The Trading Post is open!

Every November I open a trading post in my classroom.  I found a great character at a thrift store in Dillon, Colorado who I call Trader Joe.  He comes to my classroom with a box of nature treasures.

Everyday until Thanksgiving break, Trader Joe opens his Trading Post in the classroom.  The children can bring nature items to trade such as leaves, nuts, pods, shells, rocks, pebbles, wood, pinecones and feathers.

Student waiting to trade her leaf at the Trading Post.

I introduce the trading post for several reasons.  First, it is a dynamic way to have the children observe the signs of autumn.  Autumn brings an abundance of nature treasures to “ground” level!  You do not have to go far to find something for the trading post.

Second, it brings a respect and appreciation for these gifts.  Nothing is quite as magical – like the velvety pod a child brought to school yesterday.  A curious girl asked me, “Why is it so soft and covered in velvet?”  We pondered for a moment.  She held it tight, “I think it is because it is so special.”

Finally, it opens the door to my next science unit that integrates math as we look at collections.