Show and Tell Woods Book

Check out our most current interactive writing book! In writing our current unit is “Show & Tell” where the students write about things and places that are important to them. The work right now is on thinking about the parts of a place and writing one page about each part– but staying on one topic per book!

In interactive writing, the teacher and students share the pen. We work together on all steps of the writing process, from planning to sketching, to labeling, to “fancying up” with color. Students are working on drawing with detail and hearing more than one sound in a word to label.

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“The fire circle” “rocks” “tarp” “people” and “fire”

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At Sit Spots you sit, listen, and watch.

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I labeled this one for the students, in the interest of time. It shows our old climbing log that got chopped up and roped off by the septic workers, sadly.

Both Kindergartens in November

After some searching around for a different platform with more media space, I decided to stick with wordpress and upgrade to get more space. So, expect posts to have more pictures starting now!

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Ms. Atkins class + Mrs. Johnson’s class + two first grade helpers = about 32 kids headed to the woods!

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The ravine is no problem for these kids now.

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We love hiking!

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Gregory and Paisley, this week’s stellar First Grader Leaders. One of their jobs is to carry the water jug that we use to put out the fire. It’s heavy, but they are strong!

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This group of kids had just finished searching for all the cut stumps they could find and pushing them them down the hill. They were trying to break this one off so they could roll it down the hill too.

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Holden and Mason in their castle.

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Having both classes out together makes for new combinations of friends to play with…

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…and gives twins another chance to play together. Jacob and Brooklynn were jumping on this seesaw.

Stay posted for writing to go up soon. We’re working on a book about the different parts of our woods.

Beautiful, Rainy Fall Day

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Jacob’s plan: “I want to play with Leah.” You can see how he wrote a “J” and “me” for himself. He stretched out “leaves” and wrote a “z” for the sound he heard. 

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Hunter: “I am going to run with Elijah.” He stretched out the word “running” which you can see as “RRNN” at the bottom. 

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Hadlee found a very interesting bug today, “like a roly-poly but not as fast.” 

Another Rainy Forest Monday

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Highlights from our day.

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We wore our Grundens for the first time today, which made crossing our ravine no problem!

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Found a few redback salamanders. Everyone held them very carefully.

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The salamanders liked to crawl up our sleeves! 

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Miss Anita made a fire for us. It was pretty cold once it started raining!

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Outdoor Math: Celia is showing her row of six leaves.

Wet, Cold, & Lots of Happy Kids

Today Mrs. Johnson’s class joined us so we had 30 kindergarteners and 2 First Grade leaders out in the woods– in the rain. Have you ever had a picnic in the rain? It was a bit challenging, but we ate fast, then got to explore and play in the wet woods. It was cold, but we kept moving, building forts, making discoveries, playing tag, and more!

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Working hard at our shared writing once we came in. This is each kids’ version of the ravine writing below.

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“We slipped in the mud and got dirty.” (Our ravine was VERY challenging to navigate in the rain with 32 kids making more and more mud!) You can see that we labeled the trees, ravine, and people with one letter.

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“We found mushrooms. They were huge and soft and gooey.” The kids listened for the beginning and ending sounds and I filled in the rest.

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Mushrooms! Some kids even made a mushroom museum.

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Have you ever seen mushrooms this big???

A Snake to Celebrate Autumn

I think the writing we did together today speaks for itself. Otherwise, it was a glorious first Fall Forest Day, with climbing, fort building, “dirty baths,” worms, pretending to be puppies, apples to taste, and mushrooms to discover (and not taste!).

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Our shared writing (the brown part is someone’s hands holding the snake).

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I am a huge fan of reptiles and amphibians of all kinds, and I was a tiny bit hesitant about letting these Kindergarteners hold the garter snake we found, but shouldn’t have been. They were so gentle with it! 

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We sat in a circle and took turns holding the snake, letting it wind through our fingers and feeling its slippery scutes and rough back. What a treat! 

First Forest Days

We have had two Forest Mondays already, and what fun these kids have been having in the woods. We are learning to climb trees and play with sticks safely, finding lots of caterpillars, and getting to know each other. Here are some of today’s (first ever!) Forest Plans.

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Finn: “That is Hunter and that’s me and that’s a robot. I’m playing robots.”

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Cameron: “I’m going to try to look for some portals.”

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Grace: “I am going to look for bugs.” She drew a family of spiders, with the “Mommy-long-legs, sister-long-legs, and daddy-long-legs.” You can see their long legs clearly!

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All the Forest Kids at the end of their first Forest Monday! Looking forward to more.

Raincoats!

This post is a special shout out to Trust for Our Future, MSAD 75s education trust, that allowed us to purchase Grundens raincoats, long underwear, and a tarp to stay warm and dry out in the woods. This gear made our Forest Days possible!  It only rained one day this spring, and of course taking pictures while teaching is even harder in the rain, so these are all I’ve got. Warm and dry kids in the rain = happy kids in the rain (plus salamanders and worms don’t hurt either). This was one of our happiest Forest Mondays!

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Isla holding a salamander with such care.

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Dakota found something: I can’t tell if it is a worm or a slug.

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This was our first day finding redback salamanders, and in fact my first time finding them in these woods. I looked hard last year, but didn’t find any. Rain must have brought them out!

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They like to crawl up, and it take a steady hand to keep them from wiggling off.

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One of our First Grade Leaders catching drips from the tarp with a leaf “cup.”

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Isaiah and his stick.  Note the fleece hat underneath, in June. It was cold! This game was moving too fast for me to get many pictures.

Last Forest Monday

This week was our last Forest Monday. We read the book All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan and talked about places we love– at home, school, and in our woods.

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We wrote our last Forest Journal about the place we love best in the woods.

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Isaiah: “I play Minecraft at my tree.”

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Avery: “I love my tree because it is so peaceful.”

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Henry: “I love the whole woods because it is beautiful.”

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Ian: “My favorite spot is the climbing pine because I can fall in holes.”

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Ainsley: “My favorite spot in the woods is the log down the hill.”

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Isla: “I like to play on the pine tree because it is fun to play on.”

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Willow: “I like the apples because it is yummy.”

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Gregory: “My favorite spot is the stream because it is beautiful!”

And here are a few pictures from our last Forest Monday:

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Ainsley took a big spill and Paisley helped cheer her up.

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Dakota and Ian discovered how to pull up the whole plant, roots and all.

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“Look, this plant has five leaves!” We also noticed they were shaped like hearts. 

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Willow and Dakota found a nightcrawler! 

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Willow in her Sit Spot.

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Avery at her tree in her Sit Spot. She was copying the songs of birds.

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Henry in his Sit Spot.

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Isaiah. I think his stick was a rocket launcher.

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Paisley in her Sit Spot.

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We found tons of Indian Paintbrush.

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Dakota was pointing out blackberry plants everywhere! 

Remember, families, please take your kids out to the woods this summer. They would love to share their favorite places with you. Thanks for a fabulous year!