Forest Monday, June 8, 2015

Today we had a lot of extra people with us. It was our last Forest Monday.

In the morning, all of us thought about what Forest Monday has meant to us in our lives.

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When we went outside, we were walking on the leaves in the garden. We went the way by the beans instead of by the asparagus because the plants were in our way. The way by the beans was a tunnel. The tunnel was kind of like a long house that Indians used to live in. We saw some vegetables growing, like carrots.

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In sit spots, J.W. was using a broken part of a tree like a see-saw (or surfboard!). C.C. was stacking tree cookies to make a tower on a stump. She wanted to see how many she could kick down (using her karate skills). The tower looked very high! In J.T.’s sit spot, he was getting rained on. It rained, and then it stopped, and then started again.

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Today for snack we had s’mores. KI joined us for that. It was very different and it was fun to have them. To make s’mores you put the marshmallow on the stick. You cook the marshmallow over the fire and when it is warm you can put it with chocolate and graham crackers. When we were taking off the marshmallows it was kind of hard to get the whole part off. We really liked the s’mores!

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These are our stations. We were learning about math in one. This is Miss Wetzel’s station. We had to figure out little problems, with plus signs and minus signs and different numbers. We used sticks to make big plus and minus signs. A lot of us stood in front of the group and figured out what numbers to add. Some of us figured out the problems in our brains. Some of us used our fingers.

In Mr. Sadowski’s station we went for a walk and talked about all that we have learned this year in the forest. We looked at princess pine and saw a really big pine tree. We walked across a bridge and then came back. The trail was for Mr. Kornfeld.

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When we came back inside, we got a piece of paper and then we got to work on our thoughts that we had in the morning about what Forest Monday has meant to us. J.W. wrote that he loves Forest Kindergarten because we get to go to sit spots and notice others and nature. K.W. wrote that it is beautiful out in the forest. N.J. wrote that she knows the forest and she acts like the forest. We are going to turn all of our writing into a book!

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We took a picture of everyone by the fire pit for our last day. It was 57 degrees in the forest today. Today was Miss Wetzel’s birthday and we wanted to make it a special day for her!

Today was one of the best days in the forest! We liked having visitors for snack and we also liked having new adults with us. It was an extraordinary year and we will miss it!

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Forest Monday, June 1, 2015

Today it rained pretty hard. Mrs. McPherson, Miss Wetzel, Mr. Sawdowski, Mrs. Hamilton, B.C.’s dad, H.D.’s mom, O.B.’s mom, and J.W.’s dad were here with us.

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Today we were talking about beets and we were also looking at flower parts. Beets have more sugar than any other plants growing under ground in Vermont. We got umbrellas if we drew pictures and wrote on our forest plans. The umbrellas were fun and silly.

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This picture was painted for Mr. Kornfeld because he will be leaving to go to Costa Rica.  The painting shows our shed and garden. It is going to be put on the shed near the garden and then at garden club we are going to show it to him. It is a surprise!

Then we hiked and looked for different flowers for a project we were going to do later.

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At sit spots it looked like L.A. was taking a little nap. He was laying down on the logs, pretending to make a bed. At her sit spot, L.A. was looking around the woods. K.W. was making leaf umbrellas so that animals could sleep underneath them. It looked like E.T. was trying to move the tree that had fallen into her sit spot. At C.C.’s sit spot, she found some white stuff with a spider near it so she thought they were spider eggs. B.C. was standing on a rock and noticed it was raining pretty hard.

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A lot of people wanted to go on the zip line because it was a lot of fun. Some got to go a few times! J.W.’s dad was helping at the bottom and Miss Wetzel was helping at the top. It goes very fast!

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Then it was snack time. Today we had beets for snack. If we wanted to have pretzels dipped in chocolate then we had to try the beets.

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There was a lot of rain so we went inside for lunch. At Miss Wetzel’s group during stations, we were looking at different words. We were making the sounds that were in those words and looking at how to spell the words. We were passing cards around while Miss Wetzel sang a song and when she stopped we read which word we had in our hands.

