Mrs. Sweezey

Don't Push the Button

Posted: October 25, 2019

Something amazing happened today and I’m so happy because it’s an experience I have been wanting to share with my students for years and today was that day.

This morning the children got to witness their first moose skinning. Mrs. Larry gave me the heads up and when Ernie arrives home, the children and the educators walked across the street, and we watched Ernie hard at work cutting and cleaning his moose.

I did brief the children the best I could a head of time, however, I don’t think they fully realized what I meant until we were finally standing in front of the moose hanging there. Some were a little nervous and scared, but for the most part they were very curious and got to see the moose up close and touch it’s antlers, nose, and feet.

After our visit we paused for a moment on the grass to make our first tobacco offering before heading off into the forest for a short visit.

I’m so proud of our class for being brave and on their best behaviour during our little visit.

We were also able to cross off another Zero-waste challenge off our list as we walked over to Mrs. Larry’s home.

Great job K4 

Posted: October 25, 2019

Day 9 - Composting

Ok, so remember when I swapped out this particular challenge for another day because I was waiting for something important to arrive in the mail? Well, they did and they wiggled their way to Eel Ground all the way from Ontario.

Today we started our worm composter. The children had blast learning a bit about what worms can do and why, how worms are awesome recyclers and will be helping out our class by eating all our food scraps.

Did you know that worms (Red Wigglers) eat half their body weight every day?

A worm composter and run year-round and indoors, so we are hoping by the spring we will have some amazing worm fertilizer to help us grow some plants and maybe the school garden.

#F2SMonth2019 #HealthyPeopleHealthyPlanet @Farm2Cafeteria

Posted: October 25, 2019

Posted: October 24, 2019

Getting dressed independently is an important practical life skill and it is something we practice every day. There is so much going on with simply putting on a jacket, socks, or boots.
Getting dressed requires gross motor and fine motor skills, you need balance and coordination, body awareness and control.
Our role as the educator is to teach the skill, model it, support, and then to encourage the student on an on-going basis for continued success.
This requires a lot of patience and practice. It would be so much easier and faster for me to dress, zip, and put on a student's shoes. But that would benefit me, not the student, so we practice, and we take all the time we need - no matter what.
In this video, Storm is getting ready for outside play by putting on his boots and as you can see, it took him 30 seconds to complete this task. With the support of his EA, she used both verbal and gesturing prompts and provided him with the appropriate amount of "think time" to guide Storm through the process - and he was successful!! She didn't rush him, she didn't intervene, and she didn't complete the task for him. Over time, as we practice, the children will require less prompting and getting dressed will become second nature.
The thing(s) to remember when teaching a new skill and nurturing a child's independence:
  1. Just because they learned the skill, doesn't mean they've instantly mastered it. There are so many factors that can disrupt your childs success - maybe the zipper on a particular jacket is harder than another. High top shoes are trickier than ankle cut. Does their clothing fit them? If it's too big or too small, that may make getting dressed more difficult. Are they tired, sick, hungry? Most importantly, children have good days and bad days too, so adjust your expectations and be compassionate.
  2. Don't give up! Always move forward.
  3. Be patient and make sure you have lots of time.
  4. Be their biggest cheerleader. Never let up the praise, seriously, nurturing independence requires a lot of encouragement because we are also building up their confidence.

Posted: October 11, 2019

This afternoon we completed our first science experiment of the school year and the children had a blast.

What happens when we mix baking soda and vinegar?

While the children brain stormed and made observations, they also got in some fine motor skill practice by using the pippets to drop in the colourful vinegar, and a little sensory play because who could resist not digging in.

Posted: October 11, 2019

Shhh . . . the children don't know it, but they are practicing their fine motor skills, which they need to become amazing writers and artists.  Check out those gains - building muscles and confidence <3

Posted: October 11, 2019

Now that we are in the woods on a daily the basis, the children are getting much more comfortable and familiar with our forest space.

As an Educator, I love witnessing this relationship blossom.  When we first got out into the woods, the children sort of flocked around myself and the other Educators, unsure of what to do and why we were even in the woods.  They were scared, confused, and excited.  We'd walk through the woods and they would pull us all around, until one day I just stopped and stood still.  "Come Mrs. Sweezey, let's go back there," they would say, until finally I told them, "No, you can go on your own, I'm going to stay here."

The look on their little faces, haha.  Complete shock.  A major piece of the Forest and Nature School philosophy is to offer regular and repeated visits to an outdoor space, as well as, time and space to play freely and uninterrupted.  The children couldn't believe that they were a loud to go off into the woods on their own and with each passing day, they grew confident and more sure of themselves - and we trust them.  The children know the boundaries of our forest space and we take every precaution we can to keep everyone safe, such as daily site checks, the Educators roam the woods as the children play, we wear our bright yellow safety vests, and we practice our rules (promise) every day before going outside the gate. 

As the week went on, the children have slowed down and have really started to explore the forest and get comfortable, whereas in the beginning, all they did was run full tilt the entire time, haha.  In the last two days, I've notice the children have started to go "off trail."  Still within our boundaries, but no longer do they want to walk the same trails - they want to make their own.

What a busy and fun filled week :) 

Posted: October 11, 2019

There are so many reason why I/we love being outdoors.

We can run, there's more space than we know what to do with, we can get dirty, and we can also be as loud as we want to be <3


Posted: October 11, 2019

Posted: September 30, 2019


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