Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cubby building at Lake Te Anau

 After Lake Te Anau being very high for a few weeks the level had dropped and left lots of driftwood lying on the beach, so instead of going up into the park straight away we spent some time at the lake making a cubby.                                                                                                                                        

James carrying a big load
Dylan's sister Olivia lending a hand
Wades Dad Richard a skull and crossbones flag to sail on top of our building

Here's Wade inside
Some of us had a paddle.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bugs, ladders and stretchers

It was a day of bugs, ladders and stretchers at Nature Discovery.  Bailey brought a bug from home to release at the park, she thought it would be happier there and then we found an amazing green bug that had three little fingers on his antennae.  Using our insect book we tried to identify each bug but further research is required.

Tree climbing was on the agenda for the day and some children found it very easy to pull themselves up to the lower branches others had a wee bit of trouble.  How could we solve this problem without teachers lifting them into the tree?  After brainstorming the children came up with the idea to make a ladder.  But how?  Jenny has just been on holiday in the UK and came back with a wonderful stick book.  So we looked in there and sure enough it had pictures on how to make a ladder.  Working together a ladder was built and Bailey was the first to test it out.    

Jenny's wonderful book also showed us how to make a stretcher using two very big strong sticks and a coat.  We had to experiment with different sticks until we found ones that could do the job.  It was fun having turns carrying each other on the stretcher.  When we went back to the shed we used it to carry some of our stuff back.  There was a lot of laughter as children took turns carrying each other, Jake commented on how easy it was because four children helped pick it up, one on each corner.

It was another magical day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

baby bird

Monday 11th November

What bird could it be?

When we walked through "Pinecone World" the children wanted to see if the hedgehog was still there under the pine needles.  We carefully moved the pine needles with a small stick to search for it where we had buried it.  We couldn't find it until someone shouted, "I can see bones."
Looking closely at them and after some discussion, we decided that they must have been from the hedgehog.  We saw jaw bones with what looked like teeth sticking up from them.

Wade said, "The bones were just left, the rest of the hedgehog in the dirt.  The bones were from his mouth.  I see teeth."

When we were walking towards the climbing trees we discovered a baby bird laying on the path. It was dead and we decided that it must have fallen out of a tree because it was too little to fly.

Lucas's Story:
 "We found a baby bird by the troll bridge.  It died cos it had fallen out from a nest. We dig a hole and bury it cos was feeling sick and died so that why we buried it cos we love it."

Wade's Story:
"We found a baby bird in the middle of the path.  It had fallen out of the nest.  It couldn't fly yet, the wings had some feathers.  I think it was a Thrush or a Starling.  We buried it on the edge of the path so no dogs will eat it. We put a stick standing up by the baby bird where we buried it."

Libby's Story:
"We found a baby bird up the path.  It was dead.  It falled off its nest. I couldn't fly cos its not ready. We buried it cos it was dead."

By burying the baby bird we were learning about empathy and respect towards animals, even in death. The baby bird was safe from anymore harm.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What bird is this? Detective work by Fiordland Kindergarten children

At Nature Discovery yesterday up by the shed the children found a dead bird. We took photos and then laid it to rest.  We had much discussion about what had happened to it and what sort of bird it was.
Will thought it had crash landed and that it "might be a native bird a native tui"
Zack thought it might of crash landed on a rock and that it was a sparrow.
Lily"I think it hit the shed - the shed door opened and closed and it got squashed". She thought it might be a tui.
Teagan thought it got squashed by a rock, and she thought it might be a blackbird
Ruby thought it might have crashed into the fence, and that it was a bellbird/korimako
Gabrialla thought it had banged into the ground and that it was a bellbird.
Neve thought it was killed by a stoat who tried to eat it, and that it was a bellbird.
Sasha thought it was squashed by a rock and that it was a bellbird.
Bailey "I think he is a baby bird, a colourful bird.  I think a cat got him or he must have crashed into a tree."

