The Jungle Beat

January 15, 2016

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

Hey Parents-Welcome Caroline Clark! She is our intern from Troy Univeristy and will be with us until March. After another week of observation, Ms. Clark will begin assuming the role of Lead Learner for different portions of our day. Ms. Clark has already begun working with children one on one and in small groups. Please see Ms. Clark's letter below. Attached to the letter is a media release form. We need one for all students in our class. Ms. Clark will need to attach pictures as documentation to her portfolio of the work she is doing. A copy of this letter was given out on Friday. Please return the signed release on Tuesday, January 19th. Ms. Clark shows great initiative and is an enjoyable addition to our family.

Ms. Clark's Introduction Letter/Media Release Form

Welcome Ms. Clark to our family. Please take a few minutes to read her letter. Be sure to return a signed media release form that is at the end of her letter.

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Ramps and Pathways Update

We've Got Mail-Ramps and Pathways Supplies Delivered to our Room

We have started receiving materials from the DonorsChoose Ramps and Pathways project. Most learners had never seen a xylophone and others could not wait to use the new construction blocks as well as the hollow blocks. I am looking forward to watching learners construct knowledge and make connections as they engage in ramp and pathways.

Exploring Materials

Ramps and Pathways-Exploring Materials
Exploring ramps and pathways is more than just learning physics. It is about the mapping of the brain as learners construct knowledge and then connect this knowledge to other experiences. The more opportunities the brain has to do this, the more efficient it becomes. I am looking forward to witnessing young brains shape before my very eyes.

Flat Pathway

These learners tried for a very long time to get the ball to roll on a flat pathway. This is a text book example of children constructing their own knowledge of the laws of motion. They tried gently pushing and forcefully throwing to get the ball to roll on the pathway.


The same learners noticed the incline of the xylophone and moved to it. I placed the xylophone on the table in front of their flat pathway. It will be so exciting watching learners make connections as they continue to construct knowledge.


This is another text book example of children constructing their own knowledge. These learners spent a great deal of time trying to push a car to move through the entire length of the tunnel made with our new hollow blocks. They have not yet made the connection that they could use an incline to provide momentum to propel the car.

Ball Project

The interest in the NFL Patriot deflating of the footballs controversy, led us to an authentic project that included inflation/deflation and "What is Sportsmanship?" After this project, a child found a flat ball on the playground. The learners insisted we show Coach Hines so we could further explore why the ball was deflated. There was a great deal of interest as Coach Hines pumped the ball for us and showed us a hole that was causing the leak. This past week I observed many learners in groups exploring marble/ball ramps and pathways. One morning meeting was filled with discussion from those participating in upward basketball. Based on the interest of the learners, I then decided to pose the question "Do all balls bounce?" I also pulled out the deflated ball found at recess to see what discussion might take place with the learners. We spent time making a list of what the learners already know about balls. I also recorded what questions they had about balls. We are only at the beginning stages of this project. I am excited to see where this project goes as I continue to follow the lead and interest of the learners!

Questions From Students

Please be mindful that is is perfectly ok that not all learners had a question. These questions will guide our learning as we begin this project.

Caroline: How do balls bounce?

Madeline: How do we get balls?

Ean: How do footballs bounce?

Ben: How do soccer balls get hard?/How to get air in balls?

Sam: How do volleyballs bounce?/How to hold a football?

Zaylon: How do they make balls?

Olivia: How do basketball bounce?

Jake: How do they make balls?

Carl: How to make balls?

Madilynn: How do balls get deflated?

Jessie: How to make balls?

Cate: How to hit a volleyball?

Adiel: How to deflate a football?

Ismael: How to make ball?

Bailey: How do you throw a football?

Ball Project: Think + Innovate + Create


Learners are beginning to "think" about balls and their properties. They split up into groups to "research." There were several books on Reading A to Z. The research included balls played in sports as well as other forms such as snowballs, mud balls, and gumballs.

