Hard to believe but year 4 of Nature Kindergarten has begun. We spent our first week together getting used to the land and each other.
We might have also stopped to pose along the way.
Our first ever hike took us on a quick jaunt through the grass class and oak tree classroom on the way to see the rock pile and hidden forest.
Our exploration continued at the fallen tree forest. After some basic tree safety instruction, we enjoyed my famous "5 minute tree assessment." Giving kids a few areas to climb and a few minutes of time and you see their personalities come to life. You see confidence, teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills and all sorts of other things that help you learn where your kids are and where they need to go.
Hard to see, but we caught a glimpse of a few turkeys on our next adventure. This portion of the trail is in the early stages of a brand new native planting project that will dramatically increase the diversity of our plants.
Lots of rain means lots of fungus. The kids loved the colors!
Our last stop of the week was at the area we call the inside tree. because the trees are so young and short, we feel like we are inside them. Also, one fallen tree has a hollowed out stump you can literally go inside.
We also visited the spot where our butterfly garden will be planted (by the kindergarteners) in a few weeks)
In Math, we reviewed long and short by collecting sticks. Then, while working with a partner and then a small group, we organized sticks according to length. Great problem solving and teamwork!
Finally, our associate principal came to read with us. Being a butterfly-raiser in her spare time, she chose Mr. McGinty's Monarchs by Linda VanderHeyden. You could tell the kids were intrigued based on how many questions they asked and stories they wanted to share.
Our principal was kind enough to provide us with a chrysalis and we even got to release two recently emerged butterflies. To say the class was excited would be an understatement, They did get to wave goodbye.
The first week was amazing and can be summed up rather easily. On our first hike, we stood in a large field of goldenrod and listened for sounds of nature. A friend interrupted the silence with a short but powerful question.
"Is this all ours?"
Indeed it is.