For my September summary, I decided to focus on one aspect of our space: the creek. The creek is often the first place that children go after they get down into the Wildwoods, and for good reason. It really defines our space, and serves as a "road" to connect the various areas- to get from the pavilion to the "fort", you have to walk beside or, often, through the creek. If you want to get from one side of the creek to the other, you have to take one of the two bridges, which also help to define the space.
But what makes the creek interesting as a defining spot is that it changes. Because we had a fair amount of rain the first week of school, as we began with this group of children, the creek was high enough to provide some places to play in. Consequently, there was a lot of playing in the water, and using the water to enhance play, such as by mixing it with dirt in the "mud kitchen" space. However, as this month went on, the creek began to be drier and drier, so that soon there was only water in certain areas. Children had to go way around to get to water for their play, and this sparked some interesting conversations. When the teachers asked, "why is the creek so dry?" almost everyone simply answered that there wasn't enough water- as far as where it went, there were some thoughts, but no concrete information. When we asked where the water in the creek came from (or how to get more), some of the children suggested that we fill it up from our water thermos, or a hose. This lead to a discussion about water companies, and water that is "not free" versus "free water". Most of the children knew that rain would fill up our creek, but to see it on a day by day basis get drier or drier seems to bring it to light in a different way.
One day we did begin to get some rain and we practiced a new song, one not heard often in the traditional school yard, "Rain rain, come today, come again, every day..."