Friday, May 27, 2016

Day 32

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day
temperature guesses: 58° F, 59° F, 66° F, 70° F
actual temperature: 66° F
weather report by Gracious Goldfinch at 9:30 am: Last week the trees were not as green, and this week they're really green. The sky's really blue, and there's wind, not many clouds.
This is a view.
photo and caption by Benevolent Black Bear
My picture is really cool because the ferns are really big.
photo and caption by Resolute Raccoon
This is a plant. I think it's going to change by next forest day.
photo and caption by Optimistic Otter
This is a message for the preschoolers when they go to Newton School.
photo and caption by Boundless Beaver
I took a picture of ferns, and maybe they'll get taller by next forest day.
photo and caption by Brave Bobcat
This is where leaves are hanging from a fallen tree, and I think the leaves got bigger.
photo and caption by Reflective Red-Tailed Hawk
photo by Considerate Coyote
The children wrote and drew messages about forest day for next year’s incoming kindergartners. After hearing a book called Your Own Best Secret Place, about a character finding messages another left behind in nature, they thought of the forest classroom as a secret place, decided what was important to tell the next group, and left them messages. They were thoughtful messages.

Benevolent Black Bear found this Jack in the pulpit and showed others.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Day 31

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day
    This forest day we worked on our narrative stories. In a small group the children drew or wrote stories with their forest animals as characters. Some told their stories aloud to the group later. In another small group the children illustrated the story we retell about starting a fire. After each illustrated a section of the fire story, the adults read it aloud with the great new illustrations. 
     It was an exciting day in the forest because we used our new tables. Earlier in the week community members Hunter and Silas built tables with the class, and today we enjoyed using them. The tables make the forest classroom more beautiful and provide great places to work.
the medium table
the low table, also useful as a bench
writing narratives with friends
illustrating the fire story at the tall table
listening as a friend tells her story aloud
After some children ate lunch on a new bench, a friendly chipmunk arrived immediately to check what they dropped!
Below are pictures of the kindergarten class building tables with Hunter and Silas on Tuesday.
making a chalk line
drawing up and measuring a plan 
carrying the materials
making a wedge
scraping off tree bark 
pulling off tree bark
sealing the table legs 
the kindergarten class with Becky, Hunter, and Silas
We say a huge thank you to Becky for organizing our awesome community members to build with us, Hunter and Silas for volunteering their time and materials, and Shawn (not in photo) for getting the tables up to the forest classroom! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Day 30

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - May 10, 2016
Today at forest day we noticed how animals change the environment to meet their needs. We looked for evidence of animals changing the environment in our forest classroom. The children drew what they found then shared with the class. Observations and some children's spontaneous discussions follow.

"A dead tree with lots of big holes and squiggles."
"Could it be a woodpecker?"
"Maybe. The holes could be a woodpecker, but I don't know if the squiggles were."

"I found a trail in the woods and maybe an animal made it."
"A deer maybe."
"A fox."
"Maybe a bear."
"It could be a bear or a deer. Which animal have we seen evidence of before?" (teacher)
"Deer. Tracks and scat."

- a hole in a gall

- a rock with a hole underneath

"I found this hole, and I thought a mouse could go in it, but I didn't see a mouse. The hole was small enough for a mouse, I know because I've seen a mouse."

- an animal biting a plant off

"There was a tree with some lines and holes in it. I don't know what made the lines, and I think a woodpecker made the holes."

"I found a tree with some holes in it, and I think it was ants. I saw ants in another log with holes in it. It could be a woodpecker made holes in it, then the ants came."

"We found a (dead) tree and tore the bark off, and we found a lot of bugs in it. "
"Breaking it down."

Children drew evidence they found of animals changing the environment.
After hearing a book about beavers and how they change their environment, some children built dams.
Eventually the beaver-building turned into kid-mud-play!
We enjoyed lunch in the forest with great friends and beautiful weather.
Weather Report by Boundless Beaver in the morning
52° F and it's blue sky with a sun, no clouds.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Day 29

Newton School Kindergarten Forest Day - May 5, 2016
This week we helped Green Up by collecting big old trash from our forest classroom, picking up litter on the road, and gathering trash near school. 

Temperature Guesses: 40° F, 42° F, 50° F, 52° F
Weather Report by Reflective Red-Tailed Hawk:
48° F and it's cloudy and there's green grass and
there's some grass growing, a little bit of wind

On the way to the forest classroom we noticed and talked about ways people have changed the local environment to meet their needs. These included: cutting down trees, making fields, the garden, signs and trails for snowmobiles, walking trails, barbed wire to keep animals in, flags, and a stone wall. We discussed the reasons people did these things. Then we noticed changes we have made to meet our own needs right in our forest classroom. These were: built a bathroom, decorated sit spots, built during play, a fire pit, brought logs to sit on, cut out barbed wire, removed dangerous trees, covered an old well, and made our classroom area. We changed our environment a lot this school year to meet our needs and make it a beautiful, safe place to learn.