News From the Outdoors:
We were welcomed to school on Monday with a magical gift from Mother Nature…Snow! We couldn’t have asked for a more magical way to kick off the Fairies and Gnomes Unit. As the Nature Detectives arrived at school they discovered a mysterious spiral of fairy dust on the playground, which led us to the lookout where we discovered a hidden Gnome and a horde of “power crystals”. Inspired by the hidden Gnome, the kids played some hide and seek and enjoyed exploring the snow covered ground.
Tuesday’s outdoor adventures started off with a bang as Blue Crab, our Winter Naturalist joined us and shared some knowledge about Deer and how they are crepuscular animals, a fancy science term given to animals that feed primarily in the twilight, as the sun is coming up in the morning and going down in the evening. He also showed the students a deer pelt and led a hike to the old well where the kids discovered yet another Gnome, and left some kindness wishes in the well.
By Wednesday, the Nature Detectives were getting to be Fairy and Gnome experts as they discovered yet another Gnome hiding spot near the bird blind and also found the Fairy Fungus Matching Game! (F.F.M.G.) We played a few rounds of F.F.M.G. and then brought the game back to school with us to play in the class room as well. Another highlight from Wednesday is that the Nature Preschool became proud owners of a washer and dryer! Not super interesting for the kids, but the huge boxes they came in…that’s another story! The boxes became Gnome homes, time-tunnels, decorated mansions, the inside of a washing machine, and much more.
We capped off the week with two big sightings; near the pond both classes spied a Red Shouldered Hawk, once perched in a tree, and another time on the ground near the water! We’ve been seeing this large bird around Woodend on and off through the year but have seen it three times in the past two weeks! After the hawk sighting, the kids headed to the Ultimate Climber and discovered yet another hidden Gnome! Who knows what they’ll discover next week?
News From the Classroom:
The classroom was a busy place this week with lots of new Fairy and Gnome-related interest areas. The Nature Detectives built Fairy train tracks that tunneled through trees and giant mushrooms, built elaborate homes for some Fairy and Gnome figurines in the block area, earned their Fairy Wings in the dramatic play area and cultivated hordes of treasure in the sensory bin.
The students did some thinking about what they knew about Fairies and Gnomes and a common thread was that they are kind, helpful and fix things. (You can see all of the Nature Detective’s Fairy and Gnome ideas posted in the Cubby Room.) With ideas of kindness in their minds many of the Nature Detectives created kindness wishes on construction paper, wrote down their wishes and took them to the well with Blue Crab.
The kids got crafty this week as well, they created Fairy Dough out of Corn Starch and Hair Conditioner, made their very own Fairy and Gnome figurines, made houses for said figurines, and collected natural items to decorate Fairy/Gnome doors!
The PM class capped off their week by creating a birthday book!
Weekly Top Hits:
Gnomes At Woodend (Tune: Home on the Range)
Gnomes, gnomes at Woodend
Where the Squirrels and Deer are all friends
Where often is heard, the song of a bird
And in the skies we see Sunny Ray
Books We Read:
Flower Fairies: Magical Doors, Discover the Doors to Fairyopolis
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
More Fairies and Gnomes next week!