Spring time has stumbled upon the Nature Detectives here at Woodend! With days full of sunshine, rain and snow, we got to enjoy the last wisps of winter while looking ahead to warmer weather! We observed new plants emerging, birds returning, as well as how the rain and snow effected our creek beds and pond.
Since the Detectives have become experts at being outdoors during school hours, we decided to examine what we might need to stay outdoors at night! With lots of evidence of nocturnal animals all around us, we compared and contrasted what we might need to help us camp! We met our old friend, Felicity Felt, who helped the detectives brain storm gear they might need to bring with them while camping.
We were excited to share our ideas on camping with our Naturalists as well! In the AM class, Ms. Julie taught us more about nocturnal animals, letting the students examine skunk fur before leading a hunt for stripes and spots in the woods! The PM class heard tales of Ms. Gail’s year long, bicycle camping trip around the world! She brought in photos of her trip, as well as gear she had used to camp in all different countries across the globe. What fun!
Despite not getting to hold our campfire at the end of the week due to winds, the students still visited Audubon’s campfire ring and collected different sized sticks with which to create a fire. We discussed that just like cooking, fire needs its own ingredients to be created, as well as how to stay safe when toasting treats!
Inside the classroom, campsites emerged in every interest area! The students went on daily camping trips in dramatic play, as well as built their own tents in the block area. Every student also made a journal entry about what they might bring camping, it was so amazing to see their thoughtful and creative responses!
Since our campfire had to be rescheduled, we took to the woods instead for a story hike! We read the story, We’re going on a Bear Hunt, before taking to the trails to try and spot five bears hidden in the forest!
Indoors, we used instruments to recreate all the noises from the story, before enjoying the different habitats of the story in our interest areas around the classroom!
The classes enjoyed visits from Ann-Mari and Susan during our camping unit! Ann-Mari read the AM students one of her favorite stories titled, We were Tired of living in a House, while Susan brought the PM students camping gear to explore!
On our hikes, we couldn’t help but notice the buds returning on branches, the snow drop covered grounds, as well the return of our American robins! With Spring time upon us, we embarked on an investigation of spring clues around Woodend. However, this would quickly be put on pause due winter’s final snow gust!
One SUPER exciting sign of spring has been our discovery of salamanders around Woodend! We uncovered a beautiful, yellow spotted salamander hanging around our pond! Salamanders lay their eggs in water during the spring, so discovering one by our pond was a very exciting sign of spring for the detectives! We revisited her log, discovering her over a few days, before finding she had moved on to a new spot! We also discovered a leadbacked salamander another log later in the week, further propelling our interest in our amphibian friends!
Indoors, we learned a new salamander song, as well as created salamanders to sit on top of our spring celebration crowns! To prep for the party, the students also created coffee filter rain drops as decorations.
Spring had other plans however, ushering in days of cold rain and snow! While we postponed our spring celebration, the Detectives had lots of fun experimenting with rainy day soups and snowball creations!
Books we Read
Night Lights by Susan Gal
S is for Smores by Helen Foster James
Bailey goes Camping by Kevin Henkes
We were tired of living in a House by Liesel Moak Skorpen
We’re going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
And Then its Spring by Julie Fogliano
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
Weekly Top Hits
The Camping Pokey
You put your tent up,
You put you tent down,
You put your tent up,
and you gather all around,
You do the camping pokey and you turn yourself around,
That’s what its all about!
(Shine your flashlight up, shine your flashlight down)
(Move your marshmallow up, move your marshmallow down)
I’m a Little Salamander (I’m a little Teapot)
I’m a salamander with spots on my back,
See if you can find me, I’m pretty hard to tack!
When the spring is here I go to the pond,
to lay my eggs now that the cold is gone!
Spoiler Alert: When we come back from break we will be learning about bugs!
It’s a shame that you discriminate against children whose parents have to work full time. Why can’t you offer before and aftercare like other preschools?
Thanks for your message. Many of our enrolled families have two working parents and we understand and are sensitive to the fact that half-day preschool programs may create logistical challenges for parents. There are many reasons for the length and timing of our programs: most importantly, we are committed to offering the very best experiences for our students. Our days are action-packed with long hikes throughout our 40-acre nature sanctuary in all types of weather. Many of our families with two working parents are creative with their needs and arrange carpools and babysitting swaps. We encourage you to visit our school and, if the program is just right for your family, we are happy to help you problem-solve and think outside of the box to make it work.