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Whatcha Doin Out There!?

A periodic look at all the life that happens... all the time... out there!

Whatcha Doin' Out There!? - March & April 2022

OE News

Spring has been busy in the OE world and we have a double dose of Whatcha Doin’ with some highlights from March and April.  March’s main focus was the sugar shack.  We tapped almost 70 trees and made 11 gallons of ACS syrup!  A special thanks to all those who helped make that possible.  March is a cold messy month, but the sweetness of the maple and the steam billowing from the sugar shack are always hopeful signs of spring.  As we continued into April, new signs of life began to emerge.  Among the new life was the always exciting arrival of baby goats! We currently have 15 baby goats (beating last year’s record of 13!) residing in the barn at ACS. Students enjoyed visits to watch them cuddle in the straw or trying out their moves as they leap in the air.  


Preschool made visits to the sugar shack as well as trips to the barn to see the new baby goats. They also tried on our new rain suits that help them enjoy the outdoors in all types of weather!


Kindergarteners enjoyed some time in the hoop house planting their own plants for a small salad garden that they look forward to harvesting soon. They also explored the science of materials and motion. They made small structures in the woods using materials they could find like sticks, leaves, vines and snow and utilized the different properties of the materials. To explore motion they experimented with a variety of balls down the hill and over ramps.   

1st grade

In the fall, first grade harvested herbs to make tea.  This spring they spent time planting some new herbs (like lemongrass) so that next year's first graders may have the same opportunity. Another focus for first grade was wind. We explored wind by making and flying kites.  Bulbs are another first grade focus. In addition to potting and growing tulips in OE, we spent time looking for other bulbs like daffodils, allium and even some wild onions they were able to taste!

2nd grade

In second grade we spent time exploring with maps.  Students had the challenge of trying to make a map that someone else would read.  This proved to be a challenging task.  The next time they read maps to find clues to solve a puzzle.  We also moved into a rocks and minerals unit in which they collected rocks to be polished, looked at sediments under a microscope, and even learned to pan for gold.  It was fun even though we didn’t find any. 

3rd grade

In third grade, we’ve been getting our hands dirty with multiple flower projects! We seeded violas for earth day and Grand Friends day; we planted calibrachoa seedlings in hanging baskets for our Mothers Day Sale this week and cared for them by deadheading, adding fertile soil, and creating plant tags with growing information! We also planted freesia bulbs to add to our bouquet garden and other annual flowers like zinnias and cosmos, also for our bouquet garden. 

4th grade

A primary focus for 4th grade was continuing to look at trees and consider the topic of forestry. We learned about how to use pi to approximate a tree's age. We also learned how to approximate a tree’s height without having to climb to the top with a tape measure. Another focus was moving into the topic of erosion and looking at signs of erosion around our property as well as considering the human impact on erosion at school, both positive and negative. In addition to this 4th grade has been a great work force in planting and seeding a number of times already this spring. They do great work while learning the ins and outs of garden work. 

5th grade

In March, fifth grade students prepared for baby goats by measuring out mamas growing bellies and learning about labor and delivery of baby goats. We learned what a normal delivery looks like and all the possible positions of baby goats in utero. After break, some students got to catch the birth of Happy’s triplets or the freshly delivered kids (and placenta…) and learned all about goat kids.  They’ve been enjoying bottle feeding our baby goat orphans during lunch recess and frolicking with the fifteen kids in the barnyard. We took a photograph of each 5th grade student with a baby goat for the front of the goat books they’ve been adding to all year.

6th grade

Sixth graders have been perfecting their chicken careers over the course of the year and are excited to be entering their final work weeks! Our last chicken assignment has been working as chicken teams to create a marketing piece–an educational brochure to include in the final Egg Club shares. Group work is a challenging feat and their year of working as a team is being put to the test with this final project!

7th grade

March was a big month for 7th grade because of the sap collection. They had the task of collecting the sap and bringing it to the sugar shack.  Different groups did this each day. They also learned the process of sap to syrup in OE. As a reward they enjoyed some fresh pancakes with the finest ACS maple syrup. Our new focus is on ecosystems as we tie in with science class. Each student will be researching a specific organism.  Then in LA they will write a narrative using the voice of their organism.  In Art they will create a sign that will be placed in the ecosystem. Each sign will have a QR code that will play the story of the organisms. 

8th grade

The big focus for so long has been on the legacy project.  After presenting to staff, the list was narrowed down by administration to some of the best options.  The final choice was to create a large outdoor eating area that will be able to hold an entire grade.  This will be great for eating outside as well as another outdoor classroom option.  Construction will begin on the project soon.  In the meantime we are tending to our fast plants to learn about inheritance and genes. We also looked at structures and functions by studying skulls of a variety of animals.