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A Day in the Life of a Kindergartener

As the sun rises above the evergreen trees, signaling a new day at the Oak, our Foxes gallop up to the Gaga pit to greet their teacher, put their lunchbox in the wagon, and join the older children in the midst of a game, conversation, or just milling around until the signal is called to hike out for the morning. Since our Kindergarteners are the oldest children in our Early Years program, this is an opportunity for the to start "building bridges" between Early Years and Lower School.  

After a musical march through the woods, following the Earth, Fire, Air, or Water Trail, and over the Cedar Bridge, we finally arrive at Base Camp. The children pick a log to sit on, take off their backpacks, take out their snacks and water bottles, and show they are ready for the daily greeting and Mindful Moment to connect with nature.

ongoing castles and fairy houses around the property, fallen trees perfect for climbing, a  frog oasis, mud for facials, or a tuft of deer fur needed by the gnomes for their boots. By the sound of a chickadee, the children all return to Base Camp, put on their backpacks, count their heads again, and hike back to school.

Back in their sunlit-filled classroom, the Foxes take off their gear and hang it up independently on their hook using the "magic loops." They grab a book from the bookcase and head for the lesson run to calm energetic bodies and to wait for classmates to complete their unpacking responsibilities, too.

While mouths are busily munching snacks, a teacher reads a book or presents a lesson. Curious listeners learn about animals, their seasonal behavior and their habitats, about feelings and how to express them, about the trees around us and how to identify them by bark, leaf, or needle, or may get a list of items to "hunt for" during their Nature Play. 

With snacks properly digested and tucked away, the young naturalists are ready to roam! Discoveries may include, but are in no way limited to: crayfish hiding under creek bed rocks, sticks to add to any number of

With everyone washed up and ready to start Core Skills, literacy begins! This time is ripe with the sound of phonics, the sight of letter recognition, and the excitement of starting to connect letters into words. No matter where the Foxes are on their reading and writing journeys, there are materials and provocations for all differentiated levels. The classroom buzzes with hands-on work, play, laughter, music, and togetherness.

But alas, the gentle chime and song tell us it is time to clean up. It is Wednesday, which means Buddy Lunch - everyone's favorite! The Kindergarteners gather their lunches, find their younger buddy, and lead them by the hand to the washing station where they assist with proper "white glove handwashing" technique. They pick a seat next to each other so as to enjoy polite table conversation over their meal before one o'clock pick-up or, if staying full-day, they get ready for read aloud and an after lunch hike. After some organic science discoveries along the trail to add to the Fox Den Nature Museum, the children ready themselves for their afternoon Math Core Skills. Again, keeping in mind that 5-year-olds are very curious, kinesthetic, and eager to learn, there are many different ways and methods that their teacher uses to build their numerical knowledge. They have additional time for Projects and Loose Parts play until it is time to go home. It has been another full day at the Oak!

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