Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flowers Week ~ Tuesday (With a FH Explanitory Aside)

Every week at Froggy Holler is a learning experience for Teacher Erin as well. Since nearly every week this year has been on a new topic, it's been interesting to see which fly and which flop. This week focusing on flowers and seeds didn't so much flop as just didn't give us quite enough to focus on in the woods, seeing as not that many flowers bloom under the forest canopy! There are certainly the salmon berry flowers, the oregon grape, the salal just coming out, some dandelions, those tiny field daisies, and other sweet little ones I'm learning to identify.
Then there is always following the students' genuine  interests that comes into play as well. Like allowing the whole class to work together to fight back again the big bad wolf who was clearly the distructor of one of the big forts we loved in the woods.
I'm writing all this now coming from attending 2 educational nature walks this past weekend. At those sessions I learned so much I can reteach to my own students, and boy am I excited to. At those sessions though there was an expectation that the leader teach, and the kids and parents listen and learn. At FH the expectations are different, I expect to instruct but also to listen, to watch, let play and learning happen naturally. This is a parks program after all, I want the students to love these woods, care about having spaces like this in our community, get messy in nature, be imaginative, play together and have fun outside. You likely know all this, but maybe not, and maybe I've just helped clarify the program to anyone out there who might want to know!
A was into creating zig zags in the dirt today, good writing skill I say!
I. helping her pal balance on a log
Log balancing is both a physical skill and confidence booster! Mr. A here is 3.5 and he's becoming a rock star at it!
So, anyhooo, we did read about flowers this week, even attempted to go on a "lion hunt" for dandelions, though again woods does not = grassy area those little beasts love now does it? So, I guess that's how we ended up on a wolf hunt instead.
Later this student even took off on her horse!
Oh and a highlight of class today was coming upon this tiny baby salamander:
Oh it was so sweet, much cuter than flowers!

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