Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Here is a glance into what we have been up to for the month of December!

Mrs. Marshall came into our class for a lesson about Mat Man.  She taught us a song that will help us remember the ten parts to draw when we are drawing pictures of people. 

We have started playing literacy games before snack time.  So far the games have been partner games like the Shoots and Ladders game that you can see us playing here.  All of our games will help us identify letters and the sounds that they make.

Before our vacation we were lucky enough to learn how to safely sled while we are school.  We take turns so that one person can go down at a time.  We also share sleds because there are a lot but not enough for each student to have one. 

Every Wednesday we have "Color Lunch".  The two kindergarten classes mix together at different tables.  We sit at certain tables depending on which colored unifix cube we pick from a mystery bucket.

One day we came into the classroom and it had pretty colorful lights!  They stay on throughout the day and are especially a treat during rest time.  Many of us like to lay under them and admire their glow while we rest. 

This month our Work Place games have challenged us but they have also been a lot of fun!  We have put together pattern block puzzles, counted and compared numbers, and practiced making estimations.

We haven't had a chance to go into the forest too often this month but we have really enjoyed the time that we have spent out in the fresh air!  The snow gave us the chance to snow shoe and we had a blast.  We will not go into the forest while the ski club is happening this year.  So stay tuned for more forest related posts in February! 

During social studies we have been learning about holidays around the world.  We were able to do many crafts and activities that took us on a trip to the various places that celebrate the holidays differently than we do.  Our studies focused on Hanukkah as well as Christmas in Mexico, Italy, Germany, and in the United States.

Our winter concert was such fun this year.  Some of us were a little nervous but we all had so much fun performing for our family and friends.  In music class we were able to watch a recording of ourselves.  We will look forward to the spring concert so that we can perform again! 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Forest Friday, December 15th

Since it was so cold we couldn't get outside right away.  We had to wait for it to get to ten degrees.  There were three thermometers that we used to check the temperature throughout the morning.  

In the morning we followed our normal schedule for the most part.  We had our Morning Meeting and Number Corner/calendar time and then we had a brain break! 

We also had a warm snack while we were inside.  The soup was so warm and delicious that we ate it all up.  It was cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup!  We had crackers and bread to dip in our soup.

Before lunch we learned how to put snowshoes on.  Since it had snowed so much we figured it would be easiest to have snowshoes to adventure into the woods.  After lunch we put our snowshoes on and made our way up to our home base! 

The forest had changed so much since we were last there.  We could barely see the fire pit and we had to brush off several inches of snow from the benches.  We were able to explore the area in our snowshoes for a bit before heading inside for P.E.

Some of us shared our thoughts about snowshoes!
"Snowshoes are fun and slippy. Mine fell off!" -Mannered Meadow Vole
"I like snowshoes.  They are fun to play in.  I have some at my house." -Relaxed Red Fox 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Forest Friday, December 8th

"I hope to see what we eat." -Noble North American River Otter
"I hope to play family." -Magnificent Moose

Each of us worked to add details to the pictures in our journals.  We had to make sure that our pictures matched our sentences.  We know that a sentence begins with an uppercase letter and ends with a period.

One of our KR friends led us up to the hill to our home base.  On our hike we noticed that the sun was shining but that it was colder in the woods.

During play time we all stayed busy.  Some of us were building a bridge over split rock.  We were working as a team to climb over and under.  Others were working on taking apart the sticks that were being held together by a chain.  Some of us were feeling cold so we warmed our hands by the fire.  Another project that we were working on was finding sticks of a certain size that we could use in our learning station.  We had a prototype which we used to measure and compare other sticks with.

For snack we had grilled cheese!  We had Cabot Cheese on delicious bread.  All of us tried it and almost all of us liked it.  We also had some hot chocolate to warm us up.

In our learning station we were making shapes.  We were challenged to make a square, rectangle, triangle, and a circle.  We quickly realized how hard it is to make a circle with sticks since a circle does not have any sides, only curves!

Some of us shared our favorite part about being in the forest!
"I like lunch." -Strong Snowshoe Hare
"I like working on fixing things." -Brave Black Bear
"Snack is good." -Balanced Blue Jay

"I ate grilled cheese." -Mannered Meadow Vole
"I played down on the rocks with friends." -Strong Snowshoe Hare

In the afternoon we wrote about our day before our book buddies came to read with us.  Our pictures were very detailed and even though we were tired after such a busy week we stayed focused to get our work done.

Next week we are hoping that we will get to play in some snow!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Forest Friday, December 1st

"I hope to play target." - Strong Snowshoe Hare
"I hope to find a rainbow." - Noble North American River Otter

We are working so hard in our journals!  We are still working with an adult to stretch our words out and hear individual sounds.  We say the word very slowly and use a chart with all of our lowercase letters in case we need a reminder of how to write it.  It has also been our goal to continue carefully drawing pictures with details and realistic colors.

We had our best circle share yet after sit spots.  Everyone thought hard about what they noticed with their five senses and they listened well to their peers while they shared.  Some of us noticed changes in the forest, the feel of the temperature, as well as natural objects that were found.  One student noticed many branches and even trees had fallen down since the last time we had been out.  Our theory is that since the weather was pretty severe the night before with rain and wind, many trees and branches may have fallen.  We thought it would be a good idea to clean up!

Our play time was very productive.  We had a lot of projects going on.  One project was rebuilding the bathroom.  Many pieces of wood had fallen down.  To make sure our outdoor bathroom is private we added more large branches. 

We also worked to untangle a chain that was wrapped around sticks which hung over the fire.  It was a structure that allowed us to hang pots to cook with.  It had fallen down as well!

