Wednesday, March 14, 2018


When it snows, and that snow is perfectly packable, build an igloo!

3rd and 4th graders started building this igloo in the morning on their most recent Outdoor Thursday, and kept up their hard work right through recess time when they were joined by helpers from other grades. The roof was starting to take shape, but their work was still not done, so students chose to persist into the afternoon. Students demonstrated lots and lots of cooperative work, including teams of cementers, snow transporters, snow collectors, brick builders, brick hoisters, packers, and supervisors. We also noticed some interesting features of an igloo, besides providing warmth and shelter from the wind, the thick snow walls also acted as a sound barrier! What?

Watch our igloo take shape:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

100th Day of School

The First and Second Graders celebrated the 100th day of school doing 100s themed activities outside on this beautiful sunny February day.

Ms. Linder lead students in acting out the story "100 Hungry Ants" by Elinor J. Pinczes. Students had a blast engaging in call and repeat - "Hey and a hi dee ho!" And dividing their marching lines from 1 into 2 lines, then 5 lines and 10 lines using both math skills and team work. We even did some problem solving at the end to come up with an alternate ending to the story.

Then we had two 100s challenges:
1.) How many snowballs can you make in 100 seconds?
2.) What can you build with 100 snowballs (some students chose to use snow/ice chunks)?

Happy 100th day of school!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Group Projects with the 3rd and 4th Graders

Preface: Back in October, the 3rd and 4th graders brainstormed topics that they were interested in becoming experts on during their outdoor days this year (see below). 
Students then formed small groups, each with their own special topic, and have been conducting research and developing presentations related to these topics. We look forward to sharing this work in the coming weeks. 

"After our outdoor time we came inside and worked on our group projects. But before that we watched a video of watersheds and how rivers flow. After the video we worked on our separate projects. Here are some pictures of us working on our projects."   By: LS (grade 3/4 student)

Thursday, January 11, 2018


This week, 3rd and 4th graders built a scaled down model of our town including Camel's Hump Mountain, the foothills and the valleys. First, we studied a topographical map of our town.  We used snow to sculpt our models - it was perfect snow packing weather - the start of a January thaw. Then we 1.) "wrapped" our models; 2.) placed some cinnamon piles in places to represent pollution sources; and 3.) rained colored water on top to recreate the watershed. We observed where the water flowed (and didn't flow) and how it carried the cinnamon downstream.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tracking Stories in the Snow

Every week in the wintertime brings new signs of life in the foot prints, scat, clumps of fur, little tunnels in the snow. We've enjoyed looking out for these animal tracks. There are so many stories being told if we can follow the clues:

Whose feather is this? There's a little yellow around the edges.

Bedding down with a deer hoof print.

Deer and bird prints.

So many bird prints!

Mystery prints passing by a tunnel. Hunting perhaps?

"Fossilized" deer print.

"Fossilized" scat.

What's the story here?

Fur clump. 
Investigating a tunnel. Once we started looking, we found lots of these in the subnivean zone.

Who is that bedding down in the snow?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Making Connections

Third and Fouth graders have been returning to the same woods trail week after week. This has allowed us to really get to know it well, notice its changes as the seasons progress, and discover many of the living things that inhabit the forest behind our school.

Most of the time, we walk in silence. This helps us blend in well enough to come upon a group of deer. We also were surprised to find a red backed salamander in the leaf litter - in November! 

We have also returned, week after week, to the same learning concept - interdependence. We've made connections with survival, diversity, and teamwork through various activities and group sharing.

Web of Life activity. Each student, in turn, "became" a living thing from nature, then passed the ball of yarn to another student who they either ate or were eaten by. Students had surprisingly creative ways of thinking about this - including things like soil and parasites.

Mrs. Carter then continued the connection-making by reading "Food For Life: Mountains"