False Daisy

This is a picture of one of my false daisy plants. ¬†As you can tell it has not bloomed yet, however there are tons of little buds! ūüôā ¬†This plant has been in my flower bed for years and it kind of died off a few years ago because I neglected it, but this year it came back with a¬†vengeance! ¬†¬†I’m so happy because it is so lovely when in bloom!¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Heidi's School Pics 058¬†¬†The leaves do get quite a bit darker with¬†fertilizer.¬†¬†Last year as I’ve mentioned before, coffee grounds kept it dark green. ¬†The dark green leaves next to the yellow flowers is so pretty and ¬†the color contrast is amazing! ¬†I will try to remember to post pics of this pretty flower when it blooms and when the leaves are darker. ūüôā

This is another great flower to use in the classroom with young children because there is an abundance of buds and you can set up the different stages of growth for the children to explore. ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Sunflower or False Daisy?

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When I first looked at this oil pastel I thought, “hmm…sunflower!” ¬†Then I thought some more, “no, false daisy!” ¬†

When I asked the little boy who drew this picture he did not know the type of flower because drawing a specific variety was not on his mind as he created this lovely and vibrant color explosion.

I personally think the leaves look more like arms reaching out with little marshmallow muscles. ūüôā

What variety of flower do you think this could be? ¬†Share you thoughts! ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Math and Science through Plant Exploration

Math and science are aspects of early childhood education that can be learned through plants.  Columbine and spider wart are two plants that have unique petals and leaves; each plant allows for children to learn about how a plant grows and incorporates numbers and patterns.

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There are a couple of ways I will mention that a provocation for math and science can be set up for children to question, explore and learn from. ¬†First I like to set up a potted plant or fresh cut flowers so that the children can admire the plant and incorporate both art and literacy by drawing a picture of each and writing a story about them based on any inspirational ideas that come forward by admiring the plant or flowers (I act as ¬†their scribe). ¬†Math comes in to play when the children can, in essence, dissect the plant visually and artistically; drawing the leaves, the¬†vanes, and the petals.¬† As their scribe, I can dialogue with the children and model how to write/draw numbers for each part of the plant they have illustrated. ¬†For science, we can explore the role and purpose of soil, the nutrients it contains, and the rain and sunshine’s impact on the plants. ¬†So as you can see we actually are¬†encompassing¬†not simply math and science, we are including art and literacy; four content¬†areas are being explored and utilized in a natural and holistic way of teaching and learning.¬† ¬†No worksheets or artificial methods are being used to teach something that is freely available in all of nature.


Heidi's School Pics 061¬† ¬† ¬†California poppy is another commonly grown flower that can easily be used to teach math and science. ¬†I enjoy taking pictures, but I love planting with children and allowing them to be responsible for the care and¬†maintenance¬†of a plant or flower. ¬†As each child watches a seed transform we learn how the sun, rain, and soil cause a seed to grow. ¬†I introduce actual scientific¬†terminology¬†and age-appropriate reading with illustrations to support the children’s learning. ¬†Of course, if we are exploring plants and how they grow it is because the children have shown and communicated a strong interest. ¬†When children have internal interest their attention spans are quite long and a simple question turns into a month or more long project. ūüôā ¬†I do not introduce complicated vocabulary for the children to memorize or know off hand, rather I introduce the terms as a way of building a foundation for further information to be added as the child gains his/ her understanding of how plants grow and thrive.

There are many different provocations and projects that can be explored through the use of nature and I enjoy seeing each child come to his/ her own understanding through inquiry, exploration, manipulation, and implementation.  Either individually or as a collaborative effort young minds construct knowledge, and as the Teacher, I am a facilitator and support to their ever constant and changing development of knowledge.

You as Parents or Grandparents are a constant source of knowledge and support for your young child and together we work as a team preparing young minds for their future educational careers. ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

As a Child…

As a young child what kind of fun I could have if my play ¬†table looked like this…

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First if I had a friend to play with I can imagine cooking all sorts of our favorite food (for pretend of course). ¬†I’m thinking chocolate cake would have been a main meal. ūüôā ¬†If I did not have a friend to play with then I would pull out my stuffed friends and they would enjoy cooking, being served and eating our wonderful and delicious creations. ¬†

One thing is for sure though, the table may start out nice like the one above, but by the time I was finished cooking, creating and eating, the table would be a disaster zone. ¬†Yes, it would be messy! ¬†And you know what? ¬†That is just fine. ūüôā ¬†Being messy is a part of the whole process. ¬†Cleaning up with a friend would definitely have taken less time than having to put all my wonderful meals away by myself. ¬†

Think back to when you were young and share your imagination with me! ¬†I would love to read all about your unique and fun childhood memories! ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Oil Pastel Provocation

Oil pastels have such a soft texture and so much pigment! ¬†As you can see below in the picture frame, this four year old child was very happy drawing with about four different colors of oil pastels. ¬†This particular child did not use water to smudge the drawing, but rather his fingers, however the effect, I thought, is very similar to water color crayons. ¬†Don’t you think?

