Friday, March 31, 2017

Boiling Sap and a Forest Birthday

walking to the forest under a beautiful blue sky
Signs of Spring:
I heard a bird cheep. - Ernest Ermine
I noticed some grass popping up a little and snow melting. - Caring Catamount
On the way to the forest I saw some grass. - Brave Barred Owl
I noticed that there wasn't the same snow and it was melting. There wasn't that much snow. 
- Bold Blue Jay
At my sit spot I saw some birds flying on trees. - Courageous Crow
When I was walking to Forest Day I saw a bird, a pack of birds, flying back this way, and I noticed that the sun was out. - Motivated Marten
At sit spots I looked up and I noticed that the sky was blue. - Daring Deer
At sit spots I heard three birds going tweet, tweet. - Reliable Rabbit
I noticed the snow was melting and I can see more stuff and find stuff we lost. 
- Perceptive Peregrine Falcon
It feels warmer than last time. - Observant Osprey
the friendly gatekeeper into the forest classroom 
hmmm, something interesting at Brave Barred Owl's sit spot
a tunnel
Weather Report by Ernest Ermine:
The temperature at 9:40 is 34º F.
The weather is sunny, no wind, and blue sky.
Temperature guesses included: colder, 24, 26, 34, and 44º F.
boiling our sap over the fire 
enjoying birthday cake we made
wondering how this fell down
burying treasure 
working on a tree 
"Look what we found in the tree!"
playing imaginative games together

Today we searched for signs of spring, collected sap from our sap bucket, boiled it over our fire, and enjoyed a cake we made for Wise Wood Turtle's birthday. We heard a Dr. Seuss book, Happy Birthday to You! We read from our new book Naturally Curious Day by Day. We began asking "I wonder..." questions about forest day and thinking about how we can find out more when we wonder something. We ended the day with journaling about what we did.

a journal drawing of girls climbing a tree by Cheerful Chickadee
journal page about checking the sap bucket by Bold Blue Jay

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Snowshoe Hares, Lynx, and Sap

   It was very cold this morning so we adapted yet again and had our morning meeting indoors and took our time getting outdoors. The children were bundled well against the cold, and by the time we went out, the temperature had gone up and the sun was warming. We played Coyotes and Mice on the way, and our little mice were so quiet and careful that our coyote remained pretty hungry. We had sit spot time which was not very quiet and calm, and then we practiced one minute of quiet, still time. We were back to our regular meeting spot at the logs this week since the ice has melted away, and we checked the weather, ate snack with warm apple cider, and enjoyed a story about How Snowshoe Hare Got its Winter White Color. We pretended we were lynx trying to find snowshoe hares in the snow. We saw how camouflage works when it was harder to find the white hares and easy to spot the brown ones. We reviewed the words "camouflage" and "contrast," which the class discussed in Art yesterday. We learned that snowshoe hares can jump as far as 12 feet! On the way back to school we found a good maple tree to tap, hung a bucket, and immediately saw sap flowing. We look forward to checking our bucket for sap soon! 
   Later we pretended we were lynx searching for hares in the classroom. These hares were camouflaged very well, and some are still hidden. We also looked at photographs of hares and lynx and saw the size of hares' hind feet. 

Weather Report by Mindful Moose:

The temperature at 10:20 is 22º F.
The weather is sunny and windy, 5 inches of snow.
We are enjoying the snowshoe hare story with snack and warm apple cider.
Can you spot all the snowshoe hares? (Hint: There are 3 white and 4 brown.)
The lynx caught snowshoe hares.
"Look what I found!"
We found a nice maple tree to tap.
We are watching the drips of sap.
Thank you to Gret for help with snack and cider! 
Thank you to Kate for lending us your drill!

Books we consulted in class today included: 
Naturally Curious: Day by Day, by Mary Holland,
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign, by Paul Rezendes, and
Mammal Tracks and Scat: Life-Size Tracking Guide, by Lynn Levine and Martha Mitchell.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mannequins in the Forest

There have been so many changes out here since last time we were out for Forest Day, two weeks ago due to vacation. Everyone was asked to notice changes on the way into the forest classroom, and we shared our observations at morning meeting. These included water in the field, much less snow, it was colder, it was icy, and we could see leaves on the ground again.
A big change was how icy our regular meeting spot was. For safety we made a new meeting spot for the day.
We created a makeshift meeting spot in an area with no ice, and everyone adapted easily.
morning meeting greetings
Weather Report by Courageous Crow:
The temperature at 9:40 is 32º F.
The weather is windy, icy, and cold.
Temperature guesses included: colder, 20, 32, and 40º F.
 sit spot

a movement game to keep warm
play time:
Breaking ice was a major play activity today. The children got quite far with it. This activity, along with the addition of a few new tools, necessitated practice sharing and working out conflicts—an important part of kindergarten play and work.
Motivated Marten noticed this hole containing leaves and pine needles and wondered if it was a nesting cavity. 
Courageous Crow, Caring Catamount, and Perceptive Peregrine Falcon played in the last pile of snow, sharing and trading tools. They solved a mystery about why this pile of snow was still here when other snow had melted away.
balancing, supported by friends
All Aboard! Three friends took turns driving this "train."
an ice sculpture
working with ice chunks
Along with the rest of the school, kindergarten participated in the Mannequin Challenge this week leading up to Winter Carnival. Of course we were mannequins in the forest! The children were great and had fun. We thank Simone for creating our video. See it here: K Mannequin Challenge.
passing the "talking stick" while sharing aloud their thoughts on the morning