After the Storm

After missing school for a week we were so glad to be back in our woods. It was our first rainy Forest Monday, but that didn’t stop us from immersing ourselves in the mud, pine needles, and leaves. Now that it is hunting season, we are all wearing our blaze orange.


Playing “Sleeping Hare” in preparation for Sit Spots. If you stay still, the coyote won’t find you!


Isla really looks like she is sleeping!


This was one of the newly downed trees from the storm. It takes a looooong time to climb all the way along it. We found lots of places where squirrels had left the remains of their pine cone meals. They leave little piles of the pine scales.


Some kids discovered that the tree had fallen right over the stream. They found water flowing underneath all the branches.


Our Fort Book

Check out the book we wrote about the fort we made last week. Avery’s mom, Mrs. Johnson, came out to the woods with us and was a big help. We missed Forest Monday this week, but are looking forward to getting out there next week!

In writing workshop we have been working hard at writing true stories and teaching books since school started. Here are the steps we took to write this true story, and all the ones we write on our own:

  1. Think of something that happened or something we did
  2. Practice telling it like a storyteller
  3. Draw pictures with details
  4. Add labels
  5. Write a sentence that tells the story (we do that as a class, but we’re not there on our own yet)

And of course…. #6: Read it over and over again. We are writers!


Making Applesauce

We cut out and sewed apples and then wrote a story about our applesauce making adventure last week. This all came from discovering “Apple Hill” which is the first big hill on our hike. On the first Forest Mondays we noticed that the ground on this hill was completely covered with apples. We couldn’t help but to gather them!IMG_7361IMG_7362IMG_7363IMG_7364

This was also the week that we got to learn about making cider from Mr. Don Sanders. It tasted delicious too! A great year for apples.

Writing About the Woods

This is some of the writing we did together about our Forest Monday. We are working on labeling things in writing workshop. The Kindergarteners figure out what sound a word or name starts with and then come up with the letter. I write the rest of the word. We then thought of a few different sentences that could go with the picture, and chose one to write.IMG_20170926_110930454.jpg

Stay tuned for more of our writing!

Muddy Monday

We did a full afternoon in the woods today, and boy were we exhausted! We learned how to put on Grundens, then trekked out to the woods (gathering apples on the way), ravenously ate lunch, and then played, played, played. We learned about tree climbing safely, the outhouse, and explored farther afield, making many new discoveries. We read Over in the Meadow and practiced counting to ten and then found groups of nature objects in ones, twos, and threes– like sticks, pine cones, leaves, and berries.

It is harder to take pictures when it is just me outside, so bear with the sparer blog postings until I get some volunteers out with me!


Wet spiderwebs in the field on the way to the woods.


Gregory discovered a great way to get down the big hill!


And of course we discovered the mud. The area was lush with ferns and had just enough water in the stream to jump over. Good thing for those Grundens! Here is Isla and Ainsley.


We also found the big log and everybody took a turn crawling or walking across it. Here is Isaiah, Gregory, and Henry.

First Forest Monday!

A new class of Kindergarteners turned into mighty woods explorers today! We hiked all the way out to the woods, found the fire circle and tarp, and played together. We learned about how to play safely with sticks, found lots of worms, and used saplings as “bouncy trees.” We can’t wait for next week.


Henry found a golf ball on our hike, then found a great stick shaped like a golf club, and was practicing his putting.


Looking for worms.

Last Forest Friday

Today was our last Forest Friday of the year. Hot and sunny, but still, not many bugs. We did find lots of spiders.  It was also Jaydon’s birthday circle, and his mom and dad came out to join us.


Look how big these Forest Kids are. They look ready for summer and then, first grade!


The Forest Kids know to wait at the edge of the forest for me. And don’t go in front of the helper! Today the helper was Olivia.


On our hike we found cherries at last! This isn’t Olivia’s tree, but she has been looking for them on her tree ever since she found out it was a cherry tree. These ones are not ripe yet.


