Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Preparing for Fall 2020


Like many of you I have begun to think about the changes to our day that will best support my learners. This means that conveying the sense of wellness, belonging and safety will be my most important consideration. I intend to use the kindergarten curriculum, an outdoor setting and a Reggio Inspired program to achieve these three goals.


PLAY

This may look quite different with the changes in the room and expectations due to COVID 19 as some of the children may not be comfortable being close to others depending on their experiences during the last five months. This means that I will create multiple play areas in the classroom for the children. 




OUTDOOR

We always spend part of our mornings offsite but this year I will be outdoors earlier this fall and for longer periods of time. Because I have been a nature teacher for many years I am comfortable in transferring my curriculum outdoors. However, I will prioritize outdoor play as I know this will support the three goals; wellness, belonging and safety. If you are new to outdoor education you may be interested in my book, Outside Our Window: developing a primary nature program.  



MATH PLAY

In BC the kindergarten curriculum is beautiful and a real joy to teach. I will be teaching most of the math outdoors and one of our favourite tools to bring outdoors is dice. There are many dice games which build subitizing, number sequencing, number families alongside building belonging, friendships, work habits and confidence. A few examples are the stick game, roll and change and tenzi. Math Play will also help the children with our three goals as they work together, develop relationships and develop an understanding of what school is.






LITERACY PLAY

Much of our work day is spent playing with literacy through songs, storytelling, loose parts play, story play, partner talk, circle conversations, read alouds, interactive read alouds, choral reading. We also sing abc name and phonic songs, play letter sound/name games, and build words together using our bodies and manipulatives. An outdoor program also provides hours of time for the children to use language to plan, organize, share ideas, negotiate, compare and contrast. 


The children write every day. In the forest/seashore they use journals and clipboards and in the classroom it is usually loose paper of different sizes and styles. Often in our literacy program I include a lot of choice and opportunities to work with a friend, alone or in a small group. This approach provides me with many opportunities to observe, confer, make tweaks, support where needed and develop a working knowledge of the children’s needs and strengths.

This is a joyful approach to teaching.


Hopefully this post will help you as you begin to think about what your start up will look like.


Thanks for stopping by,


Liz

1 comment

  1. How do you plan to manage all the shared items used in your regular teaching activities (dice, loose parts, blocks, etc.)?

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