Today, we celebrated our Day of Gratitude at the North Hills Campus at WT by doing some spring cleaning around the campus. Each grade worked on different projects to show their appreciation of wonderful seven acres of land that we are lucky enough to have at our disposable each day. The Pre-K class worked to move all of the sticks away from the pathways on the Bear Track Trail and then they covered it with a fresh layer of hay. The students had to use teamwork to pull the hay apart and cover as much of the trail as we possibly could. We discussed how it is important to take care of our school and the environment so that we can continue to play and learn in the nature that is around us.
After a long, long (did I say “long”?) winter the temperature finally took a turn toward the upward half of the thermometer yesterday. This of course inspired some serious outside time. As the children and I were traipsing around the Bear Track Trail, we came upon an odd structure of long branches leaning against a tree. Children quickly began collecting sticks of all sorts to reinforce the shell.
Some of the students realized that there was not very much space inside to sit due to piles of small sticks crowding the floor. They worked diligently to clear the floor. Once space was created, a window was desired. It took a bit of experimentation, but the children successfully installed the window shortly.
Other students felt that the hut was not the type of living quarters for them. They were more inspired by a nearby fallen tree. Many found that sitting on it and then jumping off (a two foot drop) was quite thrilling. In the beginning, they argued often about whose turn it was to sit in “preferred” spots. Friends frequently jumped off and then got right back on again in the same place. Following many discussions, the children have now plotted a plan for order and fairness regarding the tree. They’ve made their own rules regarding safety, timeliness, and turns. It is always amazing to observe children while they solve their own problems.