On our hike Kinslee, Aisley, Alexis, and Ella also found these nuts everywhere. They were also not ripe, and very hard.


Sit Spot time (Olivia)




Mollie starting a new fairy house in her Sit Spot.


Aisley made a bench in her Sit Spot. I guess it made a good bed too!


Jaydon found a few tiny pieces of eggshell on the ground. We looked all around for where they had come from, but couldn’t find a nest. It must have been way up high, he told me. I realized that I’d also found a few gray feathers nearby earlier. Had some kind of predator eaten both bird and eggs?


We learned about making fairy houses today too.



We found quite a few of these caterpillars today (especially Kinslee, our animal-finding expert). They are not browntails and don’t give you a rash, but I mistakenly called them gypsy moths. In fact they are tent caterpillars, which I have also never heard of giving anyone a rash. However, we still didn’t hold the caterpillars. It was hard because they are so fun to watch.


Down the hill, many miners were hard at work today. Aisley and Reuben were mining for bones.


Jaydon, Malaky, and Henry were mining for zombies.

I asked the Nature Kids what I should write in our last blog post, and, in addition to everything above, Josie summed it up nicely: “Say that we had fun and that we hope you have fun in our woods too.” Yes. As we move into summer, please bring your children to the woods to play with friends and siblings. It has been a phenomenal year playing and growing together, and it doesn’t have to stop now that Kindergarten is over.

Happy Summer!

Thank You Families!

Could the woods be any more lush? They seem to be getting greener and greener. Another cool Forest Day, with sprinkles of rain during lunch. Today parents and grandparents joined us out in the woods for our Forest Celebration. They hiked through the ravines and over the streams, passed around the leaf to say good morning, sat with us in our Sit Spots, and saw what kind of climbing, exploring, and playing we do every week.

Thanks to those of you who came out! And thank you to all of you who have been so flexible and supportive during this whole year of Forest Fridays. The gear, the backpack packing, the smoky, dirty, tired kids on Friday afternoon… We appreciate all that you’ve done to help make these days successful.


Remember when this ravine used to be so hard for us? 


Alexis’s mom showed her how to make a little house from sticks.


Aisley’s Grammy and Bumpa with her in her Sit Spot.


Beatrice’s dad and grandma with her in her Sit Spot– they must have seen something!


Josie way up in the tree.

More Birthdays (and Babies!)

A beautifully green, cool June day in the woods. No bugs! We were lucky enough to be joined by Mollie’s mom, Miss Corie, who used to run her own outdoor Kindergarten. It was also Malaky and Henry’s birthday circle. Henry’s mom and dad came with treats for us. They brought baby Molly, Mrs. Mackenzie’s daughter. It is great to have visitors of all ages out in the woods!


We found lots of buttercups again, but Reuben found a different kind of plant. He thought it might become a dandelion because that’s what the bud looked like when he took it apart.


Ella and Henry discovered that our mud hole has orange stuff in it. Weird!


Olivia’s stick helped her cross the ravine. She is showing me the spiky parts on the bottom that dug into the bank of the ravine.


“The seed of a dandelion is a little piece of fluff. It dances on the summer breeze and settles in the duff. It seems so small and fragile, but man oh man it’s tough. I love my dandelions, I just can’t get enough!” from Annie Nixon’s song “I Love My Dandelions” which has become a class favorite.


Alexis, Kinslee, and Ella followed the stream all the way to its source!


Then they went up the other stream that joins. They found a big piece of metal and a hole in a tree. I think we will have to take the whole class up these streams to explore!


Olivia wanted to sit by herself in the stream, but Beatrice wanted to play. After I took this picture, Olivia went downstream to find a new place where she could be alone.


Reuben and Miss Corie were moving rocks so the stream would flow better.


Jaydon found a curved stick (I think it was a root) that is like a bow and arrow!


Which one is too small to be a Kindergartner? We also found out she likes to steal fruit from us! Thanks for letting us share Molly, Mrs. Mackenzie!