Skip Navigation
X
X

Five Day AM Class News 1/21/22

January 19, 2022
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap:  January 18 – January 21   Preview: January 24 – January 28

Dramatic Play: Geology Laboratory & Rock Shop                              

Theme: Rocks, Minerals and Crystals

This week the Blue Stars put on their field hats and dug into the wonderful world of geology and minerology!  For this unit, the Blue Star dramatic play area was divided into two different areas.  One area was our geology laboratory.  Here students could select from a variety of large rocks and find out more about them like geologists do.  They used a variety of different magnifying glasses, safety glasses, and small wooden hammers.  Armed with these and their great “observation” eyes, they discovered more about the rocks and minerals throughout the classroom.  Another area of the classroom consisted of over 60 different rocks and crystals.  Each was bagged and labeled for purchase in our Blue Star Rock Shop.  Students shopped, purchased and traded all different types of rocks and crystals.  In the motor room, students used a triangle climber to do some “rock climbing”.   Their adventures in scaling this mountain got a little tricky when “lava” was placed underneath the climber!

In the manipulative room, students used tongs to place puff balls in circles to make the uppercase “G” and lowercase “g”.   After they placed the puff balls on the circles, they scooted them aside and placed Avery dots on the circles to form their “Gg’s”.   Students continued to pre-write by tracing their brightly colored names.  Each week this activity is done, the letter size gets smaller as students continue to trace the letters of their first name.  Alphabet letters were written on pebbles and placed separately into different dimples of an egg carton.  With the aid of their name strips, students chose the pebble/letters to spell out their names!   We have been focusing on uppercase and lowercase letters in our names and students found the uppercase letter that starts their name and then their lowercase letters to complete their names.  Lastly our Blue Star geologists chose 3 special rocks to look at with a magnifying glass.  They then used their great “describing words” to tell a teacher 3 different characteristics of each rock.  Sensory tubs helped our Blue Stars seek their fortunes!  This week our sensory tubs were filled with sand and gold nuggets (aka aquarium rocks painted gold).  Students “panned” for that precious element…gold!  Our gold mining students worked hard to sift through the sand to find this precious mineral like the gold miners of old.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: I’m Trying to Love Rocks, What Can You Do With a Rock?, A Rock Can Be…, My Little Book of Rocks, Minerals, and Gems, Stick and Stone Best Friends Forever!

Art and Science/Math Activities:

We started the week combining art with science.  Students did an experiment where they dissolved Borax powder in hot water.  They stirred the powder and liquid until the powder dissolved and went into a solution.  The solution was then poured into individual canning jars.  A piece of pipe cleaner was suspended inside the jar and each day students had the opportunity to view their jars with magnifying glasses to see crystals forming on their pieces of pipe cleaners.  We talked about how the powder “particles” were close together and how the hot water made them scoot away from each other.  As the water cooled the particles come back together and formed crystals.  River Stones covered with crystals were used to make inside out geodes.  Another Borax solution was used to soak river stones in.  After crystals formed on the surface of the rocks, our Blue Stars used their fine motor skills with eye droppers to drip different liquid watercolors onto their rocks.  As the liquid watercolors moved throughout the crystalline structures, they changed the surface to look like the inside of a geode!

This week our Blue Star geologists learned all about rocks, minerals, and crystals.  They learned that rocks are made up of different minerals.  They learned that there are 3 different types of rocks sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous and are made in different ways.  Samples of each of the rock type were passed around so students could look at the differences up close.  We learned that all rocks change over time.  These changes form the rock cycle.  We talked about how the rock cycle goes around and around like life cycles (we’ve studied all year) with one important difference…. rocks are not alive!  Since rocks are not alive their changes cannot be called a life cycle whereas a pumpkin or a butterfly can have wonderful life cycles.  Additionally, each day during morning message, special rocks were passed around as we talked about their different characteristics and how they might have been formed (ex. geodes).

*A special thank you goes out to Ms. Lily, Sebi R. Garcia, Shiloh, Savina and Stephen Trippy for sharing your rocks, minerals and crystals with our class!

** Please have your student write their name only on 16 Valentine’s Day cards (for our 16 Blue Stars).  They do not need to write their friends’ names on the cards.  This makes it easier for them to put into their friends’ Valentine Bags.  They will be making their Valentine Bags in class next week.  Each student will have their name on their bags where their friends can put their cards.  Just a reminder, please do not send in any candy or edible items as we have some food allergies in the class.

January 24– January 28

The next week we will be studying volcanoes and earthquakes.

Please dig into a good weekend!

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

Five Day AM Class News 1/14/22

January 13, 2022
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: January 10 – January 14 Preview: January 18 – January 21

Dramatic Play: Space Command Control Center

Theme: Solar System: Our Planets

This week the Blue Stars strapped on their jet packs and space helmets to prepare for their journeys into deep space. Our Blue Star astronauts prepared for longer trips to distant planets. The classroom command center got lots of action as our NASA engineers talked to their fellow students that were making trips to explore our neighboring planet Mars! Walkie talkies and other items helped our students discover new and exciting things in space. A rocket set up on the “moon” completed our Space and NASA Dramatic Play area. In the motor room, students went jumping with “low gravity” by using the trampoline.

