“Letter U is for Under the Sea” Week is Next!

Hello all,

Letter T is for Tadpole Week was tubular, terrific, and totally tremendous!  Read on below to learn about all the fun that was had and learning that took place!

Unlike most of the other letter weeks, Monday for letter T week did not start off with letter writing and tracing activities.  Monday marked the first (school)day of Spring!  As is usually the case in early Spring, the rainclouds filled the sky and the students arrived to school dressed in their finest raincoats and rain-boots!  To commemorate this special day, the students created the beautiful Springtime craft pictured below.

In the afternoon, the students created their first Letter T list of the week.  Here it is, what a tremendous list they came up with!

After the list had been created, the students were paid a visit by a Park Prep mommy who came to school to discuss  a holiday called Nauryz.  Nauryz is a holiday celebrated by many people in countries throughout Middle and Central Asia, including her daughter’s native country, Kazakhstan.  As the Mommy explained, Nauryz is one of the oldest holidays on Earth; it has been celebrated for over five thousand years!  It is a five day long celebration where people feast, do charitable deeds, put on shows, play games and hold competitions like horse races to welcome the arrival of Spring – the renewed life of the Earth.  The students enjoyed learning about Nauryz and hearing a traditional tale called “The Bag of Trickness”.

The students especially loved dancing to some traditional Kazakh music which featured a special instrument known as the dombyra.  Watch the video below to hear the dombyra!

While in New Jersey, a snowy start to Spring is not really appreciated.  For people who live in countries where Nauryz is celebrated, a snowy start to Spring is considered to be a great omen!  A special Park Prep thank you to the PPA Mommy and her daughter for teaching everyone about Nauryz and Kazahkstan!  We really had a blast!

By Tuesday and Wednesday morning things were back to order at Park Prep!  The students began working on their letter T writing/identification activities during morning work.  Things did not stay in order for long – particularly on Tuesday afternoon!  Normally, it is the students who arrive to school with shares that relate to the letter of the week- well, on Tuesday afternoon the teachers were the ones with two terrific letter T shares for all of the students!  The students eagerly awaited the moment where they would find out what exactly the teachers had brought to school.  Can you take a guess what the teachers shared?

If you said,  “TADPOLES” then you are correct!  Two Tadpoles!  The students had not one but Two new class pets!  They were so excited!  Seeing that they are going to be features of the classroom for a while, the students suggested possible names for them!  Here is the list of names they came up with.

Meet Kermit the Tadpole and Tiana the Tadpole!

Kermit and Tiana were introduced to the class fish tank and made friends with the class pet fish almost instantly!

The students took turns coming over to the fish tank to watch the tadpoles in their new home.

One student could hardly contain his excitement and rushed over with a toy frog to show the tadpoles what they would become one day!

The students will continue to observe the tadpoles over the next few weeks for any changes.  From the many books that they read this week, the students learned that the arrival of legs would likely be the first change!  Keep tuned for more tadpole transformation updates in the future!

On both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, the students had Spanish class where they played, “!Guess La Ropa!” (Guess the Clothing).  Miss Beverly drew a surprise picture on the whiteboard and then gave clues to the students to see who could Guess La Ropa that Miss Beverly had drawn!  See how you do below!

Clue 1:  You wear this ropa en tu Cabeza (your head).

Clue 2:  A famous gato (cat) from Dr. Seuss’s book wears a tall one!

Clue 3:  Woody from Toy Story wears one everyday!

Can you Guess La Ropa?

If you said, “El Gorro” (hat) then you are correct!


Thursday morning was a very EGG-citing day at Park Prep for many reasons.  The students had been studying tadpoles all week long.  They had learned that tadpoles eventually turn into frogs but how do tadpoles get here?  With the help of some great non-fiction books, the teachers were able to show some incredible pictures of tadpoles inside little eggs!  The students learned that after about fourteen days, the tadpoles are strong enough to push their the jelly egg and begin their life as a free swimming tadpole!  To help remember this fact, the students molded their very own baby tadpole from clay!

Once the tadpoles had been sculpted around a half of a Q-Tip, they were set aside to dry.  Once the clay had dried, the students returned to the tables to paint their tadpole into a more realistic greenish/brownish color.  Fortunately, the paint dried quickly and the students were able to add eyeballs, a little mouth and some spots!

Since they were just baby tadpoles, they needed to go inside their little eggs!  Here is the finalized project!

Equally as exciting as the clay craft that day was the fact that one of the tadpoles had begun to change already!  Take a look at the picture below to see the first sign of change with the tadpoles!

What looks like a little leg sprouting out will one day turn into a full leaping frog leg!  What a miraculous change – and overnight!  The students could not wait to see what would happen next! Would this leg get longer first or would another leg come soon?  No one knows but time will certainly tell!  The students hopped on one leg around the tank to celebrate!

Throughout the week, tadpoles had been center stage but Friday was all about frogs!  The students turned ordinary paper plates into lifelike frogs!  Starting with green paint, the students created the body of their frog then added eyes and limbs.

The frogs were set aside to dry.  Once they had dried, the teachers poked a hole through the middle and added a birthday blower.  What do you think the birthday blower was meant to represent?

If you said, “the frog’s LONG tongue” then you are correct!

Look below as the frog uses his extra long and sticky tongue to grab a spidery snack – eek!

Friday afternoon wrapped up with a Tadpole-riffic technology presentation!  During the presentation, the students learned all about the transformation from egg to tadpole to froglet to frog!  They also observed photographs of many different and colorful species (or types) of frogs from all around the world!  The presentation wrapped up with a few short clips all about tadpoles and frogs.

Be sure to take a peek at the classic Sesame Street clip below to see the entire transformation!

Particularly interesting was the one that showed the way that frogs make croak sounds by filling the sacs around their vocal chords with air.  Look at this frog filling up his vocal sacs! (for more fun – search for videos of frog sounds to hear the different sounds different frogs make)

The teachers concluded the presentation with the question, “What color are frogs?”  The immediate response was “green”.  Some students suggested that frogs could come in other colors too.  By far, the highlight of the presentation was the following clip which helped answer the question once and for all!  Enjoy!

Usually the blog ends with “Well, that is all for Letter T is for Tadpole Week” but this is not all for Letter T is for Tadpole Week!  Yes, we will trek onward with the alphabet but we will continue to observe our tadpole class pets throughout the remainder of the year!  As always, thank you for reading and have a wonderful, fun and safe weekend!

-PPA

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Everyone at Park Prep Academy would like to take this opportunity to welcome Miss Saily’s baby girl, Kelly Sophia, to the world!  Kelly was born on Friday, March 18th and is doing wonderfully!  Miss Saily, her husband, Ariel, and their oldest daughter, Nicole, are thrilled that Kelly is here!  Congratulations to the happy family on the newest addition!  We cannot wait to meet her!

REMINDERS:

Tuition for April is due

by Wednesday, March 30th (all 3 day students)

Thursday, March 31st (all 2,4, and 5 day students)

Next School Recess:

Spring Recess

Monday, April 18th – Friday, April 22nd

Letter and Theme for Next Week: