Yesterday, I decided to float down the river with some friends who were heading back home now that the program was done. I have done it a multitude of times, and it didn’t cross my mind that we could get hurt. Boy, was I wrong! Nothing catastrophic happened to us, BUT we kept going down the heavier rapids side of the river – which meant we were hitting more rocks and having to hold on to our tubes for dear life 😮 I ended up being the one who was pretty scraped up. I have a huge welt on my back and quite a few bruises. It was painful in the moment, but I could see the fun side to it. Now that my body isn’t as sore, I’m glad we went because it was a good last adventure 🙂
It is important to talk to students about nature, but I feel like most teachers focus on animals or the seasons – trees are a large part of what children see when they go outside. Observations of trees and the different types would help them understand more about their effect on trees, as well as how trees make a difference in their lives. This article goes into a deeper understanding than I would do with my young students, but it reminded me that trees should be discussed in science.
Today, I went to Mirror Lake with my family and had a very nice day outdoors! Since being a teacher has gone to my soul, I found myself noticing things that I would want to teach my students if they came. There are so many aspects of nature that are great for children – relating to science, awareness, ecology, preservation, and others. Nature is a very important part of early elementary grades’ environmental science because the students are learning the basics of how the world around them works (various habitats, creatures, trees, etc). I found this workbook on Amazon that I plan to use in my future classroom called The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie. It involves exercises and activities that students can do at home or at school, just by noticing things in nature. I really liked it because it had simple enough tasks so families won’t feel overwhelmed by science assignments, and the students should feel excited to observe their backyard. I want to try and incorporate some very basic science into my full-time teaching in Kindergarten next term. Once I start school again on Monday, I’ll know what the normal day’s subjects look like. From what I am thinking, Kindergarten focuses mostly on weather and maybe a bit on animals. I’m excited to find out more, and hold some fun lessons outside on insects or something like that 🙂