The Jungle Beat

December 5, 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 can't believe that it is December! While it is truly "the most wonderful time of the year" it is also the busiest time of the year. Please look over the What's Coming Up section of the newsletter. It includes dates for several important events. This is a heavy travel season for families. Below is the link to the website parent form section where the approved absence form is located. If you know your child is going to be out, this form needs to be filled out prior to their absence for approval. For all other absences, please remember to send a written excuse with your child when they return to school.

An Unexpected Project-NFL Patriots Controversy makes it way to our classroom

A Controversy Becomes a Great Opportunity
One of our learners recently learned of the NFL Patriots' deflating football controversy. Being that our school shares the same name as this team, he was naturally a fan. However, after learning of the alleged deflating ball scandal, he was very saddened. His heartfelt concern has given way to such a touching unexpected project. The video is long but is worth the time it takes to watch it.


Coach Hines dedicated 2 days to discussing the alleged NFL Patriots controversy. He brought a deflated football and taught us about air pressure. Most importantly he caused us to THINK about what sportsmanship looks like for a Pike Road Patriot. He also gave us the address to the NFL Patriots. Thank you Coach Hines.


Having the address gave us an INNOVATIVE way to deal with our concerns. We webbed what we learned about sportsmanship from our expert Coach Hines and spent time talking about things we would want to share with the NFL Patriots. One little fellow said he had been saving money and that he would just fly to go talk to them. After one of our girls talked with him about the expense of flying, it was settled that a letter would be the next best thing.


These learners have discovered the power of the pen. The CREATING stage of this project began with me writing a letter on behalf of our learners to the NFL Patriots. It didn't take very long for them to determine that they wanted to use their own voice to CREATE their own letter.


We had a great lab student from Troy University. Miss Anderson did a wonderful lesson on leaves with us. As you see in the video we explored leaves outside, grouped leaves by attributes, and read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This past week we continued to do several other activities with leaves. We measured leaves, dropped leaves, made a leaf man/animal and tried to sink leaves. (We have a few friends that still need to make a leaf project.) On Monday we will also be watching the following video about why leaves change colors. We have discussed this on several occasions but it is a difficult concept. The video will be a great summary and conclusions to this study.
Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall?

Alphabet and Number Crayon Ornaments

We made ornaments for the school tree. As you know we read books this week that had story lines about the alphabet letters. To go along with this we peeled crayons, put them in a alphabet molds, and melted the crayons in an oven. Once they cooled, a ribbon was added and we had crayon alphabet ornaments for our school tree. This was a great fine motor activity. The kids loved doing this.

Daily Writing: Publishing Party

I am so excited about Wednesday the 16th. At 1:00 we will have our second publishing party. This is a time of celebrating each other as writers. Our first "Publishing Party" in October was so special and I wanted to offer the invitation for you to join this time of celebration. The children asked that I please have a book ready to share. To honor this request, I will be writing a book about brownies. We baked brownies on Friday as an example of a recipe being a "How To" writing.
Writers Workshop-How to Make Brownies

Learning Areas

Book Area-A box becomes a venue for learning

We all joke about children enjoying the boxes as much as the toy that came out of the box on Christmas morning. I had gotten a box to cut up for our alphabet line we are going to be making. During centers I looked over and saw these two learners using the box as an area to practice alphabetical order and sorting of letter tiles. This was so precious.

Dramatic Play area-Don't scream-The snake isn't real

YES! A learner brought a fake snake to be used in our PRS Pet Clinic. The learner was sure that someone might need to take a snake to a vet to be checked. I am not sure it will be here much longer because I just about scream every time I pass it. As I was leaving Friday, this is what the PRS Pet Clinic looked like. All the animals existing in complete harmony. It is interesting to me that they lock the dog up in the cage every day but leave the other creatures free.

Science area-What is that smell?

Our pumpkin planter did not survive the Thanksgiving Break. But it was a great science lesson. We took a few minutes to look at the roots and the very wilted sprout. While ours died, Mrs. Collins' looks like a pumpkin sprout forest. She created a greenhouse of sorts. We plan on taking a trip across the hall to see hers and wonder why ours died and theirs survived.

Ownership of Learning

These two learners spent an entire center time using our number line to practice counting. We add a number for everyday we are in school. The day they were doing this was actually day 70. As you can see in the picture, the number line stops at 68. During morning meeting I had mentioned that I thought our number line was not correct. These two spent time figuring out how to catch us up to day 70. The number line has been kept up to date this entire week thanks to these two. This is a great example of ownership of learning.

Blocks-Next Learning Area to Transition

I have one more book study meeting on Ramps and Pathways . I have submitted a proposal to for the supplies we need to offer experiences with ramps and pathways to our children. If the proposal is approved it will be posted for funding contributions by the end of next week. is an online charity that allows teachers to post projects for funding. The following link provides more information about this organization.

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 7-11 We will read different versions of the Gingerbread Boy. We will compare and contrast the differences of each story, address standards that apply to retelling of stories, and sequencing of events. In math we will cover the standard of writing numbers to tell how many as we do a gingerbread glyph and a gingerbread cookie graph.

December 7th-Please Join the PTSA for the PRS Polar Express! All PRS families are invited and admission is free! This event will be held at the school, Monday, December 7th from 6-8pm in the lunchroom/gym area. We hope that you'll plan to join us for a night of fun with Santa, games, tacky sweater contest, bake sale and more!! Chic-Fil-A and Jim 'N Nick's sandwiches will also be available for separate purchase.
December 8th-The Montgomery Ballet will be performing excerpts from the Nutcracker from 9:30-10:30.


December 9th- Cross Stitch Productions Puppet Troupe to perform a holiday puppet show at 9:00. If you have not sent in $2.00 please do so Monday, December 7th.


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-After lunch we will be decorating gingerbread houses. Please follow the link to the signup genius if you would like to help donate 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 house.
December 16th (Wednesday)- 1:00 Publishing Party-In writing we have been working on "How To" books and that authors can be teachers. This week each child will pick their favorite book they have written to share with others on Wednesday the 16th at the "Publishing Party." This is a time that we celebrate everyone as writers. We had our first "Publishing Party in October. It was such a special time and I wanted you as parents to get to participate as well.

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 form work. The room moms will be sending home information about ways to help participate in making our party an enjoyable time for the kids.

December 18th-After lunch we will watch the Polar Express movie and enjoy hot chocolate.
December 21st-January 4th-Christmas/Winter Break. January 5th Learners return to school.

High Frequency Words

I hope you enjoyed reading the High Frequency Word Poems with your child. I will continue to look at this standard the first week of December for all children.

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