The Detective Post #4

News from the Outdoors

As the autumn leaves began to fall, the nature detectives took to the woods to search for seeds, fruits, and brightly colored leaves! As the school year has progressed, we have begun exploring deeper into the trails and wooded habitat that Woodend has to offer. We have continued our observational learning by comparing and contrasting different  sized acorns, to seeing how different leaves floated in our pond.

With the gorgeous fall days, the Detectives decided to spend a few days all outdoors! We did out meetings outdoors, and enjoyed tasty snacks on the stage. The students took art outdoors as well- creating squirrel puppets to scurry around the playground, along with drip-drop leaves with which to decorate our classroom!

Both classes enjoyed visits from our naturalists, Ms. Julie (AM) AND Ms. Gail (PM). Ms. Julie brought in her magnifying glasses, and the detectives took to the woods to investigate log dwellers. Ms. Gail brought in her giant measuring stick, and helped the detectives measure leaf lengths, as well as the rain fall in our pond. Both classes enjoyed seed/fruit hunts, where each child was given a bag to fill with seeds, fruits, and anything else falling from the trees that a squirrel might enjoy munching on!

As you can already tell, the Detectives were thinking a lot about squirrels with the advent of the fall weather!  Seeing them scamper around Woodend is very exciting, so we dug a little deeper into the science of squirrels and their food. We learned about the differences between red and grey squirrels, that while grey squirrels scatter their food and share it between friends, red squirrels hoard their food in one spot for the winter. The Detectives turned into squirrels on our hikes, collecting acorns and hiding them respectively, even hiding the treasure in our sand box like different colored squirrels!

On one of our all outdoors days, we introduced our estimating jar. This time, the jar was filled with- you guessed it- acorns! The students became squirrel detectives, each making a hypothesis to how many acorns could fit into our special jar. The guesses ranged from 1 to 131, after counting discovering 30 acorns fit just right.

One of the most exciting parts of our last few weeks at school has been all the construction happening around Woodend! We noticed the different machines around to build the new gates, as well as getting to see some tree workers taking down large branches! After some tree work was done in the woods, we noticed there were some new, fallen tree logs to balance on by our eagles nest. Both classes immediately jumped into action, clearing brush, rolling stumps, and building new forts in which to play! We organized many games of hide and seek, and even brought the toy squirrels out to practice balancing on the large logs.

News from the Classroom

With our multiple all outdoor days, we spent less time inside the classroom these last two weeks. Our indoor time was spent getting the classroom ready for our ever exciting- fall celebration!

Through our meetings and stories, we continued our fall exploration. The classes learned three new songs, I’m a Nut, Grey Squirrel and Falling leaves, which corresponded to our observations outdoors as well as our stories indoors.

Introducing our squirrel blocks to the block area gave the detectives a chance to practice that squirrel balance indoors as well as outdoors! After floating the fallen leaves in our pond outdoors, also introduced ideas of sinking v. floating in our lab table.

Noticing the different colored leaves outdoors, we conducted a leaf experiment with some Japanese Maple leaves inside the classroom! We used a coffee filter to extract different colors hiding inside the still green leaves. Upon checking the following day, we found brown and yellow stripes on our paper- who knew those colors were hiding under the green all along!

To top off this past week, we spent two days creating our very own acorn hats to sport at our fall celebration! To start off, every child rolled acorns and paint over brown construction paper to make the base of our hats. Once the paint had dried the following day, we cut our acorn art into strips, before stapling them together to create an acorn hat!

On our celebration day, every child got to be their very own acorn- and grow right in front of our eyes! We had such a blast singing, snacking and creating with all who were able to join, a huge thanks to everyone who helped out! Whenever grown ups and families are able to come to school is so special for the kids, we couldn’t have had such a successful celebration day without all of you!

Weekly Top Hits

Falling Leaves (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?

Red Ones, Yellow Ones, Orange and Brown

Swirling, Twirling, towrads the ground

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?



I’m a Nut

I’m a nut (3x)

That’s me,

Gonna grow into a big oak tree,

I may be small,

but someday I’ll be tall,

wait and see!


Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, shake your bushy tail, (x2)

Use your paw to grab a nut,

Use your teeth to munch it up,

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, shake your bushy tail!

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