Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Days at Valley Hill Farm 2011

My big activity each summer is to to take all the groups from our three schools to Valley Hill Farm for horseback riding, hayrides, picnics and farm fun.  Each Friday, I take a different group.  On every trip, we're met at the barn by Chipper, the Valley Hill greeter and mascot.

The first part of the trip is always spent taking turns riding horses.

Even the teachers get a turn to ride. (Yep, that's me!)

In between turns, there's time for a few games in the dirt. The teacher drew letters and shapes and the kids guessed what she had drawn.

Then the kids took turns writing the letter or drawing the shapes.

After everyone had several turns to ride, the tractor arrived to take us on a hayride to explore the rest of the farm.

We saw bunnies...

and chicks

and a few freshly laid eggs.

Big dogs .....

And little dogs....

And horses of every kind and color.....

We saw horses with new baby foals,

and cows with new calves. The little guy in front is blind but seems to do just fine!

We saw mama goats and  their kids..... (and played a little tag!)

These kids playing on a little hill reminded me of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff.

We saw pigs

and piglets.

Isn't this guy too cute?

One of my favorite activities is near the end of the hayride, we stop for a drink out of the garden hose. The water is so fresh and sweet because it's well water and runs nice and cold. Most of the kids have never tried to drink from a garden hose, so it can be a bit of a challenge to get them started without soaking themselves (hence, no pictures ;). It always amazes me how the generations have changed ~ the idea that we have to "teach" them to drink form the hose surprises me every trip!

After the hayride, Mr. Tommy parked the wagon under the shade of a large tree. As we ate,  the girls that ride and board their horses there practiced some jumping for us.

Happy Trails!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mrs. Frizzle?

I was told recently by a new teacher that I reminded her of Mrs. Frizzle, because we're both "magically fantastic" and "make learning an adventure for the students". At first, I wasn't sure that it was a compliment, but the more I've thought about it, I can see some similarities.We both have long, frizzy, red hair, kept pulled back. I often dress for the current theme, although I don't have quite the same sense of style as Mrs. Frizzle. There is usually adventure afoot in my classroom. The more I've thought about it, the more I like the fact that remind folks of Mrs. Frizzle. She is magically fantastic!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

At Play At The Beach

Today was the first full day of our family beach vacation. 14 kids, 7 families, one house and a week full of fun. I know by Friday there will be squabbles, but today everyone got along and spent the day working together for a common goal. The kids started early this morning digging holes and building with sand.

The kids worked relentlessly all day on this structure, even knowing that tonight the tide would come in and it would probably all be washed away by morning. As they were building, creating and working together, I was reminded of a post by zella said purple, "Be That Teacher". There were no rules, no set materials ~ it was all children's choice. There was no telling what they would create left to their own devices.

No fort would be complete with out a tv!

They dug most of the day, taking turns with several beach shovels.

Little tableaux of sea glass, shells, rocks and random items were strategically placed throughout.

As the day wore on, the trenches got deeper.

After dinner, we went back out. The tide was getting closer. Eventually, the tide overtook the trenches and began to fill them. Instead of being sad that a full day's work was being washed away right before their eyes, the kids delighted in jumping in to splash around in their own little hand made tide pool.

This has been an awesome day, filled with creativity, ingenuity and teamwork. Little kids and big kids working together toward a common goal~ even if no one really knew what that goal was. This was as much fun for the adults to observe as it was for the kids to build. I can't wait to see what they build, create or dream tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

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