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Notes from a verdant classroom

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nature school

In Pursuit of a Strenuous Life

On April 10th, 1899, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. gave a speech in which he reflected upon what he believed to be the ideal American lifestyle: "I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous... Continue Reading →

The Paradox of Pedagogical Documentation

Documentation is the life-blood of our experience as educators working in the Reggio Way.  It is how we show students not just that we are watching what they do, but listening to what they say and how they feel.  By... Continue Reading →

Wood Have, Could Have, Should Have.

"So they just play all day?" Every educator working in a play-based student directed environment has heard a potential parent speak these words during a tour.  With the current educational status quo, concerns about school readiness are cropping up earlier... Continue Reading →

Reggio, the Dollar Store, and Transformative Parts

As an educator working in a Reggio-inspired school, loose parts come up in conversation at least once per day.  I have attended training sessions on loose parts and their importance to the Reggio Way on at least five different occasions.... Continue Reading →

Re: Forest Bathing

When concepts cross cultural boundaries, they rarely survive intact. In 1892, Swami Vivekananda introduced a form of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise called "yoga" in the United States.  Needless to say, the hot yoga, restorative yoga, and yin yoga practiced by an... Continue Reading →

“Dirty” is a Compliment

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on a big pile of mulch with one of my students just watching the clouds go by.  Without any prompting, she turned to me and said, "I'm a dirty robot."  Admittedly, I had... Continue Reading →

A Blessing and a Curse

I'll come clean.  I love honeysuckle. When I was a little boy, my grandparents used it as a landscaping plant to spruce up the wooden fence dividing their property from their neighbors'.  I have a distinct memory of my aunt... Continue Reading →

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