Some of us were cleaning up other play areas, like around "Split Rock".  Others went on a hiking expedition through the woods. 

We are getting more and more adventurous with our snack!  Since it is chillier we decided it would be a good idea to have some hot chocolate.  We also tried schnitzel!  Mr. Sadowski prepared it for us the night before and then we cooked it more over the fire.  We almost ate all of it!

"I played family." - Brave Barred Owl

We wrote entries in our journals about our day when we were back inside.  Then we were able to read for a while with our book buddies.

We are looking forward to our snowy days in the forest.  Our hope is to continue learning and exploring in our beautiful forest that we are lucky enough to be in each week!

Now, More About November

It's hard to believe that it is already the end of November!  We have done so many special things this month and even had some time to be home with family to appreciate what we have for Thanksgiving.

Recess is such a fun time for everyone.  We are working on playing safely with all of our friends.  During our warmer recesses we have been enjoying the play equipment.  We are starting to notice frost and ice on the playground and even some snow!  When there is a lot of snow we will hopefully be able to go sledding.

Each Thursday our school guidance counselor, Miss Keel, comes into our classroom for a guidance lesson.  She has been teaching students how to stay in their own space and that when we get into the space of others we may pop their space bubble.  She has also helped us learn how to sit while whole body listening.  We know that during group time our eyes and ears are focused on the speaker, our voices are quiet, and our bodies are calm.

We had more fire safety lessons this month.  Students learned all about how to tell if it is safe in a house.  Fire fighter Taylor walked around with us to see different smoke detectors in the school as well as exits.  We are always excited to have these lessons and share stories with our fire fighter friend.

Every Wednesday students have the opportunity to go to STEAM time in the library.  This is a time where they can explore and build based on a goal.  For the month of November students worked on making houses.  You can catch each student talking about their house by following this link: Steam House Interviews

We only had ONE forest day this month!  It was enough to know that the weather is changing and that we need to bundle up.  We do have a fire for when we are sitting for lunch and for group discussion times.  Layers will be so important as we move forward so that everyone can stay cozy and comfortable. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Forest Friday, November 17th

"I hope to play with my friends." - Magnificent Moose 
"I hope to see a fox." - Energetic Eastern Newt

We are still working on stretching out words to hear individual sounds.  Since we have been in literacy groups we have all been working on similar skills such as letter formation and recognizing the sounds that each letter makes.  In some of our groups we have learned all lowercase letters.

When we went outside we noticed snow.  We are learning about the weather and how it varies from season to season.  We learned that some animals need to prepare for the colder weather by gathering food!  So we pretended we were squirrels and gathered a collection of acorns before they all get covered by snow and ice.  There were a lot of acorn tops and the acorn bottoms had chunks missing.  Our theory is that many squirrels have been working hard to gather nuts already and that some may have been nibbling at the bottoms that we found.

Our snack was a rainbow.  We helped to cut the vegetables and put them into the pan to cook over the fire.  There were brussel sprouts, squash, beets, carrots, and other tasty vegetables.  Many of us ate all of the veggies until our plates were clean!

It is getting so cold outside!  We stayed out for the whole day but some of us got a little uncomfortable and cold.  Luckily we had a fire to warm us up.  Some of us felt very toasty with lots of layers!  We're excited for the snow to come.

"I played on split rock." - Wonderful White-Footed Deer Mouse
"I helped Mr. Sadowski." - Brave Barred Owl

Even after being away from the forest for a couple of weeks we were able to remember the routines and how to be safe while outside.  Before we went inside we shared what we are thankful for.  Some of us were thankful for people and some of us were thankful for what we have.  We are all thankful that we get to go into the forest on Fridays!

Friday, November 3, 2017

October is Already Over!

Here is a glance into what we have been up to for the month of October!

In the morning when students arrive in the classroom they are able to do a table activity.  Sometimes they color or play with playdough which is shown in this picture.  It's a fun and relaxing way to start the day.

This month we were visited by a firefighter.  He taught us about the equiptment that he wears to keep himself safe when he is fighting fires.  Students got to ask questions and even hold his helmet!  We get to have two more fire safety lessons in November.

Students are enjoying their new math Work Places.  They continue to practice writing numbers (0-10), making various combinations to five, recreating patterns, and comparing different amounts by looking at partially filled Tens Frame cards.

We also got to practice our math skills in small groups at the end of the day.  This month we practiced making combinations to five by playing Go Fish.  Students also made beaded strings for counting practice.  They alternated between ten red beads and ten white beads.  They will be able to use this tool to skip count by tens or count by ones.

After our math groups we have some time for Choice.  Students are enjoying the many options that are available.  They can paint, color, build, and eat some snack too.  During one of our days with Choice some students chose to help clean out our pumpkin for our pumpkin investigation.  It was slimy and fun they said!

As you have seen in previous posts, our time in the forest has been so much fun.  We are settling into the routine and are gearing up for the colder weather.  Students are noticing so many changes outside this season and continue to explore the outdoor space.  We are practicing how to play safe with others and also how to take care of one another in our community.  Stay tuned for more adventurous posts!

On forest days we also we get a chance to spend some time with our 3rd grade buddy class!  They come to our classroom with picture books that they have picked out to read to us.  We love this time so much and couldn't ask for a better way to end the week.

Earlier this month we went to Riverview Farm to pick apples.  We also sampled some raspberries.  Since we had been learning about apples, we got to see just how an apple grows and then got to bake the apples into a delicious crisp when we went out for Forest Friday.

We continue to earn "alphabits" as a class.  There have been many celebrations so far, but some of our favorites have been pajama day and also stuffie day!