Innovate + Create

Stay tuned! We can't wait to innovate and create!

Learning Areas-Transitioning to Support Project Work

Science Area

We said good-bye to the planting area and transitioned to activities that support our exploration of the property of balls. One activity is trying to balance various balls on golf tees. *We are in need of a few golf balls. Please consider donating a few to this area.

Sensory Table

We drained our "pond" and replaced it with frozen balls of ice. This will be something we do for several days so all learners can explore the temperature of the frozen balls as well as melting ice. The first set of learners were very engaged in rolling the frozen balls as fast as they could. As this project progresses we will also see which balls sink and float.

Dramatic Play

We are saying good-bye to the PRS Vet Clinic. Due to the interest in inflation/deflation and air pressure, we have a ball pumping station. We are learning to embrace failure as you will see we have already broken the ball pump needle. We also managed to add holes to the balls we were trying to inflate. The discussion of a wrecking ball as another use for a ball led to thinking about turning this into a construction site as well.

*Please consider donating any supplies for a construction site and small balls for the children to experiment with air pressure. We could also use a supply of pump needles and another hand pump.

Block Area

Blocks will continue to transition as our ramps and pathways materials arrive. In this area learners will be given opportunity to use various balls with ramps and pathways

Book Area

We will begin collecting books about balls of all kinds as well as books about force and motion. *If you have any books about balls that your child is not reading any more, please consider donating them to our book area for research.


We will add marbles/balls, paint, and box lids for learners to explore rolling art.

Reading in Small Groups/Project Work

As we are transitioning away from naps, we are using this time to read in small groups with learners. During this time we work on many reading skills such as word attack, comprehension, context clues, and prediction. This time will also be used for project work as needed.

Writing: Persuasive Writing

It has been a little difficult for our learners to switch from "How To" writings to "Persuasive Writing." Writing to persuade often requires more words. Conferencing has been so important to give guidance. This has been a little challenging for some. However, I think we made a break through on Friday as we hung up persuasive writing in the school for others to read. Learners stopped others in the hall to read their poster and explain persuasive writing.
Persuasive Writing

Mrs. Collins Shares Snow Cone Activity

Mrs. Collins' class is exploring snowflakes. All classes are talking about the season of winter. Mrs. Collins arranged for Snow Biz on Atlanta Hwy next to Krispy Creme Doughnuts to come to each class. A big "Thank You" goes to Mrs. Collins for being collaborative and sharing this amazing educational experience. We learned so much about the freezing of water. We made our own lemonade syrup as a topping for our snow cones.
Snow Cones

What's Coming up?

Jan 18-21 Writing: We will finish exploring Persuasive Writing. We will explore "fearless" word choices when writing and will use Scarecrow as our mentor text. Other books we will be using as mentor text of persuasive writing will be The Perfect Pet and Earrings. in addition to mentor text we will be reading books about the winter season as well.
-Math we will be using 10 frames to work on standard K.OA.4 Find the number that makes 10 when added to a given number.
Jan 21 On Friday we will be making ice cream in a ball. We will spend time kicking and rolling the ball until the contents of the ball are frozen.
Jan 28th-100th day of school celebration/Group Picture Day

More information to come about 100th day activities. *We are in need of solo cups. We will be building cup towers and sculptures with 100 solo cups. We need enough cups to be able to have multiple groups.

Needed Supplies

Items we are gathering for learning areas:

-books about balls

-ice cream ball that you kick to make ice cream

-balls that can be used for various projects

-any construction items; including foam blocks, small hammers, hats, vest, etc

-a couple of golf balls

-small hand ball pump

-ball pump needles

Below is a link to an Amazon wish list that contains items to help us with our Ball Project

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,

blue, for, went, is, it in, little, red, yellow, look

Words Currently Working On:

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

Words remaining:

-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 February.


Class Activation Code: PC3NF

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