Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Timberwolf Trail - Week 23 - 2015-16 Edition

It felt to get back into forest kindergarten mode after having to take a week due to frigid temperatures. Despite the week away from land, we got right back into the swing of things.

With temperatures expected to climb into the 50's and last through much of the weekend, we wanted to take advantage of the snow while we still had it. However, before starting the outdoor portion of our day, we decided to show our parent volunteers a smorgasbord of snow activities. After kicking off the day with a book revolving around the glorious Snow Day.

Then we made our bird feeders. Because we have noted the animals prefer the peanut butter and sunflower seed version, we left the pretzels and cheerios behind and focused on their favorites. We followed our feeder creations with the students filling up their water bottles and using food coloring to mix colors together and make a rainbow of water bottles. We wrapped up the indoor portion of our forest day with a snack while watching The Snowy Day but Ezra Jack Keats on the SMARTBoard.

After heading to the wooded area and dropping off our feeders, we headed to the open field with water bottles ready to write in the snow. Given directions of proper sentence structure, we were going to write a Valentine's Day message to Mother Nature. Even though it was a bit late, I'm sure she appreciated the gesture.

We all love Mother Nature in Forest Kindergarten!

Of course,we couldn't leave a freshly blanketed field without sliding in the snow and making a few snow angels.

Then it was off to the snowshoe rack. While prior snowshoe activities test the patience of both children and adults, I was pleased and proud of the children for their effort and success with at least attempting an independent application of the shoes. It also didn't help to have a few extra adult hands around.

After a hike to the oak tree classroom, we shared a new non-fiction story that talked about how snowflakes form and the different types of snow (flurries, snowstorms, blizzards). We were especially fascinated with some very amazing facts about the East Coast's Great Blizzard of 1888.

Once we shared some new knowledge about the story, natural play time was here. As has been the case since it was originally discovered, the rock pile was a favorite destination. However, know fully immersed in snow, we had to use tools to uncover the rocks and search for treasures in the snow.

As is the case on most days, the students come up with new ideas, new activities, and a fresh approach to looking at the way they learn. Today, I enjoyed them finding more unique ways to get their snowshoes back to the storage rack.

With next week being a little less snowy and a little more slushy, I can only imagine what we will do next.

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