I went out to snap a few pictures of a field trip at Riveredge this morning. Quite the lovely fall colors for catching frogs.
Creating a new school is a little like designing an iceberg. Once it’s open people might notice it looks like a huge undertaking, but most of that work takes place before it appears. This past fall The Riveredge School opened onsite at Riveredge Nature Center. I’ve had the good fortune to be able to document some of the activities of these students at the first nature-based public charter elementary school in the greater Milwaukee region.
This picture above was the first time I went out to grab some snapshots of students out on the trails. They were participating in an exercise to sit down, and write or draw everything they saw and heard in the forest that surrounded them. They sat down and began to take in their surroundings and went to work, overall quietly and contemplative. I’d never seen a group of first graders work so independently and so calmly.
Here is the completion of the yurt classrooms last summer, two of which are in use at Riveredge. Volunteers are extremely helpful.
Science lessons can take place on the land in conjunction with Riveredge staff and educators. Above, student learned about habitat restoration and creating ways for a less common plant species to flourish.
A snapshot of the inside of the yurt classrooms. I wonder what it’s like to have your first school experience be one in which the majority of your time is spent outdoors and the remainder of the time is inside a cozy round room looking out onto prairies. That idea kind of makes me wish I could be seven years old again and go to school there.
This was one of the first snows of the season and everyone was outdoors having a great time.
Students learned to cross country ski this past week. I bet they’ll be excited to arrive at school this morning with our six inches of new snow yesterday.
Late last summer, when the yurts were completed and awaiting students to begin classes.
The other day, while out on the trails, I ran into the students (and teachers) of The Riveredge School trekking out for recess at Riveredge Nature Center. These kids seem so happy having daily access to nature. Click the arrow for a few more pictures.
Adults always seem to forget what it’s like to be young.