One of the first nature preschools in Montana and the first (and currently only) in the Billings area, Fledglings Nature Preschool is founded on the idea that kids learn best through play and hands-on experiences. Students spend at least 80% of their time outdoors, guided in exploration and learning by our skilled team of teacher naturalists. Academic skills such as pattern recognition, letters, numbers, and colors emerge from the child’s experience–counting birds on the pond, looking for matching colors of flowers and bugs, tracking animal prints in the snow, journaling about nature observations, etc. Positive social interaction and respect for others is heightened and reinforced by outdoor exploration and play, and the children’s learning is grounded in sensory experience of what is closest–the animals, plants, rocks, and weather that surround them every day. Fledglings Nature Preschool is a proud member of the Natural Start Alliance
Our approach draws from multiple sources, including Nature Pedagogy, Interest-led Flow Learning, Reggio Emergent Curriculum, Inquiry Learning, and others. Curriculum is designed on a two-year cycle for those students who enroll for multiple years. Our teacher-student ratio of 1:8 ensures in-depth mentoring and relationship-building, and frequent contact among the families of our students creates a community that goes beyond the classroom.
In the 2020-2021 school year, we will have six classes in four class times. Each of the two morning class times will have two separate classes of 8 students.
How to register for school year 2020 – 21:
Tours of the class and program are available on at 1pm on February 18th and 26th, 2020. Sign up for a tour by e-mailing [email protected]
For more information on how we do preschool, download our Fledglings Parent Handbook.
Monthly themes operate on a two-year cycle to enrich the experience of students in our program for two years.
September –Get to know yourself, your environment and classmates. Learn about teamwork and exploration.
October – Changes in Nature through senses
November – Preparing for winter, shelters, adaptations and foraging
December – Nature celebration with music, song and dance
January – Coverings: coats, boots, fur, feathers how do humans and animals deal with the cold
February –Enjoying the cold while working on cooperative play and colorful birds
March – Concert in Nature, listen, learn and mimic.
April – Water everywhere, learn the shapes of things while enjoying planting season
May – Plants and Flowers, how did we all change through the year?
September — Wild animals and school routines
October — Signs and traditions of Fall
November — Preparing for winter
December — Signs and traditions of Winter
January — Our five senses
February — How nature works together
March — Signs and traditions of Spring
April — Weather
May — Baby animals
A Day at Fledglings Morning Classes (subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)
8:30 Meet teachers at the parking lot
8:30-8:45 Walk to school, searching for tracks, observing ponds, chatting about the day to come
8:45-10:00 Outdoor exploration with a daily optional offering (a loosely structured activity)
10:00-10:45 Indoors for snack, daily jobs and cooperative playtime
10:45-11:45 Outdoors for directed explorations and activities
11:45-12:15 Lunch (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)
12:15-12:30 Pack up, gear up and walk to the parking lot to go home
A Day at Fledglings Afternoon Classes (subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)
12:30 Meet teacher at the parking lot
12:30-12:45 Walk to school, searching for tracks, observing ponds, chatting about the day to come
12:45-2:00 Outdoor exploration with a daily optional offering (a loosely structured activity)
2:00-2:15 Snack (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)
2:15-2:45 Outdoors for directed explorations and activities
2:45-3:00 Pack up, gear up and walk to the parking lot to go home