Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 8

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - October 22, 2015
The class was happy, warm, and dry in new bib rain pants!
 We purchased this and other gear for Forest Kindergarten
 thanks to a grant from The Byrne Foundation.
There was some good work done on and in the forest classroom this week. The fire pit is almost ready. The children moved dirt away. They worked in pairs to haul large rocks to fill in around the fire pit. Many enjoyed their sit spots this week. Some have begun decorating their sit spots, noticing changes week to week, and inviting classmates over to see special things about their sit spots. This week they heard the book Ox-Cart Man and a story told aloud about Coyote’s Peace Song. They also reviewed adding, brainstormed words with b and f, and enjoyed recess and snack in the forest.
One child re-leafed a small tree at her sit spot.
The children visited each other's sit spots and tried them out.
This sit spot got lots of work and admiration.
It was a good day for hauling rocks with friends. 
Look at that teamwork!
The fire pit got a layer of sand and some large rocks.
In between all the work, it was time to play under the trees...
on the trees...
and in the trees.
How did that get stuck there?
Those hands worked and played hard today!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 7

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - October 15, 2015

 The forest has changed a lot since last week...
Children return to their sit spots each week. They sit and observe the forest from their own spots.  Can you find the children in their sit spots in the photo above?
We read stories and tell stories aloud.
One goal in forest kindergarten is to tell more stories.
The children eat snack and listen carefully as an adult tells a story.
Children scout for a site and mark trees we could use to build a forest bathroom.
We will begin work on the bathroom in the coming weeks.

Children work to clear inside our sitting area to make a fire pit.
We will build a fire pit soon.

With some good site work done, it is time to play!

After all that work and play, it is time for lunch with friends!
Now it is time for more work--this time the academic kind.
We discover that math is even more fun outdoors!
Counting pieces of grass...
adding cubes on "tree cookie" desks...
writing numbers with a stick...
playing a math game...
and moving and counting up and down.
An observation and color activity lends itself to the forest classroom.
Children find colors in nature and layer crayon colors to make that color.
Learning with friends in the forest is fun!
The letter of the week is T. Children find objects that have the
 letter t in the word. We write it and put it in the letter box.
Some children even find T's in the forest--or get a little help to make a T!
Forest Day reflections in drawing and writing
One child draws the color activity showing himself, his work, and the rocks where he worked. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 6

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - October 8, 2015
The children practice fox walking to the forest classroom. They walk heel first, then toes, as quietly as they can. They try not to be heard or caught as they follow the leader.
We find areas of water in the field still after the heavy rain last week.
We find spots with frost. We can feel the temperature difference between this and the other grass.
Once in the forest children gather for snack and a story.
During free play the children explore the edge between the forest and the field.

A child finds a log with insect holes and marks that he notices look like the letters M and W.
Free play allows for climbing trees...
jumping on rocks...
observing interesting things...
testing to see what works...
planning the next move...
playing on a swing...
helping a friend...
finding a new perspective...
or sitting and thinking.

Sit Spots allow for quiet observation and reflection in the same spot each visit.
Friends from another class join us!
After gathering together, small multi-age groups
explore on a nature scavenger hunt in the forest.

Friends search in the forest using their Deer Ears, Owl Eyes, Raccoon Hands, and Coyote Noses.
Forest Day Reflections in drawing and writing: