Saturday, March 31, 2018

Moving through March

Here is a glance into what we have been up to this month!

We have been learning two sight words each week.  These words are the words that we read most often in books.  We do several activities to learn these words.  We sing about them, do motions as we spell them, color them, write them, and create artwork with them.  During our literacy game time we have played some fun games with sight words.

Our main focus in science has been force and motion.  We have learned about how to make objects move with various forces.  It has been very fun to do projects such as making ramps...

.....and marble motion art!

In math we have been making comparisons.  We use the greater than, less than, and equal sign when we do this.  Sometimes we compare the length of yarn or the length of  items in the classroom (like in the pictures shown) and sometimes we compare the amount of steps it takes to get from one point to the next.

Our work places have included making comparisons and has allowed us to practice other skills as well.  We have been writing simple equations, ordering numbers 1-10, and making predictions.

In between our work times we play games and sing songs!  One of our favorite games to play is Statues.  One of us gets to be the guard, wandering through a museum of statues that move when the guard isn't looking!  If the guard catches a statue moving then the statue must sit down.

We are so glad to be back in the forest!  The weather is changing so much.  We will begin to learn about spring next week and it will be so fun to observe the changes of that season up close!

Forest Friday, March 30th

"I hope to help Mr. Sadowski." - Brave Barred Owl

"I hope to play Easter." - Mannered Meadow Vole

There was a lot to look forward to in the forest this week.  We predicted that we might have some sort of Easter/Spring celebration.  In our journals we stretched out words to hear sounds, used lowercase letters, and added details to our illustrations.  We are working hard to remember an uppercase letter at the beginning of the sentence, finger spaces between words, and a punctuation mark at the end of the sentence.

There were many changes that we noticed on our walk up to our home base.  The stream was high and flowing fast and there was a lot less snow and ice to slip on.  As we walked we saw "Robinson River" which was flowing to "Wetzel Falls".  Mr. Sadowski helped us name these natural sights after our teachers!  We also noticed some feathers on the forest floor.  It looked like some creature made a meal out of a bird.

After our sit spots we shared what we noticed.  We noticed bird sounds, the ground getting softer, and snow melting among other things.  We were all proud of ourselves because we listened to each other respectfully and waited for our turn to speak. 

We went on a little walk looking for signs of bunnies...  We talked about how even though a bunny leaves eggs on Easter they actually don't lay eggs!  But while we were walking we found colorful eggs hidden all around.  We were running to find them all.

Each of the eggs had numbers on them and we read the numbers that we found.  The bunny had left 74 eggs in the forest for us!

Before our play time we had some popcorn.  We popped it over the fire and then added some salt.  Campfire popcorn is the best kind of popcorn.

"I ate popcorn." - Brave Black Bear

"I ate Easter eggs and [a chocolate] bunny." - Noble North American River Otter

After we came inside we wrote about our day.  We were able to quickly think about what to write because we had just experienced the day.  
Although it was a little wet and rainy at the beginning of the day, we were happy to be back in the forest and to see the sun for a little bit.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Forest Friday, March 16th

"I hope to shoot a catapult." -Brave Black Bear

"I hope to help Mr. Sadowski bake egg rolls." -Magnificent Moose

"I hope to write in the forest."

We worked hard to think of what we wanted to do or see in the forest.  Some of us start by drawing a picture while others start with a sentence.  We stretch the words out like a rubber band and listen for the sounds that we hear.  Sometimes we get to write sight words which are in our "Word Garden", like 'a', 'I', and 'the' which some of us used in our journal entries that are shown above.

Even though we were away from the forest for several weeks, we were all able to remember where our sit spots were!  We had several minutes of alone time in our spots before we headed back to the benches by the fire to share what we noticed.  We noticed the trees swaying in the wind, different branches of varying shapes, and how the snow felt.

A friend from KR noticed some black things by her sit spot.  Some of us went over to investigate after our share time and also spotted some small footprints.  We think that the small footprints were deer tracks and the black things are scat!  We learned that scat is a fancy word for animal droppings. 

During play time some of us were finding the perfect spot to slide.  Others played family in the log cabin.  Being in the forest helps us use our imaginations since we don't have actual toys out there.  We have to pretend and create!

For snack we got to try egg rolls.  Almost all of us loved them and wanted seconds!  We didn't make these from scratch but we roasted them over the fire in some oil so that they would get nice and crispy.

We are amazed by how much snow is still out in the forest!  It was a bit windy today but we were sheltered from the trees.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Forest Friday, March 9th

"I hope to sled." ~Mannered Meadow Vole
"I hope to see a bird." ~Relaxed Red Fox

We wrote in our journals before we went outside.  We have learned all of our uppercase and lowercase letters.  We are working on learning various sight words.  These sight words are words that we see most often in books, such as the, and, is, etc.  In our journals we are also working on stretching our words out slowly to hear different sounds.

There was so much snow in the forest!  The trek up the hill was a little slippery and we could hardly see a trail and so we made our own trail.  After sit spots we sat around our fire pit and shared what we noticed in nature.

During play time there were several activities going on at once.  Some of us helped Mr. Sadowski with snack.  Some of us warmed our hands by the fire while others found great sledding runs down slippery rocks! 

For snack we had pancakes.  We mixed and mixed the ingredients so that there weren't any lumps.  Before tasting the pancakes we got to have a small little pour of delicious maple syrup.  All of us loved the pancakes!

"I ate pancakes." ~Wonderful White-Footed Deer Mouse
"I went sledding." ~Glowing Grey Tree Frog

Overall we had a fantastic first day back in the forest!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Flying Through February

February flew by!  (It went so quickly that it was sometimes hard to remember to take pictures.)  Here is a glance at a few things that stood out this month!

We have been working hard to learn sight words.  We play games and do other fun activities that help us read, write, and create the words in various ways.  In these pictures we are using watercolor paints to trace different sight words.  In the other picture you can see some work that we have done with word families.  We recently finished a project where we wrote the word families in Truffula trees (like in the Dr Seuss story The Lorax).

Earlier this month we made bird feeders to hang on the tree outside of the classroom.  These bird feeders were made with pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seed.  Now that the weather is a bit warmer we have noticed birds coming and nibbling at the bird seed.  It's so exciting!

We continue to earn "alphabits" when we are following school rules and doing expected behaviors.  Our celebrations have been a blast so far but our most recent celebration was the best of all!  We made play dough and we got to choose a color and glitter to mix in.  Plus, Miss Wetzel brought in some new cookie cutters to play with!

We have still not had very much time outside in the forest.  We have made quick trips and are hoping to officially be back to our normal forest routine in March (depending on the weather of course).  We really enjoy when both kindergarten classes can be together! 

It was amazing to celebrate being in school for 100 days as a class.  We did so many fun activities!  (You can also check out the blog post all about that fun day.)

At the end of the month we began celebrating the lead up to "I Love to Read" month.  There were several fun spirit days such as crazy sock day, favorite book character day, and Read Across America Day.