Forest Classroom

Spring Time!

Week 9; April 1 2024

Our morning started with the sun shining and the birds singing, it is officially spring! There was no sign of snow around anymore (which is going to change come Thursday). Our morning was spent working on a scavenger hunt looking for 12 early signs of spring. We found mud, tree buds, signs of birds, 3 different shades of green, and so much more. We then drew our favorite early sign of spring and put them up on our bulletin board too! 

Students doing a scavenger hunt
Enjoying our signs of spring scavenger hunt Photo: Audubon Vermont
Student drawing a sign of spring
Drawing our favorite sign of spring Photo: Audubon Vermont

The morning adventure block was spent exploring Beaver Pond! It was so muddy and full of new life! We made some great mud sculptures, caught 4 newts, 1 dragonfly nymph, many snails, a tadpole, 3 minnows, and a few other critters. We also got to spend time admiring a pair of nesting geese in the pond too. In the morning we had a hard time finding a flower, but at the pond we came across of the first spring bloomers, colts foot. It looks a lot like a dandelion, but has some differences in the petals and leaves. We cannot wait to see this pond come more to life as the weeks go on. Soon there will be a couple of warm and wet nights that will bring all of the amphibians back to their ponds. These “big nights” are really important for their populations, they need to get to the ponds, or vernal pools, in order mate and lay their eggs. If you are interested in seeing where these “big nights” happen and how to help them cross roads, be sure to look into the Vermont Herp Atlas! 

student in mud
Exploring the mud Photo: Audubon Vermont
student in mud
Experimenting with the mud Photo: Audubon Vermont
critters in basin
Critters caught at beaver pond Photo: Audubon Vermont

In the afternoon we put one a couple 3 minutes plays that were very funny. This prompted us with the idea that in our last few weeks of Forest Classroom together we will work on a play, which we will then put on for our families on the last day of our session. I cannot wait to see what our groups writes. 

Students in the woods
Student afternoon plays Photo: Audubon Vermont

We then went on a bird walk around the lower property. We talked about our group expectations and how to best behave while on a bird walk. We knew we needed to walk calming and have quiet voices. What I wanted our group to focus on right now was recognizing where the birds are, what sounds they are making, and what they were doing. We didn’t need to know who was making the call, or what bird we saw fly, but first learn about the behaviors of these birds. This will help us in the future in identification of our birds.  

Robin in tree
A robin by the clubhouse Photo: Audubon Vermont

We ended out day journaling about our day and shared with the group. Some of us journaled about where they were journaling, some drew the schedule of the day, others drew about their favorite part of the day. It was wonderful to see how similar and different our ideas were.  

student journaling
Afternoon journaling time Photo: Audubon Vermont

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