Monday, August 26, 2013

What a Weekend!

This weekend it was absolutely GoRgEoUs up here in Anchorage, Alaska!

It has been raining straight for the last three weeks....I was ready to build an ark!  But the sun came back in full force and we soaked it up.  My sister is visiting and we hiked Flattop Mountain (with everybody else in the city it seemed).

I've been back at work for the last week and a half, but I haven't had students yet.  We are so fortunate that K and 1 teachers get 5 extra days before students arrive and we schedule conferences with incoming families.  During these conferences we assess students (AIMSWeb reading & math and our own reading and math assessments) and connect with parents right off the bat.  It's really a fantastic thing and I'm thankful every year!  Wednesday morning we get the show on the road though :-)

Have you ever heard of this book?  It's an Alaskan tale that popped into my head today twice.  I'm always making connections between children's literature and my own life and I love to share that with my students!

1st Connection: At the end of our hike we saw some people berry picking on the hillside and down in the valley.  I assumed it was blueberries they were eagerly picking.  So we climbed up onto the hillside and began to pick as well.

But we discovered, by asking a woman who had a huge bucketful of these berries, that we had picked crowberries.  Never heard of them?   Us either.  They are used to make jam and are put into aqutak (Eskimo ice cream).
I'm going to let our little collection ripen and then make some crowberry muffins.

2nd Connection: Later in the evening we hiked on a huge sand dune that we had no idea was 5 minutes from our house.  I just bought a toddler hiking backpack off Craig's List yesterday so we got to try it out (actually my sister wanted to carry Max).

Blueberry Shoe is the story of a family that goes hiking and the toddler in the backpack loses one of his shoes.  A vole, a fox and a bear all come upon it and use it for awhile.  Dirt and blueberry seeds find their way into the shoe and the following spring it is found (with a blueberry sprout) by the family again.

I encourage you to get your hands on a copy because it's a cute story and could fit in nicely to a plant lifecycle lesson or unit.

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