41st Street Extra Curriculum
Duck’s Nest Garden Program
In the garden, the children learn about the function and purpose of nature. For example, flowers are for the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; and bad bugs are a good food source for other critters -- that all life in the garden has value and should be respected. They get to learn and watch the complete life cycle of plants and experience all stages of growth from, planting seeds, caring for seedlings, to harvesting, letting seeds mature to replanting, and composting what isn’t consumed. Insect observation is also popular among the children, especially watching the lifecycle of swallowtail butterflies that each class gets to raise.
The preschoolers engage in lots of hands-on activities. They learn about the importance of garden maintenance; how to use real garden tools, and proper watering technique. They get to sample plant products and learn what is and isn’t edible and that we only taste plants under adult supervision. Finding chicken eggs and tasting a freshly laid egg is always a delight! Other activities include, take home projects, worm bin feeding and soil harvest, simple cooking projects, occasional crafts, field guide studies, lots of fun discussions, and there’s always a wealth of seasonal things that emerge. In other words, anything that incorporates the garden or emerges from it can turn itself into a learning experience.
Our gardening teacher Susi Vogler gardens on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to midday with the Duck’s Nest children. Her prior work experience includes outdoor and environmental education. Susi has been joyfully gardening at Duck’s Nest since February 2008, and had two children who were preschoolers here.
Music at Oakland:
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.