Sep
27
6:00 PM18:00

Guided by the “Why?” — Making Intentional Decisions in the Nature-based Early Childhood Classrooms

Educators make thousands of decisions every day that influence children’s learning. It’s important to consider the overall goals of nature-based programs and whether or not our teaching and administrative practices reflect those goals. Rachel will challenge attendees to consider how well program structures, physical spaces, and teacher-child interactions align with the “Why?” of nature-based early childhood education. No matter how long you’ve been in nature-based education, you’ll leave this keynote reflecting on your practice, energized, and ready to change the world! 

This presentation is followed by a full-day workshop for educators on Saturday morning.

This event is hosted by North Branch Nature Center.

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Sep
28
9:00 AM09:00

Going to the great "beyond" one-day workshop

This event is hosted by North Branch Nature Center. To register, click here.

Nature-based early childhood education includes excursions to wild spaces beyond the fenced play area. Connecting back to the Friday evening keynote we’ll first discuss why we visit these spaces? In other words, what is the purpose of experiences in the “beyond.” Are we providing children with activities that align with these goals? This session will explore our current practices and how we can move away from learning in or about nature and toward more learning with nature. To do this we’ll consider the structure of our time, the physical environment, and our teacher-child interactions. We’ll also discuss how we integrate those experiences in the beyond into the indoor classroom. The workshop will include a mix of presentation by Rachel Larimore and active participation by attendees—through, for example, small group discussions. CEUs available!

This event is hosted by North Branch Nature Center. To register, click here. This workshop is preceded by an optional, by-donation Friday evening Presentation.

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Oct
5
to Oct 6

Froebel USA Conference

Rachel Larimore will be presenting at this year’s Froebel USA Conference in Boston, MA. Other presenters at the event include:

  • Barbara Beatty — "Early Kindergarten Pioneers in Boston"

  • Julie Bennett — "Froebel Gift Play Techniques"

  • Norman Brosterman — "Kindergarten: The Lost World"

  • Scott Bultman — Preview of The Garden of Children documentary film series

  • Alicia Carroll — "Early Childhood STEM"

  • Tiffeni Goesel — "Connecting the Froebel Gifts"

  • Kristina Lamour Sansone — "Rhoda Kellogg’s Child As Designer"

  • Peg Oliveira | Gesell Institute — "Assessing Child Development"

  • Cathy Topal / Lella Gandini — "Beautiful Stuff from Nature"

  • Helge Wasmuth — "How Kindergarten Came to America"

Click here more information about the event and to register.

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Oct
7
to Oct 12

World of Wonder International Association of Nature Pedagogy Online Conference

The International Association of Nature Pedagogy will be hosting an online conference October 7-12, 2019. On the final day (Saturday, October 12), Rachel Larimore, Samara Early Learning’s Founder, will be facilitating an online discussion to reflect on the speakers earlier in the week. To hold your spot in this virtual conference, or for more information, click here.

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Nov
20
to Nov 23

NAEYC's 2019 Annual Conference

Rachel will be presenting a poster session at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) 2019 Annual Conference. The conference will be held November 20-23 in Nashville, TN. Conference registration is required to attend, and you can register by clicking here.

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Mar
18
2:00 PM14:00

The Joys and Challenges Managing Nature-Based Programs Webinar

Rachel Larimore, Samara Early Learning’s Founder, will be presenting a free webinar hosted by Early Childhood Investigations Webinars and sponsored by StoryPark.

Here is the webinar description:

“Get children outside more!” It seems a common phrase lately with a growing awareness for benefits of experiences with nature. Yet, the reality is it’s easier said than done. Yes, there are many benefits to children and teachers alike by integrating nature into the preschool curriculum. There are also opportunities for integrating nature in even more frequent and meaningful ways. For example, providing daily experiences in natural areas beyond the fenced play area. Yet there are also many administrative challenges when implementing a nature- based approach. Sometimes, for example, teachers don’t like the idea of being outside in the cold. Sometimes children don’t arrive with appropriate clothing. And sometimes parents don’t understand why the children are “just playing in the woods.”

This webinar will help early childhood administrators identify the principles fundamental to a nature-based approach and the benefits of such an approach. Then, using a continuum of nature-based early childhood education as the overarching framework, Rachel will address the unique challenges of integrating nature into the preschool classroom. In this session we’ll discuss challenges and possible solutions related to:

  • Adhering to licensing regulations while implementing a nature-based approach

  • Adjusting program structure to integrate more outdoor time

  • Preparing the physical environment (inside and outside)

  • Supporting teachers to shift their practice to include more nature

  • Supporting families when integrating more nature-based activities into the curriculum

Though the webinar is free, registration is required. Register today!

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Aug
3
9:00 AM09:00

Nature-Based & Forest Preschool Business Planning Workshop: Helping your business take flight

Facilitated by Rachel Larimore & David Catlin of Samara Early Learning, LLC

Registration is $135 and includes all presentation handouts, worksheets and business templates, and lunch.

Click here to register for this workshop.

(Please note, registration for the Nature-Based Learning Conference must be completed separately here.) 

