Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Deliberate Learning Outside

 When someone comes to observe at The Outdoor Preschool it may appear that we don't have much planned.  But there is a rhyme to our reason.  We begin the day with a gathering which encourages the children to work together and get to know one another.  We give them choices; some active and some more cerebral.  On Tuesday the children could play with small plastic animals on the picnic tables, dig with spoons and cups or play with balls in the field. 

We are already seeing the development of the concepts of what a child does at preschool.  Some kids stick close to the teachers, while others wander away.  Our job as teachers is to bring in the wanderer and help the quiet child to expand their horizons. 

After our gathering activity we had our circle time again in the middle of the lawn.  We know that soon we will be having circle time in a sheltered area, perhaps under the monkey tree or in the woods.  But for now, we are in the middle of the lawn.  We began to learn a new song, "SLUG! " We will be working on the words and hand signs in the coming days.

We played a new game; Duck, Duck Goose!  And the kids had fun running around the circle.  Some were more familiar with the game than others!  But rest assured, EVERYONE played!

After our TOP song we split into the blue and yellow groups.  The yellow group went over to see Daisy the Cow.  Teacher Ann knew that she was soon to go to another farm to live-and alas-she was gone!  We will soon get another, smaller cow for Farrel McWhirter to take care of.

Scratching at roots with sticks makes dirt clumps fall!
Then we were off into the woods.  We didn't make it far before everyone found a cool place to explore.  There is a very large downed tree and the roots and dirt were intriguing to dig into.  Many of the kids joined in to this dirt activity. 
Was there a fire here too?

 Some other kids found a tree that had been burnt.  They were wondering why there had been a fire.  I didn't know the history but they were soon finding other evidence of a fire in the woods there.
Definitely a fire here!
 We ended the yellow group's activity with a stomp in the stream. Almost everyone had on their Bogg boots so we could wade and splash at our leisure.

 The blue group went on a long hike.  There was so much to be seen, but they kept moving for much of their exploration.There was a fun book to read in the woods and still more hiking to do after snack!

You may be bringing home a very tired child these first weeks.  But soon, their legs will adjust to the hiking and they will be able to hike further and further.  We are so enjoying watching your children become part of the TOP family!

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