Spring 2016

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Page 10 of 43 | 11 spring 2016 NATURE CENTER Include a nature center in your classroom. The center can be a collection of natural objects that are available to the children. Encourage the children to include their own items, for example, rocks, leaves, soil, acorns, twigs, fowers, seeds, potted plants, pine cones, animal bones, and snake skins. Set out hand lenses, scales, rulers, containers, paper, and pencils. Model how to safely explore using their senses, sorting, recording observations in their science journals, and sharing with the class. CLASS PET Having a small class pet gives students the responsibility of taking care of an animal. Feeding and cleaning the habitat can be a classroom job that is rotated during the school year. Students can perform research to learn about their new pet. Discuss the importance of caring for living beings. What do all living things need to survive? Why is the habitat important for our pet? CLASS TERRARIUM Building a class terrarium with students enhances the classroom community. Students can collect the rocks needed for the terrarium from their home or the playground. Have them take turns checking for dry soil and watering when needed. To create a terrarium, you will need three diferent types of small household plants, a layer of sand, regular potting soil, rocks and pebbles, moss or fne screen, and a glass or an open plastic container. The bottom layer of the container should be rocks and pebbles to allow for good drainage when students water the plants. Make the next layer out of moss, which will help the water, but not the soil, flter down. You could also use a fne screen instead of moss. The top layer is soil. When you put in the plants, leave space between each one to allow for growth. WILDLIFE FOOD CHAIN MURAL Invite children to think about a special outdoor environment (a feld, a forest, a stream, a pond). What animals live there? What do they eat? What plants live there? What else is in this environment? Don't forget the sun! Record all ideas on chart paper, and have the class vote for their favorite habitat. Using a large sheet of butcher paper, help the children create a mural showing food chains in the selected environment. They can draw or paint plants, animals, and other elements, and put in arrows to connect the food chains. When fnished, encourage the children to tell stories about the scene. How do the plants and animals interact with the environment and each other? Display the written pieces with the mural. Children are born with a sense of wonder toward nature and animals. Building on their natural interest in animals and their environments can help them foster a respect for all living things. oung children are naturally eager to learn about the world around them. Students who have opportunities to explore wildlife will have positive impressions of nature and gain lifelong social and academic skills. Give your students opportunities to learn and explore nature in the classroom using these simple techniques. Y DO YOU HAVE A CLASSROOM IDEA TO SHARE? Email Recipe for Success entries to © TEACHER SHOWING NEST/MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGES/THINKSTOCK; TERRARIUM/REINSTUDIO/THINKSTOCK

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