My mom, Jenny Atkins, was visiting today, and came out to help in the woods. So thanks to her for many of the pictures today!
Notes about the story of our day.
Fox tracks on our hike.
Share time after Sit Spots. Kids noticed things like the fact that sticks were buried under new snow, that it was sticky packing snow, the wind, and the sounds of their own breathing (that one was Hunter).
Lunch. Warm enough to comfortably have hands out of our mittens!
Sliding was getting rough, so we made a new plan for going one at a time and waiting in line.
Shoveling was an important job today.
Eleanor’s dad was our other fire tender today, and he brought her little sister Margaret too (the one looking at Elliana). We celebrated Eleanor’s birthday.
Hadlee is our new Forest Kid of the Week! She is doing a great job staying within sight of the teacher (Responsible), listening to her friends share (Focused), and playing with everyone (Caring). Go Hadlee!
This Monday morning we talked more about deer and what they need to survive in Bowdoinham. We talked about how they find food in the winter if there is snow– they can dig with their hooves to find things on the ground like acorns, apples, and grass, or they can scratch into bark to get the tasty green inner bark. They can also eat buds. Miss Bonnie thought they might also eat the needles from trees if they were really hungry, like her sheep do!
Here are some of our deer-related plans:
Elliana: “Me and Elijah we are going to find deer tracks and deer.”
Hunter: “I want to find deer tracks. I will follow the deer tracks.”
Celia: “I’m going to find deer tracks with Eleanor. We’re pretending to be deer.”
Hadlee: “I hope to let Grace in my Sit Spot.”
Colton: “I hope to find slushy ice in the woods.” He also labeled “people” and “fireplace” at the bottom.
Eleanor: “I want to find lots of deer food with Celia.”
Leah: “I am going to find food for the deer. I am going to find apples.”
Jacob wanted to follow turkey tracks. He wrote “follow” “turkey” and “track.”
In the woods we pretended to BE deer and looked for food and then cozy places to sleep, under low-hanging branches. The rest of the story of our day:
We had a great day, despite the cold wind!
We started off our morning with a discussion and brainstorm:
Then everyone drew and wrote what they wanted to look for or might see today:
Colton wanted to dig in rotten logs and find “a lot of bugs.”
Jacob thought the snow would be soft. He wrote “so” for “snow.”
Kenzie also wanted to find bugs in logs or “treasure” as she called them.
Elliana wanted to find a bunny in a cave, with Kenzie.
Leah hoped to see a bunny, fox, bug, and salamander, with Eleanor.
Kenzie did find deer scat!
Sit Spots (Elliana).
Alec in his Sit Spot. He is our first “Forest Kid of the Week.” This will turn into a class book, with a kid featured each week who was very responsible, focused, and caring in the woods.
Celia in her Sit Spot.
Eleanor in her Sit Spot. Her dad, Mr. A, came today as a fire tender!
Alexis, our first grader helper, doing Sit Spots.
Leah found a tree with a big hole that she thought might be an old woodpecker hole. We dug it out but didn’t find any bugs.
This tree, right next to our fire circle, is definitely a woodpecker tree. Look at all those holes! There was a big pile of wood chips below.
Our discoveries today. Stay tuned for some detailed drawing and brave writing soon!
We went out for a special Forest Friday afternoon, for Celia’s birthday circle, and because it had been so long since we’d been in our woods. There was a lot of ice frozen after yesterday’s rain!
We had a fire.
It was Celia’s birthday circle and her mom and dad brought us cookies.
Alec was “walking down the snow.” (You can clearly see the deep ravine!)
Elijah: “I slided.” His picture looks like he or someone wasn’t happy about that. Maybe because the ice made our walk out so hard?
We Love Drawing on Whiteboards!
Tuesday after the big snow event, we were happy that it warmed up enough in the afternoon for us to go out for a short time. Recess had been canceled because of the cold. But nothing is grander than having fresh snow and the whole playground to yourself! We came back and talked about how hard and crusty the snow was, how high the snowbanks were (and good for running off, jumping off, sliding down), and how blue the sky was. The kids also noticed how the cold air felt different in your body and made it harder to breathe.
Leah: “We are playing chutes and ladders on the playground.” She labeled “twisty slide” and “ladder”
Elliana: “We are going down the slide.”
