The best part of my job is getting students outdoors. I especially enjoy getting them into the woods to study forestry and forest ecology
Want to make a kid's jaw drop? Tell them that they are going to count how many trees are in a forest. Even better is to tell them that they have to find out how many leaves can be found on the forest floor or that they have to find out how the leaves weigh!
I always manage to get lots of students outdoors in the spring, but this year I made an effort to schedule more field explorations for the fall. Over the past three weeks, I was able to get eleven classrooms from four different schools out into the woods. Two of the classrooms have been out in the woods with me before, but for the other nine classes it was a completely new experience. It's always interesting to see how the students (and their teachers) react to the independence.
Here are a few pictures from three of the schools. (Unfortunately, it looks like I did not take any photos of the two classrooms from the fourth school.) The students in these photos are counting leaves in a square foot plot (or quadrat), collecting leaves to weigh, measuring the forest canopy using a clear grid, and identifying leaves using a guide.
12 October 2018 - Winn Elementary at Audubon Woods
16 October 2018 and 19 October 2018 - Mary McGuire Elementary at Mission Creek Park
25 October 2018 - Beal City Elementary at Beal City School woodlot