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Five Day Class News 10/15/21

October 13, 2021
By Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: October 12 – October 15  Preview: October 18 – October 22

Dramatic Play: Entomology Lab

Theme: Insects (Focus on butterflies)

This week we continued our wriggling, flying and transforming Entomology Lab in the Blue Star classroom.  Students kept observing insects with microscopes, magnifying glasses and with their most powerful tools – their eyes!  They continued to learn about the different insects that have set up residence in our classroom.  In the motor room, students kept moving around the room like insects using scooter board!  Our young entomologists listened to lots of books about butterflies and moths.  Anchor charts were put around the room to show the life cycle of a butterfly.  The Blue Star class ended the week with an enjoyable nature walk around Brackenridge Park to do some bug hunting.

In the manipulative room, students opened and closed jars by using the “righty tighty” and “lefty loosey” rule.  Once the jars were opened, students counted 3 different sets of insect shaped erasers (3, 6, & 8).  They practiced tracing their uppercase A’s and lowercase a’s with dry erase markers.  They used colorful shaped flowers and insects to create 2 different patterns.  The Sensory Table tubs continued to be a place to discover what might be living in the ground beneath our feet.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: From Caterpillar to Butterfly, The Big Book of Bugs (Butterflies and Moths), Waiting for Wings, I See, Real Size Science Insects, A Way with Wild Things, A Book of Colors Butterfly Butterfly

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art, students learned about reflection symmetry by painting one side of a bifold butterfly.  They used bow tie pasta to make a butterfly garden.  Foam stamps were used with colorful ink pads to stamp the life cycle of a butterfly.  Coffee filters and liquid paints were used to make colorful butterflies on two separate days.  Students continued to be insects and draw their underground home (under the tables in the classroom).

Science was all around the Blue Star classroom again this week.  Students continued to be fascinated by our ant farm.  The busy harvester ants help the students understand how insects, like ants, work together to make a colony successful.  Our Blue Stars were able to observe the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle occur over time.  Tuesday and Wednesday our live caterpillars popped out of their chrysalises!  They are happily utilizing bananas, oranges and water to get strong enough to fly away when released.  This week, our Blue Star entomologists looked at a butterfly under a dissecting microscope.  On Thursday, students packed their magnifying glasses and water bottles and took a nature walk through Brackenridge Park to observe our 6-legged friends in their own environment!  The Blue Stars ended our insect unit by wearing their craziest socks!  We didn’t have six legs but the 2 we did have were very colorful!

October 18th – October 22nd:

The next week we will move to the deepest parts of the Amazon Rainforest to learn about its inhabitants with a special focus on amphibians.

We will celebrate our Dads on Wednesday, October 20th at 10:15 on the playground. Please remember to wear your mask!

Parents, please take some time this weekend to help your student learn about one special mammal, reptile, amphibian, or bird that lives in the Amazon Rainforest.  We will be talking about and doing things with the animal they selected in the upcoming lesson.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms. Christa, Ms. Adriana, Ms. Grace and Ms. Sudie

Five Day AM Class News 10/8/21

October 07, 2021
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: October 4 – October 8  Preview: October 12 – October 15

Dramatic Play: Entomology Lab

Theme: Insects (Focus on ants)

Large, small, creepy, crawly and colorful insects were all over the classroom this week when the Blue Star Dramatic Play area was transformed into an Entomology Lab!  Students looked at insects under microscopes and magnifying glasses.  They put on explorer hats and went around the room talking about insects they knew, ones they didn’t know and ones they were curious about.  A student sized “ant mound” set up residence in the middle of the room (ants live all around us J) and students helped make it a home for egg carton ants they made in art.  In the motor room students used scooter boards to move around the room like insects!  Our young entomologists listened to lots of books about insects and learned a special song as a way to remember all of an insect’s body parts!  Like all good scientists they even went exploring outside to find some insects in their own natural environment. 

In the manipulative room, students used Avery dots to fill in circles to make the uppercase and lowercase Aa and used tweezers to put different bugs in a bowl.  Students used small bug erasers to do lots of counting and worked on their scissor skills cutting lines to get to the bugs at the end of paper strips!  The Sensory Table tubs were filled with potting soil and students dug around in the dirt to find insects that might make their home in the soil. 

