Pioneer Press

September 16, 2016

This Week

We have been looking at different types of homes this week. We have looked at and discussed the different types that we see in our community: houses, townhouses, condos, and apartments. We took a look and and explored exterior characteristics of homes such as:

  • Building material (siding, bricks, wood, etc)
  • Windows (how many, location, shape)
  • Doors (how many, location, shape)
  • How many stories (predict)
  • Backyard/front yard (trying to predict who might live in this home)
  • Garage

We will also looked at the interior of each home:

  • What rooms are in the home
  • Functions of the room
  • Location of the rooms

Students have been comparing and contrasting their different homes based on their exterior and interior characteristics.

Investigation Sites

Our investigation sites this week have focused around the interior and exterior characteristics of homes. Here is what we've been up to:

  • Art: Creating our houses and focuses in the exterior characteristics (doors, windows, roof, chimneys, and building materials)
  • Science: We have been explorer different building materials such as: bricks, wood, tiles, and granite pieces. Students have compared them to one another and used them to build their own homes in the science investigation site.
  • Blocks: The doll house was out in the block site this week along with the furniture for the home. The students used the furniture to create and compose the interior of the house.
  • Dramatic Play: Each day this week dramatic play has transformed into a different room of a homes. We have had the kitchen, dining room, family room, and a playroom/basement.


Moving and Grooving

This week in Movin’ and Groovin’ we did an obstacle course to clean up Ms. Rachel’s room! She left it quite a mess! The kids worked on stair climbing by being encouraged to use an alternating foot pattern on the steps. They jumped off a higher surface (with help

if needed!). The walked across a balance beam and some of them were able to bend down to pick up a toy without losing their balance! Then the kids complete a series of 6 2-foot jumps until they got to the toy box to put in the toy. Not only did the kids work

on gross motor coordination and balance, they also worked on sequencing, impulse control, turn taking, and following multistep directions!

Caring Community

The second step theme of the week is focusing attention. We practiced our listening song and learned about an “attentoscope” (cupping hands around eyes to zoom in on important information.) The classroom theme of the week was houses (interior and exterior) and we learned about safe and unsafe situations in and outside our houses. Ask your children about some of the ways the dinosaurs from our story stayed safe! We also identified ways to stay safe in different areas of our houses such as walking up and down stairs, being careful with utensils, wearing a bike helmet, and more!


This week in music, we practiced following directions by watching Sheldon the turtle and following what he does. We also sang the story of the Incy Wincy Spider.

Cooking and Conversation

This week cooking & conversation reviewed and reinforced our study on homes as part of the community unit. The whole class reviewed the vocabulary exterior and interior and students identified the exterior features of a home by listening to descriptions of their function and attributes. Students worked in small groups to follow auditory directions to design an edible home and participated in a house bingo-like game to match items within the home to the interior rooms they are most likely found within. We topped off our house with triangular grilled cheese sandwiches as our roofs. The young explorers really enjoyed their recipe this week and did a great job demonstrating mastery of the latest classroom vocabulary!

What's Coming Up?

Next week, we will be looking at the different community buildings found in Northbrook! We will talk about the purpose for each building along with who works there, what they do, and why it is important for our community. We are going to be having experts come into our classrooms from each of these buildings to share with the students and answer any of the questions they come up with! Here is what we will be exploring:

  • Monday-Library
  • Tuesday-School
  • Wednesday-Friday- Post office and review

We will also be continuing this exploration the following week by adding the police and fire station!

Important Dates

10/3 - No School

10/12 - No School

10/19 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

10/20 - Half-day AM attends

Parent-Teacher Conferences

10/21 - No School

Mystery Explorer

Here is our mystery explorer schedule for the rest of September:

30th: Jenn Loewy

Mystery explorer will be from 2:30-2:45 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you! Shhhhhhhhh! Remember it's a surprise!

Snack Schedule

Here is the snack list for the next few weeks:

9/19: Gray

9/26: Audrey