Pioneer Press

October 14, 2016

What Happened This Week?

This week, we continued to talk about and explorer maps. We reviewed and dove more in depth on the following features:

  • Map Key - tells us how to read a map and what the symbols on the map mean
  • Compass Rose- tells us the direction & we learned about the four cardnial directions.
  • Physical features- such as: mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, trees/forest
  • Manmade features - such as: streets/roads, houses, community buildings, parks
  • Birds-eye view vs. street view
  • Landmarks

We have been practicing reading and using maps within the our day!

We also have been working with the other Young Explorer classrooms to create a giant map of Northbrook in our YE hallway. We made rodes, lakes/rives/ponds, forest/trees, and community buildings/houses. Our map is looking AWESOME!

Investigation Sites

Here's a look into what we have been working on in our investigation sites this week:

  • Dramatic Play: a life size version of Google Earth. The students acted as the yellow person from Google Earth and saw the "street view" of the map. They then have to match the symbols for each landmark on our map. We took this one step further this week and the students created their own symbols for different community buildings to add to our map!
  • Library: was filled with different types of maps, globes, and nonfiction books that teach us about maps.
  • Blocks: we had a giant community map rug with streets and other landmarks.
  • Science: we used Google Earth to see what our own houses looked like on a map. We then compared the birds eye view to the street view.
  • Art: we worked on creating symbols for our big Northbrook map


Moving and Grooving

This week in Movin’ and Groovin’ we did animal walks around the bases. When we got to a base we did an exercise focusing on arm strength, bilateral coordination, or core strength. I think the kids liked running and galloping the best! We also worked on following

the directions to stop! Go Cubs!

Caring Community

The Second Step theme of the week is following directions. In Caring Community, we read the book, Know and Follow Rules, which discusses the directions to follow in a variety of areas-school, home, park, etc! We talked about how a direction is usually something we need to do in order to learn and to be safe. We went over a variety of rules we have at school (keep hands to self, listen to the teacher), at home (clean up, be nice to siblings) and at the park (being careful on the equipment, including everyone!) The students chose their own rules for their imaginary castles-discuss the rules in your homes and other ways your children can follow directions (with chores, getting ready in the morning, etc!)

Cooking and Conversation

This week in Cooking & Conversation we continued our investigation of maps. The students used maps of the classroom to locate the hidden ingredients necessary for a trail mix recipe. To do this, the children worked in small groups to interpret the map key to identify different furniture and areas of the classroom and then hunted for their ingredients. In completing this task the class reviewed the some of the newer vocabulary such as map key and birds eye view as well as spatial concepts such as next to, in front of, behind, and across from. The Young Explorers really seemed to enjoy this week’s activity and did a great job using their new map skills. Have a great weekend!

What's Coming Up?

Next week, we will be wrapping up our mapping unit and getting ready for our unit on ecosystems!! We will slowly begin our study beginning with learning about the desert, arctic tundra, and forest!

Field Trip

We will get to put our mapping skills to the test by using a trail map on our field trip! Our field trip will be on Monday October 24th and we will be going to the River Trails Nature Center.

If you have not yet done so, please return the signed permission slip along with the $6 fee for transportation as soon as possible.


Halloween is quickly approaching and will be here before we know it! Evites were sent out for our Halloween parade which will be 10/31 from 2:15-2:45 p.m. Please be sure to RSVP as soon as possible! We hope to see you at our parade! Before our parade, students will participate in our class Halloween party which is going to be thrown by our three Halloween party stewards: Lauren Silverman, Beata Stamm, and Jenn Loewy!

Please remember the school Halloween costume guidelines:

  1. Student must be able to independently take off the costume for the bathroom.
  2. No masks
  3. No weapons

We look forward to a fun filled day!

Important Dates

10/19 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

10/20 - Half-day AM attends/PM no school

Parent-Teacher Conferences

10/21 - No School

10/24 - Field Trip

Snack Schedule

Here is the snack schedule for the next few weeks:

10/24: Maya

Mystery Explorer

Thank you to our wonderful mystery explorer this week, Jenni Roth! The kids enjoyed having you come in and reading with us! :)

Here is our next mystery explorer:

10/28: Tom Huske

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