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NEWS

We have  been learning about FOREST SUCCESSION with Lindsay during our LEEEP time.  We started by going out into the woods and looking at different areas that were roped off which showed the different stages of succession which is how a forest changes over time.  Students made note of kinds of plants that grow in each roped off area. Ask your child what the stages are. A forest starts with just a rock.  Then along comes lichen (ask them what lichen is!).  Then the lichen makes this acid which makes little craters in the rock, just enough for soil to collect so that little seeds of moss can start.  And each stage sets the stage for the next stage.  It's pretty amazing.  See what they can teach you!

After we finished our forest tour, they had to put the stages in order and then they made an accordian booklet about Forest Succession. 
While we were out in the woods, Lindsay showed us a very special large rock that had lots of things growing on it.  Simon from Mrs. T's class coined the phrase "nurse rock" like a nurse tree which was supporting a new community of plants and animals.

FOREST INVENTORY
Part of learning about the Forest Habitat, our fall science unit, is to find out what's in it!  So, we went into the woods and in teams of two, were given a hoop, clipboard and a sheet of paper to make an inventory of all the things inside that hoop.  





We collected lots of "data".  Our lists included data like:  maple leaf -1, pine needles- zillions, slug-2, etc.  We took all that data and in the same teams, chose how to organize all this "data".  Teams chose categories and then graphed their results.  We are just beginning to make observations about this data and what it might mean and then come up with new questions about the forest.




SOCIAL STUDIES HAPPENINGS
We started our Geography Unit by arranging  objects on our desks and making birds eye view maps of objects which often were overlapping.   After we made our maps we took apart the arrangements and went around to our classmate's maps and tried to reconstruct them correctly according to the map.  There's a lot to these maps.  Spatial relationships is an important  area of math which also is critical in geography. 
We learned about how important it is to make maps clear so the user can understand it.  As the user we learned how important it is to read the maps carefully.   We made keys with symbols.
Here are some images of us figuring out those puzzles!

 The next map we made was a map of our classroom using classroom manipulatives including blocks and math cubes that represented desks, chairs and tables.

BLUE RIBBON TRAIL HIKE
What a day it was!  It could not have been more perfect, except for the wasp stings, the tumbles and scrapes and blisters.  Yet these adversities did not dampen the spirits, sense of adventure and curiosity as we explored the trees, rocks, moss, ferns, lichen, forest creatures and enjoyed the perfect beauty of the day starting off with the climb to the top of the Gile Mountain Tower where saw in all directions, the mountains of the Vermont and New Hampshire ranges with many rattling off peaks they knew by sight because they have climbed them and knew their shapes.  They spotted landmarks they knew in Norwich and were awed by the patchwork hills of orange, reds and greens whose valley's were filled with bouncy looking fog.  Then the day was filled with wonder and discoveries, questions asked and some answered.  Lindsay had spent the early morning hours running the trail marking key spots with pink ribbons, posing questions to our hikers as they made their way along the path.  "Which beech tree is healthy and which is not and why?"   "What kinds of trees are growing in this area?"  They would notice that the soil was moister in certain areas and that different kinds of trees grew in there.






Subpages (1): Mrs. Holley's 3rd Grade