Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cooperation, communication and exploration!

I am so glad to be back after our long break and then having the flu.  The kids seemed happy to be back too!  We have a new student, Alexis and next week we will have another new student, Finn.  It is always fun to get to know a new friend at school and it gives all of the kids a chance to practice going over our safety rules and our routine-such as it is.
After a rousing circle time with many people telling what they had gotten for Christmas or where they had traveled, the yellow group was off into the woods.  We started with an exploration of a spot where wild mushrooms had been prolific.  The kids were really wondering where the mushrooms had gone.  When we couldn't find any sign of them, the kids had lots of questions and ideas about where they might have gone. 

During story time we were being serenaded by a perhaps confused frog in the winter.  We spent some time at the stream searching for this frog. We didn't find him but saw some rocks that kind of looked like it could be a frog.

As we trekked along the very familiar trail Adela wanted to climb on a log that we had never noticed.  Bo shouted out "Be careful of the skunk cabbage!"  Then she looked and they were all gone!  Kids were picking up some strange dead plants and showing them to me.  "What is this Teacher Ann?"  It was remnant of the horse tail plant.  All of this dead material led to a discussion about what survives the winter and what dies.

Up at the top of the trail there was another area we had never noticed.  This one with an enticingly big downed log.  Conrad led the way and scrambled up the side and over the log.  Everyone wanted to follow but they weren't sure how to accomplish this.  They turned to me for help but I said I could only help them a little bit. There was a lot of discussion about how to get up.  Pretty soon a couple of the bigger kids had gotten up on their own.  But the smaller ones still hadn't figured it out.  I mentioned that it looked like you could go over the log OR under the log as there was a big opening under the big log.  So Iris checked that out and saw the other side.  Pretty soon they were helping each other up the log.  You can see Bo pushing up Cooper while Conrad helps to pull him up.  They all made it up on the log.  Some over to the other side and some stayed on this side.  We played on this new climbing structure for a long time till we had to rush back for lunch. I'm sure we'll be back there again-bringing the other kids there or remembering how to get up and over. 

Another successful day of cooperation, communication and exploration!

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