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Erin Kenny's Blog (25)

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - December

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter - December 2015

By Erin Kenny ©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 children this age (2-5 years old) are so tactile, they kept wanting to take off…

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Added by Erin Kenny on January 3, 2016 at 11:44am — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - October

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - October 2015

Compiled from our daily nature journal entries throughout each month to document the learning

 

By Erin Kenny ©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…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 24, 2015 at 6:41pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - September

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - September 2015

Compiled from our daily nature journal entries throughout each month to document the learning

By Erin Kenny ©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…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 24, 2015 at 6:33pm — No Comments

Children and Nature contributed to my Healing

I apologize that I have been so delinquent on my Blog posts. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last May and, after surgery, underwent 6 months of chemotherapy. I am finally finished with the chemo and it was grueling but the prognosis looks really good.

Now, I am back out in the forest with the forest kindergarten kids and it is supporting my healing immensely. Being in nature is profoundly therapeutic for me; and, I believe, for all humans. The slower pace of nature, the natural…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 24, 2015 at 6:16pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - February 2015

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter – February 2015

By Erin Kenny ©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. We have noticed many signs of spring this month, including more insects, new birds, leaf buds and sprouts.

 

The children have found worms and black beetles beginning to emerge…

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Added by Erin Kenny on March 14, 2015 at 3:33pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - January 2015

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter – January 2015

By Erin Kenny ©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 and sticky wicky (cleavers) and we are seeing lots of new mushrooms,…

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Added by Erin Kenny on February 3, 2015 at 5:37pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - Nov./Dec.

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter – November-December 2014

By Erin Kenny ©2014

 

November and December weather was mostly overcast and cool however we are still experiencing warmer than historical temperatures. The forest floor is covered with debris from the windy season. The children are enthralled by the number of items they find in the debris on the forest floor. One of the most interesting discoveries we made was the huge numbers of red alder seeds on the…

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Added by Erin Kenny on February 3, 2015 at 5:37pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - LOVE those rainy days!

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter - October 2014

By Erin Kenny ©2014

It has been one wet month here in the Pacific Northwest! We’ve had record rainfall and have observed the highest levels in our mud puddle to date. The kids excitedly guessed each morning whether the puddle would be bigger or smaller than the last time they were at Cedarsong. There were many days when the kids ran right over to grab the painted measuring sticks to see how high the water was, always…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 10, 2014 at 11:09am — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum - Feb. 2014

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten newsletter – Feb. 2014 ©Erin Kenny 2014

 

February weather ranged from freezing cold temperatures, with ice, snow, frost, and heavy winds to sunshine and barefoot days. Signs of spring are now everywhere throughout the forest: buds on twigs, alder catkins dropping from the branches, pollen visibly drifting through the air, leaves emerging on the elderberry bushes and nettles popping up here and there. Flying insects have emerged from…

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Added by Erin Kenny on March 9, 2014 at 2:43pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum - January 2014

Forest Kindergarten newsletter – Jan. 2014 ©Erin Kenny 2014

 

January in the northwest was quite warm and we actually had some barefoot days. The temperatures have fooled the plant world into thinking it is spring: the pussywillows are in bloom, the nettles are ½ inch tall, new grass is sprouting, the elderberry buds are opening, hazelnut catkins are dangling and there are buds on many twigs. Evidence of spring is obvious in the animal world too as we have suddenly heard…

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Added by Erin Kenny on February 9, 2014 at 12:50pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum - Dec. 2013

Forest Kindergarten newsletter –  ©Erin Kenny 2013

 

In the pacific northwest of the U.S., the time of winter solstice feels more like the middle of winter than the beginning. Our wet season begins in early fall and runs right through late spring! This year we have noticed some unusual activity in the plant world that seems to indicate spring rather than winter, such as new leaf buds emerging, hazelnut and alder catkins pollinating, increased bird activity and the…

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Added by Erin Kenny on January 7, 2014 at 8:36am — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - November

