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First Four Days of the New Session

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

What Happened?

Wow! It was so wonderful to welcome back families from the spring session and to meet most of the new families that have joined us for our new, expanded, fall session!

We welcome everyone to this Learning Story space. In case you were wondering, a Learning Story, is a narrative composed of pictures and words to describe the learning that occurs for young people when they often do not know that they are learning. The practice of Learning Stories originated in Aotearoa's / New Zealand's Maori-influenced, early childhood system, in part to make learning and reporting more accessible, authentic, and holistic to how people actually learn in a particular context and in relationship to peers, adults, and the land. This is a natural fit with the philosophy of Hudson Forest Play. Learning stories can be for the whole group, small groups or for individuals.

This learning story is a group story for our first four days. We will publish one group learning story each week organized around three headings, What Happened? What Does it Mean? and What's Next? At the end of each 3 month session we also provide to families, an individual learning story for each child. Our first weeks and first unit of inquiry, are all about getting to know each other and building a feeling of safety and belonging. As a group we started inquiring into the following big idea: Understanding ourselves and each other can help build community.

Our apologies if we did not capture photos of your child in action this week. Safety and attending to the children's needs is always our first priority. We are also progressing through the Letters and Sounds, an oral literacy framework from the UK, with activities that teach listening and learning letters and sounds. This week and next we are focusing on s, a, & t. Other learning objectives for the first two weeks are noticing and appreciating nature, self-regulation, and mindfulness.

We had lots of fun getting to know each other playing in the stream, the bridge and the forest. We were excited to see many frogs, toads, caterpillars, flowers, ducks, a wood-pecker, millipedes, praying mantis babies, and mysterious foot prints in the mud! Lots of people in our groups like to make music, draw, read, build, play games, and hear stories. We explored the area near our new drop off/collection meeting point inside the park gate and some children built a stick hut against a tree. The main area we continue to explore and play in, is east of the footbridge, surrounded on three sides by the little river. Two afternoons we also walked a km to Sandy Beach. Many children enjoyed climbing trees, sliding down river banks, balancing on fallen logs, splashing in the water, making mud balls, mud soup, playing store, throwing natural materials, relaxing in a hammock, and hunting frogs. We are learning about safe handling of frogs and to limit our handling of frogs for their own well-being. Many children also enjoyed building a raft, swords, castles, houses, necklaces, and a bridge.