“Letter A is for Ants” Week is next!

Hello all,

Fall and Autumn week breezed right by!  What a fun week it was!  Read on below to learn all about the fun that was had and learning that took place!

To start Fall and Autumn week, the teachers asked the question, “What happens in the Fall?”  The students raised their excited hands, eager to contribute an answer to the class board.  Below is the list they came up with.

The number one answer of  “the leaves change color” was perfect considering the craft planned for Monday.  Reusing classroom paper towel rolls to act as the tree trunk and green paper for the tree-top, the students assembled their very own Autumn trees!  Once the trees were assembled, the students then used paint brushes to paint different colored leaves in their green tree-tops.  Seeing that it was the first day of Fall and Autumn week, the trees were still mostly green just like they are in the beginning of fall!

On Monday afternoon, the students planted a classroom pumpkin patch which will take approximately 10-12 days to grow!

The pumpkins even had names!

The class pumpkins should be full-grown at some point during Letter B week!

Tuesday’s art project required the students to identify the entire sequence of Fall- starting at the beginning!   Using green paint first, the students created the tree-top as it appears in the beginning of fall – full and green!

As Fall progresses, the leaves begin to change color and so did the leaves on the students’ “Middle of Fall” trees.

The final stage of Fall showed all of the leaves Fall-ing!

Here is how the completed project turned out!

Can you tell how the students painted this craft?  Here is a hint – they did not use a paintbrush!  They used their…

FINGERS!

In the afternoon, the students created a list of  “Fun things to do in the Fall!”  Afterward, the teachers engaged the students in a conversation about a very complex scientific topic.   The students put their scientific thinking caps on as the teachers asked them, “WHY do leaves change color in the fall?”  At first, the students were a bit unsure of what the teachers meant by “Why”.  Their answers were, “because they do”.

In order to help, the teachers asked the students to recall what they had learned about planting and growing in the Springtime.  The teachers then asked the question, “What are the THREE things that all plants need to grow?”   Happily, the students identified all three with ease – Sunlight, Water, and Vitamins from the ground.

The teachers then asked the students to describe what happens to the weather in the Fall.  They all noted that it got much cooler outside.  Extending this idea a bit further, the teachers asked the students if they thought that the sun shines more on New Jersey during the HOT summer time or the COOL fall time?  Knowing that the sun makes our planet hot, the students concluded that the sun must shine less in the fall.

The teachers explained that without enough of sunlight, the leaves cannot grow as they need to and their colors begin to change before they fall off the tree.

What an exciting discussion it was!  The students really impressed their teachers by making such advanced scientific connections!

The students learned firsthand this week that as the seasons change so does the weather!   Wednesday’s art project touched on that very idea as it involved the students picking out and decorating an outfit to wear in Fall weather.  Miss Jocelyn’s suggestion of a bathing suit and flip-flops was shut down pretty quickly.  Miss Justine’s suggestion of a ski-suit and snow boots did not go over well either.  The students helped the teachers figure it out by pointing to their cubbies which were nearly all filled with jackets and sweaters!

For their art project, the students assembled felt and fleece pieces to dress their own Fall friend in a nice warm outfit.  Afterward, they adorned the sweaters with jewels and buttons and used tissue paper to create a very colorful leaf pile!  Here is how the completed project turned out!  It also doubled as a coloring page that the students could complete later on at home!

In the afternoon, the students created a “Fall Crop List” and then took turns performing a special Fall song that Miss Justine and Miss Jocelyn learned when they were in preschool!  Watch below to see two groups performing!


Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing


Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

On Thursday, the students spent the morning learning about a fall favorite  –  pumpkins!  Drawing on the gooey feeling of pumpkin seeds inside a pumpkin, the teachers created paper mini-pumpkins for each student and a super gooey (and gluey) experience for each student!

Using pumpkin seeds and Elmer’s school glue, the students got their hands gooey and goopy as they picked up their seeds to place them inside their pumpkin!  Some students loved getting gluey while others thought the gluey-ness was too much!  Either way, all of the students tried it and created a beautiful art project!  Look below, can you tell which student liked getting gluey and which one did not?

If you said, “the one on the left liked getting messy and the one on the right did not” than you are correct!

After all of the pumpkins were crafted they were set aside to dry.  During rest-time, the teachers created a Fall bulletin board where the pumpkins were featured!

The students woke up from rest-time on Thursday to a very exciting surprise!  The first pumpkin in the Class Pumpkin Patch has begun to sprout!

The students were so eager to see the pumpkins but the teachers reminded them that it would take a little bit more time for the pumpkins to be full-grown!  After learning of this exciting pumpkin news, the students found out that they would be “carving” a few pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns to display around the classroom to help PPA get in the Fall/Holiday mood!  Cheers of anticipation filled the room!

The enthusiasm continued to grow as Miss Jocelyn came over to perform a special pumpkin skit and number poem!  Watch below to see the performance.


Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

(video is from Friday's performance)

On Friday,  the students were in for a yummy surprise with another Fall favorite- Apples!  After listening to Dr. Seuss’s  Ten Apples Up On Top, the students learned that they would be making home-made (rather school-made!) applesauce for their morning work!  With help from Miss Caitlin, the apples were peeled, cut, and boiled.  After cooling overnight, the apples were ready to be turned into applesauce!

With the help of the students, the apples were mashed with a potato masher.

The next step was to add a pinch of sugar and then some cinnamon for flavor.

During snack time, the students enjoyed eating their YUMMY hard work!

In the afternoon, the students took turns contributing ideas while the teachers followed their instructions to carve a class jack-o-lantern.  Before they started, one brave student came up and touched a plate full of the pumpkin’s insides!   She informed her classmates that it felt “Yucky!”

By far, the most important decision was what type of jack-o-lantern should it be!  The students could not decide whether the jack-o-lantern should be a …

Chef Jack-o-lantern,

a Prince/Princess Jack-o-lantern,


or  a Jester Jack-o-lantern!

They finally decided that the PPA jack-o-lantern must be a …

PIRATE JACK-O-LANTERN!

What a great pumpkin and what a great week!  Although Fall and Autumn week has come and gone, the students have a while left to enjoy all of the fun and wonder that the Fall brings!  As always, thank you for reading and have a wonderful and safe weekend!

-PPA

Reminders:

Next Upcoming School Closing:

THIS Monday

October 11th – Observation of Columbus Day

Next Upcoming PPA Events:

Park Prep Annual Pumpkin Picking Party!

Friday, October 15th (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

All students and parents invited to attend.  Students will pick pumpkins in the park then decorate them inside the classroom.


Park Prep Annual Halloween Celebration!

Friday, October 29th (2:00-3:00 p.m.)

All students and parents invited to attend IN COSTUME!

Friday students are welcome to attend school that day IN COSTUME!

No aftercare available.


Theme for Next Week: