I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a happy new year with their family and friends. We came back to frigid temperatures, brrrr! Here are some photos of what we’ve been spending some of our time doing in the new year. Enjoy!
Fort Building and Forest Friday
The children built a very impressive lean-to using two large rocks to support the structure and many long branches. They then packed any holes with leaves and snow for insulation. It’s pretty awesome!
Every time we go out into the Forest Classroom we see many signs of wildlife. We made pine cone bird feeders and placed them on trees for our feathered friends. Our favorite is finding animal tracks. There are so many, especially tracks left behind by rabbits. We’ve discovered that the rabbits like to take refuge from the cold in our covered woodpile. Checkout the photo below of Lucky Lynx pointing out some bird tracks she found at the base of a tree.
Check out our new kiosk in the photo below. Thanks to Keegan, Incadescent Inchworm’s dad for building it, Mr. & Mrs. Lake and Erik, Magnificent Moose’s dad for installing it. The funding for this amazing project was provided by a grant from the Otter Creek Audubon.
More Animal Tracking on
Fun With Literacy
This week we practiced some early reading skills indoors and outdoors. Outside, the children did a sight word hunt. Afterwards, they practiced writing sight words using magic potion specially formulated for snow writing (a.k.a. food coloring and H2O in squirt bottles). Most academic skills we teach indoors can be brought outdoors. The level of student engagement sky rockets and it is truly magical to observe. I mean salt writing and stamping words is pretty fun too, but not much beats using magic to write words in the snow.
Here are a few ways that we practice sight words indoors…
Fairy Tales, Non-Fiction
and Magic Beans
We have started reading fairy tales and comparing fiction to non-fiction elements. For example, comparing the bear characters in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears to bears in the wild. What the bears in the story eat and where they live compared to what bears in the wild actually eat and where they actually live. During math, the children are counting Jack’s magic beans as they climb up the beanstalk. Depending on which beanstalk station the children choose, they might need to count by 2’s, or practice their teen numbers, or work on larger numbers beyond 20 to make it to the top.
As a challenge option, a couple of children chose to work on placing larger numbers on a beanstalk (number line) in order from least (5) to greatest (123). The even trickier part is that many numbers are missing so you have to use your number sense to know where to place them on the beanstalk. I provided a 100’s chart as a resource. The 2 children that tackled this challenge later shared with their classmates their strategy for how they placed their numbers and changes they had to make in their thinking as they worked on it.
Rock Sledding Hill
Monday 1/22 – NO SCHOOL for students – In service for teachers
Wednesday 1/31 – Fundraiser at Bluebird BBQ in Burlington to Benefit the Cochran’s Ski Program
February Vacation Week 2/19-2/2