In the manipulative room, students worked on their cutting skills by cutting lines that went from an astronaut to a space shuttle. We did this by pretending we were in zero gravity and laid on our tummies while we cut our lines. Using connecting cubes, students measured 8 different planet shapes. They then counted their connected cubes to tell how wide the planet was. Students practiced tracing their uppercase F’s and lowercase f’s with dry erase markers. Students used different shapes and sizes of “moon” rocks to sort. Students continued to pre-write by tracing their brightly colored names. Each week this activity is done, the letter size gets smaller as students continue to trace the letters of their first name. Sensory tubs were filled with Kinetic sand and lots of interesting artifacts such as planets, astronauts, space shuttles and other things you might find out in space.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: Planets, Planets and Stars, National Geographic KIDS Planets, Pete the Cat Out of This World, Stars, Splat the Cat and the Cat in the Moon

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art this week, students worked hard for two days making our solar system. One day they painted a paper plate with sparkle paint and colored and cut out our planets. The next day they used their scissor skills to cut a spiral shape out of the paper plate. They then glued their planets onto their “solar system”. They used planet shaped construction paper, circular pans and golf balls dipped in different colored paints to swirl and swish to make their very own planets! They used black construction paper and painted different planets using inflated balloons! Our Blue Stars worked on their fine motor skills by painting the moon (with its many craters) using tongs and cotton balls. They used easels to paint their own amazing visions of space. They ended the week by coloring all of the planets in our solar system and made hats out of them so they could orbit their brains!

This week in science we learned about the planets in our solar system. We introduced the Space mnemonic, My Vegetable Eating Monster Just Served Us Noodles! This helped us remember the order of our planets starting with Mercury and ending with Neptune. We learned that just like the moon which orbits the Earth, all of the planets orbit the sun. We talked about our wonderful galaxy the Milky Way. We looked at pictures taken on a clear night and saw that the sky looked like someone spilled milk across the sky and that is how we can remember the name of our galaxy. We learned that our galaxy is a spiral galaxy that goes around and around. We pulled out a pinwheel and blew on it to see how it moves just like our galaxy would. We talked about how there are billions of stars (like our sun) in our galaxy. We learned that the 4 planets closest to the sun are called the inner or rock planets and are solid. We also learned that the 4 largest planets, farthest away from the sun, are gas giants and are made up of gases like helium (what balloons that float are filled with). We found out that these 2 sets of planets are separated by the Asteroid Belt and sometimes an asteroid can escape the Asteroid Belt and become a meteor.

We talked a lot about earth’s best friend - the moon. We learned how astronauts have visited the moon and what they did while they were there. We learned that the moon has lots of impact craters where meteors have hit it over its lifetime. We showed picture of one of its brightest and youngest craters, the Tycho crater, and its splatter pattern. Armed with this information we went outside to conduct a space experiment! Aluminum pans were filled with flour and a light dusting of cocoa powder on top to mimic the surface of the moon. Before we started, students were asked to make predictions of what they thought might happen when they dropped their objects into the flour. Different size objects (marbles, rocks, balls, etc.) were dropped at different heights into the pans of flour to mimic how space objects might land on the moon and create creators. Students understood how light and heavy objects dropped at different heights could make different sized craters and splatter patterns. This was a wonderful way for our Blue Star astronomers to get a better understanding of how our moon obtained some of its interesting features.

*Just a reminder that we will not have class on January 17th as we will be closed in recognition of Martin Luther King Day. We will see you back on the 18th!

January 18 – January 21

The next week we put on our geologist hats and learn all about rocks and crystals.

Have a full moon filled weekend (January 17th).

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

Five Day AM Class News 1/7/22

January 05, 2022
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap:  January 03 – January 07   Preview: January 10 – January 14

Dramatic Play: Space Command Control Center

Theme: Solar System: Sun, Moon and Stars

This week the Blue Stars returned from Winter Break to experience the vast wonders of space!  The wall behind our classroom tree showed amazing things that one would find in outer space.  A comet, a galaxy, a rocket, a satellite, the Big Dipper and Little Dipper (along with Polaris of course) came to life in our night sky.   Some students jumped into space using jet packs and space helmets to communicate with other students manning the classroom command center.  Walkie talkies and other items helped our student astronauts explore space.  A rocket set up on the “moon” completed our Space and NASA Dramatic Play area.  In the motor room, students went “jumping” on the moon with low gravity by using the trampoline.

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 3 different sets of Space shapes.  They then used dry erase boards to practice drawing the number symbols they had counted (6, 13, & 14).  If students could not recall what the number symbol looked like, they used a large number chart as an aid.  Students used magnetic letters and metal cookie sheets to make the words sun, moon and stars.  Students used tweezers to place puff balls in circles to make the uppercase “F” and lowercase “f”.   Once they placed the puff balls on the circles, they then placed Avery dots on the circles to form their “Ff’s”.  Students used different colored construction paper squares to write each letter of their name.  They then carefully used a stapler to staple their letters to a strip of paper.  Once completed, they added a triangle, or nose cone, at the top of the strip and then tissue paper “flames” to the bottom to make their own “name” rockets.  Sensory tubs were filled with Kinetic sand and lots of interesting artifacts such as planets, astronauts, space shuttles and other things you might find out in space.