©Erin Kenny 2013

November was warm enough that we had several barefoot days in the forest. There was also a lot of wind, leading to daily accumulations of fir needles and small branches on the forest floor. We experienced many days of fog this month which led to opportunities to discuss what fog is. The children have noticed that the light in the forest is changing and the mornings are darker. This has been a great lead-in to talk about how the days are shorter now as…

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Added by Erin Kenny on December 4, 2013 at 10:19am — 1 Comment

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum - October

©Erin Kenny 2013

 

Autumn is palpable in the air and on the ground from chillier temperatures to permanently damp earth. We have all added more clothing layers this month and the children have been requesting their mittens more often. That being said, we also experienced several days this month when it was warm enough for the children (and two teachers) to go barefoot!

 

The children are noticing evidence of the changing season and there is a lot of…

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Added by Erin Kenny on October 25, 2013 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten newsletter - Sept. 2013

Forest Kindergarten newsletter – Sept. 2013 ©Erin Kenny 2013

 September was mostly dry and warm, with some drippy rain and foggy days. We had many barefoot kids right through the third week of September. In my experience, going barefoot is one of the most common experiences young children gravitate towards and these Forest Kindergarten children are all so thankful that they can go without shoes in the Cedarsong forest!

 As the month progressed, the wet chilly weather…

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Added by Erin Kenny on September 27, 2013 at 1:42pm — No Comments

Erin Kennys' book "Forest Kindergartens" is released!

A book release party for Erin K. Kenny’s Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way is scheduled for Sat. Oct. 5, from 6-7:30pm, at the Vashon Land Trust Building. Join the celebration, hear Erin read excerpts from her book and have your…
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Added by Erin Kenny on September 27, 2013 at 11:13am — 3 Comments

Forest Kindergarten program is Pre-K Science!

     In America, we place such a huge value on measurable learning that we forget some times that children are learning every time they seem to be "just playing". There are wonderful ways to support the naturally scientific and inquisitive mind of a preschooler as is demonstrated in an excerpt from the Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten monthly newsletter:

     "As the weather warms up, we have gotten out the paintbrushes several times to use with our black charcoal “paint”. The children…

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Added by Erin Kenny on May 22, 2013 at 9:18am — 1 Comment

Forest Kindergarten newsletter - April 2013

     Spring has kicked into full bloom and our foraging opportunities have increased greatly. After the weeklong spring break this month, the kids immediately noticed two distinct changes in the plants: that there were pink flowers on the salmonberry and that the very red young tender new growth of the evergreen huckleberry leaves had shown up. We are enjoying the flavors of the leaf buds on the huckleberry, salmonberry, salal, and hazelnut. We have also found many fallen branch tips of the…

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Added by Erin Kenny on May 15, 2013 at 7:57am — No Comments

Teaching Empathy and Respect for All Living Beings

Teaching respect for all living beings, as well as for each other, for our families and for ourselves is paramount to the Cedarsong Way. We were so encouraged to hear a 2 year old caution the other kids not to step on a bug and a 4 year old then chime in "because it’s a living being". One day, we noticed a root becoming exposed by our digging and talked about it with the children. We collectively decided to move to another digging spot to protect the plant’s root. We teach the children how…

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Added by Erin Kenny on April 2, 2013 at 9:24am — No Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriulum

Of course the most fascinating observation we have been making all month is the ebb and flow of our mud puddle. Before the rain returned, the mud puddle area was dry and dusty and the children explored the perfect dirt to water ratio for creating the ideal mud. When the rain first began, it was a drippy, misty rain and we observed black spots on the dry dirt which the children guessed correctly was caused by rain drops.

Once the fall rains began in earnest, the mud puddle re-filled…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 26, 2012 at 1:02pm — No Comments

Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum

The Forest Kindergarten model based on the German waldkindergartens is committed to flow learning and emergent curriculum. At Cedarsong Nature School, I make detailed notes in our nature journal about where the children's interest leads us each day and in the course of one month the curriculum emerges as follows:

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Newsletter - May 2012

 The sweet aroma of cottonwood infusing the forest air last month has been replaced by the delicate scent of the…

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Added by Erin Kenny on June 6, 2012 at 9:01am — 1 Comment

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