Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small Doses

Small doses of nature can have big results. This afternoon, we had a guest speaker talk to the kindergartners about Wisconsin farms and crops. With a little time left over before she had to leave, I invited her on our daily hike out to recess. In just ten short minutes, we discovered an up close and personal part of nature that was well worth the time investment. She was blown away by what she saw the kids do and what she heard the kids say.

        We were able to observe a group of turkeys before they filtered into the trees.

        We found a small critter hole and I enjoyed listening to the polite children's debate of whether it belonged to a worm or a snake or a chipmunk or another creature.

        We noticed that our oak tree classroom was now filled with quite a large, dead branch that had fallen off of the tree and landed smack dab in our seating area.

         We pulled some garlic mustard, a ritual of our hikes. That being said, my little invasive               species eradicators are clearing it away so well, it's sometimes hard to find any at all.

         We caught a variety of creepy crawlies, including our favorite, the tick, Rolypolies, woolly bear caterpillars, "baby" spiders, and what appeared to be a newly hatched walking stick.

This walking stick was very popular. One student in particular bartered to keep it as a pet, prolonged putting it back in nature as long as possible, and even offered to skip recess so he could stay and play with his new friend. The little bug drew much interest as seen in the photograph below. It was so heartwarming to see the student finally allow the walking stick back into his habitat because as the boy stated," He must be scared and want to be back with his family. But don't worry. I'll come looking for you tomorrow little buddy."

Moments like these make it all worthwhile. Seeing my students debate. Seeing them help the land. Seeing them build a relationship with it. Seeing them care.

Small doses add up.

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