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At Mr. Sadowski’s station, we were dissecting flowers and learning the names of the different parts. The parts are the leaves, stem, petals, roots, stamen, and pollen sack. We were putting the parts in different areas on the floor. We took the petals off, then cut the pollen sacks off of the flower, and also the pistil.

The temperature was 47 degrees and it was rainy.When we were outside, the moisture in the air was very wet. If we had hoods we had to wear them. Some of us didn’t have hoods so Mr. Sadowski made hoods out of a bag. It was funny! It was very wet and everything we walked on was soaked. We had a great day.

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Our Forest Monday program has been getting a lot of positive attention recently! Take a listen, if you haven’t already, to the podcasts and presentations about our days in the forest.

American RadioWorks (33:40): http://www.americanradioworks.org/forest-schools/

NPR (4:39): http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/05/26/407762253/out-of-the-classroom-and-into-the-woods

Thunder Cake and Baby Birds and Buddies, oh my!

The past few weeks have been busy for us!

Recently, we read the story Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. The story was about a girl and her grandmother who were hurrying to gather ingredients to make thunder cake before a storm rolled in.

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We made our own thunder cake! Everyone got a chance to help by adding ingredients. The most surprising ingredient was tomato sauce.

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We had it for snack the very next day. It was delicious!

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E.O. also brought some of his baby birds in to show us.

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E.O. and his mom told us all about them. They were very cute and soft!

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Our buddy class took us into the woods and we visited our Forest Monday home base.

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The zip line was a lot of fun and our buddies helped us get on so that we could be safe.

Forest Monday, May 18, 2015

B.C.’s dad, H.D.’s mom, Miss Wetzel, Mr. Sadowski, Mrs. Hamiliton, and Mrs. McPherson were here.

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E.T. found a bird nest on the ground. She put it by a tree on the trail and she put some more twigs in it so that the nest would not have holes. We found some human string in the nest.

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We made asparagus for snack. We cut it up and boiled it first. Then we put pepper and salt on it and grilled it. Then we put cheese on the asparagus. A lot of people wanted it with cheese on top. A lot of us liked it. It was delicious! Mr. Sadowski picked it from his garden and let us have it from snack.

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We had fireman Tom come out to see us and tell us about fire safety. He showed us a smoke detector and let us hear it making noise. When a smoke detector goes off then we should go outside. If the fire is close to us then we can stop, drop, and roll. He told us that we should have a practice fire drill at home. Fireman Tom said that our fire was safe because of the way that it was set up. A little before we left the forest, we had to put the fire out.

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In one station we had leaves in a ten frame made out of sticks. We were working with 3 + 4 = 7 and other problems. Miss Wetzel kept giving us different problems with different numbers. We also talked about subtraction with 10 – 7 = 3.

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In Mr. Sadowski’s station, he asked us to find something on a quest as a group and communicate. We started at our home base and we had to find our way around things. We slid down rocks, and went up trees and under them.

It was 62 degrees outside. Today was a good day. It was one of the most beautiful days we’ve had even though it was a little buggy. It was so sunny and warm that we wanted to stay out longer.

Forest Monday, May 11, 2015

We had Mr. Sadowski, Miss Wetzel, B.C.’s dad, and E.O.’s grandma, grandpa, and great grandma here with us today.

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On Friday, we made paper. We ripped up newspaper and then we blended it with water. We put it on a screen to dry. The paper dried over the weekend and we drew on them today. We found paper that was in the shape of another object and then colored the shapes to look like those objects.

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Outside, we went to the garden to get forget-me-nots. We were going to plant them in the forest.

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On our hike up, we found some fiddle head ferns. You can eat fiddle head ferns if you boil them first.

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During play time, L.D. was pushing some logs down a hill. Some of us were running and building forts. We were using sticks to put them together. This is a picture of us on the zip line. It goes very fast and it is fun!

