Ages 9 – 11
We climb trees.
We sing loudly.
We eat kale.
We forage in our creek.
We love studying outdoors.
WE.. REWILD YOUTH.
The goal of our wholesome Wolves’ Classroom is to prepare children for their upper Elementary experience by tapping their natural curiosity, providing engaging learning opportunities and recognizing every child’s unique character and abilities. Our Wolves’ class is set up in collaboration with our Grade 2 Foxes’ learners for all outdoor learning, empowered to co-create for sustainability, conservation, and to help work on our Tonkawa farmstead. Our Wolves’ are co-learners, and surrounded by creative community mentors who empower them daily.
Organic Culinary Arts, Holistic Farming (Permaculture / Botany studies), Bee Keeping Education, Yoga + Mindful Meditation, Music, Language and Fine Arts programs are included in your child’s learning, as are our NEW FALL ’21 lessons: INTENTIONAL LEARNING (Astrology | Sound Healing). Children have the opportunity to explore and learn in our creative outdoor spaces and by our natural creek bed (UT Austin’s Department of Curricula Design and ECE is our Partner in working with your children to create meaningful Science lessons by our Creek, and in our Educational Gardens).
Young children’s early school experiences have a great impact on their future learning and so our Reggio Emilia inspired environment is designed to help our children explore and integrate a variety of experiences. Reggio educators believe that young children are capable of rigorous curriculum within a developmental framework that allows them to explore, test and question their world. Students are asked to hypothesize, test out and defend their ideas. They document learning using many different systems of artistic expression to both explain and investigate concepts. The student is encouraged to see him or herself as an important member of classroom and school community, making choices that will enhance the experience of all students.
Our rooms and outside spaces are created to mimic holistic and inspiring outdoor environments and cozy home spaces, and children learn to discover and respect their environments, and care for them. Outdoor and indoor spaces are rich in visual images and objects to provide provocations for inquiry and research. Children are encouraged to question, probe and engage their innate curiosity.
Children in Elementary through 5th Grade enter a stage of developmental integration in which they are organizing and combining various skills to accomplish increasingly complex tasks and to understand concepts. Children develop more fully into unique and curious individuals who comprehend and formulate questions and ideas about their immediate world. They learn to think logically, anticipate outcomes, classify objects and solve problems. Children are guided and challenged to reflect on their learning process, receive individual feedback, and vigorously revise work. The work carried out in this process mirrors the authentic and collaborative work of the real world.
Our wholesome youth is busy. Completing tasks and projects that demonstrate their learning helps learners at Wholesome Generation build self-confidence as well as a sense of responsibility in the community. They explore, play, and take small and big risks. Guided by grade-specific academic frameworks in all content areas, children are given access to grand explorations of the world, and ways to think through complex problems leading to creative solutions. Through big studies, students actively research relevant content, discover new ideas and questions and develop their own theories. In keeping with Wholesome Generation’s mission and values, teachers in our Elementary program bring an intrinsic belief in the power and beauty of each child’s unique processes of learning.
At Wholesome Generation, each child accepts personal responsibility for learning. Learning that sticks occurs through acts of concentrated effort, filled with imaginative flights, flexible thought, and critical summation. Creative, activist, and innovative responses are cultivated through the rich integration of the arts and core academic content at WG. In response to learning, children create artifacts and produce musical, dramatic and movement representations. Children also curate displays and spaces, enhancing their aesthetic sensibilities, while developing independence and collaborative habits. The result may be a fine arts model in our Community School, a formal portrait of an American activist, a new systemic solution for recycling, or a cultural dance of Where the Wild Things Are. The outcome is always a unique response to the understanding gathered.
A Day in the Wolves Program
- The elementary school years are about deep inquiry and rich project work. There is a culture of trust, openness and closeness in the classroom; making room for creative thinking and creative expression; supporting a joyful relationship to school.
- School begins with a daily morning meeting. Once a week, the day begins with Community Meeting, an opportunity for teachers and students to share songs, to hear from all students, to participate together in a mindfulness practice.
- The morning may contain writer’s workshop, math, visits to specialists, science, project work through a big study, individual and group reading time, class trips, reflective meetings.
- Special Lessons: Students engage weekly in studio art, science lab, botany, food + farm lessons, movement, music, nutrition and culinary education, soccer, science and Spanish language classes. Children also experience meditation, sound healing and participate in social emotional awareness learning.
- Outdoor time: Students spend the majority of their days outdoors, learning in our natural and educational spaces; we spent time in our pollinator garden, food forest, in the creek and our natural spaces (ask us about forest therapy).
- Project work: Over the course of the year, students embark on a Big Study.
- For example, 2nd graders studied water quality or recycling of every day used items. They visited our creek and creeks throughout the city, met with designers and university professors. They investigated issues of safety, access and advocated for (and created) updated signage to enforce existing (recycling) rules. Next year we’ll create the playground of their dreams in our tinkering and building lab, and learn about and create simple machines.