Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – December 2017

By Erin Kenny ©2017 The children have been noticing that the huckleberries are more sour and harder to find this month. One 4-year-old commented that it is because they are no longer “in season” demonstrating that she had incorporated our observations from last month about each plants’ season for eating. Brother Wind was a big […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – November 2017

By Erin Kenny ©2017 Autumn has rapidly accelerated this month and the children have noticed that all the leaves still on the trees are yellow. When teachers asked why that might be, all the children correctly identified the season as fall. One three-year-old boy made the statement “When leaves are falling off and no leaves […]

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Are They Hazards or Acceptable Risks?

By Erin Kenny ©2017 Would you consider nettles growing in a daycare center’s outdoor space, where crawling babies have access, to be a hazard or a risk? Would you consider a ground hornet nest in your outdoor classroom’s main area to be a hazard or a risk? One community’s hazard is another community’s acceptable risk. […]

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What Will They Play With If There Are No Toys?

By Erin Kenny ©2017 At Cedarsong’s Forest Kindergarten there are no store-bought toys or fancy playground equipment to entertain the children during their four-hour nature immersion time. Instead, these children use their imagination to create toys from any number of forest found objects. The Cedarsong children’s creativity is enhanced as they use their imagination to […]

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Forest Kindergarten is STEM by Nature

By Erin Kenny ©2017 (Excerpt from Erin K. Kenny and Robin A. Rogers upcoming book “Teaching The Cedarsong Way: Lessons From an Award-winning Forest Kindergarten” set to be published in Spring 2018) Many in the education field are aware of the current buzz in early education called STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) or STEAM […]

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“I’m The Leader!”

By Erin Kenny ©2017 “I’m the leader!” “No, I’m the leader!” This is one of the most common exchanges you will hear at most any American preschool. Young children seem to have an almost obsessive need to be first but what that means to most of them is that they are in the front of […]

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What Does Kindergarten Readiness Even Mean?

By Erin Kenny ©2017 In the U.S., kindergarten readiness is a buzz phrase that is code for reading and writing. All entering kindergarteners are now expected to know how to read, write and do simple math. Unfortunately, because of this myopic view of what constitutes kindergarten readiness, developmentally inappropriate academic lessons are being pushed on […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – October 2017

By Erin Kenny ©2017 October has been a wet and windy month this year although the temperatures are still unseasonably warm. We noticed that Brother Wind joined us on many days; we notice this element by the sound it makes through the leaves, by the way the tree branches begin to sway and by the […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – September 2017

When we started back at school this fall, the first thing everyone noticed was how dry is was in the forest. The children noticed it was very slippery because the debris on top of the soil rolled under their feet. They not only assessed this risk and slowed their pace down voluntarily, they frequently made […]

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Cedarsong Emergent Curriculum – May 2016

As the weather has warmed, it has been an exciting month for wildlife sightings. More birds have joined the chorus in our forest. We have seen and heard chickadees, juncos, pacific flycatchers, nuthatches and pileated woodpeckers with regularity. The elusive Swainson’s thrush has arrived with its enchanting upward spiraling melodic song. We heard the woodpecker […]

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Nature Immersion as a Self-Soothing Therapy

Nature Immersion as a Self-Soothing Therapy

When I was a teenager and it felt that the world was crashing down around me, there was a certain beech tree I would climb for solace. In those limbs I felt safe, protected and I could feel myself calm as I lay in its branches. I learned that nature was a source of comfort: […]

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