Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nature Boxes

Sorry for not blogging last night! I got home so late! Our class has been having lots of fun with nature this week! We started on our nature boxes yesterday using the shoe box donation from Payless Shoes! Yesterday, the students painted the lid of the shoe box blue for the sky and worked on creating the background of the nature setting on the inside of the shoe box.
A.R paints her shoe lid blue
O.S working on his "sky"
D.K painting
G.S, G.P, K.W and J.M
Many of the students were fascinated with the peep hole created in their nature boxes.

J.M looks into her nature box

O.B draws grass in his nature box

T.W draws grass
G.S creates soil
J.M works on her nature box
Here are some interiors of the children's nature boxes--
D.K drew a "lazy eyed suzy"
A look through a nature box
Today, we explored soil and added soil to our nature boxes! The students painted glue onto the bottom of the interior of their nature boxes and sprinkled soil over it and then using their hands patted it down.
Ms. Kacey helps K.M with sprinkling the soil
T.S pats down the soil
A.K sprinkling soil into in her nature box
A.R pats down her soil
J.A pats down the soil
J.C shows me his soiled hands!

A peep into G.A's nature box

The nature boxes are coming along wonderfully! Tomorrow (weather pending) we will go on a nature hunt to look for rocks, grass, branches, etc. to add to our nature boxes! If it rains, we'll be using beautiful junk to create some animals and bugs!

Our buddy readers came in today for a special project! The local Price Chopper donated some paper bags for the students to decorate with Earth day messages. The paper bags will be returned to the Price Chopper for them to hand out to customers on Earth day! The buddy readers were encouraging students with writing words, labeling, adding details to pictures, etc! The bags came out beautifully and have strong messages to encourage others to help our planet!
J.M's buddy readers helps J.M with some words
G.A begins drawing on the paper bag as her buddy reader J watches on
K.M and N worked together to write the school's name
G.S and S work together on writing
E helps T.S with stretching out some words
O.S and R color the bag together

D.K and his buddy reader X create a strong message together-they had a wonderful idea to depict good/bad. X drew the "good" side with someone throwing away the garbage and D.K drew the "bad" with someone littering
O.B and M write words together
Here are some photos of the students with their buddy readers and their finished bags. My camera died mid-activity so I wanted to try out the black/white option on my camera phone! I'll take color some photos tomorrow of the finished bags!

Let me know what you think of the black and white-I'm trying to experiment with different camera functions.

Today for math, we talked about number sentences and I introduced the plus and equal signs. We've worked on adding indirectly before, but the class has eager to jump into number sentences. Some students already knew about the plus and equal signs! We worked together on counting and writing a number sentence together! I'm continually amazed at the progress of the class! :)

I wanted to share this post I stumbled upon on a mother's blog.  She talks about a wonderful book, 15 minutes outside: 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids. While I'm not a mother myself (yet), I think this will be a great read especially because I absolutely love being outside more and more since moving up to Albany and it's great for the kids to be outside and appreciate nature more! :)