I am sure most of your kids are back in school (Danbury's first day is today!!) or preparing for the first day later in the week. The summer flew by, don't you think? It always does. Here at EdAdvance, formerly EDUCATION CONNECTION, we are so happy to have been able to have our summer programs, and are working hard preparing for our fall programs. The week at Tails to Tales was so much fun. The children that attended had a blast and were also well behaved. My co-coordinator, Mr. Dean and I enjoyed preparing for the daily science lesson, snack, and animal presenters. I do not think either of us sat down at all during the day that week, and both of us were ready for our vacations that began after the programs completion. Our Science leader, Dr. D.J. did a great job each day. The kids learned about invertebrate vs. vertebrate animals, and saw real skeletons of a few different species, and then they made an edible spine using cheerios and life saver mints. Another day, the children learned about the stages of compost. They planted marigolds with the freshest and mineral richest soil. Each seeded pot drank up a sip of compost tea, another mineral boost; I hope the marigolds grew well for all the kids. Another day, the children picked through owl pellets, another day they made birds nests after a lesson on bird migration, and lastly we all learned about digestion. Yuck, that was gross. Our brave students pushed a banana and graham cracker through a stocking like how we humans and animals get rid of digested food. That was a fun lesson!!! I recapped the week as best I could. I know it has been almost a month now since Tails ended, so I apologize for the delay in the blog; I just returned from vacation, since immediately following the program. During programs I like to be engaged with the kids and our guests, which leaves no time to blog during the day. I will work on it. Enjoy the school year!
I am back at my desk in Litchfield, CT, putting away the program supplies from Tails to Tales. I had a great week meeting parents and children. I hope you and your children had the same experience.
Friday was Frog Day. Your children made "frogs on a log" for snack - celery, cream cheese or pb, sliced cucumbers cut into half circles to sit on the log like frogs, and for a sweet treat a gummy frog on the side. I am sure by now you have seem the "frog eggs." Whereas we ate real bugs during the week, the frog eggs were not real, they were chia seeds and lemonade. I thought since the children enjoyed drinking the lemonade this week that if we mixed it with the seeds it would make them more appealing to taste. Some of the kids tasted the chia seeds, but the best way to sample them is to add a teaspoon to a smoothie or sprinkle on oatmeal, cereal or salad; the seeds are packed with nutrients. Frogs continued to be the theme during the morning activity. In the gym the kids jumped like frogs as they played the "Lilly Pad" relay race. Next, full of energy and excitement from our morning movement segment, we welcomed "Zoo on the Go." The kids saw rabbits, snakes and lizards to name a few. Ben, the animal presenter spoke to the kids about animal safety, and animal etiquette pertaining to which animals can be tamed and which can not. This year a couple of students asked to bring their pets from home. One day, Jalena, brought her pet hedgehog. Another young lady asked to bring her birds, but it was too short of notice for all involved. I think it is wonderful that the children have such unique animals at home, and they want to share with their new friends. Thank you for participating the Tails to Tales. We are so happy to be able to bring your children this and other wonderful programs again this summer and school year. I am having a problem with sending picture from my phone to my work e-mail. I will post pictures as soon as I get this problem solved.
Wednesday and Thursday have been jammed packed with special guests and so many more animals, fun science activities and yummy snacks.
Wednesday morning during SPARK Outdoor Games, the children got their exercised and learned about camouflage while searching for tiny plastic lizards in the grass. After a good run we all went inside to learn about worms. The teachers and students started the lesson making edible dirt; a popular snack the everyone loves, especially eating the gummy worm. When the kids actually got to observe and study real worms there was not one child who was tempted to snack on a live one.
The guest in the morning was a young fellow, Ben Johnson, who began raising chickens at the age of 15. At 18, he has over 50 chickens. He brought 3 of his most friendliest birds for the children to feet, pet and hold. Ben brought a dozen farm fresh chicken eggs for all teachers. The kids enjoyed Ben. They asked great questions not only about the chickens, but about his other job and school. It was a fun time.
In the afternoon, our favorite presenter, Justin, from Science Tellers, entertained the children with a story that included elements of Science. A very interactive presentation. Justin is great with the kids.
The fun continued during the end of day reading and popsicle time. Four St. Bernard dogs sat with the students as they read and cooled off eat their pops. Enjoy the pics. More to Come!!!!
Two weeks of vigorous planning for the beloved animal themed interdistrict grant program did not wear out the EDUCATION CONNECTION Staff. We were glad to see smiling second and third graders, and parents thrilled to see the Tails to Tales program get underwear.
The students kicked off the program by weaving their way in and out of cones holding on to each other by the waist, imagining what it is like to be a caterpillar. A team of caterpillars made it to the finish line in 120 seconds. Wow!!
After a lesson on insect adaptation (I hope all of you young artists showed your parents the amazing insects that you drew) the children were offered chocolate covered bugs to snack on. Yes, they were real bugs covered in white or milk chocolate. Crunchy and delicious.
Tuesday morning I asked the children to tell me something they learned on Monday. One boy said that he was amazed at how many insects live in the grass. The students explored the world of insects using sweep nets. Another boy told me that he never knew millipedes had over a thousand legs, a hundred maybe, but not a thousand!
