TKG FIELD DAY
Every week, rain or shine, TKG meets at a local park. We come together as a mixed age “Tribe” or similar-aged “Villages” for focused, intentional learning opportunities. This learning in the field centers around 3 critical areas: environmental stewardship, physical development and empowerment. In addition to these rich, guided learning experiences, there are also times every field day for students to play and investigate freely, experiencing their natural surroundings in any way that fuels their interests.
BEING IN NATURE MAKES KIDS SMARTER, HAPPIER, AND MORE CONNECTED
The Knowing Garden’s curriculum features a weekly outdoor classroom day. We value this day because we know that children don’t spend enough time in the Great Outdoors and we provide this unique opportunity for children to be in nature – and in turn:
- develop respect for living things
- problem solve
- stimulate the senses
- engage in collaborative play
- increase attention span
- increase physical activity
- build observational skills
- reduce anxiety
- increase perseverance
- practice mindfulness
- practice creativity
- think mathematically
- practice leadership
- improve communication skills
- improve immunity
- link informal play to formal learning
HOW DOES FIELD DAY TRANSFER TO ACADEMIC LEARNING?
At a recent field day, teachers and parent teachers observed dramatic play around building nests. Seeing deep exploration emerge, teachers began to reflect about children’s play in order to continue the learning. Teachers wondered with students: What is a nest and how do you make one? How do birds fly and communicate? How do birds overcome external risks (storms, hunters, etc)? Teachers also prompted investigation into social-emotional topics with: What is it like to be an egg, a baby, a teenager, an adult, a mom, a dad? If you “run away” will others come find you? How might you play together with so many people? Will you share what you have gathered? When it is time to go, how might you leave the nest you’ve created and connected with?
After a full day of exploring answers to these questions, the learning continued in the classroom. Over the course of several weeks, students brought various kinds of nests they found into the classroom. Teachers created academic provocations around their ideas and treasures. At TKG, not only do we support students to work towards reflection and completion, we are ready to engage this plan when the interest resurfaces again.