“Letter J is for Jungle Week” is next!

Hello all,

The 2012 year kicked off with an awe-Inspiring week at PPA!  The students returned to Park Prep ready to get back into the swing of things by studying the letter I!   What the students found out early in the week was that the letter I is not the easiest letter to find shares for.  Fortunately, the I week theme – insects- was very easy to find shares for!   The students brought in some Icky Insects including beetles, ants, butterflies, grasshoppers, praying mantises, and cockroaches!  Thankfully all of the insects that came in for the sharebox were fake like this crawly one below that Miss Elizabeth brought in! 



Tuesday and Wednesday morning were spent working on Letter I tracing/writing activities.  The students had to I-solate the sound that the letter I makes which was a little tricky – particularly because it makes two different sounds!  The students realized this fact when they began making their Letter I Word List.  Some words like Ireland or Island make a long I sound where the I “says its name”.  Other words like Insect and Iguana make a short I sound where the I “says its sound”.  Regardless of whether the I words were long or short sounding, one thing was for sure, the students made a LONG I word list.



By Thursday, the students were ready to learn about Insects!  A spider in Thursday morning’s sharebox helped spur a very informative discussion about what makes an insect an insect.  The teachers read a book all about different types of bugs that revealed the main features of insects.  From the story, the students learned that all animals/bugs can be grouped into different categories.  The name of the category that each animal is grouped in depends on many different things.  One fact that the students learned was that in order to be called an Insect (belonging to the Insecta Class) the “bug” has to have six legs (along with a segmented body of three parts, antennae and usually wings).

After hearing this fact, the students commented that spiders have eight legs, not six!  They determined that spiders must not be insects because they have too many legs!  The teachers informed them they were correct!  Spiders are not insects; they are actually arachnids which have eight legs.  After that very “big-kid” discussion, the students began listing some other insects.  Here is the list they came up with. 



The students concluded that a lot of insects were a bit “yucky” or “scary”.  The teachers picked out a special story featuring an insect that is not yucky or scary.  Do you know the name of this insect?



If you said, “Dragonfly” then you are correct!  After listening to the Dragonfly story, the students assembled and decorated their own dragonfly to keep! 




Here is how the final project turned out – Not yucky or scary at all! 🙂



During the afternoon on Thursday, the students had Spanish class where they reviewed the third unit in Spanish class at PPA – Las Comidas (Food).  Below is the vocabulary that the students studied.   

Papa – Potato

Queso – Cheese

Leche – Milk

Jugo – Juice 

To help them learn the vocabulary, the teachers taught them a song which is sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”. 

Queso is cheese – yum, yum, yum!

Leche is milk – yum, yum, yum!

Papa is potato, Jugo is juice,

these are the things we like to eat and drink!

On Friday, the students listened to a reading of another insect story.  This one was a classroom favorite written by Eric Carle all about a particularly illuminated insect – the firefly (also known as a lightning bug).  Much to the surprise of the teachers, not many of the students knew about fireflies!  A technology presentation about fireflies proved to be perfect for introducing the students to these Incredible Insects!   The students could not believe their eyes when they saw the insects bottom glow! 

For their morning work, the students created their own fireflies! 




Once the fireflies were assembled entirely, the students added the special extra part – some glow in the dark paint!  Later in the day, the students checked to see if their dry fireflies glowed just like real ones!   Believe it or not, they actually did!  🙂  

These fireflies were so beautiful that the teachers decided to hang onto them to help brighten up the classroom!  Here is the Letter I week inspired bulletin board!




Later in the afternoon, the technology fun continued as the students observed a technology presentation all about – you guessed it – Insects!  During the presentation, the students listened to different insect sounds and had to try to guess which insect was making the sound.  The students nailed the sounds of the crickets and bees but had some trouble with the cicadas noisy sounds!  Video clips like the ones below helped the students observe how these noises are made.  Can you tell which part of their body, insects use to make noise?  Here is a hint – it is not the mouth like people!  Take a look!



Isn’t that amazing?  Grasshoppers rub their hind legs together to make sound.  Take a look at the cricket below!  Can you tell what body part he uses to make his chirping sound?

(Answer – Wings – just like bees!)

Watch below to view one of the video clips that was incorporated into the presentation.  This one has some great close ups of insects and also a catchy hook!



Well, that is all for Letter I is for Insect Week!  What an Incredible start to the 2011 year!  As always, thank you for reading and have safe and fun weekend!




Next School Closing:

Monday, January 16th – Observation of Martin Luther King Day


Parents please remember to submit your child’s

 annual updated Influenza Vaccine Record ASAP! 

Children without this record will not be permitted

to attend school after January 31st.

If your child has received the flu shot for this year, please have your pediatrician fax the record to Park Prep ASAP. 

PPA’s fax number is (201)217-0209. 


Theme for Next Week: