Thursday, March 3, 2016

Timberwolf Trail - Week 25 - 2015-16 Edition

You know you're in the Badger State when a record-breaking high temperature stretch at the end of February turns into winter storm warnings the first days of March. Old Man Winter just won't give up!

We didn't let that stop us from inviting our fifth grade buddy class out side to trailblaze with our snowshoes. Though it was first time on snowshoes for many of these upper elementary students, everyone had a ball and the teamwork and collaborative activity was definitely worthwhile.

But the it was time for the kindergartners to do the trailblazin' on their own. We kicked off our forest day with a hike the length of the land, Being the first steps to break through the fresh blanket of snow in many places.

The students always enjoy looking for new hiking sticks.

They were also intrigued by a new sight. The stack of logs pictured below was generously donated by a local tree service company. I had reached out to this business to acquire wood that I would use to set up some natural play structures and create natural seating and tree cookie clipboards. I can't wait for spring to show up so that I can get to work.

We just recently began corresponding with a fellow forest kindergarten class in Vermont. With the help of our new "forest friends," we have come up with lots of questions by looking at pictures of their class in action  and have been inspired to do some different things on our own.

Students have taken sticks from our growing stick pile and started brainstorming some shelter-building. we also came up with an impromptu sound lesson today as a trio of boys realized that different length sticks made different sounds when struck against different objects. They said they were going to be a rock band, but I corrected them and told them they were a stock band instead. I;m still not sure if they got the joke. :)

Natural play time is always a great tome to sit and ponder. . . . .

visit your favorite place. . . .

investigate new discoveries. . . .

or do a little climbing.

We ended our forest day by heading to the hill to play a few rounds of Predator/Prey. Randomly assigning hawks and mice, I give each group a review question and based on their answer, they take steps to either catch or avoid getting caught by their predator or prey partner. This is a simple and engaging way to practice sight word,s math, syllables, and all sorts of other curricular connections.

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