Monday, October 27, 2014

Free Bear - Nature Walk

Every Day 6 the entire 4th grade has the opportunity to take part in Free Bear. This means we get a break from our clinics to do something of our choice, if we earned the privilege by making good choices throughout the last cycle.

There are many different activities to chose from: running club, movie, arts, board games, and yoga are just some of the choices. But one of the most popular is the Nature Walk. We are very lucky that our school is surrounded by some beautiful wetlands, and the environment is so healthy that there are many species of birds and animals that live here. Many times our large group is actually quiet enough and observant enough that we can find and see some very amazing animals.

We always love to see the Great Blue Heron hanging out by the pond with the ducks and geese, and one week we even saw a snack!! (Don't worry! It was just a little garter snake.) We've seen usual aphids, birds' nests, squirrels, ducks, hawks and buzzards. We've seen paw prints of what the high school students think was a muskrat, and today we found a ton of burrows! Something is having a blast tunneling under ground!

A student points to a burrow he found by a tree!

There are also many types of water creatures and insects to be found on our walks as well! Check these out:

One of the students found this large crawfish. Once Mrs. Bair picked it up because it didn't have claw, the student who found it was able to hold it!

This praying mantis was sitting on the ground right where we were all about to walk! After it crawled around on Mrs. Bair's arm, it flew into the evergreen.

This praying mantis was already in the evergreen!
The best part about the Nature Walk here at Bear Creek is that you can go any time you'd like! Simply come out to Bear Creek, follow the walking path, and take a stroll around the ponds and paths. It really is a beautiful place to come and enjoy nature!

Be sure to ask your child what he or she was able to do during Free Bear today! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Agriculture & Environmental Day

We had a great experience this morning thanks to several students from the Ag Department at the high school. Groups of students created 10 different stations so that we could learn all about animals, agriculture, and the environment. We were so excited that we got to pet pigs, a horse, some calves, a chicken, and a dog named Bentley! Another highlight was getting the chance to climb up in the big tractors! We couldn't believe how high they were or how much they cost. We also saw and learned about fish and aquatic environments, the local wildlife, and how to protect our environment by recycling. Even though it was a little chilly, we all had a great time and learned a lot thanks to some dedicated high school students! Check out the slideshows to see our experiences today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Becoming Water Drops

Now that we've learned about the basic processes involved in the water cycle, we are going to complete a writing piece about it! The kids will be pretending that they are water droplets and writing a first person piece from the point of view of a water droplet. Today we watched this little video to see what it must be like for a water drop going through the water cycle!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Water Cycle

During the last two weeks we have been talking and learning about the water cycle. We learned about evaporation by doing two experiments about fresh water and salt water, we acted out molecules getting colder and turning back into drops to show condensation, and we watched it rain to learn about precipitation.

We have done some other fun things, too! One thing we did is watch the StudyJams water cycle video. We didn't do the quiz, so that would be a great way to study for Friday's quiz.

We also listened to the water cycle boogie! You can boogie with us by watching this video and singing along to the chorus:

Finaly each of us had the chance to make our own water cycle in a bag. We hung the bags in our classroom window, and we were amazed to see what happened. Today when we came in there were little bubbles on the top part of our bags. But the really amazing thing is that the bubbles were only on the side of the bag that was facing the classroom. There was no water on the side of the bag touching the window! Some of us also thought that the water level in our bag went down. And amazingly, a few of us even had large water drops in our bag that were running down the inside. We couldn't believe that we were actually getting to see the water cycle in action!

You can check out the pictures of our bags below. The water cycle is a really amazing process that is needed by every living thing!