The Detective Post #18

News from the Outdoors

This week the Detectives continued their wintry exploration of Woodend!  As the snow and ice melted and we even got fresh flurries, the classes observed the pond and creek beds full of water, as well as the muddy trails filled with footprints for us to track! Both classes noticed the sound of running water was much more prominent this week, hypothesizing that our planet pal H2O was melting from all that snow into water. We introduced the topic of collecting sap from trees, honing in on sugar maples that make maple syrup!



Spying Raccoon print in the snow

On our hike with Alex this week, we learned about growing trees around Audubon. We practiced some “tree-aerobics” as well as learning about how different animals use trees to find bugs or make homes. She also had us embark on a leaf hunt, looking for different shapes on the forest floor.


Tree Aerobics with Alex

This week we had an amazing field trip to the Brookside Nature center to get to see tapping in action! Ms. Gerry showed us how the trees make sugar in the tiny kitchens of each leaf, before heading outside, despite the chilly weather, to observe the sugar maple trees. On a warmer day, the sap would have been running up the tree, but with our chilly weather we were able to observe a “sapsicle” stuck to the tree and frozen sap inside the buckets. We also got to observe the sap boiling before heading inside to taste test both pure sap and maple sugar made right there at Brookside!


Boiling sap


Observing a tapped tree with a “sapsicle”

News from the Classroom

This week we started our Monday Mindfulness activities! In both classes the detectives brainstormed what mindfulness means, before practicing noticing noises around them using a singing bowl.


Monday Mindfulness in the AM with Edie’s mother Caroline

We prepped for our sugar maple field trip this week by exploring all things syrup inside the classroom! On the carpet this week we built cabins out of Lincoln logs (like they have at Brookside), used maple leaves to measure in the block area, as well as practiced tapping trees by hammering golf tees into styrofoam!


Hammer Time

We also embarked on a few sap-related experiments around the classroom! In the discovery table, we put celery sticks in colored water to observe how, like sap in a tree, the color traveled up the stalks of celery. At the art table, we painted with pine cones as well as eye droppers to simulate the sap going up and down the tree!


Experimenting with colored celery

On Wednesday, we did our own syrup taste test by mixing and cooking our own pancakes and syrup! We also created maple syrup scented oobleck to get sappy and sticky on our own.


Chef Tad Overdone and his Sous Chefs



Books we Read:

Winter Trees by Carole Gerber

A B Cedar by George Lyons


Weekly Top Hits:

Sappy (Tune: Happy)

Because I’m Sappy

Tap a tree, if your feel like your breakfast needs a boost

Because I’m Sappy

Tap a tree, when the sap runs from the leaves down to the roots

Because I’m Sappy

Tap a tree, if you feel like syrups tasty to you

Because I’m Sappy

Tap a tree, if you want cus that’s what you’ve got to do!


Tap, Tap, Tap a Tree (Tune: Row Row Row your Boat)

Tap, tap, tap the tree,

As the sap runs down,

Catch it in a silver can,

Before it hits the ground!


Maple Syrup Oobleck

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