News from the Outdoors:
What do the animals of Woodend do during the Winter time?
That was the question that the Nature Detectives set out to answer this week. We started out by thinking about birds and talking about how some birds migrate, while others stay for the winter, and also how some birds like robins, we see year-round…but the robins we see during the winter are robins from Canada and our Maryland robins head further south. With this knowledge in mind the Nature Detectives set out on a hike around Woodend to scatter some birdseed on the ground for the birds to have a tasty meal during the cold winter days.
While hiking this week the kids spotted quite a few deer in the woods. We talked about how deer are out and about in the winter and that their bodies adapt for the cold weather. They store up more body fat, grow a thicker, warmer winter coat of fur and hang out in groups. The males also lose their antlers, so on Tuesday we took a hike through the woods to look for antlers and as luck would have it, we even found an antler in the woods! As an added bonus, we noticed some clues that some small rodents (probably mice) had been chewing on the antler.
Lastly we talked about how some animals hibernate during the winter. The animal that comes to mind for hibernation most often is bears, but we don’t have any of those at Woodend, but we do have some other hibernating animals like bats, frogs and woodchucks. So we talked about those animals and while we were on our hike with Ms. Lisa our Naturalist, we played the Hibernation, Migration Adaptation Game!
To wrap up our last week of school for the 2016 year we bundled up to brave the freezing temperatures and walked to the pond to see if it had frozen overnight. The AM Nature Detectives had fun using sticks to test the thickness of the ice. Much to their disappointment, it was not thick enough for us to walk on!
News From the Classroom:
With the Winter Celebration coming at the end of the week, the Nature Detectives found plenty of Winter-themed activities in the classroom. They explored with animals in shaving cream, built hibernation dens for some bears in the block area, and went camping in the tent we set up in the dramatic play area.
The Nature Detectives also worked on bird puzzles, used the Build-a-bird toys, created animals, ships, robots and more with the connectagon toys and made deer antler hand print art with finger paint.
We also made our winter hat style crowns for the Winter Celebration and practiced the songs, and worked on hand signs for the concert portion of the Celebration. Some PM kids also created some fancy beaded jewelry to bling out their Winter Celebration style.
Lastly, we ended the week and the 2016 year in style with a fabulous (and festively frosty temperatures) Winter Celebration! Big Thank Yous to all the families for attending, volunteering for set up, reading, photos, snack-making, art, clean-up and everything in-between! Thank you for helping to make the celebrations and the first portion of a school year a double thumbs-up success!
Weekly Top Hits:
(Tune: Frere Jaques)
Winters coming, winters coming,
It is cold,
It is dark,
I am bundled snug and warm,
Animals sleep safe and warm,
Sleds and snow,
Cold winds blow!
Feed, Feed, Feed the Birds
(Tune: Row, row, row your Boat)
Feed, feed, feed the birds in the winter time
When the weather’s dark and cold
Food is hard to find!
Feed, feed, feed the birds til the Spring has come
Scatter birdseed on the snow
feeding birds is fun!
Hibernation (Bat Verse)
Hibernation, time for hibernation
Hibernation, time to go to sleep
In the winter where’s the bat?
In a cave is where it’s at!
Where’s the Bat?
Where’s it at?
Oooooooh – Oh! Hibernation, time for hibernation
Hibernation, time to go to sleep!
Books We Read:
Going Home by Marianne Berkes
The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan
When we return…Nocturnal Animals