Weekly Update - October 30th 2016

Hello All,

  Last week was another wonderfully action packed week at RTH!  Students and teachers enjoyed celebrating our Halloween theme together.  

  Each morning, rain, sleet, or shine, we began with a story of the day (our location changed with the weather!)  Most groups read The Ghost Eye Tree in preparation for our Haunted Hikes in search of a Ghost Eye Tree to identify! We typically wandered father down the trail than we have yet with groups, as students are more ready for these distances and Ghost Eye Trees are not as easy to find as you might imagine!  We also find students are more comfortable when they are on the go in cooler weather.  All groups were amazing and seemed to really enjoy their Haunted Hikes!  Ask your child what type of tree The Ghost Eye is specifically.  

  On Monday, for the latter part of the day, a grade one class from Beaver Valley Community School joined us!  Even the principal came to Forest School!  The preschoolers were great hosts, and joined in for some field trip activities.  Grade one students enjoyed a sprinkling of what happens here at RTH!  Nature arts and crafts seemed to be most popular, so they were repeated throughout the week with all other groups!  Many students chose to design witch and wizard wands with natural materials (and ribbons), others completed line designs of pumpkins, halloween sculptures, and decorated gourds!  Older students had more of a focus on pumpkin math, where they were involved in a series of activities estimating and making actual measurements of pumpkins.  We learned some big math words like, ‘circumference’, and used a variety of tools for our measurement tasks.  Students estimated the number of seeds in pumpkins, and this week we will find our actual count!  Pumpkins will also be used to help compost in the garden, and our garlic planting will continue this week in the warmer weather.  

  We ended our days this week at the Pumpkin Patch!  Thank you to all parents and volunteers who made this a possibility, and in such short order!  All students participated in market and farm tours at Curries Market.  Ask your child which fruits and vegetables are currently being harvested and what the highlight of their field trip was?  Many groups saw Currie’s bees busy making honey too!  We ended our tours in the pumpkin patch, playing games and making discoveries.  

  During music, Lily of the Valley focused on Halloween as well!  She had many Halloween songs, games, and rhythm activities.  Music was a hit this week as always!  

  On Friday we had 2 guests from a new Forest School in the Orillia area come to visit us!  Students were great to tour our guest and share some Forest School routines and happenings.  Our guests stated most of the day here with us at RTH, and left with great knowledge the students had shared throughout the day!  This was an excellent sharing opportunity for RTH!

  On Saturday, I travelled to the Barrie ares to present at the Simcoe County Board of Education workshop, Hands in the Dirt, on outdoor education practices.  I spoke about implementing Forest School practices with ease in the regular classroom.  This session was number one on the list, filled up first, and then overbooked with interested educators from other sessions.  It was so exciting for RTH, and nerve racking for me as I am much more comfortable learning with students in the forest than I am with adults in the classroom!  Fortunately the conference was all outside in beautiful Spring Water Provincial Park, and Cardinal was a major support and swooped in when needed.  A huge thank you to Cardinal!  I will share our presentation on our blog as well.

  Take care, and Happy Halloween!

Shannon