Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mushrooms are never green

Ok-today it was WET and COLD!  It has become that time of year where it is hard to have too many clothes on!  But the kids didn't seem to mind.  They had a blast running through the deep puddles and sweeping the water here and there. 

We decided to have circle time under the monkey tree-because it was semi-dry under there.  During circle time we talked about mushrooms.  Did you know that there aren't any green mushrooms because they don't have chlorophyll?  Luckily we had Teacher Roo,  the biologist, to explain mushrooms and fungi to us all!  We learned that mushrooms are not plants.  Also that they don't have seeds but use spores to grow new mushrooms.  We will continue to study mushrooms this fall since they are so prolific this time of year.
We also talked at circle time about splitting up the groups but then meeting at the secret spot to create a new fort.  So the blue group went off hiking-first swinging by the yellow group's pumpkin and then taking the long hike with frequent stops for mushroom sightings.
The yellow group made it as far as the stream-then spent the entire hour plus following leaves as they floated down with the current.  The kids put in small sticks and then bigger and bigger branches to see what they would do in the water.  Did they move with the water or were they too big?  Did the extra branches on the sticks make it so it couldn't go under the bridge? The TOP kids seemed fascinated by observing the path a leaf would take down the stream.  They ran along side of their leaf as it floated along in the stream-following it the 20-30 feet along the bank.
The kids worked together to move big branches and sometimes figuring out how to rescue branches that got caught under the bridge.  I mentioned that we should go catch up with the blue group but my group was having too much fun with the stream.  As it turned out, the blue group was having too much fun finding mushrooms so neither of us made it to the secret spot.  But that is the way we roll at TOP.  We follow what the kids are interested in and give small, discreet lessons on whatever they are observing.  I'm hoping that some of the kids went home and mentioned the "current" of the stream or that mushrooms are never green.

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