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For this provocation I thought it would be fun to change the medium in which the art is applied to. ¬†A super thin board in the shape of a rectangle so that two children can create at once. ¬†Now that does not mean two children will have the same or even complimentary ideas, it does mean that this whole board will be decorated though! ūüôā ¬†Depending on the two children, each may decide to collaborate and create a story together, or their creations may briefly be made with similar thoughts in mind as they communicate back and forth with each other. ¬†Most likely, though, each creation will be independent of the other and stand alone as a unique creation. ¬†Either way, the effect in my opinion will be a masterpiece. ¬†I love children’s artwork because it is so pure, innocent and expresses such joy for life. ūüôā

As for changing the medium in which the tools are applied, that is something thought provoking for a young child. ¬†At first both children may ponder what exactly to do, but once they’ve had time to assess the scene they will begin to create. ¬†I don’t usually rush in and give an¬†explanation, because I want to allow the children to take in¬†what they see and make a decision themselves. ¬†If I see the provocation to be too difficult to decipher, then I will give a clear¬†explanation¬†through dialogue. ¬†Each child is different in how he/ she¬†interprets a provocation and I¬†accommodate¬†for each style of understanding and communication.

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Using a picture for a small space and reducing the number of children from four to two in this interest area is great if you have other equally engaging interest areas set up around the learning environment. ¬†For more students to engage in this type of provocation you may also want to try to post a larger picture or poster on the wall and provide a larger table or floor space for each child to have elbow room. ¬†There are many ways in which to increase or decrease the number of children engaging in this provocation at a time; the choice is entirely up to you. ūüôā

Please share your provocations because I would love to read them! ¬†ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning


Simple Provocations

Heidi's School Pics 004¬† Provocations are not always ideas we adults come up with. ¬†Sometimes they are moments we’ve observed young children interacting with nature, with each other, with their stuffed animals etc. ¬†All it takes is a spark of an idea and a little more time allowing that natural idea to progress, which enables a provocation to take shape. ¬†The pictures you see are again simple provocations that we all do regularly, yet each time we meaningfully set up an interest area for young children to become curious about, explore and express themselves artistically and literacy wise, we allow for deeper thought and encourage a young mind to think beyond barriers.

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As an adult I have many invisible barriers in my mind. ¬†Those barriers have been created by myself, my family, my educational upbringing and my society. ¬†It takes more effort for me to break down those invisible barriers than it does a child, who’s mind is still open and free to construct knowledge in a pure and unbiased form.

I can not change the fact that as an adult I have to break down barriers to my continued learning and creativity, but I can prevent new ones from forming and I can break down any preconceived ideas I have and allow my mind to openly and freely continue the life long journey of learning.

Early Childhood Education is my catalyst, what is your? ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning


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What Would You DO?

“Hmm…what can I do with paper, pencil and scissors?”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Preschool Pics 096

“I can draw anything I want. ¬†Then I can use my handy scissors to cut in any direction I want. ¬†OR, I could crumple the paper, twist it, shred it, make little balls…oh, I need a bowl or basket to carry my balls in! ¬†Then I can go around and show my friends and then maybe they will help me make more balls and we could then say they are berries! ¬†Yes, that is what I will do. ¬†Oh, I want to tell my story…I need my Teacher, she can write my words for me.”

Just looking at this picture seems like a pretty simple scenario, yet there are so many different ideas and directions a child might explore with three simple tools. ¬†Tools sometimes are simple, yet the hand and mind controlling them are much more complicated. ūüôā

What scenarios, provocations have you set up recently that the children took in directions you the Teacher or Parent never imagined? ¬†Please share your stories, I would love to read about them too! ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning 

The Marigold School of Early Learning

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I hope this is the right thread to post under.

I opened The Marigold School of Early Learning, a small-in home morning preschool this school year and I am looking to connect families wanting a quality early learning school for their young children ages 3-5.  Please take some time to check out my web site and email or call the school number if you have any questions.  I would love to hear from families in Clark County that may travel into West Vancouver or Portland and need a preschool close by their work, or homes if they live here in West Vancouver.  I follow a Constructivist educational theory and am inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Thank you and have a great day!

Heidi Scott

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Dairy, Gluten and Potato Free Carrot Cake with Soy Cream Cheese Frosting :)

I made this single layer cake for my Mother’s birthday a while ago. ¬†It was a gluten, dairy and potato free carrot cake with a soy cream cheese frosting. ¬†

I absolutely love carrot cake and finding a recipe I can tweek is not always the easiest task. ūüôā

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If you have any delicious carrot cake recipes that are safe for food allergy people please share them! ¬†ūüôā

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning