Friday, May 26, 2017

Building Shade Structures

fun in the sun
Weather Report by Observant Osprey
The temperature at 9:47 is 53º F. 
The weather is partly cloudy with some sun, more sunnier than last week, a bit of a breeze.
There is 34 mm of rain in the rain gauge.

fun in the shade
Today students answered the question: What is one thing that has changed in the fields or forest since last week?
Students noticed:
the forest was a little darker than last week,
there were lots of plants growing,
the ferns grew taller and it looks really different,
it was warmer,
our forest is different, it is Fern City,
a big, fern city,
the sun is warmer than last week,
there is something bubbling out of the ferns the color of honey (on the end of a broken fern).
After some time at sit spots and morning meeting, students heard the story Raven by Gerald McDermott. It is a trickster tale from the Pacific Northwest and tells how Raven rescued the sun.  Students talked about the pictures before and after the return of the sun and noticed that is was cold and dark. Students then built small structures to block the effects of the sun.  They placed thermometers above and below their structures and recorded the differences in temperature. The temperature differences were noted again in the afternoon. Students noticed wide variations between the thermometers that were on the ground and fully shaded versus those that were in full sun.
Building Structures and Measuring the Temperature


Daring Deer
83º F
63º F
89º F
72º F

Motivated Marten

83º F

70º F

89º F

80º F

Caring Catamount and
Courageous Crow

68º F

68º F

68º F

68º F
Earnest Ermine,
Observant Osprey, and Brave Barred Owl

74º F
52º F
70º F
56º F
Perceptive Peregrine Falcon
60º F
50º F
66º F
58º F

Friday, May 19, 2017

How Animals Use and Change their Environment

This week we learned about how animals use and change their environment to meet their needs. We reviewed what animals need—food, water, and shelter—then searched for evidence of animals using the environment in and around the forest classroom to meet their needs. The children found woodpecker holes in trees, nesting materials in a tree hollow, holes in the rock wall for an animal, tunnels in a log from an insect,  a flattened spot in the grass where we guess a deer may have rested, and trees which had been chewed, scratched, and dug into. The children drew or wrote their evidence in journals and shared aloud with the class what they found. We also heard books about animals using their environments including animals in trees and birds' many ways of making nests. We also discussed how beavers make a pond which changes where they live. Later in class they each drew and wrote about what they'd learned. 

Weather Report by Motivated Marten:
The temperature at 9:35 is 59 1/2 º F. 
The weather is cloudy and blue mixed together, a little breeze, warmer than last week.
Their is 25 mm of rain in the rain gauge.
resting at sit spots
having fun at sit spots
searching for evidence of animals with a small group 
drawing and writing about what they found

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How People Use and Change their Environment

The class learned about how people change the environment in which they live. They heard the book Matthew Wheelock's Wall and looked at photos of rock walls to compare with the rock wall in our forest classroom. They gave two pieces of evidence for how the rock walls were similar and different. 

They searched for trees of different sizes, measuring with their thumbs, their hands clasped together, then a huggable-size tree and finally a tree that was huggable only with help. They talked about how the bigger trees were the oldest trees.

Later in the day, for more work with how people change their environment to meet their needs, they heard Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall. They listened and looked for places in the story that show how the farming family uses the land and changes it to meet their needs. They listed several ways and made connections with their work outdoors. 

There are no photos this week since the camera stopped working. Photos will return next week.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Green Up

The Forest Day Green Up Day crew was ready to work!

Today we began the morning by finding and telling about something beautiful on the way into the forest classroom. After sit spots everyone needed to take a big walk and look around because there were so many exciting new things happening in the forest! We gathered for morning meeting, weather, snack, and a story. We heard The Wartville Wizard, a funny story about what happened to townspeople who littered when someone finally had enough of picking up their trash—and got a magical power to do something about it! Then the big task of the day began: collecting trash from the surrounding area for Green Up Day. We had willing, strong, collaborative workers. They found and bagged lots of trash from the forest classroom to the field, down Downer Forest Road, and back up to the school. Great work kindergarten! 
The children noticed all the new spring things, being careful not to walk on the ferns, trilliums, and other plants.
observing a trillium

counting the trilliums
finding ferns
seeing a small maple next to a grown maple 
Beautiful things we saw:
a huge white rock
the sky
green forest
the grass
a small flower
a grown-up flower
a half-moon of dandelions
the grass was sparkly
a lot of flowers and ferns at my sit spot
ferns growing out of the ground with a little water
ferns all around my sit spot with white still on them
rocks stacked on top of each other with vines wrapped around them
hearing a story while eating snack in the beautiful morning

Green Up Trash Collecting:

After all that hard work we returned to the forest classroom by the secret path—newly renamed the Trillium Trail! 

Weather Report by Reliable Rabbit:
The temperature at 9:35 is 49º F.
The weather is sunny, cold, windy, blue sky. 
Temperature guesses ranged from 43 to 49 º F.