Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 11

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - November 19, 2015

Work Time:

Small groups worked on drawing and writing to put in time capsules to find later. They will bring warmth, color, and inspiration to us some cold winter day. We were inspired by the book Frederick, by Leo Lionni, in which four mice collect food for the long winter ahead and one mouse collects up sun rays, colors, and words to brighten up a cold winter day. 

Small groups learned about how animals prepare for and survive winter. They sorted animal cards by whether they migrate, hibernate, or adapt.

Play Time:

"We're just wandering."
"Driving a jeep"
Following a friend up a tree
Finding interesting things, like a hole in a tree
or a moth that camouflages well

Time to Make a Fire and Snack:

Building a fire
Preparing food
Waiting for quesadillas
Gathering together for a story and snack

Reflecting on Forest Day:
Dressing for the cool, rainy weather and safety during hunting season and cooking over the fire were important parts of Forest Kindergarten today.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 10

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - November 12, 2015
Entering the forest classroom the children notice changes in the environment
 since last week. They share these observations during morning meeting.
This week's story was in anticipation of our first fire of the year. It was about a little girl who, lost in the forest, gets help from forest animals to build a fire and be found by the smoke from the fire. The animals use sticks in three sizes to make the fire, called mouse tails, chickadee sticks, and beaver logs. After hearing the story, groups of children collected mouse tails, chickadee sticks, and beaver logs to start our fire.
mouse tails
chickadee sticks
beaver logs
They tore birch bark into strips and, using this with
 the collected sticks, the adults started our first fire!

Of course we roasted marshmallows over our fire!

Even in the cold, damp weather sit spots are enjoyable.
Children gathered branches to build the walls on a structure.
leaning just right
Teamwork! They sang "heave-ho" as they worked.
Now they're inspecting a slug, not the structure!
They left the forest after a few hours of observing, storytelling, collecting
 wood, sharing a fire and marshmallows, sitting in nature, playing, eating,
building, and working together towards a common goal. A good morning!
Forest Day reflections in drawing and writing all had fire and marshmallows!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 9

Newton School Forest Kindergarten - November 5, 2015

At Home in The Forest Classroom

This week the kindergarteners noticeably settled into their forest classroom. They are getting comfortable with sit spots. They hung name tags at their spots, decorated them, and began making small structures. Some drew and wrote, and others sat quietly. Afterwards they gave tours to their classmates and told interesting facts about their sit spots.

drawing and writing:

building and decorating:

sitting and thinking:

giving tours of sit spots: 

At Work in the Forest Classroom

The kindergarteners also enjoyed working in their forest classroom. The fire pit is complete and ready for a fire when the weather finally cools down. We began building structures with lashing. The best work is done with friends working together.

building with cut tree branches, standing trees, and lashing:

carrying tools in:

carrying tools out:

At Play in the Forest Classroom

playing "workers" together with tools:

playing together in the forest:

playing and helping friends:

The kindergarteners have been finding letters in the forest. They have found t twigs, T tree branches, an f fern, an L, and an r already. There may be more letters in the nature of our forest. They heard a story about a magical tree with letters. The magical tree might be in our forest classroom. Maybe they'll find it next week in Forest Kindergarten....
Forest Day reflections in drawing and writing