Audubon for Kids

During the summer, I share learning opportunities that might be of interest to your family.

Check out Audubon for Kids if you’re looking for some bird-themed learning resources!

For example, in “Week 1:  Get to Know Birds”, you can download their Audubon Adventure magazine, plus there’s an art lesson on how birds got their names, an online game “Whose Beak?  Whose Feet?”, a pigeon watch activity, how to make a birdfeeder out of recycled materials, a number of birding activities for your family to do outside, and a vimeo on sketching a black-capped chickadee step by step.  The world is full of wondrous things!

What are YOU Reading?

The Forty Book Challenge doesn’t end on the last day of school.  Reading is a lifelong delight, and we love to share our latest books with each other.  Here are some of the books I’m in the middle of right now, as these hot days invite reading breaks here and there.  Do share what you’re reading!

We also love photos of the wild reading places you discover throughout the summer.  Here’s a throwback photo from one of last summer’s mighty readers.  Share yours!

Slices of Perfection

Every swimming morning is perfect, the same and yet different.  Each day I take a photo of the lake, also recording the creatures that join me like the snapping turtle or my blue heron friend, and here are the last seven pictures.  This morning I meditated on the steadfast love of the Lord!  What parts of your day cause you to just explode with praise?

“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”  (Psalm 117:1-2)

Highland Lake Loons


One of my favorite parts of summer is my morning swim at Highland Lake.  Many mornings, the loons swim along with me, sometimes as they feed their loonlings.

Unfortunately, this year the loons abandoned their nest after five days of sitting when a boat did big power turns in a no wake area.  Last year, this happened too, and the loons did rebuild their nest and have a successful hatch later on.  I hope they rebuild again this year.

I have read a lot about loons, but I had never seen their eggs up close like this photo to understand how large the eggs actually are and what an exquisite color.  I am including the notes from our local loon watcher, Donna Baker-Hartwell, who works with Mrs. Shedd at Woodcrest.

“One is of the nest. As you can see, it is very close to the water’s edge. Wake from boats can easily wash the eggs out. The second photo is of the two eggs that I found submerged under the water about 2-3 feet from the nest. Please note that no one is allowed to take eggs from a nest site unless given special permission to do so. Phil Keefe, loon biologist, gave me permission to retrieve them. They are being kept in my refrigerator until he can pick them up on Monday. He told me that there is a $5000 fine if someone is found with loon eggs and are not authorized.” (D. Baker-Hartwell)

(Photo:  Donna Baker-Hartwell)

(Photo:  Donna Baker-Hartwell)

Free Summer Virtual Makercamp

Passing on some information to you for your summer fun.

Family Maker Camp

“Family Maker Camp is an excellent way for families to get hands-on at home. At Family Maker Camp, we bring you daily live do-it-together sessions with Makers, daily projects, and community support. Family Maker Camp is online, free for everyone, and generously funded by the members of Whether you are 5 or 95, everyone can join, no matter where they live.”

Switch On Summer

So we did it!  We navigated distance learning and teaching all the way from March to June!

Now it’s time for relaxation and family fun.  We have exercised our creativity muscles greatly over the last few months as we have faced physical distancing obstacles, and we can apply those skills to summer.  Who knows what amazing adventures you will have.

So in the summer, our blog changes focus to summer opportunities.  We hope many of you students will share pieces of your journey on your personal blogs.  Our class blog will share as well, along with family information that might be helpful for sparking curiosity, adventure, and joy.

Stay tuned.

(photo:  Vermont Agency of Agriculture)

MakerSpace Ready to Roll!

Anticipation!  We can hardly wait for our wonderful MVCS students to walk in the door this week, and one of the delightful surprises ahead is experiencing the updated MakerSpace room.  Thanks to a slew of helpers/donors/carriers/painters/sewers/organizers, we have an inspiring collection of recyclables  and other supplies all ready for creating.  Don’t you wonder what will happen in this room next?  Stay tuned!