Each year in the spring, the Kindergarten plans a day of camping to celebrate Cc days. The Kindergarten my second year here made the first plans. They decided that a school day of camping was enough for Kindergarten and every group since has agreed.
The Younger Group has its overnight camp here at the school. The Older Group has three days at Kiser Lake, and Kindergarten has their day of camping.
This year the children were excited to make their camp plans. I filled them in on what had been done by past groups — how we usually camp past the Cycle Circle Side of the playground where you can’t see the school, but can still walk back to use the bathroom, how I bring a very large tent and everyone helps put it up, and how we usually have a campfire.
They unanimously chose to roast marshmallows for our camp day afternoon snack. Then they quickly decided they wanted to stay at camp all day — for both snacks, lunch, songs, stories, everything! There was some discussion about camping on the Golf Course, but ultimately they decided to camp in the traditional spot beyond the Cycle Circle Side of the playground. They agreed to make trail mix for morning snack, selected several stories to take with us — Freckle Face Strawberry and The Tales Julian Tells (which we were in the middle of reading) — and figured out that no one could bring a warm up for lunch since our microwave is inside. Lucy and Henry volunteered to bring their teepee, assuring us that they could set it up themselves, and everyone could play in it. They also wanted to bring our class kite and stomp rockets.
It’s always been fascinating for me to observe how the children will want to re-experience the bits and pieces of the Nursery they have enjoyed and, in so doing, will pass these bits and pieces along to the next year’s group. It’s really an Antioch School culture they are creating and building on and passing along. As visiting Kindergartners or returning Nurseries, the children often carry their funny routines, jokes, ways of doing things, favorite songs and most loved stories forward into the following year’s Nursery group — and then those children on into the next, and so on, and so on, year after year.
One of their long-running favorites is what they have named the “Kindergarten joke” also known as “Ann, there aren’t any apples. . . .”
Two Kindergarten snack helpers walk over to the Nursery and say: “Ann, there aren’t any apples. . .”
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.
NPR recently aired this story about how researchers are discovering that play helps the brains of children develop better skills for learning. One of the takeaways is that countries with schools that have more recess time tend to have higher academic performance.
Considering that many public schools are cutting recess in order to have more instruction time, maybe they are actually doing more harm than good. This also might help explain why many Antioch School graduates do so well in high school and college even though the Antioch School hasn't followed the push for more and more testing. Listen to the story here.
Seth Godin gave the following talk "Art and Science and Making Things" at World Maker Faire in 2012.
Throughout Seth's talk he touches on the importance of failing. Yet in our culture we tend to ostracize people who fail and discourage taking risks that could lead to failure. As Seth shows, we need to embrace failure and recognize the important role it plays in the process of learning and achieving success.