Back at Kindergarten today the teacher's downloaded the photo and as we had been studying the birds in our neighbourhood we already had many photos of other birds, found in Te Anau. We used these to identify our bird.
We looked at the photo of a tui and it wasn't that because the tui doesn't have a red head.
It wasn't the sparrow because the sparrow was only brown.
The black bird didn't have any yellow or red, it only had black so that wasn't the bird we found.
It wasn't the korimako/bellbird because the bell bird doesn't have a white tummy.
We said no to the starling even though it was colourful it was mostly black, and Will said "It has to have red on its head and white on the bottom."
It wasn't the chaffinch Lily said "It doesn't have any yellow"
Bailey to the redpole photo "It doesnt have the same wings with the black on the top its not the thrush because the thrush has spots". 
Then we came to the photo of the goldfinch.
Will "It 's that one the goldfinch because its got red and black and yellow and white on its tummy."
I held up the photo of the redpole who has a red head.  Zack "It's got red on its head but is doesn't have yellow."
Ruby "Its the goldfinch because it has yellow on its wings."
Neve "It has a yellow wing and red on its head. I think its a goldfinch."
Sasha "Its not all black, and it has yellow and white and red.  Its a goldfinch."
Iris thought it was a goldfinch too because it had all the colours in the right places.
Bailey "It's the same, its the same, it has the browny bit on top, a red face like that one, it has yellow on the wing and a black bit on top and it has a white tummy, its a goldfinch, a goldfinch.

wow what great detective work by the children of Fiordland Kindergarten to identify our bird.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Risk taking & Improvising in Fiordland

Wednesday 16th October 2013

Today, Gabrialla pushed herself out of her comfort zone to climb to the end of the rotten log. She persevered until she reached her goal, not giving up even though it was a little bit scary.

Gabrialla's Story:
"I was having fun playing on the log.  John helped, he putted his hand here so I could push up on my tummy.  I started from there, all the way up to there. I putted my foot there and I holded onto the log. I feeled real good and I had fun."

It was Will's first day at Nature Discovery and he had a fantastic time making new discoveries.

Will's Story:
"I discovered this slide and I discovered the seesaw and the Nut (Gnuff) house.  The slide is made of dirt and grass.  It was on the bank.  I shared the slide with my friends.  It feeled like bumpy and dirty and it was good cos I discovered it myself."

Great improvisation Will!!!!

Lily made an umbrella to keep of the few spots of rain with materials that she found on the ground.

Lily's Story:
"One big leaf and one little stick, broken a little bit and put it in the leaf. I put my finger through it and holded it over my head, it was a umbrella."

Lily has an amazing imagination.  When we had story time inside the Gnuff house, Lily kept us all entralled with her stories.  Here are her stories that she told us - shortened versions that she retold the next day at Kindergarten.

Lily's Stories:
"I was in the Gnuff House and I told us a story.
The man was walking down the street and saw a car.  He said "hello".  He said "Arrgh, you are a alien." Then the man hopped in the car and the Alien drove away.  That was it.
And I did another story. It's called Butterfly field. The butterflies flying around the field.  The people don't know that the butterflies are flying around the field. And then next they catched one butterfly and then another butterfly and then one butterfly was left and finally they caught it in the jar with the others.  That's it - it's finished."

Another great day of discovery, improvising and imagination was had by all.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Puddle Jumping

After a bit of rain during the week there was an awesome puddle at the rotten log for us to explore.  We measured it to see how deep it was, the children did this by using sticks.  Once we had worked out how deep it was, the highest it got was to our knees which was very exciting, puddle jumping was on the agenda.  We all had fun walking and running through the puddle.  Jake even ended up going for a swim much to his surprise!  After we were all worn out from laughter we went to explore roly poly hill where of course we all had to roll.  This brought back childhood memories for me but I don't remember getting that real dizzy head spinning feeling like I did today.  After rolling I found a nice little cubby to rest in.  It wasn't long before I was joined by some friends and over a hot chocolate and chocolate chippie biscuits (these were made out of leaves and pine cones) we had the most amazing conversations.  After all this fun it was back to shed to sit around a cozy fire pop popcorn and have lunch together.  What a wonderful way to finish a truly magical day.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spring is in the air

Working together took on a whole new meaning for the children at Nature Discovery today.  Everybody loves a good swing and today was no different except this swing would only work if everyone pitched in to help.  One child sat on the swing and the others had to hold the rope and pull so that the swing went up in the air.  There was a lot of laughter and a few times the swing ended up on the ground causing everyone to laugh.  The awesome part was everyone having a go and helping each other.

