Friday, September 21, 2018

Forest Friday, September 21st

The day that...
it rained!

"I hope to see the stream."
Illustrated by: Beaver
"I hope to climb the rock."
Illustrated by: Eastern Chipmunk
"I hope to play."
Illustrated by: Meadow Vole
"I hope to see the rock again."
Illustrated by: Eastern Box Turtle

Each morning before we head outside we draw a picture of what we hope to see or do in the forest.  Miss Wetzel wrote the words for us this week, but soon we hope to write our own words.

Once the rain slowed down a bit we were able to make our way outside wearing our amazingly handy rain pants!  We are happy to each borrow our own pair for the year so that we can stay dry.  Our first stop was at the school garden.  We gathered some pieces of corn that we would be eating for snack. 

When we got up the hill we found our forest animals waiting for us in our sit spots so that we would remember where to sit.  When we met for our circle share some of us volunteered to share what we noticed with one of our five senses.  Some of us heard birds, saw sticks or other natural materials, and felt the wet ground.

During play time we explored more of our forest.  We did a lot of building.  Some of us were playing on split rock, making a fort and protecting it while others worked as a team to build a fairy house.

For snack Mr. Sadowski roasted corn from the garden over the fire.  We all loved it!  Eastern Box Turtle thought he could eat it for the rest of his life.  Next week we are hoping to start our Learning Centers in the forest.

It was 59 degrees and a little damp in the forest but we made the most of it!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Our First Forest Friday!

The day that...
we spent the day among the trees.

We hiked into the forest, bringing with us our lunches and water bottles.  Our walk was a little slippery because of the roots and rocks that were a little wet.

When we got to the top we had the job of finding an animal card that had been placed in different spots.  The cards told us what our forest names will be and it also showed us where our sit spots will be for the school year.  In sit spots we get a chance to sit and look around us, noticing the various parts of nature.

Before play time began we came up with some ideas together of some activities that would be fun.  One choice was painting with watercolors with our fingers.  We used rain water because the stream was dry.  We hope to be able to paint by the stream soon.

For snack we made popcorn over the fire.  We could hear the pop, pop, pop of the kernels as they cooked in the oil.  When all of the kernels had popped we added some salt which made it even tastier!  Some of us thought we could eat popcorn all day long!

Before lunch time we got to work and cleaned up our space a little.  We were in charge of gathering old logs and placing them in a pile.  Some of us gathered rocks too so that we could use them for future projects.

We ate our lunches outside.  It will be important for us to remember to bring inside trash and any other items that we bring outside.

We made a lot of discoveries in the forest today!  It made us very excited for the adventures that we will have in the future.

It was warm but comfortable in the woods.  We even caught a glance of the sun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

That's a Wrap! 2017-2018

Here are some standout moments from the end of school!

On June 8th we performed "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" for friends and family.  We read the book, made props, and made the story come to life!  Check out our performance below!

We also made our way into the forest on June 8th.  
We played a lot.  Some of us pretended we were different creatures while others focused on building and creating with various natural materials.

For our last snack in the forest we made s'mores!  We chose sticks that were as thin as our pinkies and as long as our arms.  Some of us accidentally burned them and picked the burnt parts off.  Luckily the marshmallows were huge!  

It was sticky, sweet, and extremely delicious.

Before lunch we went on an adventure.  We hiked and found a huge tree that had fallen and its roots were in the air.  We climbed on it but were careful not to break the roots.

On the last day of school we celebrated by having field day!  There was face paint, relay races, and a very cold water soaker for teachers...  It was a great day!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Forest Friday, June 1st

"I like when we get to have stations." -Mannered Meadow Vole
"I like the way we get to play." -Brave Black Bear
"I like to play in the forest." -Responsible Red Squirrel
"I like when we have snack." -Balanced Blue Jay

Instead of writing in our journals we reflected about our favorite part of the forest.  There were many highlights for us but most of us said that we loved the amazing snacks in the forest.

On our way to the forest we stopped by the garden to take a look at the progress made thanks to the garden club.  Mr. Sadowski grabbed some asparagus for our special snack.

During play time we played many active games.  Some of us were pretending that we were animals while others were helping the animals by creating places for them to stay.  Others were using sticks as tools and building forts.

We also checked our rain gauge and found less than an inch of water.  We predicted that it would get more water soon since thunderstorms were expected in the afternoon.

For snack we made a frittata.  A few of us helped to crack 36 eggs.  We also cut up asparagus and other yummy veggies.  We mixed it all together and set it on the fire so that it could cook up.  It was fluffy when it was all cooked and we cut it up into little pieces.  We tried it and almost all of us wanted seconds.

Our last day in the forest will be next Friday.  Parents are welcome to join us and celebrate!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May was Marvelous

Here is a look into what we have been up to during the month of May!

Our literacy time has been busy and bustling.  We continue to work on carefully writing our letters and learning sight words.  As we connect letters to the sounds that they make we are growing more confident with our ability to stretch words out as we write and read.

This month we welcomed several Mystery Readers into our classroom for read aloud time.  Family members of our students signed up to read to us and we had the best time.

Our science unit this month focused on plants.  We planted seeds and watched them quickly grow.  
We conducted other plant experiments as well.  We learned about the parts of a plant and compared the stem to a straw.  We placed celery stalks in colored water and watched as the leaves on the celery changed color to match the water.  Similar to a straw, a stem sucks up water to give the entire plant nutrients.  
In our other experiment, we considered what plants need to survive.  We planted seeds with some of those necessary things missing.  One plant was missing water, one was missing soil, and one was missing sun.  It was extremely surprising to see that each plant grew (we created some theories as to why that was)... but it wasn't surprising to see that the plant getting all of the necessary nutrients grew to be the largest and greenest.

