Oaks News from the Wild #8

 

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Despite some missed school days due to snow, ice and a burst pipe (!), the Oaks forest kindergarten class has enjoyed many great experiences at Audubon since winter break.

MAPPING

After spending time focusing on animals in winter, we have now begun a new unit on mapping.  This focused unit will continue for a few weeks, but we expect these mapping skills to be used throughout the year (and beyond).  Shannon created a 3-D model map of the Oaks playground with interested children.  The teacher worked with small groups of kids to become familiar with the playground model, and then they all enjoyed a treasure hunt!  Each child was shown a sticker on the model and got to then go find where their golden nugget was hidden.  The children got excited and began placing stickers and hiding treasures for friends to find.  Additionally, an model map was created in the Oaks classroom and similar treasure hunting activities were enjoyed.

We have also begun using maps, such as a home-made one of a nearby portion of Rock Creek Park which helped us on a walk.  A compass, given to us by one family, helped us in our travels as well.  In addition, we are reading a delightful book, My Father’s Dragon, which contains a map of 2 fictional islands.  We are following the main character on his adventures on the map around Wild Island as he goes to save a baby dragon.

 

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HABITATS

Related to the mapping unit and to our new animal project, we are learning about different habitats at Audubon and beyond.  We read the book Going on a Bear Hunt and went on a walk, telling a revised version of the story as we went to the meadow, forest and pond… and eventually a bear (tree) cave!  After our walk, some children found a hibernating woolly bear, so it seems we actually went on a wooly bear hunt.  : )

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

What fun to find animal tracks in the snow!

Fun in the Mud and Snow

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ROCK CREEK PARK

Last Friday morning we walked across the street to Rock Creek Park for the very first time.  It was a delightful, drizzly day.  We followed a hand-made map and added additional landmarks as we explored.

 

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PLAYGROUND ACTIVITIES

Ice Art:  When we went on our habitat walk, each child collected things from nature to bring back to the playground to place in a container of water to freeze.

CAMP FIRE FRIDAYS

Every few Fridays the class enjoys the morning down at the fire pit.  This past Friday we enjoyed a delicious snack of roasted bananas and bagels and Jiffy Pop popcorn.  The kids helped build the fire, and then they climbed, built forts, listened to many silly stories, and more.  To help put out the fire, they had a blast spitting water from their water bottles onto the fire!  Fun times!

CLASSROOM FUN

GUEST TEACHERS

We are fortunate to have 2 gifted master naturalists and an amazing mindfulness teacher (mom) who visit our classroom often.

COMING UP:  We are beginning a very special animal project. Each child has chosen a favorite animal (with beanie baby).  For the next 2 months, each child will study their animal, create art work, and make their own animal book!  Their animals will be incorporated into stories and songs as well.

BOOKS We Have Read

We enjoy reading inside and outside every day.  Below are the books that we read to the whole group recently, but there are so many other wonderful stories being enjoyed by the Oaks, including Julie’s box-o-silly-books and Shannon’s stash of scary ones.

Books about animals in winter

Brr and other James Stevenson books

Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci

Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

My Father’s Dragon (chapter book) by Ruth Stiles Gannett

 

SONGS We Have Sung

“Come Sing a Song of Winter”

Come sing a song of winter, of winter, of winter,

Come sing a song of winter, the cold days are here.

With winter winds blowing and rosy cheeks glowing

Come sing a song of winter, the cold days are here.

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Childhood friendship is the most beautiful memory that can’t ever be replaced.

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