Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Second Look--March 9, 2016

We've had the full range of spring weather this week from snow to temperatures in the 70's. The landscape is still mostly brown with spots of green here and there. Because of the warm weather and a new set of eyes, I especially enjoyed the Second Look this week. I did it with my reading buddy, Kimmy. Kimmy is a special needs girl, who lives next door, and comes over most days to read with me. Her household is oriented much more to the inside and electronics, so Kimmy is very cautious of the outside world. However, she was a very willing student as we walked around the yard and discovered things.

Here are a few things we saw this week 
during a Second Look.

We had about an inch of snow that was melted by the next day as the temperatures warmed up.

With the warm weather, Kimmy and I decided to take a walk around the yard. We started around the house looking for flowers. We found this crocus...

...and this pansy. This is one I planted last fall.

Then we looked at acorns and talked about how squirrels and other animals eat them. We also looked at the oak trees they come from. We have read several books about squirrels, so she could relate to this.

Also, we had just read a book the had pebbles as part of the story. This was a new word for her, so we went in search of pebbles. We found several around the base of a tree. We also found more acorns, eaten walnuts, and sweet gum balls. We looked at the size, shape and texture of each and where they came from, and then we made a collection. We found these things all around the yard, so it was fun for her to identify them again when she saw them.

One of the places we found eaten walnuts, was in the hollow of a tree. We talked about protection during the winter for animals, probably squirrels.

We also have evidence of deer all over the yard and we went in search of this. We started with the ubiquitous footprints.

We also looked at plants they had eaten. We compared the pointed tops to the flat tops to tell what the deer had been nibbling on. In addition, we looked at the different kinds of poop from deer--boy poop-more "log" like, girl poop-more pebble like. In fact, she used her new word and first called it pebbles. (No poop pictures this week. You're welcome.)

We watched the cows eat. For a while, she didn't believe there were cows behind our houses. That's what happens if you never look out the window or go outside.

We found a couple of clumps of snowdrops in the "wild" part of the yard. We compared buds and open flowers and looked inside the drooping blossom. I was running out of time, so we ended our walk for the day.

The next day after our books, she wanted to go on a walk again. She lead this one as she went looking for things we had seen the day before. The first thing we found were these white crocus.

We went along, looking at various plant and animal evidence when she asked about Wally and Theo's old tree house. She was afraid, but I encouraged her to go up. She was afraid to both climb up and climb down, but was very proud of herself for doing it. 

The floor of the tree house was littered with sticks and leaves. We made a game of throwing the sticks into the pile below us. She remembered from yesterday, that rabbits and other animals live in there and was happy to be helping to build their house. BTW, she has a good throwing arm.

As the weather warms, I am looking forward to doing more Second Looks with Kimmy. I think she is too.