We've had a rainy few weeks here at RTH! We have all embraced the weather for the most part, and students have been happy to set up tarps in the forest, and puddle jump, but the recent cold front has forced us indoors a little more than we would like (or the teachers anyway!). Many have been asking how Forest School runs indoors, the following are a few examples of how we have brought Forest School learning indoors...
Students have gotten very creative in the art department! We've managed some enjoyable short nature collection hikes and used collections from the forest floor to incorporate into indoor art work. We have provided little instruction on what to create, but set up paint, ribbons, string, feathers, and clay for students to work with. Nests, pots, prints, and sculptures have been created! Students have enjoyed mixing mediums and they create their masterpieces!
We have prepared for our upcoming pond studies by researching the animals we expect to see. Students have enjoyed sketching, labelling, and recording facts about wetland animals. We have also had some amazing show and tell items to explore this week including a fox scull, a photo of killdeer eggs, birch bark, and a sample of chaga. These items really help to fuel our enthusiasm and further investigations. Thank you to all who have brought in nature show and tell items!
Wetland animals have been added to our chalkboard in the new classroom. We've also had fun with hula hoops, bean bags, and obstacle courses in the empty space. One the coldest and rainiest day we've had, Lilly of the Valley made good use of the space for music class! Students have been curious and enthusiastic about the building process of our new classroom!
Poetry lessons have continued with older students composing their own spring poems, and younger students illustrating spring poems. Some groups have enjoyed poetry by the pond where we have written and read poems together, while others have been immersed in illustrating poems indoors.
Older groups have learned some knot tying techniques. This has been an excellent activity to focus on indoors where hands are not too cold to tie. After learning some knots students applied their skills to setting up tarps in the forest. This has been an excellent opportunity for team work and problem solving! Older students whittled pegs for the tarps in our well supervised tool zone!
We have continued our focus on mapping and directions and plan to delve deeper into the meanings associated with directions. This will be a guide for activities and even for our new classroom set up. Some groups have begun working together to create large maps of our favourite places on the school grounds. We've gotten creative with naming different locations, and discussed sun patterns in relation to directions and landmarks. Mapping will continue to be a program focus!
Outdoors students have been keen to puddle jump, hike with umbrellas, tour the pond, use tools to tidy our trails, and reflect during our sit spot routine. We look forward to pond study this week, and the nice stretch of weather that is heading our way!