Eleanor, describing the pretend play: “We played alone in the ice and the ice was in the ocean.” The people are saying, “Help!” “I can save you!”
Finn labeled a lot: “Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch” “the snow flakes” “the sun” “the sky” “the clouds”
Alec drew him and Leah playing on the big snowbanks. His labels are very clear: “tree” and “the snow”
Cameron: “We put snow at the bottom of the slides.” (This makes the ride faster!)
Elijah: “Leah and Elijah and Hunter played together.”
Every day brings something new! We really loved the snow.
It has been a while since we’ve posted our writing. Many of these kindergarteners are starting to write sentences! Today we did journals after our forest time.
Today was also the kickoff to the WinterKids Winter Games that our school is a part of this year. What a way to start with 28 kindergarteners in the woods on a 20 degree day! Beautiful and sunny though.
Hunter: “We slapped the trees.” He added details with the words “stick” and “the leaf on the ground.” He and Silas used sticks to break the smaller dead branches off of trees.
Kenzie needs paper with more lines, because you can see her sentence going up the side! “We were going to the wetland and we found treasure!” The treasure was ice chunks. You can see that she colored it yellow and labeled it with a post-it.
Cameron: “I slid on the slide.” He wrote “sand” to explain all his brown. There was snow in the woods, but also lots of sand.
Finn: “My friend Jacob” “the hill” “grass” “people playing a lot of the game” (continues on the back). Finn still has to finish his color, but what a lot of labels and words!
I bet most adults can read Eleanor’s without translation!
Leah: “I played outside with Eleanor and Kenzie. We played family.”
Elijah: “Ms. Atkins gave me hand and foot warmers.” The writing near the blue person (Ms. Atkins) says “gave them me.”
Hunter led the way in bringing this 20 ft stick up from the ravine for firewood.
Mrs. Johnson’s class was out with us today. While half of the kindergarteners ate lunch, the other half went on an adventure down into the wetland. We found great climbing trees.
And broke through layers of ice.
Brynn, Brooklyn, and Tevis are skilled climbers!
We are working hard on drawing with detail and hearing many sounds in a word for our labels. Last week we got to share our writing with the 4th and 5th graders, and they were impressed by our “Brave Spelling” and “Detailed Drawings!”
Hunter: “My plan is to find deer and scat.” He wrote “deer,” “scat,” turkey tracks,” and “gulch.”
Finn: “I’m going to look for leaves, roots, and scat.”
Grace: “I’m going to try to find some scat.” She drew and labeled a turkey.
Eleanor’s plan. I didn’t get a chance to read it with her, so I’m not sure if she wants to slide, see, or sit in water. Based on her picture, I am guessing slide!
Zoey: “Me and Elijah are going to look for turkey tracks.”
Elijah: “We are looking for turkey tracks.” He also labeled “the scat.”
Elliana: “Me and Kenzie are going to find deer and turkeys.”
Mrs. Johnson’s class came out with us today. Here are Elijah and Camden in their Sit Spot.
Colton and Elizabeth. We hear a lot when we are very quiet.
Avery and Leah.
Celia and Nadia.
We got super muddy today, sliding and also climbing on the very long log. The big root ball at the end was ALL mud. We wrote “sticky mud” here.
So we rolled in the snowy field to clean off!
And made snow angels. On our front and our back!
The result? CLEAN!
Apologies, parents, about the extra muddy and wet gear today. And thank you for so diligently dressing your children in their long underwear. It kept us toasty even when we got wet!
Our book is titled: “Snow in the Woods.” It is about all the things we can do in the woods in the snow.
We make big snowballs. We figured out that it was easier to roll them from the field into the woods than up the hill!
We slide down the hills. You can see the bumps, sticks, mud, and log at the bottom. Not for the faint of heart!
We find tracks. This is a turkey track– you can clearly see the three toes in front and one in back. We also found a lot of turkey scat.
We also found lots of deer tracks. They have two toes.
Sometimes the snowballs got too big to move. Even when you run across the field at them full speed.
A snowman! Who needs a carrot or pieces of coal?
We Love Sliding.
Good old turkey scat.
This was an airplane, with kids listening to Weatherwoman Eleanor and quickly evacuating every time a hurricane blew through.
We also explored farther down the ravine and into the wetland. We found this climbing tree and called the area Puddle Playground because of all the water.