Tuesday, December 31, 2013

 13 in '13 {linky party}

Well I've fallen a bit behind in my blogging, 2013 sent a few unexpected bumps and even some rough turns in August that continued into December - but the bumps have finally been smoothed out some, and I am looking forward to a wonderful 2014. When I saw this linky hosted by Miss Kindergarten, A Teeny Tiny Teacher, and Dragonflies in First, I thought what a nice way to present the highlights of those tricky months. Here are my 13 for '13 and one looking forward to '14:

My husband and I ran in states #s 16, 17, 18, and 19 ~ getting closer to all 50.
~ a 5K in Hendersonville, Kentucky
~ a Double = 10K followed by a 5K in Indy, Indiana with a trip to the Indiana State Fair
~ a 10K trail in Fall Creek Falls Tennessee (a gorgeous place)
~ a 5K in Lawrenceville, Georgia run with our daughter and 2 grandchildren in the jogger stroller!

My teaching partner made contact with Wildlands Conservancy.
We arranged for a fantastic naturalist to visit our classroom twice a month, she is following closely what we are teaching in the classroom. The first visit was an introduction to bears and deer which live in the forest - the habitat we studied for the first quarter.

We received our classroom mascot from Boyds by Enesco.
He is so soft and lovable!
We took our first field trip to the forest at Wildlands Conservancy. There we spent quite a bit of time exploring a pond. We collected water plants, minnows, tadpoles, and even a frog - which are now living in our classroom until Spring when we will return them to their pond. We also met Harvey the snake, a toad, sat on 'The Spooky Bridge' and tried looking through a microscope for the first time.
These are some of the creatures we collected at Wildlands Conservancy that are now living in an aquarium in our classroom. We can't wait to see the tadpoles change into frogs.
Here is our second field trip to the forest. This time we travelled to Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
There we hiked in the forest along the river and up the mountian. We looked and listened for songbirds, and were very fortunate to have a bald eagle fly right over us as we were hiking. We also explored the tiny things that live in ponds under microscopes and even got to hold a salamander.
Just Born has sponsored our World of Discovery Program (you can read more about this is the two previous posts.) Through their generous donation we have been able to purchase the most amazing classroom rug ever - it has a leaf for each student to sit on, kits for exploring lady bugs & worms, nonfiction books, books, and more books, and they are funding the transportation for our field trips! Thank you Just Born!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On this visit from Wildlands we learned all about worms. We touched them, looked at them through microscopes and went outside to see where they live.
Nocturnal animals was the theme of this Wildlands visit. Lisa ~ our favorite visitor and naturalist from Wildlands brought with her the book Sassafras by Audrey Penn along with a real live skunk and owl. She read the book to us, signed it, and left it as a wonderful gift for us to enjoy agin and again. 
For this visit we had moved our forest study to the tropical rainforest. You can see our sampling of visiting creatures above.
Our next area of study was the forest in the Tongass of Alaska. We looked closely at bears, salmon, bald eagles and the trees in this temperate rainforest. Our visiting animals included a flying squirrel, a porcupine and a great horned owl.
As it turned colder in our neighborhood we travelled to the northern forests of the Arctic. Here we learned about polar bears, arctic hares & foxes, and the snowy owl. We were able to compare and contrast different types of rabbits after this domestic rabbit visited us.
Our last Wildlands visit of 2013 concentrated on deer, reindeer and caribou - as Christmas was upon us. We even made reindeer ornaments for our Christmas trees.
Looking forward to 2014.
Christmas break was wonderful!
 Both our daughters visited along with our two grandchildren.
Wishing everyone an amazing NEW YEAR!

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