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Five Day Class News 4/29/22

April 28, 2022
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: April 25 – April 29 Preview: May 2 – May 6

Dramatic Play: Pond Life

Focus: Pond Inhabitants

This week the Blue Stars dove into learning about a pond habitat. It was a wonderful way to review a variety of creatures we have learned about throughout our Blue Star year! A pond, along with our classroom tree took up center stage on our classroom wall. It included amphibians, with a toad hiding among some cattails and a frog leaping off a lily pad. Reptiles were represented as some snakes slithered out from under a log and among the reeds. Birds such as ducks, loons, hummingbirds and a heron took up residence in and around the pond while our classroom tree made a home for some cardinals and a woodpecker! A beaver and its kit lurking behind a tree were our lone mammals. Insects were represented by a butterfly and lots of dragonflies. We had a variety of plants including flowers, cattails and fungi (or mushrooms)! Large and small insects lined the dramatic play shelves to help our Blue Stars, once again, become entomologists. Lincoln Logs added to the dramatic play fun as students made individual insectariums, or insect zoos! Our creative Blue Stars used Lincoln Logs to create enclosures to keep similar insects together. In the motor room, a boat was used by students to go fishing for numbered fish.

In the manipulative room, students practiced tracing their uppercase M’s and lowercase m’s with dry-erase markers. Students measured pond cards using non-standard measurement units – paperclips. Large paperclips were lined up end-to-end to measure lines on assorted animal cards. Students were able to measure and tell the teacher how many paperclips “long” a pond object was (e.g. a dragonfly was 1 paperclip long). Students drew numbered cards to find out how many frogs to place on a “log”. Once students added the correct number of frogs, they took one away and then told the teacher how many frogs were left on the log. Our Blue Stars were really excited to learn that they were doing subtraction! Lastly, students picked up a variety of shapes and told the teacher the name of each shape. If a student couldn’t recall the shape, the teacher helped the student to count the number of sides the shape had and identified each shape (ex. a triangle has 3 sides, a hexagon has 6 sides). The Sensory Table contained small “ponds” for the students to play with. Rocks, green glass beads, blue glass beads and logs (sticks of various sizes) were placed in plastic tubs containing blue colored water. Small turtles, frogs and some lizards were added to complete the small “ponds” for the children to explore.

This week our read alouds were: Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond, A Year in a Pond, Pond Circle, Jump, Frog, Jump!, Scoot!, Over in the Meadow, Pond Babies, Pond Walk, 5 Little Ducks

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art this week, students used small plastic pond creatures, such as reptiles (lizards), amphibians (frogs and toads) and insects (centipedes, dragonflies, butterflies, etc.) to paint creature tracks with. They made bubble art by blowing bubbles in a dish containing a dish soap/paint mixture. After the blown bubbles rose to the top of a yogurt dish, students placed paper on top to pop the bubbles and make colorful “bubble” art! Students then added beautiful Spring colored Spin Art! The week ended with students using their fingers to paint beautiful pond landscapes.

The Blue Stars jumped into science by learning about a pond habitat. This interesting habitat gave us the opportunity to review some of the many things we have learned about throughout the year. The life cycle of a frog and characteristics of reptiles such as snakes were some things we talked about. We learned that lots of different types of plants live in ponds from reeds such as cattails to algae. Our Blue Star limnologists (scientists who study ponds) had their thinking hats on this week when they were introduced to food chains. We started by reading the wonderful book: Pond Circle. This book helped us understand how a pond habitat (plus others) provides food for a variety of creatures. Students were fascinated and asked some wonderful questions like: “What if 2 animals wanted to eat the same snake?” and “What kind of food would an owl eat if another animal ate the snake?” Some amazing questions were asked and discussed by our curious Blue Star students!

Lastly, we said our goodbyes to our guest chickens this week. Before they left, we were able to view them one more time and give them a gentle one finger touch. Comments such as, “I like how soft they are.”, “I like their feathers best.”, and “They have big feet.” were heard from our curious students. Thank you, Ms. Wendy and Mr. Rich for providing us with an opportunity to view an up close look at a life cycle of a chicken!

May 2 – May 6

The next week we will continue to learn about pond life.

* 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 10:30am. We hope you will be able to join us!

We hope you discover a wonderful weekend,

Ms. Christa, Ms. Grace, Ms. Bonnie and Ms. Sudi