Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Assignment #2

For Green Hour Challenge #2, hosted by Barb over at The Heart of Harmony, we hooked up with the wonderful family from Koinonia Academy and meet them at Clear Creek Trail. This trail is very large and we decided to break it up into 3 sections. This time we visited the southern part of the trail which included Dyes Inlet and played on the beach for a while.

My Assignment/Thoughts:

Part of our (parent) assignment was do read different sections of of Handbook of Nature Study. I am soaking up all the reading I am doing and am LOVING it. I also read the Optional Assignment which goes into greater detail on how to use the book HNS to it's fullest. What "I" need to work on now is to call the things we learn about by their names, such as parts of a tree, plant, etc. I have some learning to do myself. I need to make a couple cheat sheets and keep them with me as we go on our walks so when the kids spot a flower I can pull it out and ask them what color is the corolla, what color are the leaves of the spray on that tree, etc. This will be my major assignment over the next few weeks, or months, or how ever long it takes me to remember the names. *Ü*

Here are some quotes from the book I wanted to share.

Page 15: "Certain questions and lines of investigation should be given the pupils before starting and given in such a manner as to make them thoroughly interested in discovering the facts."

Page 23: "Make the lesson and investigation and make the pupils feel that they are investigators." and "If the questions do not inspire the child to investigate, they are useless."

I veered off the reading assignment and read about, "The Field Notebook". It has some great pointers about keeping a Field Notebook. Here are some tidbits of the pointers:

a. "The book should be considered the personal property of the child and should never be criticized by the teacher except as a matter of encouragement."
b. "The making of drawing to illustrate what is observed should be encouraged."
c. "The notebook should not be regarded as port of the work in English." (don't correct spelling, grammar, etc.)
d. "As occasion offers, outlines for observing certain plants or animals may be placed in the notebook." (this one is a must for me... I can't remember everything and having a page with the top things to achieve really helps me in accomplishing our goals)
e. "No child should be compelled to have a notebook." (This one I was a little puzzled with. .. After all, I want my children to have a sketch book, field guide, and journal. I made neat notebooking pages, etc. and by golly they are going to do it. LOL *Ü* But really, what this point spoke to me to me is that it shouldn't be forced. If they don't want to draw, write down their findings, etc. don't force it. Maybe this week (or 2 or 3), might be their week(s) when they don't want to record information, etc. And that is ok. I say again for my own acknowledgement/reinforcement... That is ok! It isn't like we would stop our nature study because they don't want to record anything in their journal. I know they are learning as we are out walking and observing. For me, the notebooking pages are just there as prompts to record their findings. And not all sections are filled out by each child. And... That is ok! )

With that covered, now I will share our finding from Assignment #2:

We started off our day with some time at the beach where they had a blast over turning rocks (and turned them back over again) to see what creatures were hiding under them. Then we headed into the mouth of the creek (where the fresh and salt water meet). There were all types of plants here and lots of birds. Here is a slide show of our day:

One word descriptions of what they heard: Tweet (Holly, Timmy & Jake), Splashing (Jessica)

Two word description of what they saw: Bird Nest (Timmy), Gray Heron (Jake), Clam Shells (Holly), flying birds (Jessica)

Three word description of something they felt: Soft White Sand (Timmy), Fast Moving Crabs (Jake), Tall Tall Tree (Holly), Fuzzy Pussy Willows (Jessica)

Jessica wanted to learn more about the Pussy Willow by discovering how it got the name "Pussy Willow". Click HERE to learn more about it. For her notebooking page she drew a picture of the waves splashing on the rocks. She also drew a Pussy Willow branch with pollen (closer look) in her sketch book.

Timmy wanted to learn more about crabs. We discovered the type of crabs he saw are Purple Shore Crabs. He drew a picture on his notebooking page of an army of crabs running away trying to hide under a rock again.

Holly wanted to learn about The Great Blue Heron. She read more about this bird in the Smithsonian Kids' Field Guides: Birds of North America West. For her notebook page, she drew one perched on a branch looking for its food below. She also drew one in her sketch book and labeled the parts.

Jake wanted to find out the type of clam shells he brought home with him. After our research, we found they are called Native Little Neck or Steamer Clams. He also drew a picture on his notebook page to show the inside of the clams. They have a purple tint around the outside edges.

To read more wonderful Green Hour Challenges for Assignment #2 click HERE.


Stacy said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I'm thrilled to see you blogging about 'The Green Hour'! That's what we do for nature study. I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, so I'll have to pop back for a visit tonight. Great blog!
Stacy :-)

tressays said...

Those are all WONDERFUL! You had a beautiful day for it too. I just love all the drawings that your kiddos do.

cellista said...

Wonderful photos, wonderful drawings, what a wonderful day! We're trying this, but we still have so much snow. It was interesting today. I'm excited to do this though.
Thanks for sharing!

School for Us said...

Tina, Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on the nutria. We'll be doing some more research and posting it soon.

I got so excited about posting the photos and telling about our walk, that I forgot to talk about the passages I'd discovered in the book! So, I'll have to post about that in the next day or two.

I really enjoyed your post, thoughts, quotes, and photos. And, I love the kid's journal pages! We'll try to do those today or tomorrow, too.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Hi Tina,

Wow, great blog entry. Wonderful day. How come you didn't invite me? Just kidding...

I loved your slideshow, can't believe all the really cool things you saw. I especially liked the little crab and the pollen on the pussy willows.

I wanted to comment on what you said about the nature journals. The quote from CM got me too.... not to be compelled to keep a nature journal. It took me awhile to get the concept. It seems as if when you make them draw, then it is for you. If they want to draw, then it is meaningful for them. I will talk more about that in assignment #3.

Just wanted to say that I thought you guys looked like you thoroughly enjoyed your day.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

keri said...

What a wonderful day out!
Love the red crab drawing!

Zelda said...

Inspirational! And how fun to go with another family. Love the drawings and photos too.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful nature day! Great photos and nature drawings. Thank you for sharing such great information about what you found.

Happy Nature Adventuring,


LisaWA said...

It was a great day indeed! Great post Tina! *Ü*

I agree about the Nature journals.... Its enjoying nature together, experiencing and admiring it too...

I had such a good time Monday... and the water front brought back such wonderful childhood memories for me... precious memories, before S turned into what it is today....


Makita said...

What a fabulous day you enjoyed with your children! Purple Shore Crabs - I spent a summer taking Marine Biology classes at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology - brings back memories! :)

Tina said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment.

We are enjoying this challenge so much. I think me a little more then the kids because I can see the "BIG" picture and I just love this way of learning.

I have enjoyed reading everyone else's post about these challenges. It is wonderful to see the different animals, plants, etc in other folk’s backyard (so to speak).

Barb, you are welcome to join us anytime you're up this way! It is an open invitation! :o)


Brittney said...

Holy Cow! I wanna do nature study with you guys! What a fantastic day! And your kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and get a lot out of it!
You have truly inspired me!
The slide show was fabulous! I have never seen the pollen on the pussy willow like that. And the crab was really cool!
I will be looking forward to next weeks!

Joni said...

Hi Tina,

I love your kiddos' nature journals. They do such a great job with labeling and drawing realistically!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

Tina said...

Thanks Britney and Joni! We have always been a lapbooking/notebooking type family so I think that really helped us ease into this a little better than I thought we would.

I am looking forward to our weekly assignments. And I love seeing what everyone else is doing. It is amazing what everyone finds all over the world. :o)