Thursday, December 13, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 15 - 2018-19 Edition

Another week of nature kindergarten kicked off with some natural play and a check in at our "mouse mansion," along with the trail camera pictures connected to it.

Besides our mouse mansion, a few friends decided to relocate some of our birdfeeders and see if they would get visitors in the trees. They did. :)

We also restocked our mansion with seeds and corn.

When we saw the flakes starting to fly, we stopped what we were doing to enjoy some snow fun.

We visited the inside tree,

practiced some log balancing,

climbed some trees,

and tried to catch some flakes.

Natural play in the snow is even more adventurous.

We love snow, though I don't know why any of my kids would want to throw snowballs at me. :)

As snow flew, we reviewed the elements of weather and specifically connected them to the snow. We discussed what temperature was needed for snow, the importance of cloud cover, precipitation of course, and even watch the snow to discuss and determine wind speed and direction.

We always enjoy trail camera pictures, but there was an added element of excitement when we saw our animal friends visit the mouse mansion the kids created  and placed.

Later in the week, we also took advantage of some warmer weather to spent time at our Sit Spots. This, along with the snowman activity shown below, gave us a chance to discuss why some areas of our outdoor classroom were snow covered and others were free of flakes.

With wonderfully wet packing snow disappearing in the warmer weather, we had to take some time to review big, bigger, and biggest. What better way ti do this than build mini snowmen.

Baby #3 is due this weekend, so this will most likely be the last nature kindergarten update of 2018. Don't worry. We've got some BIG plans for 2019!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 14 - 2018-19 Edition

After quite the wet weekend, the temperatures dipped. . . .big time. But that wouldn't stop nature kindergarteners from exploring the world around them.

Learning involves change and based in the massive rain we received, our signs got a bit distorted, Though they know are quite the art project, they certainly don't look as we expected. I guess we now know to stay away from markers for our next sign project.

When there is ice, we must investigate it. And crack it. This is a rule.

This week, we were excited to meet with our newest nature friend, DNR Dianne. She is a naturalist and educator from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Together, we worked together to find tracks from some of our animal friends. We also investigated the newest batch of trail camera to see if any of the animals caught on camera matched the tracks we discovered.

Speaking of trail cameras, I added a new one to our outdoor classroom. In our Wants  Needs Unit , we have investigated what animals who visit out outdoor classroom need to survive in winter. One thing we do to help our friends is create mouse houses. Unfortunately, the torrential weekend rains destroyed most of our mouse houses so we were forced to try something new.

In order to test out our new camera and replace our mouse habitats, we worked together to create a mouse mansion. We filled it with corn, seeds, pine cones, gourds, and other natural materials and placed it to see if anyone would visit.

As you can see below, they did.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 13 - 2018-19 Edition

Our Mouse House project connected to Wants & Needs is usually a class favorite. So far, this year is no exception.

After planning, collecting, designing, and creating our mouse houses, we placed them.

Of course, it snowed that night, so that added even more excitement on our first official mouse house check the next day.

The snow did offer some new perspectives from our sit spots.

The snow also provided some beautiful views and tremendous tracks to follow.

We also wrapped up our animal research non-fiction writing by creating and adding our signs to the trail. Now, all the trail visitors can take a hike and become experts on animals that we have observed in our outdoor classroom.

Though we were busy, there's always time for natural play.

Pus, having a conference night allowed me to catch a beautiful sunset in action. Baby #3 is due any day now, so there may potentially be a short pause from these updates, but we will make sure to enjoy and learn in and with nature as much as we can.