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Our K-2 Program

The Woodson Branch K-2 grades offer a unique mixture of indoor and outdoor learning experiences intentionally blended into a rich and diverse early childhood curriculum. Our Kindergarten through Second-grade program has been specifically developed to spark and support curiosity, creativity, emotional intelligence, and self-efficacy through play, exploration, experimentation, and collaboration. Early elementary WBNS students are guided by experienced educators and craftspeople with access to a variety of advantageous tools and spaces. Our students participate in math, literacy, art, science, agriculture, community, and Earth skills on a daily basis, all of which lay the groundwork for continued growth and learning inside and outside of our school setting.  

Focus & Skills

  • Awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the great outdoors

  • A budding knowledge of a variety of art forms and handcrafts.

  • A growing understanding of where their food comes from and its health benefits 

  • Foundational Literacy (reading and writing) with an emphasis on the written and spoken word for the purpose of communication and personal enjoyment 

  •  Understanding basic math processes by exploring numbers within 100, numeracy, problem-solving, and making real-world mathematical connections.

  • A deeper understanding and respect of the natural world through a variety of  Social and Science topics

  • Finding comfort and confidence in the learning community

  • Understanding feelings, emotions, and problem/conflict-solving skills. 

Prospective students must be 5 years old by August 31st

*Should your child's birthday be close to that date, you may request an individual evaluation to assess their readiness for the Kindergarten Program. 

Curriculum Subjects
Classes held in and out-of-doors

Leveled English Language Arts & Math Groups

Plus, these daily subjects

Mindfulness Practices
Unstructured Forest Time
Adventure Playground 
Independent Responsibilities
Garden & Animal Care
Daily Reflections

Additional Hands-On Project Work

*Outdoor Education 

Physical Education Class (2nd G only)


Writing, Reading, and Phonics in K-2

WBNS implements our version of the Units of Study for Reading and Writing program, by Lucy Calkins and her Teachers College Reading and Writing Project coauthors. This extensive program aims to prepare students for any reading and writing task they will face and to turn kids into life-long, confident readers and writers who display agency and independence. Our teaching staff also incorporate a strong phonics base utilizing Journey's to get your kiddo off to a great start with word and sentence structures. K-2 students are immersed in the basics of that deep relationship between individual sounds and the spoken and written language, and all the nuances that abound.

Specials in Kindergarten

Kindergarten Specials happen every Friday with a different focus area each week, either Outdoor Ed, Agriculture, or Eco-Arts.  Lessons are presented by a teacher other than their homeroom teacher to help the begin to relate and connect with other teachers on campus. They also align with the academic concepts that were introduced during the week, for further varied explorations.  

Specials in 1st Grade

1st Grade Specials happen everyday Monday - Thursday, taught by their "Specials" teacher.  Each lesson is a creative mixture of the Outdoor Ed, Agriculture, and Eco-Arts concepts, designed to align directly with the academic concepts that were introduced during that week. 

Specials in 2nd Grade

Once students enter 2nd grade, they have a differnt teacher for each of the Specials classes, where they particiapte in 4-day projects (45 minutes each day) Monday - Thursday. Specials teachers meet with the homeroom teachers to collaboratively design lessons to enhance the academic concepts that are currently being covered in Math, Reading and Writing.

What is Unstructured Forest Time?

WBNS students are learning outdoors as much as possible and traversing the property throughout the day.  Additionally, and as and alternative to the tyical 30 minute "recess" alloted at most schools, students experience 1-1.5 hours each day of unstructured (but not unsupervised!) time in our woods, fields, trails, and creeks.   They build natural shelters, create games, construct dams in the creek, and check in on various habitats of the bugs, insects, birds, and wild animals who reside on our campus. 

Mathematics for K-2

WBNS has adopted Singapore Math otherwise known as mental math strategies as a leading guide for the K-2 grade groups. Compared to a traditional U.S. math curriculum, Singapore math focuses on fewer topics but covers them in greater detail.  Each semester-level Singapore math textbook builds upon prior knowledge and skills, with students mastering them before moving on to the next grade. Students, therefore, need not re-learn these skills at the next grade level.  These concepts lend themselves perfectly to our hands-on group learning lessons. This program flows naturally into the chosen curriculum for middle school, which is Engage New York.

Outdoor Education for K-2

Since our Outdoor Education Program at WBNS  incorporates the concepts of environmentalism and conscious communing with the natural world, we teach the Leave No Trace methods and commits to its practices right form the very start.  On and off campus we engage students with activities from Project Wild and Coyotes Guide to Connecting with Nature, as well as concepts from the Leopold Project.  Additionally, we submerse students in nature which begins to prepare our youngest students for future adventures in hiking, camping, birding, white water rafting, zip-lining, overnight backpacking, and more!   

Regen-Ag with K-2

As our Agriculture Program incorporates regenerative agriculture practices, K-2 students learn all about where our food comes from, how our plants and animals live in harmony, and how we celebrate and share the bounty.  The animals we mainly focus on in K-2 are the Rabbits, with their nursery located right between the Kindergarten Cabin and the 1st grade Farm House.  Activites include experiencing growing, tracking, harvesting, tasting, and  bundling skills! 

Eco-Arts for K-2

In the spirit of the STEAM education approach, our Art Program complements academics through the practice of establishing pathways in creativity for solving real-world problems. In K-2 students learn a plethora of art techniques as part of their daily studies including various painting forms, pottery, yarnwork, sculpture, collage, traditional hand-work and and building.  Our students learn that art is threaded throughout the entire curriculum as hands-on creation and processing is the essential thread that brings it all together!

What is Adventure Playground?

Another outdoor learing space provided at WBNS is our Adventure Playground, designed to prep the brain for hands-on problem sovling! It is stocked with a huge variety of what we call "loose parts" for practicing engineering and inventions.   Options include tubes, pipes, wood, blankets, wheels, connectors, cups & bowls, keys, spheres, digging equipment and more!  Students have access to basic structures, a water barrel, and a large hill, as well as the curated "music-making" wall complete with pots, pans, lids, and whatever else we add to it!

Mindfulness Practices in K-2

Through daily "Centering", communing with nature all over our magical property, reflections time at the close of the day, and our use of the Second Step Program, students learn and practice matters of the social/emotional realm developing their character as individuals and as positivly contributing members of the learning community.   

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