While playing in our backyard (i.e. playground) this year, we've spotted some friendly little frogs. At first it was a novelty, but now frog-rescue-and-release is just a part of our time outdoors. Even so, each one discovered brings new joy, wonder, and curiosity.
We have been very careful and gentle with them. The person who catches the frog is the only person to hold it (because passing it around might harm/scare it). After taking a good look at it and documenting through a photo, we take it behind the fence to the prairie and creek where we release it.
Our backyard frogs
1. Date: 9/3 Location: logs
This was our first one. We released it to put it to its home so it could see its parents.
2. Date: 9/4 Location: stage steps
That was a little cute one.
3. Date: 9/9 Location: behind the garden bricks
This one is scared and he wants to go to the creek. His eyes are on the top of his head.
4. Date: 9/9 Location: under Opportunity
This one we started noticing the black spots. It has them on his back.
5. Date: 9/11 Location: Sandbox
He looks grumpy.
6. Date: 9/12 Location: sandbox
It looks like it’s itchy because of those bumps. It was camouflaged in the sandbox.
7. Date: 9/16 Location: stage steps
Look at his tummy! It's all spotted too!
8 Date: 9/16 Location: sandbox
Look how fat it is! It's a little darker and bigger than the other ones we caught. I don't know why.
9: Date: 9/16 Location: prairie outside of the gate by the creek
We found his friend when we were releasing the big one! Maybe that's his baby.
10. Date: 9/20 Location: sandbox
It's covered with sand. These frogs mouths look like a frown. It has tiny dots on its chin.
Blog written by Brody (age 5), Briar (age 5), and Tricia (age ?)
We took some time to get to know our backyard trees. We introduced ourselves. Then we looked at, touched, smelled, and hugged our trees to get to know them better. We compared their trunk sizes and bark texture. We examined the shapes of their leaves. Then we picked our favorites and drew them so we could always remember what they looked like today.
We could fit our fingers around Heart's trunk. Crystal's trunk need both hands to fit around, but Opportunity needed our arms! Baby is only just a little taller than us. Crystal's trunk is so smooth and Opportunity's is rough. Crystal's and Tulip's leaves are way up high, but we can reach Baby's and Heart's. Opportunity's branches hang low, but she is still tall and big.
Opportunity is our oldest tree. She was planted in 2002, when our school was first built. She was named "Opportunity" by a preschooler. She is our biggest tree and provides a lot of cool shade. She even was a home for Word Bird. She is a favorite and well loved by all the children. She is located in the far corner of the playground.
"She's so fat and you cannot shake her because she's so strong. She's tall and big. "
"She gives us lots of shade and she has kind of like a point at the top."
"We like to just sit under her and talk about random stuff like talk about her leaves, talk about her bark, stuff like that. And we talk about all kinds of other stuff too. She's a good talking under tree. "
"She can clean our air in like 2 minutes because she's so big and she has a lot of leaves so all the leaves can work together and just do it in 2 minutes, or maybe it takes 5 minutes for them to do it . Who knows."
"She's growing acorns so other trees can grow."
This is our newest tree. Over the summer, we lost Sweetie Pie and the tree guys brought and planted this one. She is located on the patio.
"Heart is really really new and we don't know what to call her yet. Her leaves are shaped like hearts, so we call her Heart and we love Heart so much because she's really new."
Crystal is 3 years old and was planted with the help the preschoolers. She is tall and skinny. She is located next to the tire swing.
"Crystal is good. She's a bigger tree than baby. She's really skinny. Her leaves look like crystals."
Baby is our smallest tree. She is 3 years old and was planted with the help of preschoolers. She is a sassafras tree.
"Baby is really small, that's why we call her baby. She might start growing like Opportunity one day."
"She's our smallest tree on the playground. The top of her leaves look kind of like forks. She has tinier leaves at the bottom and bigger leaves at the top."
Tulip is 3 years old and was planted with the help of preschoolers. We hope that some day Tulip will be able to provide shade for our sandbox.
"Tulip is a medium tree. Her name is kind of like lips (two lip)."
Our song, Opportunity, written by J, age 5.. While J is no longer a preschooler, we still sing her song to our trees.
These are the 2016-2017 preschoolers who helped plant Crystal, Tulip, and Baby. (I see some older siblings of our current preschoolers!)
This blog was written by Teo (age 4), Orion (age 4), Zoe (age 4), and Tricia (you'll have to guess her age!)
The beginning of school is one of the most exciting (and perhaps frightening)—for both children and teachers! As teachers, everything is unpredictable and we don’t know what to expect—tears, screams, rolling on the floor shouting “no,” laying frozen on a pillow and refusing to move–believe me, we’ve seen it all. Even for those returning, first days can be weepy as the uncertainty of new faces and the loss of old friends bears down. We also see children bravely waving goodby, making new friends, and joyfully shouting “see you tomorrow!” We get through it all, together as a community of beginners, beginning our new year.
Thanks to parents, we learned interesting details about our friends very quickly. Just ask any of them who in our class learned how to jump off the diving board this summer. They might even be able to demonstrate his technique. We know who catches fish THIS big, who to go to if you need a playmate, who loves his brother, who to ask if you are looking to play soccer, who to ask if you need to know about planets, who loves splashes from the lake, who loves superheroes, who loves pandas, who is funny, we know twins like some of the same things but also different things, we can hardly believe that a kid can make eggs by himself (well almost), who to talk to about nature (and boy can he you tell you all about it!), who are cousins and who misses James from last year (don’t we all?).
While getting to know one another, we are also learning about our SELF—who we are, what we like, the ideas we have, the feelings we hold. Children are just at the beginning of self discovery. Imagine for a moment if you could start your self discovery over again from the very beginning—what would you see? When these small children look in the mirror they see their physical self, the physical traits that make them unique and beautiful. When they pick up the paint brush, sing their hearts out, dance and skip, they are discovering their internal qualities that make them who they really are and who they will become.
We are a community of beginners, beginning school but also beginning life, self discovery, and exploring the larger world. Yes indeed an exciting time!
5 day teacher