Spring Changes at Last!

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Friends hunting for a real or pretend snake… not sure which. 

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Eleanor in one of the houses. She is a baby.

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And we went down to the wetland, at Elijah’s request. 

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Wetland play!

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After we come in, especially after a damp and muddy day like today, it is so cozy to settle down and read. Did you know that this whole class of Forest Kids are also avid readers? 

When was the last time you had a picnic while it snowed? In April?

This week we were working on using Fundations lines in our writing in order to neaten up our handwriting, to make it easier to read. These writers did a pretty good job staying  in the lines. Bonus to those who used lowercase letters!

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Colton: I hope to see a bird. I will look in the woods.” (finished on the back).

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Leah: “I want to find a snowshoe hare rabbit with Eleanor.”

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Hunter: “I hope to find buds and icicles. I want to find them on my tree.”

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Cameron: “I want to find garbage. I want to put it in the garbage.”

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Finn: “I want to find new tracks.” 

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Celia: “I want to find a deer track with Eleanor and me.”

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Hadlee: “I want to find deer tracks.”

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Eleanor: “I want to find deer tracks and scat under trees with Celia.”

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The famous fly. We got a lot of mileage out of this little guy! 

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We were so happy to have “saved” the fly! Can you find it? (Hint, same mitten as before.)

Snow Mostly Gone

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Hunter: “I hope to find buds on the trees. I think they’re bigger.”

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Hadlee: “Me and grace are gonna find deer scat on the ground.”

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Leah: “I want to find green stuff in the woods.”

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Eleanor. That is “ice that has patterns on it.”

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Celia: “I want to find feathers in the field.”

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Elijah. That says “a black snake.” We looked and looked, but didn’t find any and decided it was probably too cold still.

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Grace. That is “deer scat.” Luckily we find it every time!

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“There is no snow left!!!”

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Our ice sheet in the woods was gone too. Just a little ice left in the deepest part of the ravine. 

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We found these last week too on the edge of the woods. Sarah from CREA thought they might be owl pellets. 

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Elijah: “Look, a deer has bitten this bud off.”

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Green! We found these tiny leaves tucked under dry grass in the field.

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And Elliana found green ferns too!

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We went down in the wetland and had to cross some small streams flowing through the frozen mud.

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And then the bigger stream was flowing too! We found a thin ice bridge. 

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Feels Like Spring!

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!

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Notes about the story of our day.

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Fox tracks on our hike.

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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).

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Lunch. Warm enough to comfortably have hands out of our mittens!

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Sliding was getting rough, so we made a new plan for going one at a time and waiting in line.

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Sliding!

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Leah’s lichen.

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Shoveling was an important job today.

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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.

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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!

 

 

Being Deer

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:

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Elliana: “Me and Elijah we are going to find deer tracks and deer.”

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Hunter: “I want to find deer tracks. I will follow the deer tracks.”

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Celia: “I’m going to find deer tracks with Eleanor. We’re pretending to be deer.”

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Hadlee: “I hope to let Grace in my Sit Spot.”

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Colton: “I hope to find slushy ice in the woods.” He also labeled “people” and “fireplace” at the bottom.

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Eleanor: “I want to find lots of deer food with Celia.”

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Leah: “I am going to find food for the deer.  I am going to find apples.”

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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:

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We had a great day, despite the cold wind!

 

 

Ice, Ice, ICE!

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Elijah: “I want to find deer scat with my best friend Hunter.”

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Finn: “I hope to see birds in the sky.” Something about also seeing bees is on the bottom, I think. And I think across the picture it says, “that will be outside.”

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Kenzie: “This is me with Elliana.” I’m not sure who the third person is!

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Grace: “I found a big stick. I found it on the ground.” This was her journal from last week, actually.

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Cameron: “I hope to find deer scat.”

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Elliana: “Me and Hadlee are going to find a bear and a deer.” After we got back, we talked about why we thought this kind of plan was never successful. Lucas, our 6th grade helper who comes in Monday afternoons, talked to us about his experience deer hunting. He said that sometimes to see a deer you have to sit still for two or three hours!

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Eleanor got us inspired about cattails during Share this morning. Then she spotted them on our hike!

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They are big and fluffy!

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Celia, Jacob, Leah, and I heard and saw a few birds, including white-breasted nuthatches and this brown creeper! A first in the woods with kids for me. Can you find the bird (from the back?) It is the lump underneath the barkless branch in the middle of the photo.

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The story of our day. Ice Ice ICE was the theme of our day. It can be fun and you can get hurt on it and it can slow things down a lot when you are trying to hike!

February Thaw

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Sliding was in order today– and a lot of it! Mrs. Johnson’s class joined us this week. This is Silas, Lillian, and Nadia.

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Sliding in every position! Cameron.

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Brynn in her Sit Spot.

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Brooklynn helping chip some of the ice in the fire circle area.

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Celia and Eleanor decorated the tree in Celia’s Sit Spot.

Naturalists

We started off our morning with a discussion and brainstorm:img_3316

Then everyone drew and wrote what they wanted to look for or might see today:

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Colton wanted to dig in rotten logs and find “a lot of bugs.”

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Jacob thought the snow would be soft. He wrote “so” for “snow.”

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Kenzie also wanted to find bugs in logs or “treasure” as she called them.

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Elliana wanted to find a bunny in a cave, with Kenzie.

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Leah hoped to see a bunny, fox, bug, and salamander, with Eleanor.

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Kenzie did find deer scat!

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Sit Spots (Elliana).

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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.

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Celia in her Sit Spot.

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Eleanor in her Sit Spot. Her dad, Mr. A, came today as a fire tender!

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Alexis, our first grader helper, doing Sit Spots.

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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.

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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.

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Our discoveries today. Stay tuned for some detailed drawing and brave writing soon!

Forest Friday

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!

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We had a fire.

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It was Celia’s birthday circle and her mom and dad brought us cookies.

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Alec was “walking down the snow.” (You can clearly see the deep ravine!)

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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?

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We Love Drawing on Whiteboards!