Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lunch For A Bear

Collecting Food For a Black Bear

Lunch For A Bear

This week children identified the kinds of foods that Black Bears eat by creating a plate of "bear food". Take a look at our week of learning.

Quick Facts

Black bears are quiet, shy animals. They can be black, brown, cinnamon, blond, or blue-gray in color. 

Black bear are omnivores, which means they will eat both plant and animal matter. Most of their diet is made up of a variety of plants and plant parts like leaves, berries and nuts. 

What Black Bears eat depends of where they live and what is available at that time of year. In early spring, they eat grasses, shoots and other greens. They will also eat insects, maggots and sometimes the carcasses of dead deer or other animals. In late spring and early summer, they eat honey, berries and leafy plants, as well as ants, wasps and grubs. Occasionally they will kill and eat small animals such as mice, squirrels, fish and frogs and larger ones such as elk calves and fawns. In late summer and early fall, they eat mostly calorie-rich nuts and acorns. At that time of year, the bear must add lots of fat to their bodies so they can make it through the winter months without eating. 

Could a bear live here?
Like all wild animals Black Bears must have all their needs met by their habitat. Black Bears require large areas with lots of different food. They also need streams, ponds or other sources of water for drinking and cooling. They prefer forested and shrubby areas as cover for hiding and keeping warm. In winter, Black Bears need a den, which may be a hollowed-out tree cavity, a hole under a log or rock, a small cave or culvert, or simply a shallow depression in the ground.

Art Project-Paper Plate Bears

After learners collected food cards (meat, nuts, plants, fruit, insects) representing a Black Bear's diet they glued them onto their paper plate bear. 

Music-Bear Went Over the Mountain

The bear went over the mountain
The bear went over the mountain
The bear went over the mountain
To see what it could eat

And what do you think it ate?
And what do you think it ate?

It ate plants* on the mountain
It ate plants* on the mountain
It ate plants* on the mountain
As much as it could eat!

*Replace food for each verse: nuts, insects, fruits, meat.


On Thursday we saw two doe cross the field during morning drop off time!!! Then we found and followed their tracks in our yard. This track, pictured below, went through the trees... so we went through too!

Follow those tracks!
Where did the deer go next?

Montessori-Inspired Work

Shape Stamps
Black Bear Tracks

Parts of our Day

Dramatic Play-Restaurant

After snack we look through a book while soft music is playing (5-10 minutes)

More tracks!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Welcome 2016!

Mirror painting with watercolors
Happy New Year! We had a great (and cold) start to the new year. We welcomed old and new friends to Chesterbrook this morning. We started our day outside with some fresh air, but couldn't stay out too long due to the 12 degree temperature! When we do have such cold days, I will be checking with The Weather Channel for the temperature and wind chill factor to determine how long we can safely be outside. We will be going outside unless it is unsafe to do so. This may be for 2 hours or 5 minutes, but we should always come prepared. This morning we could only do about 15 minutes.

When we came inside, we started our school day with our morning meeting which consists of a song, a greeting, a movement and then everyone shares what they want to do for the day. We had 4 requests today for playdoh, book time, legos and outdoor snow play. Of course we got to include them all in our Choice Time block.

The last part of our morning meeting is used for a lesson kickoff. For the next several weeks we will be focusing on recognizing letters, numbers, colors and shapes in nature and the world around us. So we read a book we borrowed from the Sandown Library titled, Eye Spy Shapes. It has great photographs of real-world objects that are in the shape of a circle, rectangle, square, triangle or star. Next we went on a shape hunt around the room. This is a great activity to repeat frequently and can be done at home, in the car or when you're waiting and trying to pass the time at appointments. We found shapes on toys, tables, furniture, books, floor mats and more.

Our hunters worked up an appetite for an early snack. So they helped prepare plates full of carrot sticks, hummus, pretzels, blueberries and strawberries. During snack we chat and laugh, but always encourage appropriate mealtime etiquette. At CSNL we sit while we're eating and try to wait until most friends are finished before we ask to be excused. Then everyone brings their plates to the big table to sort our leftovers into trash, recyclables or compost. After we clean our area we're off to Choice Time! 

Choice Time is a time where individuals can choose what they do and play. They can build, paint, visit, color, create games and of course get lost in imaginative play! This gives me time to clean up snack and prepare for the next activity and outdoor time.

We finished our day by packing up and playing outside. Today we stayed in the yard, played on the swings and play structure and went sledding!

It was a great day back to school. See you on Thursday!