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Wandering Wednesday #14

Early Childhood students project based learning in Evanston

It struck me today as we were outside in the frigid (new vocabulary word) weather, that the experience of braving the cold to get outdoors is an incredibly valuable one.  Sadly, in regions of the world that go through many months of winter, the majority of people spend their entire day indoors going from fluorescent lighting to another indoor space, often times watching a screen.  There are an increasing number of studies that show the wonderful health benefits of getting outdoors, including: improved ability to focus, greater creativity, lowered blood pressure, decreased stress, improved working memory, and many others.  And while most of the children aren’t struggling with some of those issues at such a young age, I feel good that they are learning that you can get outside and do what you know is good for your health no matter the weather. Each time it’s incredibly cold, I’m reminded of the old adage, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”  The most common complaint we had today was that kids were too hot.  Hahaha…nothing like the mind of a five or six-year-old.

Kindergarten students participating in project based learning

In preparation for our adventure without lunches today, Ms. Beth taught the kids how to make a delicious GORP (Good ol’ Raisins and Peanuts) mixture.  Of course, we modified the mixture to be gluten and nut free! As you can imagine, the kiddos get hungry out there, so why not teach them to make a trail mix for energy! Watch for the recipe to Ms. Beth’s “Baker Kinder GORP” in this week’s Friday folder.

Kindergarten students reading Everybody Needs a Rock

This week, as we look at the letter R, a perfectly beautiful book jumped off the shelf at me entitled Everybody Needs a Rock, by Byrd Baylor.  The book is essentially about the beauty of having a rock that is picked out by you and is uniquely your own.  Inspired by this story, we began our time today at Lighthouse beach in Evanston finding our own special rock that would “feel jumpy in your pocket when you run.” The book laid out a few rules for choosing our rocks, you’ll probably spot some of them in today’s quotes.

After tucking our rocks away into our pockets we had a small amount of time for free play before kids started getting hungry for that snack!

Kindergarten students experience based learning in Evanston

It’s amazing the difference a few days makes. On Monday we were over at Lighthouse beach to try to catch the moon rising. Since then the weather dropped 20 degrees and the trees have frozen over. Here are the pictures along with some quotes from the day:

Kindergarten students at Evanston park experiencing nature

I’m too hot, can I take my coat off?

Hey, we were just here to watch the moon rise!

I saw a baby fox today. It was so cute!

My toes are too cold

I got wet!!

This one is beautiful!

I smelled my rock, it smells so good

I like the rocks with lots of little rocks inside

Every time I climb I keep getting farther

Ms. Beth, my pants are falling off

Where’s our ice rink?

I love this rock, it smells like ginger

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