It was also the second day of Spring and the children took delight in noticing the new growth on the trees, this stirred up memories for the children about the crab apples growing.  We can't wait to see the flowers when they come and the count down of days has already started.  We also discovered a big rabbit hole, Dylan had fun exploring it a unique way.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fiordland Spider Webs

Monday 5th August 2013

It was a vey foggy day today.

Amongst a small cluster of small trees, we could see a small patch of orange so we decided to investigate what it was.

We discovered that a tree had been cut down very recently. We could see many circles starting from the centre going out to the edge of the tree stump. I told the children that you could tell how old the tree is by counting the circles. We counted all the circles and decided that this tree must have been 16 years old.

Sam: “When you count the lines you can tell how long the tree has been around for.”

Stefan: “We saw the tree cut down. We count the circles because we want to

Malachey: " “We found a tree cutting down and it was 16 years old because we counted the lines.”

The children started exploring amongst the other clusters of trees for anything that would be interesting. 

The most amazing things we discovered were that there were hundreds of spider webs in the trees and bushes.  They were really amazing and so big!!  Because of the damp fog they were all glistening in the light.  They looked truely beautiful.

Here is Dylan studying the spider web, trying to find where the spider is hiding.

Sam : “We just wanted to have a look at spiders webs and there were so many spider webs on the trees that I couldn’t belive it.”

Stefan: “The spider webs are on the tree cos the spiders made the spider webs.  We found a trampoline web cos it looks like a trampoline.”

Malachey: "We found spider webs, they were in the trees because they live in Nature Discovery. There were no spiders because they hide in the woods of the trees."

 I asked Sam how he thought the spiders made the webs and this is Sam’s theory:

Sam: “They were kinda like a circle and round like a trampoline. I think they have a little bit of thread inside them.  I think they just troll it out.  I think in their belly buttons.  Spider webs need to be sticky so spiders can catch and flies and eat the flies.”

We took many photos of the spider webs, don’t they look amazing?

"Sunday" came to film us at Nature Discovery

On the last Wednesday of term the documentary programme "Sunday" came to visit and film us at Nature  Discovery.  Here are some photos of the day and the link to the progrmme.   Their focus was on the lack of risk-taking by children of today and the adverse affects this may have on their development.
It was great to have nature discovery endorsed by such highly respected people.  We have been very humbled by the phone calls, emails and comments on facebook  congratulating us on our programme.

thank you Sunday team


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Planting Native Trees in Fiordland

Wednesday 1st July

 The Southland District Council have allocated an area near the shed in Ivon Wilson Park, where is can plant native trees and plants.

They provided us with a number of plants to plant on the day of our Nature Discovery Book Launch in early June.

Since then we have planted 5 more plants which had self seeded in one of the Teacher's garden.

Today was Daniel's last Nature Discovery day so he brought along a tree to plant as a farewell gift.

His Mum, Gillian, said that he spent a long time at the Garden Nursery choosing which plant to buy. He chose one that had some berries on so the birds would have something to eat.

We found a spot to plant it with Daniel digging the hole.  He had many willing helpers, all the children were excited about planting "Daniel's Tree".

 Libby said, "We planted a tree for Daniel cos he is going to School."

Stefan said, "We dug a hole to plant a tree."

Wade said, "John moved the roots around so it can grow."

The children collected some moss to put around the base of the tree to keep it moist and not dry out.  They also arranged 2 or 3 rocks around the tree so that we wouldn't forget where Daniel's tree was planted.

Later on in the morning, we found a small round wooden disc to write Daniel's name and the date on.  With help from his Mum, he tied it onto his tree.

Just look how proud he is!!!!!!!!