Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring is Here

The forest looks a lot different today than last week!
Weather Report by Ernest Ermine:
The temperature at 10:10 is 44º F.
The weather is a little breeze and cloudy.
Temperature guesses included 20, 40, 41, 44, and 50º F.
sit spots 
telling facts about their animals at morning meeting
testing moss for squishiness
wondering why the log has blue on it
showing a mystery item found under a pine tree 

a fern that Brave Barred Owl and Caring Catamount found in the leaves
the ground before digging through the leaves...
and the ground after digging through the leaves--green growing things!

way up high at Observant Osprey's sit spot
the train game
leaving the forest classroom with a slide on the snow--maybe the last of the season

Back indoors later in the day we investigated three things children found outside—a log with greenish-blue on it, moss, and pine pitch. As a group we looked at, smelled, and touched the greenish-blue log and wrote describing words and sentences about it. Then in small groups we wrote about the moss and pine pitch, and a pine pitch poem even came up. Then the children write and drew in their individual journals about what they did outside.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pancakes and Syrup in the Rain and Snow

Weather Report by Mindful Moose:
The temperature is 36 º F. It is rainy, wind, cloudy.

We began the morning indoors practicing asking "I wonder..." questions, with the children drawing and dictating or writing questions. Then they mixed up a batch of pancakes which we cooked indoors. We headed out with the pancakes once everyone was dressed for a rainy, cool morning in the snow. We began with sit spots as usual, and then morning meeting. Observant Osprey noted that during sit spots it started raining harder. After morning meeting and the weather report, we sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed cookies from home for Ernest Ermine's upcoming birthday. Then we heard an Abenaki legend about maple syrup, ate snacks, then shared our pancakes with maple syrup. We also got a taste of the maple syrup the kindergarteners made from our maple tree here at school. It was delicious with a little smoky flavor from boiling over our fire last week. Yum! After that everyone played in the forest, with lots of tree climbing, pretend play on a fallen tree, and running with friends. They returned inside wet, muddy, and mostly happy about it!
We mixed up pancakes before heading out for Forest Day.
We found bird tracks on the way to the forest.
We looked at the bird tracks and wondered how big the bird was that made the tracks.
Courageous Crow spotted more bird tracks.
With help from Wise Wood Turtle, he discovered that the bird had flown, landed on the snow, and then walked.
Motivated Marten and Perceptive Peregrine Falcon are enjoying the first taste of our own maple syrup. Yum!
Then they hugged a maple tree (not the one the sap came from, but close enough!)
And the maple tree got more love! Maybe someday someone will get sap from it to make yummy syrup!
There's nothing like pancakes and maple syrup in the rain and snow!
Play time!

Wet, muddy, and happy!

We walked back through the field like deer, following in each other's path because the snow was so deep.
We checked the sap bucket one more time before taking it down. 
We hauled the bucket in for the season. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Boiling Sap and a Forest Birthday

walking to the forest under a beautiful blue sky
Signs of Spring:
I heard a bird cheep. - Ernest Ermine
I noticed some grass popping up a little and snow melting. - Caring Catamount
On the way to the forest I saw some grass. - Brave Barred Owl
I noticed that there wasn't the same snow and it was melting. There wasn't that much snow. 
- Bold Blue Jay
At my sit spot I saw some birds flying on trees. - Courageous Crow
When I was walking to Forest Day I saw a bird, a pack of birds, flying back this way, and I noticed that the sun was out. - Motivated Marten
At sit spots I looked up and I noticed that the sky was blue. - Daring Deer
At sit spots I heard three birds going tweet, tweet. - Reliable Rabbit
I noticed the snow was melting and I can see more stuff and find stuff we lost. 
- Perceptive Peregrine Falcon
It feels warmer than last time. - Observant Osprey
the friendly gatekeeper into the forest classroom 
hmmm, something interesting at Brave Barred Owl's sit spot
a tunnel
Weather Report by Ernest Ermine:
The temperature at 9:40 is 34º F.
The weather is sunny, no wind, and blue sky.
Temperature guesses included: colder, 24, 26, 34, and 44º F.
boiling our sap over the fire 
enjoying birthday cake we made
wondering how this fell down
burying treasure 
working on a tree 
"Look what we found in the tree!"
playing imaginative games together

Today we searched for signs of spring, collected sap from our sap bucket, boiled it over our fire, and enjoyed a cake we made for Wise Wood Turtle's birthday. We heard a Dr. Seuss book, Happy Birthday to You! We read from our new book Naturally Curious Day by Day. We began asking "I wonder..." questions about forest day and thinking about how we can find out more when we wonder something. We ended the day with journaling about what we did.

a journal drawing of girls climbing a tree by Cheerful Chickadee
journal page about checking the sap bucket by Bold Blue Jay

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Snowshoe Hares, Lynx, and Sap

   It was very cold this morning so we adapted yet again and had our morning meeting indoors and took our time getting outdoors. The children were bundled well against the cold, and by the time we went out, the temperature had gone up and the sun was warming. We played Coyotes and Mice on the way, and our little mice were so quiet and careful that our coyote remained pretty hungry. We had sit spot time which was not very quiet and calm, and then we practiced one minute of quiet, still time. We were back to our regular meeting spot at the logs this week since the ice has melted away, and we checked the weather, ate snack with warm apple cider, and enjoyed a story about How Snowshoe Hare Got its Winter White Color. We pretended we were lynx trying to find snowshoe hares in the snow. We saw how camouflage works when it was harder to find the white hares and easy to spot the brown ones. We reviewed the words "camouflage" and "contrast," which the class discussed in Art yesterday. We learned that snowshoe hares can jump as far as 12 feet! On the way back to school we found a good maple tree to tap, hung a bucket, and immediately saw sap flowing. We look forward to checking our bucket for sap soon! 
   Later we pretended we were lynx searching for hares in the classroom. These hares were camouflaged very well, and some are still hidden. We also looked at photographs of hares and lynx and saw the size of hares' hind feet. 

Weather Report by Mindful Moose:

The temperature at 10:20 is 22º F.
The weather is sunny and windy, 5 inches of snow.
We are enjoying the snowshoe hare story with snack and warm apple cider.
Can you spot all the snowshoe hares? (Hint: There are 3 white and 4 brown.)
The lynx caught snowshoe hares.
"Look what I found!"
We found a nice maple tree to tap.
We are watching the drips of sap.
Thank you to Gret for help with snack and cider! 
Thank you to Kate for lending us your drill!

Books we consulted in class today included: 
Naturally Curious: Day by Day, by Mary Holland,
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign, by Paul Rezendes, and
Mammal Tracks and Scat: Life-Size Tracking Guide, by Lynn Levine and Martha Mitchell.