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: The SUN is Kind of a Big Deal, Little Tiny Rocket, Let’s Explore the Sun, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, Many Moons, On the Moon, and Stars, Stars, Stars.

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art this week, students used lots of different star shaped cookie cutters and iridescent paint to make beautiful skies.  They made predictions with bags containing red and blue paint.  They predicted what the two colors would make before they squished the two colors together.  Ask your student what their predictions were!  Students used their fine motor skills to paint moons using puff balls and tweezers.  Fun Friday had our Blue Stars working with Sparkly Galaxy Playdough to cut out and create fun space shapes.

This week in science we learned about the sun, moon and stars.  We learned that our sun is a star and it is really, really hot.  We found out that when our part of the earth faces the sun, it is daytime and when the earth spins and we are not facing the sun it is nighttime.  Our planet, the earth, travels around the sun and the moon travels around the earth.  We learned that our moon has phases and that is why it looks different at different times in the night sky. 

January 10th – January 14th

The next week we will continue to learn about Space with the focus on the Planets.

*Mark your calendars for our next Crazy Sock Day on Friday, January 14th!  Please put your tootsies into your most colorful, jazzy, and silliest socks!

**The week of January 18th, the Blue Stars will jump into the wonderful world of geology.  We will be setting up a rock and crystal museum.  If you have any interesting rocks or crystals you wouldn’t mind sharing, we would love to borrow them for our museum.  We will happily study and learn about them and return them when we are done.  Please let me know if you have any we could use for this new unit!

Have a celestial weekend,

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

Five Day Class News 12/17/21

December 15, 2021
By The Blue Star Team

Class: Blue Stars 5 day am

Recap: December 13 – December 16 Preview: January 3 – January 7

Dramatic Play: Winter

Theme: Snow

The temperature outside didn’t quite match the temperature inside the classroom as wonderful winter was the season in the Blue Star Classroom. This week we learned about that wonderful substance – snow. In dramatic play, students played with lots of holiday themed items such as, Bunchems, blocks, puzzles, games, and lots of winter animals. Red, green and white were the primary colors around the room. Taking center stage in the room was a creative card table where students could make cards and letters to give to family and friends. Students happily chatted away while original creations were being made! In the motor room, students skated on our frosty carpet using their trusty “ice skates” (roller skates)!

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. Sparkling pine trees, sparkling snowflakes, and gingerbread men continued our winter theme. They then used dry erase boards to practice drawing the 3 number symbols they had counted (4,9,14). If students could not recall what the number symbol looked like, they used their strategy - a large number chart as an aid. Students placed numbered snowflake cards in the correct order. Students also traced their uppercase E’s and lowercase e’s with dry erase markers. Sensory tubs were filled with Insta-snow (aka. super absorbent polymers). Buried in the snow were animals you might normally find in a cold habitat (ex. penguins, walruses, etc.).

Special stories:

This week our read alouds were: Mouse Christmas, The Polar Express, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Who Was Born This Special Day, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, and Olive the Other Reindeer

Art and Science/Math Activities:

In art this week, students decorated holiday bags to put their special surprise in to give to their parents and families. Ms. Sudie started our week by reading the Polar Express. She then showed the students how to make a scene of snowy houses with light coming out of the windows. This special project had the students imitating the artist Chris van Allsburg who did the pictures in the book, Polar Express! For snack, students enjoyed a nice cup of hot cocoa to end this fun Polar Express day! Our quick week came to a close with students playing with and making unique winter objects using Play-doh.

January 3th – January 7th

When we return after the Winter Break, we will be launching into our exploration of space!

The Blue Star teachers would like to ask if your students could take some time over the holidays to practice their scissor skills. This would be helpful as we will be cutting quite a bit when we come back after our Winter Break.

Also, Blue Stars are learning their alphabet letters and the sounds associated with each letter by a fun program called The Phonics Dance.  If you have an opportunity, please watch The Phonics Dance with your child. The inventor of The Phonics Dance, Jenny Dowd, is the one performing on the video. Even though we have some different hand movements for some of the letters, we are saying it the same way as Ms. Dowd. Please have your student show you how they do it in class and have them watch if they have some time over the holiday break. It is a fun way for our students to continue learning while they are away from school!

As this amazing school semester comes to a close, we are so glad to have had an opportunity to teach, laugh and interact with your children. We would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Winter Break surrounded by those you hold most dear. Please take care and we will see you in 2022!

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

Recent Posts

1/19/22 - By The Blue Star Team
1/13/22 - By The Blue Star Team
1/5/22 - By The Blue Star Team
12/15/21 - By The Blue Star Team
12/8/21 - By The Blue Star Team