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Five Day Class News 4/22/22

April 20, 2022
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: April 18 – April 22 Preview: April 25 – April 29

Dramatic Play: Plants

Focus: Pollinators with a focus on bees

This week the Blue Stars continued to learn all about plants with a special focus on pollinators. Our classroom wall continued to get the students excited about gardening. Our classroom tree showed up again on our classroom wall and added a little shade for the garden. A plot of land had carrots and potatoes growing underground. A tomato cage full of tomatoes and a trellis full of green beans shared space with garden tools and a basket overflowing with tasty produce. A sun and a watering can pouring water completed our Spring wall. The garden theme continued with a “garden” growing in the middle of Dramatic Play. Rakes, shovels, spades, hand cultivator, and a wheelbarrow were placed around the room so students could start to plant and harvest the variety of vegetables growing in our “garden”. Lastly, a shelf lined with plush pollinators (bees, bats, a spider and a grasshopper) completed this week’s Dramatic Play area. In the motor room,  Sit’ N' Spins were added to spin like the earth travels around the sun to change our seasons from Winter to Spring!

In the manipulative room, students opened and closed 3 jars by using the “righty tighty” and “lefty loosey” rule. Once the jars were opened, students counted garden friends. A variety of flower, butterfly and bee buttons were used this week for counting. They then used dry-erase boards to practice drawing the number symbols they had counted (11,12 & 14). If students could not recall what the number symbol looked like, they used a large number chart as an aid. Students used tongs to place puff balls in circles to make the uppercase “M” and lowercase “m”. After they placed the puff balls on the circles, they scooted them aside and placed Avery dots on the circles to form their “Mm’s”. Students identified the different stages in the life cycle of a bee. Students placed the name of each stage next to the picture to identify which stage of the development the bee was in. Egg, larva, pupa and adult bee were identified as the stages in a bee’s life cycle. Students also used their trusty magnifying glasses to view the parts of a flower up close. Students continued to look at Tiger Lilies to get an up close view of a flower’s parts. The classroom Sensory Table bins included a variety of seeds. Lots of measuring utensils were used to pour, measure and understand the texture of the different seeds.

This week our read alouds were: What is Pollination?, Animal Pollinators, Bee Dance, Are You a Bee?, These Bee’s Count.

Art and Science/Math Activities: In art this week, students “dug” into shaving cream. Shaving cream was squirted onto trays. To this, powdered brown and green paint was sprinkled on the top. Students armed with their digging tools (their hands) dug into the shaving cream as one would dig into a garden! Students had lots of fun squishing and feeling their way through piles of shaving cream. Students painted bubble wrap to make bubble wrap bees! Our week of art ended by students creating bird feeders for our feathered pollinators!

Once again, we had a busy week in science as we started learning all about pollinators with a special emphasis on bees. We started by reviewing our anchor chart of a flower and saw where a flower stores its nectar. We saw how a flower “tricks” a pollinator into moving deep within the petals of a flower to get to this sweet liquid. We then talked about a bee since this is the most prevalent pollinator we know. A new anchor chart was added to show the life cycle of a bee, while another showed the anatomy of a bee. We saw how a bee has 6 legs which reminded us that it is an insect! We also saw that a bee has a straw-like structure that it uses to suck up nectar called a proboscis. We used our prior knowledge to remember that another insect has the same structure – a butterfly! We learned that bees not only take pollen from one flower to another, they also take it back to their hive. We saw how a bee will store pollen on its hind legs in what’s known as a pollen basket. After it gets to the hive, the bees mix the pollen with nectar and honey to make bee bread! This is the main source of food for the worker bees and the baby larvae. We learned that all worker bees are female, and they do almost everything, like clean the hive, take care of the nursery, protect the hive, locate flowers and collect the nectar and pollen. We learned that when a bee stings something it will die and will only sting if it thinks the hive is being threatened. We learned that bees do a bee dance to show other bees in the hive where to find flowers to collect nectar and pollen. We enhanced our learning about bees by observing some bees under a dissecting microscope! Some comments heard by our Blue Star Entomologists were, “I can see its stinger!”, “It has funny stripes.”, “His wings look like a cicada’s wings.”, “His neck is kind of furry.” and, “It looks so much cooler like this!” We also had an opportunity to take a look at our chia seeds that we planted last week. We saw how all of them had grown and were leaning toward the window where the sun shined in. We talked about how the little plants were looking for the sun to start making their own food now that they had sprouted! We also looked at our peas and noticed that most had sprouted and had roots at one end of the pea and a stem with tiny leaves at the other end. We took our baby pea plants and went out to the garden and planted them. We will see how they do in our newly tilled and enriched Acorn Garden! The last day of the week (Earth Day) brought our Blue Star botanists to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens for a fun Field Trip!

* Thanks to all parents, grandparents, chaperones, and guests for helping to make our Blue Star Botanical Garden field trip such a wonderful adventure. Your curious students were able to explore and see firsthand some of the things we have been learning about throughout the year. It was a beautiful day and, Ms. Grace, Ms. Sudie, Ms. Bonnie and I are so glad you were able to join us on this wonderful excursion!

** Mothers, please mark your calendars for a celebration in honor of – you! Our Blue Star Mother’s Day gathering will be on Tuesday, May 3rd at 10:30 am. Please see the Office News for more details as well as Covid protocols. We can’t wait to see you next week!

April 25th – April 29th

The next week we will continue to learn about the exciting habitat ponds!

We hope you explore an exciting weekend,

Ms. Christa, Ms. Grace, Ms. Sudie, and Ms. Bonnie