In School Mtn SOL at MLA! Sept 29 and Oct 6

Hello MLA families!

The weather is changing, and we have to change with it. The ticks are still holding on, so please do a tick check for a few more weeks on Thursdays when your kiddo comes home. Also, we are going to start transitioning to fall and winter clothing. Every cutie needs orange as well as weather appropriate clothing. While our younger students need your help to get them packed for Mountain SOL Thursdays, take a moment with your older kids on Wednesday nights to look at the weather and support them in packing appropriate clothing (jacket, hat, warm socks, etc).

Now on to the fun stuff! We have been learning about ecosystems and biodiversity in the mountains.  On Sept 28th Senora Jen Osha was on a trip, so the rest of the Mountain SOL crew (staff and volunteers, woot woot) had a brilliant day discovering different ecosystems without her! Each class got to look at how the facing or aspect of the mountain effected the plant growth in that area. Some places get morning sun, some evening sun, and some don’t ever get direct sunlight! This changes everything from the size and shape of trees to what groundcover grows.  The younger kids got to explore how elevation can change the ecosystem. While hiking near the creek they noticed that there were different plants when compared to the hill-side. They learned that the availability of water can change what species grow in an area.

Thankfully, the staff and kids filled Jen Osha in on all their adventures when she returned. We learned about how to use a compass to discover the aspect of a mountain and why that matters! The older students used compasses to help deduce growth patterns of these areas based on the movement of the sun throughout the day. What they found shocking was how drastically something like the amount of available sunlight can change how plants grow on the same mountain slope! Why are mountains so biodiverse anyways, and what does the sun, the water, and the altitude have to do with it? We also enjoyed helping to set up the planet walk with Ms Claire’s math class. What a lucky group of kids to get to learn math and ratios in such a fun way.

For the adventurous Little Acorns PreK classes we are focusing on the changes that fall brings in our plant friends that live in the garden. Some of our plant friends are doing just fine with the change in weather, but some of them are starting to lose their leaves or change colors. We also wrote a line to our Little Acorns song about how much fun it to pop the jewelweed seeds! We are sure that you will hear it a million times =) Sorry!

This week we are going to learn about biocrust…yep. And we have been working on it so much that Jen Osha just wrote Mountaincrust instead of mountainsol, so you know where are heads are at! And then we are having a scavenger hunt ecosystem adventure day! Woot woot!

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