We found an excellent orb weaver specimen on the playground!
The children discovered a large pile of ice chunks today. Within five minutes, everyone in the class was involved in excavating the various shapes and adding them to collections. Many ideas were attempted to dismount the ice from the surrounding snow. Sticks were used to pry up the edges. Shovels chopped at the large swaths of ice covering the grass. Ice found on abandoned sleds was dislodged through semi-gentle whacking upon the porch.
Getting the ice to its destination was another feat, altogether. At first, the children carried individual pieces to their collection points. When that proved to be too laborious, sleds were employed for the purpose.
The collections were varied and ran from large to small. Some children aimed to claim as many pieces of ice as possible. Other groups gathered the largest chunks they could find. One child carefully chose the three she thought were the most beautiful. The grand purpose of most of the collections was the process of finding and gathering the ice. A few, however, did choose to add their ice to their in-game play scenario. The picture below with the crushed snow/ice belongs to a story of cooking and preparing for a party.