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May 2020

Mamaroneck Schools Launch Exciting Collaboration

As elementary students have clicked open their daily distance learning plans, they have encountered some new and innovative offerings. Through an exciting collaboration, Mamaroneck students are taking weekly, virtual field trips to the nature reserves of Sheldrake Environmental Center and to the rural landscape of western New York where poet-educator Amy VanDerwater offers students an eye into her process as a writer. In a coordinated series of lessons each week, Mamaroneck students learn from Sheldrake naturalists to act like scientists, closely observing their environment for signs of spring, forest ecology, birds, and trees. From Ms. VanDerwater, students learn to “write wildly” from nature by taking an observant, inquiry stance and collecting ideas and sketches in nature journals.


Mamaroneck teachers are embedding these resources into their daily learning plans and writing alongside their students, modeling how to craft words and images into nature poems, riddles, and other vibrant forms. Not only does this collaboration provide authentic learning experiences for children; it emphasizes the reassurance that the world provides each spring.