary school in Joensuu. Finland, which is about as far east […]

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The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders

The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders

Rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America have been increasing steadily for the past 50 to 70 years. Today, by at least some estimates, five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or anxiety disorder as was true half a century or […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – December 2015

December in the forest was dark and foggy. We had several of the coldest days so far, with temperatures in the low 30’s (Fahrenheit). Our teachers had to work diligently to make sure the children stayed warm. We also kept open communication with the parents about what clothing was working and what was not. Because […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – November 2015

We experienced lots of water this month in the form of rain, mist, fog and ice. This prompted us to start repeating our winter water play rhyme: “If we see ice or snow on any day, there will be no water play”. We have been explaining to the children the very real dangers of hypothermia […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – October 2015

Although we had more rain this month, the temperatures stayed quite warm resulting in an explosion of mushrooms in the forest. The children were genuinely excited each time they discovered a mushroom and of course our teachers modeled their own authentic wonder and curiosity too. We have started learning about the major groupings of mushrooms […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – September 2015

The weather this month has been warm enough for many of the kids to strip off most of their layers including their footwear. It was only towards the end of the month that we began to notice signs of autumn. When we asked the kids how they knew the season had changed, they responded with […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – April 2015

The forest has dried out and we were wearing less rain gear as the month of April progressed. The warmer weather is here to stay and the plant growth has visibly accelerated. The bracken ferns we have been measuring for a couple of months are now astonishingly taller than the children. The children are amazed […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – February 2015

February was again unseasonably warm and dry. Although we had some light morning frost towards the end of month, the forest floor has significantly dried out and we are beginning to shed our rain pants and even our boots on some days. We have noticed many signs of spring this month, including more insects, new […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – January 2015

January in the Pacific Northwest has been unseasonably warm and we have observed many signs of spring. We discovered new buds on the elderberry and the huckleberry. We noticed that the hazelnut catkins (flowers) have released their pollen and that the alder catkins are ready to eat. We are seeing new sprouts of miner’s lettuce […]

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