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: Bug Zoo, I Love Bugs, Some Bugs, Insects in Action, The Big Book of Bugs (Praying Mantises, Dragonflies), The Big Book of Bugs (Nighttime bugs, Ladybugs), Ants!, Two Bad Ants

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art, students worked with paint and pipe cleaners to create their own cardboard egg carton ants for our classroom ant mound.  They used buttons to create different flying and crawling insects they learned about this week.  Large pieces of craft paper were placed under the tables so our student “ants” could crawl under the table and create the inside of their “school” colony. 

Science was all around the Blue Star classroom this week.  Our special guests were some caterpillars and some harvester ants.  The caterpillars were munching away getting ready to make some chrysalises.  The ants were busy setting up their homes in our Blue Star ant farm.  Students were able to see the industrious ants working together to make the colony their home.  Students were greeted to a cross section of a large ant mound on the wall (an anteater wasn’t far away) in dramatic play.  Different ants (ex. workers and queen) and chambers (ex. nursery and food room) were labeled to show what a real colony would have inside.  Our Blue Star entomologists looked at different insect specimens under a dissecting microscope and with magnifying glasses.  They also went outside with their magnifying glasses to look for insects around the school.  Some insects they found were a stink bug, a dragonfly, a moth, a grasshopper, a butterfly and lots of ants!  They ended the week with an ant scavenger hunt.  They found all 15 dye cut ants that had been placed all around the school!

October 12th – October 15th:

The next week we continue learning about the wonderful world of insects with a special focus on butterflies!

To end our wonderful unit on insects the Blue Star class will have our favorite kind of celebration…Crazy Sock Day!  Be sure to wear your craziest socks on Friday, October 15th!

Just a reminder that Monday, October 11th is Columbus Day and there will be no school that day.  We will see you on the 12th!

Have your observation eyes open for the weekend!

Ms. Christa, Ms. Adriana, Ms. Grace and Ms. Sudie

Five Day AM Class News 10/1/21

September 29, 2021
By Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: September 27 – October 1  Preview: October 4 – October 8

Dramatic Play: Fire Station Blue Star

Theme: Fire Safety

Fire Station Blue Star has had another busy week of putting out fires and practicing fire safety in our motor room.  The Blue Star students brought home some homework this weekend and practiced a fire drill with their families.  They counted the number of smoke detectors in their homes and chose a safe spot to meet if they needed to get out of their home in a hurry.  On Monday we talked about what they did with their families to be fire safe!  This week we have been talking about our feelings.  Students named a variety of emotions, such as happy, sad, mad, surprised and afraid.  We talked about how our feelings are not “good” or “bad” - they are just a part of each one of us.  We read the book, Breathing Makes it Better and practiced some slow and deep breathing!

This week we squeezed “puffer” fish to race puff balls down a track.  We used our fingers to pick up puff balls with tweezers and placed them in circles to make an uppercase and lowercase “Aa”.  Students practiced their scissor skills by cutting straws and different shaped lines on fire safety themed paper strips. Once again, the sensory table held trays filled with red and orange “fire” colored salt and used Fire Station themed alphabet cards to draw letters in their salt.  They also practiced “stop,drop and roll” using felt shaped “flames”.  Students stopped, dropped and rolled to put out  the felt “flames” as they fell on the floor (they were experts at this activity).  The week ended with a visit from the fire department!  Our Blue Star students answered many questions and had a few of their own for the visiting first responders.  Please ask them about this exciting visit that helped our fire safety unit come to an end.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: Breathing Makes it Better, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Fire Engine No.9, My Mom is a Firefighter, Spark the Firefighter, Mouse Paint and Because of a Sneeze.

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art, students made a fire truck using their foot to paint!  Our Blue Stars also painted and labeled their own fire helmets.  Science and art were combined this week for a fun activity with shaving cream.  Large plastic bins were filled with shaving cream and powdered “fire colored” paints.  The Blue Star fire crew went into action and put out the shaving cream fire with small fire extinguishers (squirt bottles).  Students observed the colors that were made when the water “melted” the shaving cream and paints together.  Afterwards, they utilized their sense of touch to squish the remaining shaving cream with their hands.  This week we also talked about the properties of smoke and how things that burn will usually produce smoke.  We talked about how smoke rises high and how getting low to the ground would be a good way to stay away from smoke.  Students then practiced crawling on the floor in case they are somewhere there is a lot of smoke. 

