The Jungle Beat

December 11, 2015

Our mission is to create a culture of intellectual curiosity where all students have ownership over their learning and are inspired to think, innovate, and create.

News and Notes

Parents-I am always thankful when you ask questions. If you have a question, chances are others do as well. It helps me to know how to better communicate and gives me the opportunity to do so. Some have had questions about all the events this week. Information about this weeks activities are in the "What's Coming Up" section. Please email me if you have any further questions. I am looking forward to this week with your child. It truly is a wonderful time of year!
We are so close to seeing Musical Ramps and Pathways become a reality in our classroom. I will find out if the project makes it to the semi-finals in the Innovation Challenge Contest sometime after the first of the year. Due to qualifying in the challenge, the Paul G. Family Foundation has agreed to fund half of the project if the remainder of the amount is funded. In addition to this, the project qualified for the DISNEYCREATIVITY match offer. This means a $10 donation is matched and makes it a $20 donation. However the match is only offered for 7 days. The code will only be active for 3 more days. With the match offer, that means we only need $200 more in actual funding donations. I hope you will consider spreading the word to others about this great opportunity. No donation is too small or too big. Be sure to tell everyone to enter the code DISNEYCREATIVITY in order to have their donation matched. Look in the Learning Area section of the newsletter for more information about ramps and pathways. Getting this funded would make a great Christmas gift to our class.

The Unexpected NFL Patriots Project Update-Learning Continues

New Problem-Deflated Ball Found During Recess

During recess one of our learners discovered our ball was deflated. Due to what we recently learned about inflating and deflating balls from our NFL Patriot project, she insisted we needed to take it to Coach Hines. Coach Hines tried to inflate the ball for us. In doing so, he discovered a leak. He came and presented the problem to us. He is going to return and spend some time trying to figure out how to stop the leak in the ball. He got several suggestions. The suggestions ranged from covering with tissue, glue, paper and even got old duck tape. In exchange for Coach Hines using his planning time to come work with us, I am going to be putting on my tennis shoes and taking the PE class one day for him so he can have a planning time. You never know where the children's learning my take you as a teacher. It has brought one coach into the classroom and one classroom teacher into the gym! Thank you Coach Hines for collaborating on this project with us!!!

Gingerbread Baby or Gingerbread Boy-Which is your favorite?

Gingerbread Baby
We read two versions of the Gingerbread Boy. We spent time comparing and contrasting the two stories. Each child then told me which story was their favorite. This goes with so many reading standards. We ended our day with a fun math activity. We took a bite of a gingerbread man and then graphed which part of the man we ate first. The kids really enjoyed this!

STEM Activity-Building a Bridge for the Gingerbread Man

Building a Bridge for the Gingerbread Man
The gingerbread boy avoids getting in the water in both versions we compared and contrasted. We did an experiment with a cookie to figure out what would happen if the cookie had landed in the water. We watched it all day and discovered it dissolves. The gingerbread boy needed a bridge. This was great STEM activity that can easily be done at home.

Made me Smile

As you know last week we spent time reading alphabet books. One book we read was Alphabet Mystery. It is about letter "x" leaving the alphabet because he was not used very often. In the book, the little boy Charlie, needed the "x" to write his mother a special message on her birthday cake. It warms my heart to see that at least one of my precious learners applied this learning to another situation. This learner used the letter "x" in a special message to me. I found this on the end of the red big book stand. Parents please do not feel like you need to ask your child if he/she did this. I am going to make sure we understand we can't write on property and have a conversation about this. However, for just a little while I am going to enjoy the message!

Alphabet and Number Crayon Ornaments - An opportunity for kindergarten to teach others

A couple of older learners were helping to decorate the school tree. They loved our alphabet/number crayon ornaments. They came to our room and asked us to teach them how to do it. They even borrowed our molds so they could make some also. This was such a great opportunity for our kindergarten learners to get to teach others. This goes hand in hand with our writing of "How To" books. They were able to tell the girl what to do first, next, then, etc.

Learning Areas

Book Area-Being Read To One on One

This precious child went to Mrs. Robinson with a book in hand and asked to be read to. It was so sweet. Mrs. Robinson took time with this child and read with her. She even got the iPad, pulled up Reading A-Z and worked one on one with with leveled readers to encourage independent reading skills. Reading aloud to a child (especially one on one) is still one of the best ways to develop reading skills. Here are a few articles that you might find helpful as we encourage our children to become readers.