This one-day business planning workshop is being offered in conjunction with Natural Start Alliance’s annual Nature-Based Early Learning Conference. Our goal is to help your nature-based or forest preschool dream take flight. This one-day workshop will not only help you get started, but also provide you the road map for accomplishing your vision. We will begin with an overview of the business planning process, then we will guide you on questions to ask and tools to answer those questions—all specific to the unique business needs of nature-based and forest preschools. We will provide specific guidance related to these topics:

·      Key decisions (e.g., mission, goals, administrative model, partnerships)

·      Programming plan (What will the program look and feel like?)

·      Site plan (How do I determine if a site is right for my business?)

·      Building plan (What does the ideal physical space look like and how can I achieve that vision?)

·      Marketing plan (Who is the target market? How do I reach them? How do I identify potential competition?)

·      Operating plan (How do I identify the nuts and bolts of my program such as schedule, registration process, insurance, etc.?)

·      Financial plan (How do I identify and track start-up and operating expenses?)

·      Risk analysis (What might go wrong in my business plan and how might I respond if it does?)

The workshop itself will be a mix of presentations and small-group interaction and problem-solving. All of these activities are designed to ensure you leave the workshop having made substantial progress on your business plan. Yes, you’ll leave with more work to do, but our goal is for you to leave with a clear road map of next steps to quickly and efficiently make your preschool a reality.  

Thank you to our partners in offering this workshop:

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Jul
31
to Aug 3

Natural Start Alliance's 2019 Nature-Based Early Learning Conference

Rachel Larimore, Founder of Samara Early Learning, will be presenting a concurrent session with David Catlin, titled “Learning from each other: A facilitated discussion on the challenges of starting a school and a research posted titled “Development of the NAture-Based Education Rating Scale (NABERS) for K-3 Education” at Natural Start Alliance’s Nature-Based Early Learning Conference, July 31-August 3, 2019 in Manchester, NH. Conference registration is required to attend these presentations. Click here to register! Also, please check the conference program for session times and locations.

Note: Rachel Larimore and David Catlin will also be presenting a one-day nature-based preschool business planning post-conference workshop on Saturday, August 3. For more information or to register for this event, please click here.

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Jun
2
to Jun 5

NAEYC Professional Learning Institute

Rachel Larimore, Founder of Samara Early Learning, will be presenting a concurrent session, titled “Learning beyond walls: Integrating nature into the preschool classroom at NAEYC’s Professional Learning Institute June 2-5, 2019 in Long Beach, California. She will also be joining Gryphon House, publisher of her new book (Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning) in the Exhibit Hall. Conference registration is required to attend these presentations. Click here to register! Also, please check the conference program for session times and locations.

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Apr
12
to Apr 13

Irvine Nature Center's Nature Preschool Conference

Rachel Larimore, Founder of Samara Early Learning, will be presenting the keynote, titled “Guided by the ‘Why?’—Making Intentional Decisions in the Nature-based Early Childhood Classroom” at Irvine Nature Center’s Nature Preschool Conference April 12-13, 2019 in Owing Mills, Maryland. She will also be presenting a concurrent session titled “Going to the Great ‘Beyond’.” Conference registration is required. Click here to register!

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Mar
13
2:00 PM14:00

Preschool Beyond Walls: Integrating Nature into the Preschool Classroom (Webinar)

I’ll be presenting a FREE webinar through edWebinar in honor of the release of my new book. Here are the details about this event:

“With a growing awareness for 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 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 will provide concrete ways to better integrate nature into your program structure, physical environment (inside and outside), and teacher-child interactions.

Attendees 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 presentation will be of interest to preK-3 teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. There will be time for Rachel to answer questions at the end of the edWebinar.”

To register, visit the edWebinar site.

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Mar
7
to Mar 9

Nature-based Preschool Business Planning Workshop: Helping your business take flight

Business+workshop+image.jpg

Our goal is to help your nature-based or forest preschool dream take flight. This two-day workshop (plus an evening) will not only help you get started, but also provide you the road map for accomplishing your vision. We will begin with an overview of the business planning process, then we will guide you on questions to ask and tools to answer those questions—all specific to the unique business needs of nature-based and forest preschools. We will provide specific guidance related to these topics:

  • Key decisions (e.g., mission, goals, administrative model, partnerships)

  • Programming plan (What will the program look and feel like?)

  • Site plan (How do I determine if a site is right for your business?)

  • Building plan (What does the ideal physical space look like and how can I achieve that vision?)

  • Marketing plan (Who is the target market? How do I reach them? How do I identify potential competition?)

  • Operating plan (How do I identify the nuts and bolts of my program such as schedule, registration process, insurance, etc.?)

  • Financial plan (How do I identify and track start-up and operating expenses?)

  • Risk analysis (What might go wrong in my business plan and how might I respond if it does?)

The workshop itself will be a mix of presentations and time to workshop and problem-solve in small groups. We will also visit Chippewa Nature Center’s Nature Preschool. All of these activities are designed to ensure you leave the workshop having made substantial progress on your business plan. Yes, you’ll leave with more work to do, but our goal is for you to leave with a clear road map of next steps to quickly and efficiently make your preschool a reality.  

Early bird registration (prior to January 31) is $395; Regular registration is $485. Registration will be limited to 15 participants to provide tailored support. Handouts, snacks, and lunch will be provided. To register, click here.

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