Thursday, February 23, 2017

Snowshoeing in the Sun

We are wearing our brand new neck warmers donated by Turtle Fur in Morrisville, VT. Although the weather wasn't very cold today, we will need them again to keep toasty warm on cold winter days. Thank you Turtle Fur!

We enjoyed a warm winter morning snowshoeing in the fields above school. We snowshoed through the fields, circled up and had morning meeting, took a break for snack and cocoa, had free play time in the fields and trees, and got back in snowshoes to visit the pond then return to school. The children shed layers as the morning warmed up with a blue sky and bright sunshine. We thank Christa for helping and the preschool for lending us their snowshoes!

Setting out: 

Observing on the way: 
 Morning meeting:  
 Play time: 

At the pond: 
  On the move:

Our snowshoe hike map:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lots of Snow

Each child is given a challenge to think about while walking to the forest. They might be looking for an animal sign, listening to the surrounding sounds, touching two different textures, finding a tree with leaves, thinking of a word to describe the snow, or counting the clouds. They share their observations and ideas with the group at morning meeting. Today the last group into the forest took their time walking, talking, falling, getting up, and challenging themselves to "walk where it's hard," walking off, rather than on, the well-stomped path through the fields. 

Weather Report by Perceptive Peregrine Falcon:
The temperature at 10:08 is 26º F.
16 inches of snow, cloudy, snow.
Temperature guesses: 22, 32, 33, 44º F

our weather station 
Our sitting logs and fire pit were buried from this past week's snow.

We began by trying to find 100 dots dropped in the snow around the forest classroom.

Everyone searched and found lots of dots.

We worked together to count the dots. We used 10-frames to help. We found 88 at first. After more searching at free play time, we were up to 90. We still have 10 more to find. The children did the math, of course.

morning meeting greeting

While eating a snack warm from the fire, we listened to our fire story told aloud, this time from a different character's perspective. 
Play time!

Back indoors we reviewed ways to keep warm outdoors in winter.
We began by dressing a person for cold weather, from bottom layers to outer layers.
After dressing our person well, we discussed the behaviors that keep us warm and those that make us cold. Later everyone drew and wrote something they'll do to keep warm at Forest Days for the rest of this winter.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Letters in the Snow

Weather Report by Observant Osprey:
The temperature at 9:45 is 22º F.
The weather is blue sky, a little cloudy, and cold.
Temperature guesses included: colder, 6º, 30º, and 31ºF.
playing on the way to the forest
walking through the fields with a heavy load
teamwork to get the heavy load of supplies into the forest
We noticed the trees next to the field had snow crystals on only one side of the branches.
We wondered: Why did the snow crystals form on only one side of the branches?
We observed this stem sticking up from the snow which had snow crystals one one side, too.
sharing observations with a partner at morning meting
This week we celebrated finishing up a long phonics unit learning all the letters, sounds, and how to write lowercase letters. We moved around and got warm while stamping out large letters in the snow. Later everyone squirted bottles of colored water to "write" letters in the snow. We ate alphabet noodles cooked over our fire while listening to a silly story about a group of children learning their letters and discovering the wonder of reading! It was a great day out in the fields and forest, with the temperature ranging from 20º  to 22º F, the children dressed well, and no complaints about being cold! 
stamping out large letters in the snow
eating alphabet noodles around the fire
writing letters in the snow by squirting colored water: