Ann Courcy's Blog (61)

Natural Scientists Right from the Start

It's going to be another great year at Schoolmates. The new Explorers arrived in the rain on Wednesday, September 6. Everyone had raincoats and asked, "Are we going to hike today?" A little rain wasn't going to stop these enthusiastic children.

After some…

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Added by Ann Courcy on November 14, 2017 at 5:56am — No Comments

A Clearing in the Woods

It took two days of asking and bargaining, but I got Aurora and Stephen to take a hike with me. Actually, for months I have "led by example." I walk or hike whenever possible. Stephen and Aurora know my beliefs about exercise and being in nature, yet they fight my attempts to get them outside. When motivating children, "lead by example" gets you only so far. After that it's bargain,…

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Added by Ann Courcy on September 4, 2017 at 7:29pm — No Comments

Little Things

And then there is the world of little things, seen all too seldom. Many children, perhaps because they themselves are small and closer to the ground than we, notice and delight in the small and inconspicuous. With this beginning, it is easy to share with them the beauties we usually miss because we look…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 24, 2017 at 9:36am — No Comments

Little Things

And then there is the world of little things, seen all too seldom. Many children, perhaps because they themselves are small and closer to the ground than we, notice and delight in the small and inconspicuous. With this beginning, it is easy to share with them the beauties we usually miss because we look…

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Added by Ann Courcy on June 24, 2017 at 9:35am — No Comments

Cycling out of Summer

Even when August was fairly new, signs of autumn were starting to appear. I have always thought of summer as the months of July and August—two months of the year boxed off with hot summer weather for everyone to enjoy. But this year, I began to notice signs of summer fading and autumn approaching in early August.

First, I spotted a newly fallen acorn on the trail…

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Added by Ann Courcy on December 7, 2016 at 8:35pm — No Comments

Monarch Magic

What happens when four monarch caterpillars are given to Schoolmates preschool? Monarch magic! Butterfly books are pulled out of storage and displayed on shelves.

Laminated photographs of the stages of metamorphosis are put on the table for the children to look at and put in the correct order. Yes, they know the correct order. Yellow, black, white, and green paints, crayons, colored…

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Added by Ann Courcy on November 21, 2016 at 5:15am — No Comments

Friday Photo

Rocco leaned down to look at the moss.

In a hushed voice he said, "It sparkles."

Then he reached out and touched the…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 27, 2016 at 7:45pm — No Comments

Unwind in Nature

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”  — Ansel Adams

Added by Ann Courcy on May 1, 2016 at 6:28am — No Comments

Skunk Cabbage, it's here!

I

love I love skunk cabbage. It is one of my favorite signs of spring. As a child, I would carefully navigate the edge of brooks and swamps, making sure not to step on skunk cabbage plants. It was fun to be a bit scared of the potential stink, though the fear of the smell was worse than the smell itself.

Each year, as the light changes and the air warms, I…

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Added by Ann Courcy on April 18, 2016 at 2:13pm — No Comments

One Last Hike

Rain slickers, rubber boots, happy voices, bright shiny green everywhere, and rain—summer rain, these are the lasting images of my final hike with the Explorer's class of 2015.

It was a fitting end to our time with this adventurous group of children. They were always ready to hit the trails and make discoveries. Some days we would only make it to the front of the…

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Added by Ann Courcy on July 30, 2015 at 3:35am — No Comments

Friday Photo

I like the way new fallen snow looks so smooth and bright. It sparkles in the sun.

–Madeline Morrissey, almost…
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Added by Ann Courcy on February 19, 2015 at 7:50pm — No Comments

Coloring rice was the project of the day. White rice, water color paints, plastic bags, two teachers, and eight Explorers were the ingredients needed for this plan. Each child was asked, "What color …

Coloring rice was the project of the day. White rice, water color paints, plastic bags, two teachers, and eight Explorers were the ingredients needed for this plan. Each child was asked, "What color rice would you like to make?"

"Blue, yellow, pink, light green, turquoise, dark green, orange, and purple," were the answers that rang through the classroom.

In teams of…

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Added by Ann Courcy on February 16, 2015 at 10:56am — No Comments

Hiking into the New Year

My husband, Dave, has a pair of Limmer boots. They are handmade boots that are made in New Hampshire. He has had the boots for at least 15 years. Even though they have always been just a little too tight he continues to wear them because he likes the tightness when hiking, loves the boots and the company that…

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Added by Ann Courcy on December 31, 2014 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Bon Voyage to the Birds

 

"The red-winged blackbird is the true harbinger of spring." This is a sentence I repeat at least two or three times a year. I first hear it at the Connecticut Audobon's Eagle Festival. My children and I went to the festival hoping to learn more about eagles and meet the bird experts. The festival is held in February, when everyone is looking toward spring and the return…

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Added by Ann Courcy on November 14, 2014 at 5:07am — No Comments

Camouflage

While walking in the woods this afternoon, I found an Eastern Box Turtle sitting among the fallen leaves. At some point each autumn, I find a box turtle in about the same location. Today, I learned that they have a limited home range and spend their entire life ranging from…

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Added by Ann Courcy on October 18, 2014 at 5:35pm — No Comments

Take it Outside: Share a Hike

During the summer, my son William and I spent four days working together at Dinners at the Farm. As we drove back and forth to Barberry Hill Farm, we passed Chatfield Hollow…

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Added by Ann Courcy on September 16, 2014 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Go Wild!

Go wild. It's time. Summer vacation is in full swing at our house. With so much time together, occasionally, Stephen and Aurora get on each others nerves. One day last week, I heard one of the calls of summering children, "Stop it. Give it back. Don't." My reply was, "Please stop arguing. Pack some plastic containers into backpacks and get your bikes. We are going…

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Added by Ann Courcy on August 19, 2014 at 3:47am — No Comments

A Bluebird For Millie

"I want to catch a bluebird for Millie," Stephen declared one day after school.

"Catching a bluebird might be tricky. Maybe you could help Millie create a bluebird environment at her house. If she's successful, a pair of bluebirds might move in, build a nest, and have a family right in Millie's backyard. Millie could watch their activity, learn about bluebirds, and…

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Added by Ann Courcy on May 13, 2014 at 4:16am — No Comments

A New Puzzle in the Explorers' Classroom

A new rainforest puzzle was recently introduced to the Explorer classroom. One of the best parts of working in an educational environment is that something as simple as a new puzzle can inspire lots of learning and collaboration.

The long colorful puzzle features many exotic birds and animals that live in the rainforest.  As soon as the puzzle was completed, Ethan, one of the…

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Added by Ann Courcy on March 24, 2014 at 5:06pm — No Comments

Christmas 1994 to Christmas 2013

While looking through old photographs, I came across one that I had used for my Christmas card in 1994. My son William was two-years-old and in love with animals. He played with toy animals, we read stories about animals, and we visited animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo all the time. In fact, for Christmas that year, we gave out gift certificates that read, "This…

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Added by Ann Courcy on December 24, 2013 at 7:15pm — 1 Comment

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