As part of our plant unit in science we tried each part of a plant for a snack.  We ate carrots for the roots, celery for the stem, spinach for the leaves, broccoli for the flower, and peanuts for the seeds.  We ate samples of each part and got to vote for our favorite.  Carrots (or the root) was the winner!

This month we were lucky enough to incubate eggs that would later hatch into... chicks!  We learned that it takes 21 days for the eggs to develop.  We followed the journey of the chicks by watching a video periodically so that we could journal about the development.  Seven of our eggs hatched and we fell in love with our fluffy little friends.  It was an experience we'll always remember!

Our math time has been filled with comparing numbers, creating equations, and counting patterns.  We have also been studying shapes more closely as we compare, sort, and describe them.

What's that sound?  It's thunder!  As the thunder storms started rolling in, we got to read Thunder Cake by Patricia Pollaco.  It's a story about a girl and her grandmother gathering ingredients to make a cake before a thunder storm reaches their home.  There was a secret ingredient in the cake that made it extra delicious... tomatoes!  We loved making it and eating it after we read the story.

Ms. Keel continues to come into the classroom for guidance lessons.  We have been talking about personal space, safety, and being kind.  We even made a kindness quilt!  On squares of paper we gave an example or how we have been kind to others.

Our adventures in the forest have continued with experiments and exploring!  We raced ducks, cooked delicious snacks, hiked to new places, and saw many creatures along the way.

We have had many "alphabit" celebrations this year.  Some have included stuffees, pajamas, movies, and recently we celebrated earning 100 "alphabits" with a popsicle party!

We are currently practicing and preparing for our end of the year celebration.  We will be performing The Very Hungry Caterpillar with KR.  We are so excited to show everyone what we've been working on!  Join us in the library at 8:00 next Friday (June 8th) for snacks, a show, and a review of our year in Kindergarten.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Forest Friday, May 25th

 "I hope to see a duck." -Mannered Meadow Vole
 "I hope to see a great crested fly catcher." -Relaxed Red Fox
"I hope to see a toad." -Noble North American River Otter

In Naturally Curious we looked through the entire month of May before beginning our journals.  It was our last day in May to be in the forest.  Some of us chose to write about what we will see in nature while others wrote about what they hoped to play.

This week we were back at our home base for sit spots.  We used our five senses and then shared what we noticed around the fire.  We noticed that it was even more green in the forest and that means that it is less dry and we were allowed to build a fire!  We also noticed that our rain gauge had collected some water.  We measured about an inch of rain water.

There were creatures everywhere in the forest!  We found salamanders, centipedes, and caterpillars.  It's important to handle these creatures with care especially because we were in their homes!  Some of us made little houses for the creatures during play time and were surprised to find they had left while we were having lunch later.

For snack we ate some very green, very delicious asparagus.  We cooked it over the fire with butter, oil, and salt.  Then we grabbed a toothpick and dug right in.  Almost everyone loved it.

Before lunch we went on an adventure to a place of our choosing with a teacher leading the way.  Those of us in Miss Wetzel's group went to the square rock and beyond, pretending like we were various animals along the way.

It was very windy outside today!  We could hear it in the trees and were glad that it kept us nice and cool in the forest.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Forest Friday, May 18th

"I hope to see a salamander." - Strong Snowshoe Hare
 "I hope to see blue-eyed grass." - Mannered Meadow Vole
 "I hope to see flowers." - Noble North American River Otter
"I hope to see a purple flowering raspberry." - Magnificent Moose

In Naturally Curious we looked at more natural happenings in May.  This week we focused on insects and plants but we were allowed to write about anything that we had seen in the May section.  In the journal entries above you can see that we worked hard to use finger spaces between our words, carefully wrote our sight words, and stretched out unknown words.

We were not allowed to have a fire again (because we still haven't gotten much rain!) and we decided not to go up to our home base.  We stayed in the lower section of the forest around the stream.  Our challenge for sit spots was to find a completely different place where we could be by ourselves to observe nature.  When we came back together to share what we noticed some of us shared about watching chipmunks and squirrels, seeing more green in the forest, and feeling the sun where we were sitting.

For snack we made pizza!  Right next to the school there is a pizza oven.  We rolled out the dough, added some toppings, and then placed the food in the oven.  There were some delicious fresh ingredients that we could add to our pizza including asparagus, onion, cucumber, pepper, and also cheese, olives, and pepperoni.  We knew that Martha Stewart says it is rude to pick food off of our pizza so we tried to eat everything we added.  We really loved the pizza!

While some made pizza, others played in the forest!  We noticed that the stream and "Wetzel Falls" was pretty dry with the lack of rain.  We made up a lot of games in the forest.  Some of us chased each other and others played house.  It was fun to explore a new area.
Before lunch we used rubber ducks in the stream once again!  We were hoping there would be more water but we may have to wait until it rains more.  We all made a dam with rocks and sticks to let some water build up and then when we took the dam down the ducks were able to flow easier down part of the stream.  There was even a huge duck that we could play with.

Right before we went inside we went on a little walk.  The walk brought us by a small place where other students had come to learn in the forest.  We also visited a tree that is 200 years old!  It was very large.  

 "I saw the old classroom in the forest." - Wonderful White-Footed Deer Mouse
"I made a pizza." - Glowing Gray Tree Frog

We had a great day in the forest and we enjoyed writing about our day when we came inside.

(Please make sure that you check your child for ticks each day that they arrive home!)