October 4th – October 8th :

The next week we will start learning about the fascinating world of insects with a special focus on ants!

Monday, October 4th is our Class Picture Day, be sure you have your Blue Star looking spiffy! 

Extras:

A big thank you to everyone for helping your student with their fire safety homework!

Have an incredible weekend!

Ms. Christa and Ms. Adriana

Five Day Class News 9/24/21

September 22, 2021
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: September 20 – September 24   Preview: September 27  –  October 1

Dramatic Play: Fire Station Blue Star

Theme: Fire Safety

Our Blue Star motor room has been transformed into Fire Station Blue Star.  It has been a great week of making and driving fire trucks, manning a busy command center and lots of fire rescues.  Our Blue Stars have been putting on fire equipment and uniforms to put out fires daily.  We are learning all about what to do if there is a fire.  Please be sure to ask your students what things they should and should not do if there is a fire.  Our Blue Stars were the best when it came to an actual fire drill this week!  Our practice earlier in the week came in handy to know exactly where to go and what to do.  They were the shining stars of the Acorn’s first fire drill!

This week we had fun creating things with red, orange and yellow bunchems.  We made AB patterns using fire colored connecting cubes.  Our Blue Stars used their “pinchy” fingers (index finger and thumb) to pick up puff balls with tweezers.  After picking up the puff balls they were gently placed into the wells on the bottom of bathtub safety treads.  Students practiced writing their letters using salt trays filled with orange and red salt. Fire Station themed alphabet cards were used to help our students see how the different letters looked.  Our students practiced a safety drill to know how and where to go in case our fire alarms go off or there is another fire drill.  The week ended with a fire safety scavenger hunt inside (ex. sprinklers) and outside (ex. fire hydrant) the school.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: No Dragons for Tea, Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), Pete the Cat, Firefighter Pete, Firefighters to the Rescue, Fire Drill, People Who Help Us: Firefighter, When the Leaf Blew In, Someone Bigger, Look At Us

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art, students started out the week painting two Blue Star Fire Engines.  During a beautiful Monday morning, the entire class donned smocks and painted two boxes on the picnic tables outside.  Students worked together, sharing paint and finding unpainted parts to complete our new transportation Blue Star Firehouse.  Students mixed red and yellow paint in sealed bags to see what the two “fire” colors made when they were combined.  They used pipettes, small easels, and gravity to make drip art with red, orange and yellow paints.  Students glued different shades of red, orange and yellow tissue paper onto wax paper to imitate a stained-glass fire image.  Again, students used pipettes to drop liquid watercolor paints onto coffee filters to see how the colors diffused throughout the filters.

This week in science we talked about what fire needs in order to burn.  We talked about how oxygen is in the air we breathe and how fire needs oxygen to burn.  We did a science experiment to show how this occurs.  First, we talked about how oxygen is all around us and is even inside the beaker.  Next, we lit the candle inside a beaker.  We then asked the students to make a prediction (a very smart guess) of what they thought would happen when a piece of foil was placed on top of the beaker.  Ideas such as, “It would explode.”, “It would burn brighter.” and “The flame will go away.” were shared.  Next, we placed a piece of foil on top of the beaker and watched to see what happened.  The students watched as the flame got smaller and smaller and eventually went out as it used or “ate up” up the oxygen in the container.

Friday we bid goodbye to summer and said hello to Autumn by wearing our sunglasses.  There was not a cooler set of students hanging out on the playground in their spiffy shades!

September 27th – October 1st:

Next week we will continue learning about Fire Safety.

We have a pending visit from the Fire Department on September 30th.

Extras:

Please help your student with their fire safety “homework” this weekend.  You do not need to send the sheet back, but we will be asking the students some questions about what they discovered (ex. “Are your exits clear if you need to leave your home?” or “Did you decide on a safe place to gather outside?”).  Thank you!

Calling all parents who might have any cardboard egg cartons lying around. We are looking for cardboard egg cartons that we will use to decorate our classroom for our next unit. Please let us know if you have any to donate! Thanks!

Have a safe weekend!

Ms. Christa and Ms. Adriana

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