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Preschool Beyond Walls: Integrating Nature into the Preschool Classroom
Wednesday March 13, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
Presented by Rachel A. Larimore, Owner, Samara Early Learning, LLC
Sponsored by Gryphon House
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With a growing awareness of the benefits of outdoor play, it seems everywhere one turns there is talk of children and nature. One particular approach that is receiving a lot of attention is nature-based or forest preschools. While the number of nature-based preschools is increasing, there are more young children needing experiences with nature than these programs can provide. At the same time, many early childhood educators who understand the value of outdoor experiences find themselves in a traditional setting unsure of how to meaningfully integrate nature into their programs.
This recorded edWebinar will help early childhood providers, no matter their situation, consider the principles fundamental to a nature-based approach and integrate those principles into teaching practice. These high-quality nature-based early childhood education (NbECE) practices don’t happen overnight, but rather occur through daily programmatic and teaching decisions. Using a continuum of NbECE as the overarching framework, Rachel Larimore provides concrete ways to better integrate nature into your program structure, physical environment (inside and outside), and teacher-child interactions.
Viewers will leave the edWebinar with tangible ideas that can be implemented the next day as well as some ideas can be worked toward into the future. This recorded presentation will be of interest to preK-3 teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders.
About the Presenter
Rachel is the founder of Samara Early Learning, a consulting business focused on supporting early childhood professionals in implementing nature-based administrative and pedagogical practices. Prior to this, she worked for 15 years as the director of education at Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) in Midland, MI. In 2007, in this role, she developed the Nature Preschool at CNC and implemented the on-the-ground work to bring it to reality. She continued as the founding director of the program until 2016 when, at her departure, the program served 140 children each year through public and private funding sources. Rachel is also pursuing a PhD in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education at Michigan State University. Rachel is the author of Establishing a Nature-Based Preschool, focused on program administration, and Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Learning Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning, which focuses on integrating nature-based practices into the preschool classroom.
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