Friday, April 29, 2016

Day 28

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - April 28, 2016
I found these acorns, and they're really cool because one's small and one's big, and I think they're both kids.
(photo and caption by Boundless Beaver)
Poetry and Play
    This week the class has been learning about poetry. We took the poetry outdoors for forest day on a chilly, blue-sky, beautiful morning. The children were energetic and excited to get back into the woods after a week break from school. We began with our focusing task walking through the fields into the forest, this time to notice something they might write a poem about or something inspiring. In morning meeting each shared something inspiring they noticed, and some told new poems to the group right then. Over snack we heard the old favorite book Frederick, about a little mouse who gathers sun, colors, and words to share with his mouse family who soon discover that he is a poet. The children each got a new poet's notebook to gather their own ideas. They set off happily using their notebooks in the forest, at the stone wall, and soon everyone ended up in the sunny, warm field working side by side. Some drew pictures, some wrote words by themselves, and others dictated poems. Children told their new poems aloud to the group. A few worked with an adult to write a group poem. All were thoughtful, inspired by the day, and wonderful!
    The children also enjoyed a long playtime during which they explored further into the forest, climbed higher into trees, revisited some familiar games, and acted out some new narratives. They were joined by a visiting high school senior working on a project about the importance of outdoor play. They answered her questions and shared their ideas, but more importantly they just played! (The adults see that in their outdoor play they challenge themselves, learn to make choices, communicate with peers, include everyone, learn balance, gain strength, practice motor skills, observe, experiment, create their own toys, and enjoy complex imaginary play.) They ended the morning by sharing why they need to play outdoors, with answers ranging from " to get exercise" to "we need fresh air" to "so we learn new things." From poems to play, it was a very good day!

Considerate Coyote writes in his new poet's notebook.
Wandering and noticing helped Gracious Goldfinch and Brave Bobcat gather ideas.
Gracious Goldfinch found her way to the sunny field to write poems to share with the class.
Friends shared pencils and ideas and sunshine as they worked on poetry.
Temperature guesses: 29° F, 30° F, 36° F, 40° F
Weather report by Benevolent Black Bear at 9:25 am:
40° F, pretty cold, windy

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Day 27

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - April 14, 2016
Especially today the forest was beautiful because it was calm and quiet.
photo and caption by Boundless Beaver
I found blue wood. I found it on a log.
photo and caption by Benevolent Black Bear
Today we heard the book A Log's Life, by Wendy Pfeffer, which shows a fallen tree through years of rotting and serving as food and shelter for various creatures and finally becoming rich soil for another tree to grow. After this the children investigated rotting logs in small groups. They had fun and made great observations!

Reflective Red-Tailed Hawk noticed a mysterious pink-flowering plant in the forest classroom. He showed it to the class. He took photos. Later we sent his description and photos to some plant scientists for help identifying it. Will we solve the mystery?

Mystery plant update: It is a Daphne merzereum, or February daphne!
See our question answered at: .
Temperature guesses ranged from 39 - 56° F.
The actual temperature in the morning was 39° F.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Day 26

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - April 7, 2016
The children explored a new part of the forest classroom today.
They found many new places to bounce, climb, and play!
Temperature guesses: 44° F, 43° F, 50° F, 45° F, 40° F, 50° F, 41° F
Weather Report by Brave Bobcat
46° F. It's a little breezy, and the sky's a little cloudy and a little sunny.
It's a Lightning Bug
It's my second time seeing a lightning bug.
photo, title, and caption by Brave Bobcat
Fuzzy Cocoon
I found a metal can that had a really cool cocoon on it.
photo, title, and caption by Considerate Coyote
Crocodile Tree
It kind of looks like a crocodile. It just needs legs.
photo, title, and caption by Persistent Porcupine
Awesome Stump
It's really awesome, and it's a tree stump, and I put it on a tree. The front is on the other side.
photo, title, and caption by Optimistic Otter
This is a really, really cool stump.
photo, title, and caption by Boundless Beaver
A Tree and Stone Wall
I found this tree sitting on a stone wall.
photo, title, and caption by Reflective Red-Tailed Hawk
Twirly Stick
That stick is twirly, and it's really cool.
photo, title, and caption by Resolute Raccoon
We are riding to town.
This branch is a car.
photo, title, and caption by Benevolent Black Bear
      We've been talking about groups of things and learning the collective noun words for animals. We played a game to match our forest name animals to their collective names. Can you guess which animal's group name is a prickle? A porcupine. Here are some more:
a sloth of bears,
a family of beavers,
a pounce of bobcats,
a band of coyotes,
a charm of goldfinches,
a cast of hawks,
a romp of otters.
a gaze of raccoons, 
a congress of salamanders,
and a bale of turtles.
     Since we've been talking about groups, we ended the morning by telling something we like to do in a group by completing the sentence: In forest day we like to _______ in bunches. We said:
In forest day we like to explore, play, climb, jump off trees, observe, tell the fire story, play with sticks, do math, play games, be warm, and learn new things in bunches.