This past spring, graduate Anna Williamson decided to honor Bill Mullins during his tenure at Antioch School. She and Liz Griffin put together a wonderful video collage about the many wonderful and innovative things Bill Mullins did during his tenure as teacher at Antioch School.
Quite a few Antioch School children and graduates came to honor Bill, but many of the Older Group children were not at Bill’s celebration to see it. I thought they would love the history and to see the many things that have stayed the same at Antioch School over the span of 50 years, encompassing Bill’s career. They did indeed love it and had quite a few questions about some of the things we have done in the past, especially participating in parades.
“What? You mean they got to ride unicycles in parades?”
“Absolutely, often several parades a year.”
“Why don’t we do that now?”
“Well, because we stopped having enough children who wanted to participate. It seemed like soccer and other weekend activities interfered too much. It was sad when we stopped participating in parades.”
I always start the year finding out what the children want to learn and wish to accomplish during the course of the school year, so I can plan lessons around their ideas and incorporate them into the flow of our school days.
I love doing this because it gives us unlimited possibilities. Responses often include things like learn geometry, learn new unicycling tricks, learn about countries, learn to play the ukulele, learn to cook; responses are as individual as the children. It is so interesting to find out what the children want to learn and discover and such useful information for planning a rich and eventful school year. I also have many ideas for the Older Group (OG), as do Sally, Bill, Brian, and this year Dennis as well. Looking back over this past year, it is amazing what a vast amount of things we have experienced, learned, and accomplished, having tremendous fun while we did. When Antioch School children come home and report that they played all day, in a sense they have. When everyone is involved in the planning, when we play with concepts, laugh and cry over good books, play music, hike, learn, explore math, reflect in nature, are fully engaged, and approach learning with joy and enthusiasm, it could be described as play.
In addition to the many daily opportunities for outside play, most of the children at the Antioch School go on a weekly hike in Glen Helen, the 1000-acre nature preserve across the street from our school. Our hikes are made up of walking, exploring, playing games, observation and self-expression through writing and drawing.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, Chris Graves and Cara Owsley, from the Cincinnati Enquirer, visited The Antioch School to report on Forest kindergarten. The two reporters spent a very cold, very wet morning following and interviewing the kindergartners on their walked through Glen Helen and back to camp. Afterwards, the journalists spent time at the school talking with the teachers and staff. The complete story can be read here. As can be seen above, there was also a short video made by Cara Owsley.Update: The story published by the Cincinnati Enquirer has been picked up by the Associated Press (AP) and has been distributed to new organizations across the United States, including The Washington Times.
This year a forest kindergarten is underway at The Antioch School. At the beginning of every week, the kindergarteners will spend half a day outside in their classroom in the woods. Their teacher, Lindie, says that her goal is to spend more time outside and allow the children to not only create their own classroom, but everything that goes in it as long as it comes from the outdoors. So far, the forest kindergarten has been a great success, with the children wanting to spend more time in their outdoor classroom than originally planned.
If you would like to learn what some other schools are doing with forest kindergartens, watch the above movie trailer from "School's Out: Lessons From a Forest Kindergarten," a 36 minute documentary directed by Lisa Molomot. The film follows students in an outdoor forest kindergarten in Switzerland and compares their day to a typical American kindergarten in New Haven Connecticut. If you would like more information, check out this article on KQED's web site, Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play in Kindergarten or this article from Wikipedia.
Matt Cline, from Cline Cinematography, put together this wonderful movie about The Antioch School. The movie was first shown at the 2014 Silent Auction. A big thanks goes out to Matt for his hard work at creating this movie as well as many of the photographs used on this site.
|Mon Dec 05 @ 8:30AM - 11:30AM|
|Wed Dec 07 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM|
Community Meeting--How do we change the world?
|Fri Dec 09 @12:00AM|
|Mon Dec 12 @ 8:30AM - 11:30AM|
|Thu Dec 15 @ 2:00PM - 02:30PM|
Children's Cookie Exchange
|Fri Dec 16 @12:00AM|
Winter Holiday - School Closed
|Tue Jan 03 @ 8:30AM - 03:00PM|
School Resumes from Winter Holiday