Cooking and Baking Week is Next!

Hello all,

Solar System Week has come and gone and boy, was it great!  Read on below to learn about all the fun that was had and learning that took place!

Despite being Solar System Week, Monday morning began with caterpillars!  Upon their arrival to school, the students could not help but notice that some new developments had taken place inside the caterpillar jars over the weekend. When the students left on Friday, the caterpillars were munching away on their food and crawling all around their jars.   On Monday,  the caterpillars were not crawling around anymore.  They had already changed into their chrysalis stage, more commonly referred to as a pupa or even a cocoon.  The teachers informed the students that during this stage, the butterfly grows and it’s wings develop.  If you look very closely you can see the orange and black colors of a Monarch butterfly wing!  The teachers placed the caterpillars chrysalises into a butterfly tent to ensure that they would have enough room to fly around when they are ready to come out!

After the butterflies had been placed into their tent, the students got back on track and Solar System Week began.  For their morning work, the students created their very own planet!  Using modeling clay, the students squeezed, mashed, then rolled their clay into a sphere just like a mini-planet!

The planets were molded and set aside to be baked by the teachers.  The planets were cooked by the time the afternoon rolled around but they looked quite plain.  Fortunately, this was not the case for long!  The students added assorted colored paint to give their planet a very unique rainbow look!  Take a look below as one student paints his planet with his Daddy who popped in a bit early for a surprise pick-up!

After the planets were painted, the students came up with silly and creative names for not only the planet itself, but its inhabitants!  They also described the climate (weather) on their planet.

Tuesday was CrAzY oUtFiT dAy and the students did not disappoint!  Here are some of the highlights from CrAzY oUtFiT dAy!  Be sure to take a peek at the entire CrAzY oUtFiT dAy album by clicking the link at the end of this blog entry!

For their morning work on Tuesday, the students made an entire Solar System of their own!  Using various classroom materials as different sized stampers, the students pressed and stamped the planets onto a black piece of paper!

Can you take a guess as to what feature of our solar system this student stamped to start his project?  Here is a hint:  It is the CLOSEST star to our planet, Earth!

If you said “The Sun”, then you are correct!

The students added all of the seven planets onto their paper.  The only thing left to do was to add a ring to one planet.  Do you know which planet in our solar system would need a ring?

If you said “Saturn”, then you are correct!

Once the sun and all of the planets were added the only thing missing was some bright shimmery stars!

Here is how the final project turned out!  How beautiful!

Bonus Question:  Can you find planet Earth?

(lower left – blue and green planet!)

On Wednesday, the students began crafting what was meant to be a rocketship!  The students began by coloring a piece of paper which would later be wrapped around a paper-towel roll and serve as the body of a rocketship.

Quickly after the teachers began assembling the colored papers onto the paper towel rolls, it became clear that the students had another use for the rocketship body.  When the students held the tube in their hands, they quickly held it up to their eye and tilted their heads up to the ceiling.  What were they doing?

The teachers quickly realized that the students had come up with an even better idea for their morning work – a telescope!  The rocket blade triangles that the teachers had prepared were added to the scrap paper bin for another day and sequins and clear contact paper came out!   Glittery stars were added to the outside of the telescope and space-themed sequins were stuck to sticky contact paper then added to the end of the telescope.

Here is the view from one student’s telescope!

As the students peered through the “lens” of their telescope, they looked like actual Astronomers!  Do you know what an astronomer is?

An astronomer is a scientist that studies things in outer space like planets and stars.   A long time ago, astronomers would learn about space by using much simpler equipment, including the telescope!  Today, astronomers use very sophisticated telescopes and other equipment such as satellites and cameras!

During the afternoon on Wednesday, the PPA students were paid a special visit by a PPA Mommy.  This Mommy is not only mommy to one PPA student, she is mommy to two PPA students!  For this reason, “Miss Kim” read not one, but two stories to the students!  The first story was called, “I Thought I Saw An Alligator” by Erlund Johnson.

After listening to the story, the girls and “Miss Kim” presented the students with their very own alligator gummy!  Needless to say, the gummy was enjoyed!

The second story was called, “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.  The students were so excited to learn that they would be going home with a mini-dinosaur of their own at the end of the school day!   What a great day!  A special thank you to “Miss Kim” for spending the afternoon with us as well as a thank you to both of the PPA girls for sharing their Mommy.