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For snack we had pineapple. Mr. Sadowski cut up one whole pineapple and put the pieces on toothpicks so that we could eat them. They tasted very good! L.A. was sucking the juice from the outside part of the pineapple. The juice was getting all over him!

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In Mr. Sadowski’s group, we were planting forget-me-nots in the forest. We had to dig holes with shovels but it was hard. The roots and rocks were in the way of the shovels. Mr. Sadowski taught us to cut the ground in a circle, then take the dirt out, place the plant in the hole, and then put the dirt back. We were spreading all of the dirt around the plants so that they wouldn’t tip over and die.

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In Miss Wetzel’s group, we were making nests with materials that we found in the woods. We had to get everything we needed and used teamwork to make them. When we were building nests, some of us were using sticks that could bend. We also used grass and bark.

It was 68 degrees today. It didn’t start raining until we came inside. We had a really nice day.

Forest Monday, May 4, 2015

We saw Miss Wetzel, Mr. Sadowski, Ms. Tracee, B.C.’s dad, R.T.’s mom, Mrs. Rataj, K.W.’s mom, and H.D.’s grammy.

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Today we were learning about nature and numbers. We were trying to add little numbers to big numbers. Mr. Sadowski told us to put the higher number in our heads and the small number on our fingers. Then we added the numbers. On our poster we learned about the numbers that we see in nature: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13.

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In sit spots, some of us were sorting leaves into piles. Others were playing with sticks and pretending they were different things. K.W. was looking at a log because she noticed that the top part had been cut. E.O. was looking around.

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At play time, we were playing on the zip line. B.C.’s dad helped us get on. It was fast and high but if you hold on to the handle it was okay. We felt really good and wanted to go again. A lot of people were enjoying the zip line. Others were playing with dead trees and pulling the bark off. Some of us were trying to build different houses because the old ones were broken.

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We had popcorn for snack. It was delicious! We had to make a few batches.

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In Miss Wetzel’s station, we grabbed different words. We got to match up our words based on similarities. If we had two letters in a word, they matched. Or if there was an ‘n’ at the end of the words, they made a match. Also if two words have one of the same letter in them, they would match. We also looked for rhymes. We practiced reading the words too.

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In Mr. Sadowski’s station we were looking for fiddleheads. We were looking to see where they grow. We were also going on a walk up the hill and learning more about adding bigger and smaller numbers together.

It was 70 degrees today. It was a super good day!

Forest Monday, April 27, 2015

B.C.’s dad, Miss Wetzel, Mr. Sadowski, Mrs. McPherson, and Ms. Tracee were here with us today.

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In the morning we were talking about snack and voted on either having a new snack or an old snack. We voted on a new snack for today. We like to try new things. We were also looking at and choosing one object out of a box full of things that had to do with the earth. In our circle we talked about why we chose our objects. When we went outside we cleaned up trash because Earth Day was last week.

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In sit spots, L.A. was trying to make his sit spot into a house by making a door with sticks and raking the leaves. J.W. was moving a broken stick into a pile in his sit spot. In our sit spots we feel good.

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This is a picture of us during play time, making a fort by adding sticks and logs. We were trying to build it back up because it was falling apart. We were trying to build an Avengers Tower.

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To make the pea soup for snack, first we cut up the bacon and fried it. Then we put in water and dry soup mix to cook together. When we were eating/drinking the soup, a lot of us liked it. Some of us even wanted seconds. The soup was pretty good.

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At stations, Miss Wetzel taught us a song to sing. The song was about things that are alive. We studied different types of worms today: ones that were alive and ones that aren’t. We used clipboards to write down things about gummy worms which are not alive. We drew a picture, measured how long it was, and felt the worm. We will be looking for worms that are alive so that we can compare them to the ones that are not alive. We will finish our study later this week. After we were all done with our gummy worm project, we got to eat them.

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In another station we were shooting an arrow. Some people could shoot it far! We were also building our log cabin and putting more logs around our outdoor bathroom so that it will be more private. When we were hammering more logs onto the log cabin, it was hard to get the nails into the wood.

It was 50 degrees out. We had a wonderful day.