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Nature's Classroom Institute, the nation's premier environmental education program, creates customized and individual experiences for every teacher and student. 

February 2015

5th Annual WMA Conference

Join the Wisconsin Montessori Association in March for their 5th annual conference in Madison WI. Linda Davis, Curriculum Coordinator and Consultant at Seton Montessori Institute, will be the keynote speaker and will present on Collaboration.

 Incredible, Edible Weeds

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Some people incorporate certain weeds into a healthy diet. Like other plants, some weeds taste good and are easy to digest; many others are foul tasting or even poisonous. In this lesson, students will identify and collect edible weeds. They will use tested recipes to create a variety of dishes from these edible weeds.

Seed Starting

Starting plants indoors from seed is a great antidote to bleak winter weather. While it's too early to start seeds indoors in most parts of the country, it doesn't mean you can't get all the supplies and seeds ready now. Make preparations for starting vegetable seeds that need an indoor headstart before transplanting to the garden.
My students attended NCI for the first time in the fall of 2013. They are 4th graders from a low-income neighborhood in Chicago. They had struggled with issues of cooperation and collaboration, and while at NCI I saw a big change. They took only a few hours to warm up to the team atmosphere and dove right into the learning activities provided by the caring staff. The students were enthusiastic about everything from the food and dorms to meeting new friends from varying backgrounds around the Midwest. They ask frequently when they can return. We use many of the activities and songs they learned at NCI in the classroom including the concepts of conserving resources and using songs and chants to learn and relax. NCI will continue to be a highlight and an integral part of our Montessori program at Oglesby Elementary.

Dakota Prosch, Montessori Teacher at Oglesby Public School

Vanishing Honey Bees

Honey bees are disappearing across the country. Without bees to pollinate many of our favorite fruits and vegetables, the United States could lose $15 billion worth of crops. Researchers call the mass disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and they estimate that nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies in the country have vanished.

Make your garden bee safe

Largest image ever of Andromeda Galaxy

In January 2015, NASA released the image of our closest galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. The full image takes you through 100 million stars and travels more than 40,000 light-years. Each of those white dots is a sun, much like the sun that powers all life on Earth. WOW!

Learn more

Building Confidence in the Natural World

The term ‘risk-taking’ often has negative connotations in our risk-averse society. But, age- appropriate outdoor risk-taking plays an important role in childhood development. One of the best things we can do is let kids play in the natural world. Let them climb trees, jump in puddles and walk along logs. It helps children find their limits and develop confidence, resilience and creativity.

Learn more

NCI Mukwonago WI

NCI Mukwonago is surrounded by 600 acres of woodlands and open prairies. Mukwonago is just under an hour and a half from downtown Chicago, between Madison and Milwaukee. The beautiful property is surrounded by such geological and environmental wonders as a living bog and Kettle Moraines.

Read more or find an NCI location near you!
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