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Finding our Place Through Creativity

This is the seventh in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   Perhaps one of the first—and most enduring—lessons an educator learns is that creativity is the way children…
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Get Those Children Moving!

This is the sixth in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   “The importance of movement thinking should not be underestimated. If the six-year-old child does not have fundamental…
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Nature + Exploration = Boundless Mathematics Learning

This is the fifth in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   Natural outdoor classrooms provide engaging opportunities for children to develop mathematical ideas through frequent hands-on investigations. The…
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Raising a Generation of Nurturers: Social/Emotional Development in Outdoor Classrooms

This is the fourth in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   Our fast-paced, technology-laden society limits children’s opportunities to engage in the kinds of unstructured interactive play that…
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All Children are Scientists; The World is their Laboratory

This is the third in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   Over the past few decades, outdoor settings for children have become increasingly sanitized spaces devoid of nature’s…
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Helping Language and Literacy Flourish in Outdoor Classrooms

This is the second in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   “A child’s quest for knowledge about his world, which is energized by experiences in the outdoors, leads…
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A Whole-Child Approach to Learning in Nature

This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting “Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms.” Contributors include Dimensions Educational Research Foundation executive director Nancy Rosenow and members of the Nature Explore education team.   “When children were engaged in authentic play in the Nature Explore Classroom they were developing important skills—skills…
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From Pigs to People: Socialization Skills Developed Naturally

New Zealand is where I finally caught up with Karen Lucy, Director of Early Childhood Education in the Shirlee Green preschool at the Jewish Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, Missouri. We were both there for the 2017 World Forum on Early Care and Education. Karen’s presentation on children and nature was low-tech, heartfelt, and…
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Blocks and Literacy in the Outdoor Classroom

By Candace Kastrup, Infant/Toddler Teacher, Dimensions Education Programs Storytelling has a big impact on children. Often times we find children in our care requesting to hear favorite stories repeatedly. My class of toddlers is no exception, one of their favorites being The Three Little Pigs. After reading the story I presented an idea to the…
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Rocket Scientists, Loose Parts and Irregular Shapes

If you’re looking for employment at NASA/Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (this is where our spacecraft, moon buggies etc. are designed) you’d be ahead of the pack if you had taken things apart and put things together while playing when you were a child. Back in the 1990’s, when their original genius rocket scientists were retiring, the…
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