Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

A Strong and Fexible Foundation for Self Regulation

walking into a Kindergarten classroom to consult with the teacher. Two children are  building a tower with magnet tiles, while four children are building a maze with blocks. Nearby you hear excited chatter from two children at the paint easel while a quiet pair are focused at the story play corner. Some children are busy connecting uni-fix blocks to measure the length of the room encouraged by a visiting grandmother. You finally locate the teacher sitting with two children, one of whom is sad. You hear her ask "do you feel ready to go back? The children look at each other and nodding walk away. 

What's happening here? Children are engaged in different activities all while the teacher supports two children in resolving a conflict. She is demonstrating a deep belief about children, that she values and trusts them to be capable, curious and engaged. These children are practicing self regulation, one of the most important components of Kindergarten. Recent research cites it as critical to the ways in which children successfully engage with their teacher and peers in school.

In our Nature Play Reggio Inspired Kindergarten classroom, children are given opportunities to practice self regulation in a myriad of ways;
  • choosing their own activities during Exploration and Quiet Play
  • independently progressing through the Counting Jar Routine
  • choosing their own topic for Writing Workshop and respect for personal stamina
  • progress at their own pace through Daily Five Literacy Centres again with respect for personal stamina
  • receiving support to solve peer conflicts
  • given on-going, multiple opportunities to make decisions and receive feedback
  • engage in a task and follow through to it's completion
  • exchange ideas with their peers through talking circles, information building circles, structured partner talk and conversation circles
          Children who are able to remain calm
          and focused and alert will be better 
          able to monitor emotional responses, 
          regulate arousal, deal with frustrations,
          sequence thoughts, negotiate with 
          others   Dr. Stuart Shanker, 
                       Calm Alert and Thinking

While we provide all of the other important learning experiences, establishing a responsive and nurturing relationship with your students helps to enable children to take risks, feel trusted and safe, a prime ingredient for learning.

This learning environment complements an outdoor nature program. If you are interested in learning how to prepare for an outdoor program my book is available here


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