Signs of Spring at Woodbury Elementary

Woodbury students have been immersed in the discoveries of spring through ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) classes each week, thanks to the school’s ongoing partnership with North Branch Nature Center. Recently, K-2 students learned all about how turtles absorb the warmth of the sun for energy. Students played turtle games in the field before heading to the woods to build clay-lined turtle ponds, complete with water, a basking log and a sand pit for the turtle eggs. They’ll now be watching in anticipation for turtles and their eggs to appear on the school’s playground as they have in years past!

Students in 3rd-6th grade headed to the woods to practice their skills in observation, creating dichotomous keys. A dichotomous key is a scientific tool, used to identify different organisms, based on the organism’s observable traits. Small groups chose seven twigs and studied traits such as texture, markings, coloring, bud clusters, and whether the twigs had alternate or opposite branching. They then had free forest time, where some students played “deer and coyote”, and others built fairy houses. Students spent their last 20 minutes of ECO drawing in their nature journals.

Through weekly instruction by North Branch Nature Center educators, Woodbury students benefit from a deep connection to – and exploration of – our natural world in every season.