Dramatic Play Area-PRS Vet Clinic-Still the most popular learning area

This learner tries to get in this learning area everyday. Almost every time I find him in there, he is the veterinarian. I know this child wonders and dreams. He wonders what does it feel like to be the doctor. This could be this child's future and I get to foster this dream. Not only that, I get to see him be a veterinarian first! Just think-it all began in the PRS Vet Clinic.

Math Area-Leftover STEM Supplies

We had two learners that were absent when we built a bridge for the Gingerbread Boy to cross. I put the left over supplies in the math area for them to work with. Other learners wanted to join in as well. When these two finished their bridge, many of the learners gathered around to see their creation. These bridge builders decided that maybe the Gingerbread Boy could swing across on monkey bars.

Science Learning Area Takes a walk across the hall

Even though our pumpkin planter did not survive, Mrs. Collins' class has a pumpkin forest. Mrs. Collins did a great science lesson for our class one morning this week. She definitely has a green thumb. Thank you Mrs. Collins for sharing a great science lesson with us.
Mrs. Collins Shares a Science Lesson

Art Area-Working on Making our own Alphabet

During centers we spent a few days creating our own set of letters. This was fun watching the learners choose all kinds of items to make the letters. It is so fun hearing them say "I made that one!"

Blocks-Next Learning Area to Transition

Blocks are always a popular area. I can't wait to add the physics component of ramps and pathways to this learning area. I have one more book study meeting on Ramps and Pathways . The book study was a major influence for the DonorsChoose project that I submitted. Please consider spreading the word about our project being on DonorsChoose. Be sure to share with others to use the DISNEYCREATIVITY code. Here is the link to our project. Due to the match funding offer, we really only need about $200. I hope you will consider taking a few minutes to read the project and possibly making a donation. Getting this project would be a great Christmas gift to the class.

Link to Amazon Classroom Wishlist

Below is a link to a pdf that contains information about benefits of jumping rope. I would like to provide this experience for our children. If you are interested in helping with this, I have placed on the Amazon Classroom Wishlist the size jumprope that we need. Thank you for your continued support!

What's Coming up?

December 14th-18th This will be a busy and exciting week for the kids. We will be learning right up to the very end. However, I am going to try to work with the nature of the children instead of against them. We will read these books to continue sequencing and story retelling standards. In math we will continue the standard of writing numbers to tell how many.
December 14th-We will be decorating gingerbread houses. Thank you for using the signup genius to help with supplies for the houses. This is one of my all time favorite holiday activities. Each child's own unique personality is expressed as they create their own houses. Parents you are always welcome in our room. However, this is not something you need to make arrangements to attend.

Parents - Due to the amount of people that will be joining us on Wednesday, please consider not bringing siblings.

December 16th (Wednesday)- 1:00 Publishing Party-In writing we have been working on "How To" books and that authors can be teachers. Each child will pick their favorite book they have written to share with each other on Wednesday the 16th at the "Publishing Party." It is a party in the sense that we celebrate everyone as writers. We had our first celebration in October. It was such a special time and I wanted you as parents to get to participate as well. Please email me if you are planning on joining us during this time. I need to plan for enough seating.

December 16th (Wednesday)- 1:30 Class Christmas Party - The class party will follow our publishing party. I hope having them on the same day will be helpful with planning time off from work. Thank you for using the signup genius to help with providing items for the party. Please send all items to school on Monday so room moms can plan accordingly.

December 18th-After lunch we will watch the Polar Express movie and enjoy hot chocolate. This is a full school day not 1/2 day.
December 21st-January 4th-Christmas/Winter Break. January 5th Learners return to school.

High Frequency Words.

This is an ongoing standard. The words accumulate. Consider looking at the link for ideas of ways to work with High Frequency words during the two week break. We will begin a new set of words when we return in January.

Already introduced: a, am, can, go, I, me, my, play, the, to, you, and

Currently Working on: blue, for, went, is, it in, little, red, yellow, look

Words remaining:

-big, help, come, make, not, one, two, three, we, see, said

-where, jump, they, what, up, down, here, he, she, have, like

Ideas for High Frequency Word games to play with your learner at home.

Scholastic Book Order

Parents we will be using online ordering for Scholastic Book Orders for all future orders. We will continue with book orders in January.


Class Activation Code: PC3NF

Below is the link to the pre-approved absence form.