September 15, 2016

Apple Pickin’ Adventures and Whoopsey-Splunkers Celebrations! Exploring the Great Outdoors!

It has been an adventurous week at Friends’ School. 

Preschoolers were out and about on the South Campus picking apples from our fruit-filled trees.  Liz’s 4th grade class returns today from Cal-Wood Education Center above Jamestown. The 6th graders return from a camping trip in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. And our elementary students and teachers dressed like Roald Dahl characters in celebration of the author’s 100th birthday. 

Upon lighting the students’ “dream jars” in her classroom, 1st grade teacher Laurie Nakauchi noted that the celebration was a Whoopsey-Splunkers celebration of Roald Dahl! The dream jars and delumptious, whizz popping drinks were such a hit with the kids. It was incredible to turn off the lights in our classroom to see 20 fabulous dreams lighting the room!”

Roald Dahl Celebration
Librarian deana harragarra waters added, I can think of no better way to conclude our two day celebration of Roald Dahl, than to happen upon Laurie's classroom.  To see the simple beauty of light cast from "dream jars" was a joyous reminder that we are such an important part of a child's life, that the work we do creating an environment for learning should also be a place where dreaming is encouraged.”

All of these experiences are designed to be filled with learning, but learning that looks unlike traditional school: fun and engaging, while filled with important lessons and increasing our students’ awareness of and engagement in the wider world.

In Friends’ Values Statement, we believe that experiencing the wonder and beauty of nature is intrinsically valuable and is critical to developing environmentally conscious citizens. Friends’ teaches children about sustainable living practices and provides rich experiences with the natural world. Children who understand the complexity and interconnections in our world are personally motivated to work toward the sustainability of the planet and make conscious choices about the use of the earth’s resources.”

We want children to get outside and interact in meaningful ways with the great outdoors.

Pre-K east class off on a big adventure
For preschoolers, it’s an adventure to leave their beautiful backyard playground and head over to the ‘big’ elementary building and the South Campus grounds.

Our school chef Dacia Horn led the way so that our preschoolers could enjoy the experiences of picking their own food.  Not only did our youngest students come back to the preschool to make apple sauce later in the week, they also explored the balance scale with crab apples and made art prints using cut apples.  Our teacher candidate in the preschool east class, Lauren Mark, led her class in learning a new song about apples.  True integrated learning that starts in preschool and continues all the way through middle school!

Aerial view of Cal-Wood
Up at Cal-wood, the 4th graders have been exploring environmental science.  They spend two nights in cabins, as part of our well-designed increasingly challenging trips program that starts in second grade. They have been hiking, studying the water levels in the pond, exploring the 1880s homestead that is on site at Cal-Wood, and participating in several team-building activities.

Our 6th grade class in Golden
Gate Canyon State Park
Our new middle school class has been camping in tents in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. They have been treated to a full range of Colorado weather. According to 6th grade teacher Kevin Nugent, within a single hour they had all seasons represented, followed by sunshine and clear skies. 

The class learned to geocache with the Colorado Mountain Club, played some great camp games, and are honing their map reading skills. They have learned how to use a conventional compass to figure out direction by degrees. And the trip includes reflection as the students journaled on both their social and academic goals for the year.  As the sun broke through on Wednesday evening, they divided into cooking and clean up groups. The cook group whipped up a delicious stir fry meal for all. 

Adventure and a “delumptious, whizz popping” meal for sure! 

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