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It’s One Game at a Time for #NationalStopBullyingDay


Posted By David Butcher
October 12, 2016

Every time I teach Team Games it’s an adventure.  I was just coming to the end of my class at the end of the day and was pretty impressed with how far they had come in growing their skills and collaboration.  To end the day, I decided to give them one more big challenge.  I […]

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Nothing “Common” About It


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 27, 2015

Have you ever been out on a walk and paused to notice something “cool?”  You stop to check out this tree, flower, rock, mushroom, or whatever it is that caught your attention. You whip out your handy field guide to try and identify this neat specimen only to find it referred to as “common”. This […]

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Raspberries and Changing Climates


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 23, 2015

Fall in Finland, MN has been changing. Gradually each year, the warm days have been lasting longer into October. This year has proven to fit the mold. It was 80 degrees on October 11th. This has thrown the raspberries on the Ridge out of whack. On Tuesday, October 13th, we were wandering around and noticed […]

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Why I Teach


Posted By David Butcher
October 5, 2015

One of our favorite stories comes from Afton-Lakeland teacher Derek Olson.  Here is his story, as published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales.” – David Butcher, Wolf Ridge Adventure Programs Coordinator “I’ll never forget Chelsea. She was a wounded soul. Over the years she had always struggled—both academically and with selfconfidence. In addition, her […]

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A Story About Our Stories…


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
July 30, 2015

I recently enjoyed a conversation with a Wolf Ridge assistant trip leader who was planning a Trees and Keys trail lesson for the Isle Royale backpacking trip leaving this week. During our conversation, he explained to me that he was inspired to teach the lesson after having seen a viral Internet post about children’s abilities […]

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On the Nature of Teaching: Inquiry Based Learning


Posted By shannonwalz
July 24, 2015

Last month we focused on “place-based learning”. For the month of July, we examine how inquiry-based learning – asking questions and seeking answers – engages learners. Inquiry based learning uses science process skills to help students foster curiosity and empower students to direct their own learning. At Wolf Ridge, inquiry based learning is used to […]

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Beautiful and Delicious… Evening Primrose!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
July 10, 2015

With a name as interesting as evening primrose, what curious naturalist wouldn’t want to find out more about the yellow flowers popping up around Wolf Ridge these days? Evening Primrose grows commonly in open areas and along roadsides, making it a good flower to spot on a casual walk. Unlike many plants and flowers you’ll […]

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Place Based Learning: “Engaging Our Senses”


Posted By shannonwalz
June 10, 2015

  For the month of June we examine how the place we live and learn in is one of the strongest teaching tools an educator can pull from their “best practices bag”. The last 6 programs concentrated on the 5E learning cycle. This learning cycle is much more effective when the learning takes place in […]

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Sharing Stories


Posted By David Butcher
April 27, 2015

This morning I went for my first paddle in a canoe on Wolf Lake for the season. Every year I look forward to the first paddle after the spring thaw and the ice goes off the lake, and this year I wasn’t disappointed. The temperature was brisk with the promise of warmer temperatures to come, […]

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The 5 E’s learning cycle- Evaluate Phase


Posted By shannonwalz
April 14, 2015

The 5 E’s learning cycle- Evaluate Phase   For the month of April we are exploring “evaluate” phase of the learning cycle. Last month we looked at “elaborate”. Elaboration enables learners to apply concepts from the lesson to different contexts and preform activities that deepen their understanding and skill within those concepts. The “evaluate” phase provides both […]

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The 5 E’s learning cycle- Elaboration Phase


Posted By shannonwalz
March 11, 2015

The 5 E’s learning cycle- Elaboration Phase For the month of March we are diving deeper into the “elaboration” or “extend” phase of the learning cycle. Last month we looked at “explain,” once a learner can explain or put language to their experiences and exploration, it is time to build upon that knowledge in the […]

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Winter “Otter” Be Fun!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 26, 2015

  photo credit A fresh snow fall at Wolf Ridge makes winter transparent! On the Sawmill Creek there were Otter tracks and slides visible up and down the creek bed. Be on the lookout for animal signs near you! – Haley Marks and Grace Theisen -photo by Grace Theisen  

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Is There Value in Explaining Experience?


Posted By shannonwalz
February 24, 2015

The Learning Cycle:  Explain   The 5 E Learning cycle is based off of developmental research of Jean Piaget and education research done by Karplus and Atkin. This month we explored the “Explain” step in the cycle.  In the explain step students are asked to verbalize their understanding of the concept and demonstrate their new […]

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Be a Winter Weather Detective


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 24, 2015

There are many ways you can practice your detective skills in the winter. Blades of grass moving around can tell you which way the wind has been blowing. Snags of grass caught along the creek bank can tell you which way the water travels, and how high the water level was before it froze! – […]

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The Naturalist’s Frozen Five: Staying Warm in the Cold


Posted By David Butcher
January 6, 2015

It’s the beginning of January and we are heading into what might be the coldest week of the year so far.  Sometimes being outside in the cold can be intimidating, but here at Wolf Ridge we believe it is also a great opportunity to learn and explore in a unique setting.  During these frosty times […]

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Dressing for FUN Cold-Weather Learning


Posted By David Butcher
January 5, 2015

Winter can be amazing. When the temperatures hover around zero and below the snow squeaks when you walk and those clear azure skies and sparkling white snow can take your breath away. And if you’re dressed right, that breathe will be warm and comfortable. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.’  Wolf Ridge has been teaching […]

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The Month of Winter Fog


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
December 23, 2014

View From the top of Mystical Mountain, December 15, 2014 This month Wolf Ridge has seen its fair share of fog. Why is this you may wonder? Well fog is a type of cloud formed when the relative humidity is close to 100% and the dew point and temperature are close together. These conditions allow […]

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November Snowfall Before and After


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 11, 2014

  In the morning…      Later that day…  Over the course of one day we went from zero to four inches of snow! Wolf Ridge has been transformed into a winter wonder land. This snow fell before the ground froze creating a warm layer between the ground and the snow. This layer is great […]

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First Snow!


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
November 3, 2014

On Thursday afternoon snow fell and stuck to the ground for the first time this season at Wolf Ridge! There was much celebration, as snow is a sign of winter coming that makes everyone excited around here. Overnight the snow continued to fall and the accumulation at 7 am on Friday morning was 0.3 inches. […]

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Dead or Alive?


Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
October 21, 2014

With lots of the leaves now fallen from maple trees and other tree types, it can be hard to tell if the tree is dead or alive.  A closer look can help us decide!  If there are buds on the branches, the tree is alive.  Can’t tell if that bump is a bump or a […]

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