Friday, September 25, 2015

Timberwolf Trail - Week 4 - 2015-16 Edition

Another week of wonderful weather meant another week of amazing outdoor adventures. We were especially excited as a class as this was our first week of family volunteers. We were able to share our still fledgling procedures of forest kindergarten with our very interested families.

We kept busy on the trail by going on an ABC nature scavenger hunt and practicing jotting down pictures and observations in our nature journals. Our excitement reached its peak as we explore a new part of the land where a beautiful oak had fallen and created a tantalizing outdoor playground. While many kids enjoyed climbing, it wasn't long before they realized what goes up must come down. luckily, many friends were ready and willing to help everyone safely get both feet back on solid ground. After exploring this tree an surrounding area, we hunkered down to hear and discuss two stories about tree while discovering the differences between fiction and non-fiction texts.

In the afternoon, we returned to our outdoor classroom for an introduction to patterns. After a brief lesson, we scoured the forest for sticks and acorns to create AB, ABC, and ABB patterns. Of course, having chosen acorns as the focus of our nature collection, we then brought those "baby oak trees" inside to tally and count them and use acorn hats for a special stamping art project. As of today, our acorn collection was up to 288, though a number of bins have not been tallied up.

Over the next weeks, more and more parents will be getting their feet wet with the forest kindergarten concept. I am excited to share with them what we do, but know they will see and hear all they need to know about what a beneficial program it is from the students. I love being out there, but am ecstatic to see the joy and excitement that emanates form the faces of my class. It makes it all worthwhile.

Additionally, I am also pursuing a naturalist program through a local nature center. I am in the early stages of becoming an official teaching naturalist. To help better showcase the land I am developing and also enjoy a new volunteering opportunity, this program will increase my depth and breath of specific natural and ecological issues while also helping build a network of contacts of fellow outdoor education enthusiasts.

And soon, I will be able to share more adventures through a new outdoor club I am starting at my school. Life is busy, but life is great!

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