The morning started off with Rainforest Yoga. Everyone enjoyed this early morning stretch and adventure to the world of the rainforest. The best was the last stretch; the students laid belly to belly. We took 4 deep breaths at the same time. The inhale and exhale of breaths felt bumpy, and when we all giggled, the kids said their friends bellies felt rocky under their head. Next, Critter Caravan, brought frogs and turtles, snakes and a giant lizard for the group to see and pet. After that Blue Moon Raptors showed us different birds and a big owl. The day is still not over. Four rescued greyhounds visited the four groups in their classrooms and read and ate popsicles with the children. A great 2 days it has been. I hope you like the pictures.
Yesterday afternoon ended with an exciting visit from the Brookfield Police with their K9 patrol dog, Office Bruno. Officer Bruno is a beautiful German Shephard that follows commands in both German and English. He demonstrated how to detain a criminal and scout out missing objects.
This morning the children made their own edible dog biscuits. We used bread, cheese, a dog bone cookie cutter, and spreadable cheese as "glue" to create these yummy morning snacks.
Today we were visited by Indian Rock Nature Center! Our visitors brought along many interesting animals to share with us. We saw a bunny rabbit, a red-tailed hawk, a bullfrog, a toad, baby chicks, a snake, and a bearded dragon! We learned all about what these animals eat, their habitats, and how some of them use camouflage to protect themselves.
Our other special guest visitors were the Fidelco Guide Dogs! Raven and Kai are two beautiful german shepard dogs that are trained as guide dogs for people in need. They showed us how they can guide and direct people who are blind or have trouble getting around. They were so friendly and sweet!
Today in science, we learned all about our ecosystem. We discussed how both plants and animals help our ecosytem to stay in balance. As a very fun, hands-on project, each child then created their own terrarium! We used plastic bottles, soil, peat moss, pebbles, and water to plant our own marigold seeds!
We can't believe our week of Tails to Tales is coming to an end! We had such an amazing time observing and learning about a huge variety of animals. We learned so much about the importance of protecting these animals in nature, and the amazing ways they can help us!
Yesterday was a very busy, exciting day filled with TWO field trips! Tails to Tales visited the Governor's Horse Guard in Newtown, CT as well as New Pond Farm in Redding, CT. At the Horse Guard, the students learned all about the history of the Horse Guard, the volunteers, and how the horses are cared for. They were also able to visit with and feed many of the horses. At New Pond Farm, the students walked through the beautiful acres of farm land and saw cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and learned all about bees. We even made our own candles from bees wax! Although it was a very hot summer day, we all had a great time learning and exploring at both field trip sites.
Today at Tails to Tales the students had special visitors from Animal Embassy. Our visitors brought with them chinchillas, tree frogs, a Burmese python, a red-footed tortoise, and many more amazing animals from different countries around the world!
Another special visitor came from Flander's Nature Center today. She taught us all about bees! We learned about pollination and the importance of bees in nature.
In science today, we learned how animals move in nature. We learned about snails and how their slime helps them move more easily. As an exciting, hands-on activity, we made our own slime! The students had an awesome time digging into it. It was messy, but lots of fun! If you would like to experiment with making your own slime at home, here is the recipe: 1 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup of water, and a few drops of food coloring. Slime away!
Parent Reminders: Please take a moment to fill out your Parent Survey that was sent home with welcome materials. Also, please remember to have your child wear sneakers tomorrow!
Day two of Tails to Tales is busy with animal fun! We started the day with edible science - creating our own snacks: Fish in the Sea. Using rice cakes, blue cream cheese, goldfish and raisins (blub, blub!), each child made her/his own mini sea. They were delicious and fun to eat!
Fur, Feathers and Beyond visited us today. Mr. DiBella brought different kinds of ducks and birds from around the world to teach us about these interesting feathered friends. The children loved the parrot that said hello to them! Ask your child why some birds have curved beaks while others have straight beaks.
Rowanwood Farms was another special guest today! The children loved seeing the two goats that visited. They enjoyed petting the goats, and learning about the goat fibers, goat milk, and milk products.
The children learned all about owls today in science! We learned about their prey, how they hunt, and how they digest their food. Then each child worked with a partner to dissect an owl pellet! It was really exciting to discover hidden animal bones in each owl pellet and use the bone chart to figure out what animal the owl had eaten.
Yesterday, we ended our day with some VERY special guests. We were lucky enough to be visited by the Wolf Conservation Center from Salem, New York! Atka the wolf, and Nakai the wolf pup came to visit us and teach us all about wolves. We can't wait to see what else is in store for the rest of our week here at Tails to Tales!
Tales to Tails is off to a great start! We are having an excellent time learning about different animals. Andrew Simmons visited us with an assortment of interesting creatures! We saw a young American alligator, a golden eagle, a Burmese Python, an alligator snapping turtle, and even a ring-tailed lemur.
Norwalk Maritime Center also visited and brought an assortment of sea creatures from Long Island Sound. We all had fun learning, observing, and touching these animals!
Today in science, we learned how mammals digest their food! Ms. Tracy taught us all about the digestive system and how important food is to humans and other animals too. We then got to experiment by doing a hands-on simulation of the mammal digestive system! Using knee high stockings (as the esophagus), the children squeezed bananas and graham crackers (food digesting) all the way through the digestive system! We used water to help the food through the track, just like we do when we eat. It was messy, but lots of fun!
We made a special snack today: Banana Caterpillars! We learned about butterflies, moths, and caterpillars, then created our own edible ones to eat! They were delicious, and adorable!
Please look out for an important notice coming home with your child today! It will inform you of some updates as well as provide you with more information about our Field Trip on Wednesday. It is attached here as well.