Recent Updates

Birdfeeders + bugs = cool science!

So a couple weeks ago, I finally took down the hummingbird feeder from the outdoor classroom. Inside was a big clump of bugs that had crawled in the feeder holes trying to get the sugar water. After locating the ever-elusive dissecting microscopes that Trail Wind owns, I put a couple of the ants under the scopes and let the kids check them out. They were fascinated! Some students noticed that there were also a couple of bees in the bug clump. The next day, we had bees under the microscopes. We could see compound eyes, stingers, wing patterns, and spiky "hairs on the bees' bodies. Pretty...

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Walking Field Trip: Bird Watching! By Svea & Molly

By Svea and Molly

Have you ever been birdwatching? If you have, I bet you saw a bunch of birds like we did! Our fourth grade students got the opportunity to go bird watching with Mr. Evans from the Peregrine Fund. It was awesome! He taught us how to use our binoculars to find birds. We walked along Dry Creek and looked for birds. One of the birds we saw was a Mourning Dove. It was in Hidden Springs Idaho by the creek on the top of the tree.

Another bird we saw was a really pretty House Sparrow flying everywhere, it was super cool. It was flying around me and then...

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Owl Pellets, Take Two

Earlier this month, Miss Ally and Miss Kristin brought owl pellets to our classroom.  We did owl pellets last year and, with 2/3 of the class being the same as last year, didn't expect to do them again this year.  The 2nd and 3rd graders begged our B3 facilitators earlier this year to bring them back because "the first graders didn't get to do it and it was SOOOO COOOOL!"  The long-eared owl pellets this year were collected by a gentleman that works for Idaho Fish and Game and he came to help us disect the pellets and show us some cool bones.

I, as the teacher, was so excited to see...

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November Birding News

This was a great month for birding at Star. When Mr. Willadsen visited, everyone got to use the field glasses to bird watch with him. We also reviewed common birds of our area and began to use the Indenti-flyer to hear the different calls. We rolled out our birding library, and it's very popular for independent reading time. We even added 3 new birding books. We spent some time studying Arctic habitats, so we focused on Snowy owls and thier adaptations. Then, students created their own Snowy Owls as an art project. 

Bird Art!

We have been working hard to identify field markings on different birds.  We decided to make Black-Capped Chickadees for our hallway art project and they turned out so cute!  I was happy to see students looking into their bird field guides to look up close at the field marks and draw them into their drawing!  We are looking forward to a cold greenbelt walk soon and started our bird reports!  Such a fun birding month.



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Winter Birding

This week Mrs. Coffman came to Grace Jordan to teach the 6th graders about bird watching in the winter.  She described the 15 most common birds that we might see during this season.  The students used identification techniques that they have learned this year to make predictions.  For example, they looked at the shape of the beak to determine what the bird might eat and use that information to guess if it was a finch, sparrow, woodpecker, or in another category.  The students were engaged and excited when they were able to correctly identify the pictures.  We continue to see lots of...

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Susan Kain's Visit

Before Thanksgiving break, Susan Kain came to visit our classroom. She shared information on bird migration. We learned that birds migrate for food. They use the sun, moon, and landmarks to navigate. Some birds may even have an internal compass to help them find their way. We also learned that birds can fly so high because they have very efficient lungs. Finally, everyone in the class got to make a pinecone bird feeder to take home. Thanks Susun, for coming to visit. We are looking forward to your visit in December when we get to learn more about owls.


Predators Sighted

We have lately seen a hawk that is harassing the local pigeons and doves. We have not yet identified it but possibilities are: Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Merlin, and possibly the Coopers Hawk.

November Visit From Mrs. Hugo

Mrs. Hugo taught my students about habitats this month. She held a presentation, and then we took a walk around our school to determine various habitats near us. Afterwards, she passed our an aerial map of our school so students had a visual of the habitats. She even gave them an assignment over Thanksgiving break to draw a map of habitats around their homes. It was another awesome lesson!

Birds, Birds Birds!

We went to the MK nature center last week and played Fill The Bill with Sara. Children learned about the different kids of beaks, and how they work! This week while children watched the birds at the feeders they were able to idenity the different beaks each bird had. We're seeing lots of tweezer beaks and cracking beaks, but would like to see more sucking beaks (hummingbirds!). Maybe this Spring we can figure out a way to get some hummingbirds to us!