Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Are Featured on a Birding Website

The Kindergarten Birders and Their Teacher

Timothy Barksdale a.k.a. Birdman wrote a very nice post about us for the 10,000 Birds website.  You can read it here: The Importance of Nurturing Young Birders.

Other worthy news:  Tim Barksdale also wrote a similar email to Eagle Optics and asked them for a donation for our four Chickadee Bird Club members {2nd graders} who were affected by the tornado in Delmont.  Eagle Optics graciously donated 4 pair of nice binoculars for those kids.  These binoculars are valued at a sale price of a total of $1,000!  Wow!  A big thank you to Tim for helping to make this happen!

Also there was a donation at the seed store in town, so each of those four children will receive a bird field guide as well!  

I love seeing this outpouring of generosity! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Last Day of School

Here we are on the last day of school.
Look how they've grown!
What a wonderful school year we had together!  I marvel at the minds of young children and how much they can learn.  I enjoy their enthusiasm and their love of learning! 

It is very important to continue to review throughout the summer to avoid losing all that they worked so hard for. 

I also would like to encourage you to take your child on outdoor outings whether it be to play in the park, go for a picnic, a hike or birding.  These young children are really intuned to nature and it is an inexpensive activity with worthwhile benefits.  Have fun!

I hope that you have enjoyed this journal of your child's kindergarten year!  Have a wonderful summer!  

Birdman's 3rd Visit

Timothy Barksdale, a.k.a.Birdman, was here to visit and film the kids.  Tim is working on a series for PBS titled, "Adventures with Birdman".  His show is about birds in different parts of the world as well as about conservation.  He found out about my bird-y classroom a few years ago when I was reporting the many Snowy Owls in the area.  I mentioned to him in an email about how my students knew so much about birds.  He has filmed my kindergartners for three years and has gotten some fantastic footage.  When completed, it looks like we might be in episode 2 of the series.

On this visit he filmed the students doing bird story problems for math and writing about birds.  He also filmed them dumping their pennies into a jar for a project that he is promoting.  While we played bird bingo, he would have very interesting stories that he would tell about certain birds that he encountered.  The kids were so intent listening to his account of his adventures.

Tim has a very kind heart and he brought Birdman Production shirts, caps and cds for the four students in the Chickadee Bird Club that were affected by the Delmont tornado.

Last year we made him an official kindergartner because the children really like him.  Also, each year it seems that some child comments how he looks like Santa Claus.

The kids are getting a glimpse of the footage.

Landen had a nice comment on the board behind him.

She is telling him about a bird that she is writing about.

These bird loving students really enjoyed sharing
stories with Birdman.

During bird bingo, Tim had stories about certain birds in
the game.  The kids were really fascinated by those

The students were writing about a bird and showing off
their newly learned skills.

Tim shows how he was sneaking up on a rare bird.

The Kindergarten Field Trip

The kindergarten field trip was at the nearby lake only 8 miles away.  It has wooded areas on both sides of the lake with a playground and campground on one end.  This is a very bird-y place as well, so it proves to be a worthwhile destination for my students and me.
You don't even want to know the name of this 
favorite childhood game.  They love it though!
Smiles all around!
How many can he hold back?

Starting the hike we look over the bridge towards the spillway.
There's no water down there today.
I was so surprised to hear and then see a Scarlet Tanager!  
I had never seen one in our county before.  The kids 
seemed to get a good look at it too.  A life bird for them!
Now we are looking over the top of the spillway with our
 first look at the lake.
The kids were impressed with the wildflowers and 
feathers along the way.
Here they are posing on the large rocks.
Here's another bridge to cross.
Ants on a log?
They liked the big trees!
Flying down the hill back to camp.
They were hungry for the picnic the moment we got 
there, so now it is time to eat.
It seems that food tastes better at a picnic.

Time for some free play.  Here they are chasing bubbles!
Patiently waiting in line to fly the kite.
They loved flying the kite on this windy day.
Kite flying is a lot of fun for kids.

They were thrilled to catch a butterfly!
Time for the outdoor classroom.  Center #1:  Find things 
from nature and weave it into this web.

Now...try not to poke anyone in the eye!
Their Y sticks looked very pretty!
Center #2:  Create a bird feeder with a pine cone, 
peanut butter and bird seed.
It was a messy operation.
Center # 3:  Build a fort or house for a fairy, toad or other animal.
This seemed difficult to them at first, but then they got the idea.
It was hard to pull them away.
I guess it could be a fort for a kid!
Hey!  That's not a butterfly!
This is!
A net full of flowers!
"Check it out!  The Barn Swallows are working on 
a mud nest in here!"
Time to go birding on the other 
side of the lake.
"Look!  Double-crested Cormorants!"
"Teacher, I found an egg shell!"
Looking over the lake and getting ever closer to 
getting their feet wet.

She is explaining about Geo-caching.

Here is a camouflaged geo-cache.
We can hear the birds, but they are difficult to find.

"Teacher!  What are they?"
Here we are!
Kids love to investigate ant hills.

One more chance to play on the playground before 
we head back to town.

Playing in the play tent was fun too.

It ended up being a warm day.

I think I can speak for the was a really 
great day in nature!
Its time to head back.  They are tired, dirty 
and hungry.  All signs of a fun day outdoors!