Today it was cloudy and 40 degrees when we left for the woods. The snow was soft and mushy, and it was still icy in places underneath. The streams were full of slush. We missed our friends Isla and Ian, but still had an excellent Forest Day. I am impressed by these Kindergarteners ability to dress for the woods, their naturalist skills outside, and their persistence hiking through wet snow wearing snowpants and Grundens. The sun came out in the afternoon as we walked back in, bringing beautiful light to the end of our time together. We sang “Mr. Sun” as we walked back. And we heard the chickadees singing their “Spring Soon!” song as we left the woods!
Wow! What a beautiful, but soggy day out in the woods today. It was 40 degrees outside our classroom when we got dressed at 10am, but by the end of our time at 2pm it was 32 outside. It was icy in places, slushy in others. And water was on the move, in the little streams and in the big wetland / “river.” We went through ALL the mittens we brought out (~ 2 pairs per Kindergartener) and were sure glad to have those Grundens on. We had lots of sloshy boots and wet wool socks that did their job of keeping toes warm enough to keep playing.
Mr. Frank tended our fire and Aisley and Emma joined us as First Grade Leaders.
A highlight of our day was that the birdfeeder had many visitors. Chickadees and titmice at least. Isaiah spent a long time watching them and talking to them in their own language: “Chickadee, chickadee-dee-dee!”
We went out for a shorter Forest Day today, and it felt too short! But the crusty snow and hard ice on the wetland meant we were able to explore much farther than usual down the wetland. Mr. Frank came out and tended our fire and Avery’s mom, Mrs. Johnson, also came out to help. It was about 25 degrees in the woods, overcast, and very still. We heard a far-off crow, chickadees, and nuthatches. After a few weeks away from the woods, everyone was very glad to be back!
We had a very cold day in the woods. It was 20 degrees in the woods, but it felt colder. (Because of the humidity and snow that melted with our body heat.) When we did calendar, we saw that it was warmer than our last day of school. It was Dakota’s birthday circle, so he went around the circle and then we ate cupcakes. Our fire tenders were Mr. Frank and Miss Anita. The First Grade Forest Leaders were Emily and Mollie. They played baby and family and climbed a lot.
I was so impressed with the persistence of these Kindergartners today. It was one of the hardest days yet, what with the deep snow and temps just warm enough to melt snow around your mittens and form that frustrating and freezing cold ice. We learned about sticking it out when it gets tough, and had some good times in spite of it! Not many pictures, because the photographer was quite busy warming up cold hands and feet 🙂 But here are two Forest Journals that kids made when we got inside:
What a beautiful day in the snow! It is a treat to have lightly falling snow and no wind. Today the snow was not very deep. But it was very cold in the woods: 17 degrees. It was cloudy and snowing. You could see the sun a little while we were hiking. It was still and not windy. Some of us were a little cold.
Amiah and Ella were our First Grader Leaders. Henry’s dad also came to the woods with us.
We had a wonderful time, and a fire, out in the woods!
This was our first real snowy day in the woods! The second day with snow, as Dakota and Avery reminded us. The weather was cloudy at first, but then the sun came out. It was 34 degrees in the woods.
One of the most exciting things about today was the sheer number of tracks we found. Deer tracks were everywhere! We learned that they are shaped kind of like a heart and they have two toes.
We had a great day in the woods today. The weather was sunny and chilly. It was 34 degrees. It was not that windy, so we could have a fire. We had a lot of guests in the woods. We are starting to have First Grade Forest Leaders from Mrs. Dwyer’s and Mrs. Mackenzie’s classes. Mr. Frank was our fire tender. And Ian’s parents and his baby brother Rowan came for his birthday circle.
We have started an important part of our Forest Monday routine: Forest Plans and Journals. They go together to make a Forest Book, which will have each student’s plans and journal pages for the whole year. Before we go out, each student makes a plan for what they want to do, find, or play in the woods. After we return, they write a journal page about what they actually did. Sometimes they did their plan, sometimes they didn’t!
In our plans and journals, we are working on drawing clear pictures that show details, adding labels, and writing the date. Many kids are also starting to try and write sentences too.
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.
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:
- Think of something that happened or something we did
- Practice telling it like a storyteller
- Draw pictures with details
- Add labels
- 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!