~A Day in the Forest ~
8:15 to 8:45 Kids arrive from home or
Laurel Tree's before care.
~On our outing days: (Tues-Thurs) parents drop off backpacks in the vans on their way in.
~If it's a rainy day we gear up in the gazebo: boots, rain pants and rain coats!
~The kids then have an opportunity to help take care of our on campus chickens (letting them out, feeding, watering, collecting eggs and of course socializing with them).
~During this time we have a number of different free flowing "stations" for the kids to choose from. Some of these include, the mud kitchen, tops and other games in the gazebo, field play, fort play and building blocks.
8:45-9:00 We load up in the vans!
~We practice gathering together when we hear Teacher Violet's Cheetah whistle. Once everyone is present we do a count and a quick check in.
~Last minute potty break!
~Buckle up! Kids load up in the white or red van where they listen to audio books on the way to the forest.
9:15-9:45 We arrive and start our circle time.
~Vans arrive and we walk down to our spot in the forest and make our morning circle. During this time an aide sets out our yellow boundary ropes around our forest area.
~We play a game called "Motion, Motion". This game requires kids to focus their attention on the movements that their fellow students are doing.
~We split up into our three smaller morning groups and head out to find a quiet part of the forest. Some of the things we do in small groups include:
> Sharing prompts and discussing a
current theme or topic (habitats, family, seasons...).
> Working on writing our letters and/or numbers through various games and
> Enjoy our sit-spots. Kids find a special spot where they can sit, draw, write and
listen to the world around them.
9:45-10:00 Free Play
~Break time! Kids run, climb, jump, play make-believe, find fairy houses, play tag, build ships and set sail!
10:00-10:20 Snack and a Story
~We gather in our snack spot among the redwoods and eat together.
~We read a book about our current class theme.
10:20-10:45 Free Play
10:45-11:45 Our Adventure!
Tell-a-Tale Tuesdays: The teachers put on a forest puppet show which talks about a subject we've been working on/exploring together (friendship, seasons, honesty...). afterwards the kids are encouraged to create their own shows.
Walkabout Wednesdays: We break into three small groups and discuss what it means to be good leaders. Each person gets a chance to lead the walkabout into the woods.
Think and Share Thursdays: On these days we have the opportunity to really look at something in more detail. We might discuss patterns, and then go out and try to find them in nature. We might learn about the various bugs of the forest by taking our magnifying glasses out into the field (how many legs do you see? is that an insect or a spider?) We might learn about what makes a good habitat and then try to discover the animal habitats present in the forest around us (Where might a deer live? Where would they find shelter? Food? Water?).
11:45-12:00 Back to school!
~Backpacks in the van and kids in their seats, it's back to Laurel Tree we go!
12:00-12:20 Break time at Laurel Tree
~Once back at Laurel Tree we peel off the rain gear in the gazebo and get backpacks back to their cubbies.
~All school break! K-12th grade have break together before lunch.
~Forest Kindergarteners gather in Josh's room to wash hands and are picked up by their tribal leaders for lunch in their tribe's room.
12:50 After Care Transition
~ At 12:50 Tribal leaders walk their "littles" to the aftercare program :)
What about Mondays and Fridays?
Those are our on campus days where we stay at Laurel Tree for our Makers Mondays and our Fabulous Workshop Fridays. On these days we work on group projects such as baking, wood working, chicken care, planting and crafts.