Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 25

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - March 31, 2016
I carved a tree.
(photo and words by Considerate Coyote)
Persistent Porcupine and I were making a garden in my sit spot. We found some seeds and we planted it. We're going to make a sign that says No Trespassing. 
(photo and words by Boundless Beaver)
This forest day we started with ten minutes sitting quietly at sit spots. This was a good challenge since we were excited to be celebrating Wise Wood Turtle's birthday today. After sit spots, morning meeting, and the weather report, Gracious Goldfinch told our fire story with some added details that made it more interesting. Then some friends built the fire while others played. Some children dug through leaves to find new green plants poking through the ground while others carved in dead trees while singing together. Children were very busy at work and play. While enjoying cake we'd made yesterday, we heard the Dr. Seuss story Happy Birthday to You! After snack we practiced math using forest materials. We showed less than, equal to, and greater than with acorns, leaves, and sticks. We counted, used sticks for tally marks, and said number sentences. We ended forest day by sharing something we noticed or wondered today.

Weather report by Persistent Porcupine:
48° F. The sky's kind of gray, and it's kind of cold out I noticed, and things are growing underground.

writing a "no trespassing" sign to hang near planted seeds
digging to find new green plants
new green plants!
carving in a tree
making a chart of less than, equal to, and greater than
counting and making tally marks
boiling sap we collected
celebrating a forest day birthday
mmm... cake we enjoyed making indoors and eating outdoors
I am carving a tree and painting. (by Benevolent Black Bear)
We are doing some math. (by Brave Bobcat)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 24

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - March 22, 2016
We had pancakes and maple syrup for snack.
photo and words by Considerate Coyote
Weather report by Optimistic Otter at 9:55 am:
32° F The ground's pretty hard. I don't see mud anywhere.
The sky is blue, and there's clouds, and it's pretty cold.

Today we celebrated sugaring season, trees, and particularly maple trees! We began the day by finding a good tree to tap. The children identified maple trees then measured around them to see if they were big enough to share some sap with us. After finding three good trees, the children voted on their favorite to tap. We took turns drilling and tasted some sap right from the tree. In the forest we had a weather report, playtime, and then snack. Along with fresh pancakes and maple syrup around the fire, we heard an Abenaki legend about maple syrup. We played three group games with trees, including "meet a tree," flood, and a circumference measuring challenge. We ended the morning by sharing interesting thoughts and thanks about trees. 

identifying maple trees:
 measuring with arms:
measuring with tape measures:
 deciding on the right tree:
 and drilling...
and there was a lot more drilling, then the tap, and the sap!
 We counted 35 drips of sap in one minute.

We played meet a tree. One person guided another with eyes closed to a tree. They used their senses other than sight to get to know the tree, then were guided back to the start. Then they had to find their tree based on what they'd learned about it. 
guiding a friend:
getting to know a tree:
guessing the right tree:

We also played flood, where you have to find a spot high off the ground. Each time it floods you find higher ground in a new spot.

We also had a measuring challenge. Small groups had to find trees with a circumference less than and more than a given number.
checking their numbers:
finding the circumference:

checking the sap bucket once more at the end of the day:
reflecting after forest day:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Day 23

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - March 17, 2016
It was a beautiful morning in the forest. The fog was lifting as we entered, and the sun warmed us by the time we left. Children enjoyed shedding layers of clothing, climbing trees, and singing together. After sit spots, morning meeting began with a greeting using our forest names and sharing nature observations. Considerate Coyote volunteered to retell our fire story, a few children helped build the fire, a few more made snack, and everyone played. After playtime we listened to a wonderful telling of the Irish myth of Finn McCool. While listening we ate snack including our Dutch oven Irish soda bread with jam. Later the children found a leprechaun trap that had been set in the woods and discovered that the same tricky leprechaun who visited our indoor classroom visited the forest classroom, too—even leaving behind a shoe and a little bag of treasures, much to our delight! All too soon, we finished our morning by sharing something WONDERful from our forest day. These included the treasures, the story, the magical glistening trees, and "really much fun at free play time."
I found a slug on my sit spot.
photo and words by Considerate Coyote 
I found a slug at Considerate Coyote's sit spot. It is on the pinecone.
photo and words by Benevolent Black Bear
I really like my sit spot, and I took a picture of it.
photo and words by Persistent Porcupine
I got a rock from my friend Wise Wood Turtle, and she gave it to me from the leprechaun, and I got to keep it.
photo and words by Resolute Raccoon
Sharing observations at morning meeting:
I noticed white clouds, gray clouds, and blue clouds.
I noticed it getting muddier for spring.
When we came in there was fog above the tree line.
It's getting not wet, getting drier.
I felt a nice breeze.
I feel like there's less mud and it's harder.
My job was to find a maple leaf. I found a maple leaf.
I notice it's getting warmer each day.
I heard more different kinds of birds while I was sitting at my sit spot.
I found a dry stick and a wet leaf.
My task was to find something higher (taller) than me and something lower (shorter) than me. Something higher was the trees. Something lower was the ground.

Weather report by Gracious Goldfinch
at 9:41 am: 46° F There's blue sky and a few clouds
and no snow, and it's kind of wet in the field. There's
less mud, and it's harder because it's getting warmer.

Preparing the fire:

Preparing the snack:

Eating and listening to a story:


The leprechaun trap:

treasures from a WONDERful day