Mrs. Bell's PreK News

May 11-15, 2016

New Project: Chickens and Other Birds

Part of Project Based Learning, especially in the early years, is to find out what the children show an interest in. Having completed our Project on Trees as well as learning about insects and sea creatures, I asked the children on Monday what they were curious about. Many ideas (17 to be exact) were identified. So we narrowed down our list and the children said they wanted to know more about chickens.

We have spent the week learning about chickens and now other birds we have seen flying around the school. Thanks to our wonderful PPCD teacher, Ms. Kathy, who has her own small flock of chickens, we were able to observe a mother hen and her seven newly hatched chicks for two days. Observation of real life objects/creatures, is much more powerful and creates lasting memories.

Here are some of the things we learned:

  • Ruby (the mother hen) makes a worried sound when she thinks her chicks are in danger.
  • The chicks can hide under Ruby's wings and you can watch them poke their little heads out from beneath her feathers.
  • Some of the chicks like to jump up on their mother hen's back.
  • The chicks watch their mother eat and take drinks of water and they copy her actions. She is teaching them!
  • Ruby has red circles around her eyes and two breathing holes on her beak!
  • Ruby does not like the magnifying glass because it looks like a giant eye!

We will continue to learn more about birds and observe the birds we see at school. Next week we will also make more pine cone bird feeders to hang in the garden of the school to feed our feathered friends.

Field Trip - Thursday

Thursday, May 19th, 9am-12pm

4800 West Howard Lane

Austin, TX

Please make sure you are on time for school (8:30 is when all children are to be in the classroom). We will be leaving the classroom promptly at 9 AM and we need to make sure all of the children have an opportunity to use the bathroom and hear the instructions for making safe and kind choices on our field trip.

We have one chaperon for the field trip but I need one more parent to go with us. Please let me know by the end of the school day if you will be able to go with us on this exciting adventure.

Science in PreK

We are going to be conducting a few experiments involving eggs in our classroom. Right now we have two eggs, one fresh and one hard boiled, floating in containers of vinegar. We have watched these eggs float up and down in their containers and our fresh egg has even emerged from it's shell! Each day the children are able to observe and record what is happening to these two eggs and make predictions as to what they thing will happen next.

We were able to look at a real bird's nest with a very small empty egg. This is a nest built by a Tufted Titmouse with an egg that was non-viable. The children were able to see the way the birds weave pieces of grass and leaves to create a little bowl shape to lay their eggs in.

Next week we will:

  • Build Humpty Dumpty's wall and watch him fall off the wall and break. We will brainstorm ways to fix his shell.
  • Then we will make a list of things we might put at the bottom of the wall to keep his brother Jumpty Dumpty from cracking if he falls off the wall. Each child will be encouraged to think of something "soft" and bring that item to school the next day. Please make sure to look in your child's Wednesday folder for his/her item to test.
  • We will build some ramps and test plastic eggs filled with different items to see how far they will roll. If you happen to have any plastic eggs you are not using, please send them to school next week. We only need twelve plastic eggs.

Upcoming Events

Water Day - Wednesday, June 1 in the afternoon. - More news to follow

PreK Graduation - Thursday - June 2 at 1:30 PM in the Cafeteria - More news to follow

Snacks Needed

We have reached the end of our supply of snacks. If each family would send in one package of graham crackers or some other nutritious snack, we will make it through the end of the school year. There are 17 children in our classroom.

A huge thank you to all of the parents who have been sending in snack throughout the year to help feed our hungry tummies at the end of the day. Eating lunch at 10:45 in the morning makes for a hungry tummy by 1:30 PM. I appreciate your kindness and generosity.