Monday, February 28, 2011


ZooBorns is a great resource for home reading that will appeal to readers of all ages.  Imagine getting daily birth announcements from zoos around the world!  Each entry introduces the newest baby to the world and includes information about his or her species, photos, and even video clips of the baby animal.

I think you will really enjoy this link!  
Happy Reading!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Snow Day!

It may be icy and snowing, but I am thinking about frogs....especially an interesting amphibian friend called the Wood Frog.  E-Nature has an interesting article about this frog that literally freezes to survive the long winter-an amphibian popsicle if you will!  Would it be too silly to call them Amphibisicles?  A little word study play on an unexpected snow day.  

Follow the link by clicking the wonder question below.  You can even listen to the call of a Wood Frog!  This may encourage spring to return to Ohio so we can get outside and start exploring for tadpoles in the Habitat.
Happy Learning!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It is almost Valentine's Day and everywhere you look, we see reminders of this holiday's symbol-the heart! This IMA Valentine connects you to an interesting article about animals and their hearts.  Follow this interesting link that compares a hummingbird to a whale...who has the most interesting heart? Who has the hardest-working heart?  Enjoy the learning!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Site for Science Activities and Learning

I came across a new website called "Archimedes Notebook."   It is a new educational blog that offers hands-on science exploration ideas for children and their parents.  Some of the blog entries have information to read and discuss. Many of the entries have activities to try at home. The sidebar showcases many interesting links to other learning resources.  I hope the ideas will enhance your time spent outdoors if you are playing in your yard or hiking through our local metro parks.  Enjoy the website and let me know what you discover!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Reason To Smile



What would we do without Earthworms?  Healthy soil, flourishing plants and varied habitats owe their success to these quiet creatures living underground.  Children especially love the idea of Earthworms.  "Look what I found!" is a common call in our school's outdoor learning lab.  You will see a circle of children crowded around a friend holding a pink wiggling Earthworm; the group is surrounded by giggles and wonders. 

"Look at him wiggle!"  
"Is that a mom or dad worm?"  
"Why does it have that band around its body?"  

I love to see how my students carefully deliver the Earthworm back to its place in a flower patch or vegetable garden once they finish their observations, making sure that the worm is gently covered with a blanket of soil.  Priceless lessons await in the garden!

How can a creature with such a simple appearance be a complex recycler in our habitats?  Learn more about Earthworms, their role in our habitats and why they are such excellent soil makers.  Right now I am starting spring garden plans for The Habitat, our school's outdoor learning lab.  My sketches and seed catalogs, the photos from last year's garden and our ideas for a new garden season truly rely on the secret life of Earthworms.  Enjoy these links for learning; maybe thoughts of spring and summer gardening will help melt the ice and snow just a little bit faster!

The Adventures of Herman is an informative website to begin your worm studies.

Backyard Nature has a great diagram of an Earthworm's body.  It helps you understand how Earthworms wiggle and move through the soil.

National Geographic's A-Z Animals provides a range map showing where you can find common Earthworms.  I was surprised by the information-follow this link and find out why!

Looking for a great book to read?  Check out my favorite Earthworm resources:

If you are feeling really adventurous, get some Earthworms from the bait store or nursery and start your own worm bin at home.  Find a place for your kitchen's compost scraps!

While the worms wait for for warmer days, stay cozy, keep reading 
and spend time dreaming of spring in the garden!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Signs of the Season

February often brings cold, icy, and unpredictable weather to Ohio; start chasing away thoughts of cabin fever by thinking about Spring and introducing phenology activities to your family.  Phenology is the study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events.  Watching for seasonal changes brings a new brightness to our winter landscape.  Rather than thinking of February as a dreary, gray time, spend the month looking for changes in the daylight, native plants, and animals in our local habitats.  Are you seeing different birds in your yard?  Have you noticed any aromatherapy clues left behind during the undercover adventures of restless skunks?  Did you notice the time of our sunrises and sunsets?  What is happening to the branches of our deciduous trees?

Phenology activities remind us to look for subtle changes around us as we transition from winter to early spring.  Journey North is a fabulous website rich with phenology activities and articles for eager scientists to share with their families.  Enjoy the many learning opportunities at this amazing website and don't forget...Think Spring!  

Visit Journey North and let us know what you discover!