On Thursday, the students prepared for a visit from their favorite community helper, Paramedic Tom Shields from Jersey City Medical Center!  “E.M.T. Tom”, as he is affectionately called by the students, arrived at PPA to a warm welcome!  The students gathered around E.M.T. Tom and began telling him stories of their summer and asking him questions!  The students told E.M.T. Tom that they think of him every time they hear an ambulance siren!  From the smile on E.M.T. Tom’s face, it was clear that he was very happy to hear that!

E.M.T. Tom began his presentation with a test!  He asked the students if they remembered anything from his first visit to PPA back in July!  Hands flew up and the students began sharing some of the important safety tips they learned last time such as “Always buckle your seat belt when you are in a car” or “Look both ways before crossing the street”.  Watch below as one student “shows what he knows” about a traffic light.

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E.M.T. Tom was clearly very impressed with how much safety information the students remembered from his first visit!  Since there was some new friends in the group, he took a step back and began by explaining just what a paramedic does.

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E.M.T. Tom then moved on to ask if traffic lights are what people in cars and trucks have to pay attention to, what about people who are walking?  What do the pedestrians (or people walking) need to look at when they want to cross the street?  The students shouted out answers including “the do not cross sign” or “the walking person”.  They were absolutely right!

To help practice reading the street signs, E.M.T. Tom brought out his signs and then rolled out his mini-street.  The students, in pairs, took turns coming up to the edge of the street and reading the signs.  First, they looked at the signs.  What does this sign mean?

If you said, “Stop – Do not cross the street”, then you are correct!

After a second, the sign changed.  What does this sign mean?

If you said, “Go- Okay to cross”, then you are correct!

The students stepped onto the road when E.M.T. Tom reminded them of a very important safety step that they almost missed- Looking both ways!  E.M.T. Tom explained that even though the sign says it is safe to cross, walkers ALWAYS have to look both ways before crossing the street to make sure that the cars have stopped.  The students practiced looking left, then right, then left again before they crossed safely!  Watch the video below to see two preschool professionals demonstrate a very successful and safe street crossing!

Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

After everyone had a turn to cross the street safely, E.M.T. Tom brought up a very important summer topic – water safety!  E.M.T. Tom and the students discussed the importance of wearing swimmies/floaties and life jackets whenever in the water but most important of all – never go in water without an adult!

Just as the students thought that E.M.T. Tom’s presentation was coming to a close, E.M.T. Tom surprised them and brought out some special goodies for the students including a Safety coloring book, crayons, a safety sticker, a buckle-up keychain, and a special E.M.S. teddy bear!  The students were not the only ones who got a special gift that day!  The students surprised E.M.T. Tom by presenting him with a larger than life-size card which read “We Love You E.M.T. Tom!  Thank you E.M.T. Tom for teaching us how to play and stay safe!”

Complete with all of their handprints, the card was clearly a huge hit!  The students posed for a photograph with E.M.T. Tom before heading off the enjoy their lunch.

What an amazing day!  A tremendous PPA Thank You to E.M.T. Tom for spending the morning with us!  We hope he had as much fun as we did!

On Friday, the students headed to the Newark Museum and Planetarium!  A visit to the planetarium proved to be the perfect way to wrap up Solar System Week.  Here are some photographic highlights from the trip!

The bus ride to the museum is always fun!

The students heading into the planetarium.

The students inside the planetarium.

Did you ever wonder what Saturn’s rings are made up of?  Take a look!  Particles of space rocks and ice!

The students touching a piece of an actual meteorite that fell from space!

The students at the Dynamic Earth exhibit!

The students around the Dynamic Earth exhibit!

Did you know that a long time ago, all of the continents on Earth were connected.  Believe it or not, NJ used to be connected to Africa!  Take a look!

The students found the North Star and plenty of other constellations!

Wow!  What a great day.  What a great week!  As always, thank you for reading.  Have a fun and safe weekend.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the Reminders to see all the photo albums from this week.



September Tuition is Due on

Wednesday, August 17th

Next Week is Cooking and Baking Week!

Monday– Craft Day (and a special PPA Staffer Returns!)

Tuesday – Surprise Guest Visits PPA!

Wednesday – Craft Day!

Thursday – Rita’s Ice Walking Trip!

Friday – Geohrig’s Bakery Walking Trip!

Click here to view the photographs from CrAzY oUtFiT dAy on Wednesday!

Click here to view the photographs from E.M.T. Tom’s visit to PPA on Thursday!

Click here to view the photographs from Friday’s field trip to the Newark Museum and Planetarium!