Berkeley Extra Curriculum
Garden and Animals at the Berkeley School
We work very hard to create and maintain a beautiful environment. Our outdoor areas are no exceptions. We consider them as classrooms. Each day the gardens and outdoor areas are set up with multiple activities. The children play house, read books, cuddle dolls, build with blocks and participate in art projects, as well as climbing, running and biking.Our outdoor climbing structure, designed by Barbara Butler, a San Francisco artist, is part of an oasis of beautiful gardens, flowers and sandboxes.
Most classrooms have a pet: for example, a tortoise, frog, toad, guinea pig, and doves. The animals teach the children compassion and responsibility. We also have over a dozen healthy chickens. The classrooms take turns feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs in the coop. We use the eggs for cooking projects in the classroom.
The Berkeley Garden
Our garden teacher sets up activities ranging from observing bees, butterflies and humming birds to watching insects, spiders and worms. Children learn to watch the complete cycle of life by experiencing all stages of growth from planting seeds, caring for seedlings and harvest. They also learn about garden maintenance, how to use real garden tools, watering and composting. They learn to sample plant products and learn what is edible. Other activities include: worm bin feeding, arts and crafts, and discussing what is emerging. Our goal is for the children to develop a relationship to nature.
Duck's Nest provides each group a 30 minute music class weekly with our music specialist Micah McClain. The children are always excited to see him come in with his guitar, drum, and more... Micah is also a music teacher at multiple elementary schools in the Bay Area. He is certified in the Orff Approach. Micah's energy and passion for music and early education is instantly noticeable and he is a wonderful part of our community.
We believe that children should enjoy learning foreign languages. Their young minds are able and eager to absorb languages faster than at any other time of their life. It is a great opportunity for us to extend our multi-cultural curriculum by teaching about other traditions and cultures. Ancelle, our Language teacher, spends an hour in each classroom twice a week. She engages with the children speaking Spanish and French as well as reading stories, teaching them songs, and counting games.