Outdoor Gardens

Yesterday we read the story, “Ojiichan’s Gift” by Chieri Uegaki.  It is a heartwarming story about the relationship between a girl and her grandfather.  In the story they work in a rock garden.  We compared our classroom sunflower garden and gardens at home to the one in the story.

Then we continued the learning outside and created our own rock gardens! Wonderful cooperative projects were created!


Fun and Learning Outside

It is such a beautiful day for school outside!  We started out with a partner singing game: “Hey There Friend”.







Then we talked about some signs of Spring. Now that it is sunny and warmer, the bees are starting to wake up!

Then it was on to free play and choice learning.  Students made cakes and muffins, sandcastles and craters. They had a fun game of hide and seek happening.  Some students even worked on a special project for the classroom that we’ll reveal later this week!

Exploring With Ice

Outdoor learning was a lot of fun today!  It all started on Sunday afternoon when I filled 31 balloons with water. They were placed outside to freeze.  I brought them to school today and many still had not frozen solid! We talked a little bit about why that could be and concluded that sitting in the snow kept them warm.

We cut the balloons off the ice and found some interesting shapes to observe and talk about.  Then we took them to a small hill and investigated their rolling abilities.  Students talked about why some rolled better than others and used a lot of descriptive language as they talked about the shapes and force.

The fun and learning didn’t end there! the students’ imaginations kicked in and the ice balls became eagle eggs and they talked about how to care for the eggs.

Our “ice balloons” were definitely a hit!!

Outdoor Learning

January snow has brought some wonderful learning opportunities for us outdoors.  This week we have been investigating snowflakes with magnifying glasses.  We discovered that all snowflakes have 6 points.  We also tried to find two that were the same but didn’t have any luck.  One student said, “Maybe every snowflake is different!”  We’ll have to do some more investigating to be sure.








After our investigations students had some fun building castles, playing a snow-monster tag game, creating and following paths in the snow, and playing 4-corners.  The outdoors is such a refreshing classroom!

How to play 4-Corners: The following instructions are for game play in the gym or the classroom.  When we are outside we assign numbers to four trees.


Leafman Creations


This project involved reading the book “Leafman” by Lois Ehlert. We talked about the different shapes found in nature that can be used to create pictures. Then we headed outside with some empty frames, gathered materials and created pictures. The last step was to use oral language skills to talk about the pictures. We put it all together in this video!

Parents:  Head outside with your child! Notice the natural materials around you and gather a variety of items.  I wonder what your child will create?  Please send us pictures to show the class that will prompt discussion and build our oral language skills!

Birds’ Nests!

A couple of birds’ nests were brought into our classroom!

First, we described each nest.  “What do you notice?”  Students made a lot of comparisons as they used descriptive language to talk about the nests. Then, we talked about questions we had.  “What do you wonder?”

Students were then given the challenge to build a nest themselves. They searched for materials and got to work!

Lots of different nests were built!  It was a fun outdoor learning experience!