Approved: T. Evans May 6, 2016
Watch Out World -- Here Come Some Naturalists!
These spring months have gone by so quickly. We are continuing our study of the animal groups, learning about their habitats, predators and specific characteristics. After studying birds and insects, we next embarked on a study of amphibians. I think the students enjoyed this the best. We read lots of non-fiction text and learned a poem -- “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” – which gave them a chance to practice subtraction. The spring peeper frog was one Alabama native that we focused upon. When the students heard the “call” of the spring peeper, they excitedly shared that this was a familiar sound to them. The students now know that amphibians have a dual life – one on land and one on water. The students quickly pointed out that frogs are important to us because they eat so many mosquitos and bugs. One interesting fact they learned was frogs can jump 20 times the length of their bodies. As the students took turns jumping like frogs and measuring the distance, that fact became even more amazing to them. Comparing toads and frogs helped the students notice intricate differences in their bodies and abilities. Using camoflauge is important to frogs’ survival. The students tried their hand at camoflauging a frog and realized that it is quite difficult. We read several Frog and Toad stories which the students enjoyed. We even used a Frog and Toad story as a model for our narrative writing.
Upon finishing our look at amphibians, we moved on to reptiles. It was easy to compare the differences in these two animal groups. We were able to clear up a misconception that lizards are amphibians as we studied the reptile group. Of course, the boys were most enthralled with the discussion of snakes. The varied ways snakes move was a new concept for them. We studied the state reptile – the Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle – and learned all about their shells, bodies and life cycle.
We’ve had a chance to do an author study of Eric Carle throughout our Big Backyard emphasis. His books lend themselves to the study of animal groups and his illustrations are very intriguing. You can visit his website to see more information: www.eric-carle.com.
We’ve had two field trips in April – The Botanical Gardens and Old Baker Farm. The students applied everything they’ve been learning at both places. Thanks to all the parents who helped out for those trips.
We’ll do a quick study of mammals, focusing on bats, to finish up the animal groups. We have a few other topics to cover before our field trip to Ruffner Mountain. We want to learn about decomposition, poison ivy and mushrooms. I can’t wait for the students to wow the naturalists at Ruffner Mountain with their extensive knowledge and ability to apply what they’ve learned on the hike.
We continue to work on creative writing – finishing up a narrative and writing one more opinion piece. I’m so proud of how hard the students have been working and the progress in their story telling. Math time will be used for subtraction, addition and solving word problems. I’ll be doing report card assessments over the next couple of weeks. Practice sight words and numeral writing.
May 11 -- Ruffner Mountain Nature Center Field Trip (more info later)
May 12 - Paine Meet and Greet Faculty (6:00 for A-L; 6:30 for M-Z)
May 17 - Preschool Parent Meeting (6:00 p.m.)
May 19 -- Cahaba Elementary Meet and Greet Faculty (6:00 for A-L; 6:30 for M-Z)
May 24 - Last day for Students - Dismiss at 12:00