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Finding "something new" on our last day in the woods this year (PM class)

On Wednesday the 22nd, the last day of class before the holiday break, Mr. Pat told the afternoon class that they would find something that had changed in the Wild Woods when they entered. In fact, he said, there would be "three somethings" that had changed. The children charged off, excited to see what this could be. It was quickly discovered that three trees had been cut down in the music area (to make room for a big project that will be coming later this spring/summer). The downed trees had been left for the children to explore and a few of them immediately began to do so. One tree had fallen on another in a way that created a path to walk on that got higher and higher, which Felix, Thora, Kingston and Jethro immediately began to do. At the lowest level it was easy to just walk on the tree, and it made a fun crunchy sound as the bark crumpled under their boots. Soon however it got too perilous to walk upright on the tree, so they all moved to crawling. As they moved along this tree, they had to be aware of each other's different comfort level with this activity- some wanted to move faster than others but they had to slow down and wait, as it is clearly a "one at a time" path. The children were heard encouraging each other and some decided their own limits when it got too challenging, dropping to the ground or slowly inching backwards (which of course required the children after them to make way). There were so many opportunities for negotiating and cooperating as many children have different comfort levels with this type of activity and was wonderful to hear them managing this on their own.

Once the "end" was reached, the children found themselves about four feet in the air. How to get down? I suggested a few different ways to those who asked for help but encouraged them to find a way that was comfortable for each of them. Felix worked hard to find a way to hang and then drop down, and once she was successful, Jethro also did this, although he decided he wasn't going to do it again. Felix went back and did it five or six more times, which gave a few other children the encouragement they needed to try it themselves.






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