Kindergarten is where the Forest School adventure begins. At this age, children are predominantly sensorial learners. From building a shelter to tracking an animal, everything they do builds their map of the world around them and how it works. This fluency of information gathering makes the forest setting a perfect environment with which to engage. The role of the teacher in this classroom is setting firm safety and community boundaries while helping children push their growth edges with new experiences and opportunities.
By the end of the kindergarten year, most students possess:
- The ability to identify the major flora of the Portland area, including edible and medicinal plants
- Knowledge of animal tracks from the most common local mammals as well as their habits
- An intuitive understanding of how major local plant and animal systems interrelate and influence each other
- An understanding of quantity and symbols of the numbers 1 - 20 and simple arithmetic operations
- Beginning reading and writing of simple words and phrases
- The ability to plan and execute a simple multi-step project (i.e., locating and building a shelter, researching a simple topic and writing/drawing a summary, planning a meal for the class, etc).
- An understanding of sequencing and patterns
- The ability to work as a team within their classroom community