“Winter Week” is next!

Hello all,

“Letter I is for Iguana Week” was Incredible, Interesting, Informative and Inspiring!  What the students found out early in the week was that the letter I is not the easiest letter to find shares for.  The students brought in a few Iguanas, some Ice cream Inspired shares, and a lot of Icky Insects!  Thankfully, all of the insects that came in to school for the share box were fake!  The student photographed below brought in a letter I share that almost did not make it to share time!  Fortunately, I Week does not happen during the summertime and the share lasted long enough to be shared!   Can you see what it is and figure out why it might not have lasted?

 

 

The students spent Monday and Tuesday morning working intently 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 Ice Cream or Ivy make a long I sound where the I “says its name”.  Other words like Insect and Igloo 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.

 

 

Tuesday afternoon was a very exciting one as the students were visited by a PPA Mommy!  The mommy featured below came in to talk to the students all about her native country which begins with the letter I – India!  Complete with an incredible PowerPoint, the Mommy explained various customs and traditions from India!  The students were fascinated to see photographs and learn about Indian weddings, holidays, clothing, food and more!  The students really loved to see the various (and colorful) ways the holidays were celebrated in India! One particular area of focus was the Indian holiday called Diwali – also known as the Festival of Lights which took place a little earlier this Fall.  During Diwali, families in India decorate and light little candle lanterns known as diyas.  The students were thrilled to learn that they would have an opportunity to mold and decorate their very own diya to help them celebrate Diwali in their own homes next year!  Each student left school that day with their own diya as well as a “Letter I is for India” coloring book that the Mommy had assembled! A special thank you to the wonderful Park Prep Mommy who helped us learn all about India and this beautiful holiday!

 

 

 Wednesday was the first day of art exploration for the Letter I theme of the week – Iguanas!  The students transformed a green letter I into an actual iguana by adding a head, eyes, a long tongue, a long tail, and of course some spiky spines!  Here is how their Letter I Iguanas turned out!

 

 

During the afternoon on Wednesday (and Thursday), the students had Spanish class where they completed the “Los Colores” (Colors) unit.  Thursday morning began with a discussion of iguana anatomy (or bodies).  The students were asked to describe an iguana’s body.  Drawing on Wednesday’s art project and an iguana photograph, the students noted that iguanas are greenish/brownish, have long tails and long tongues, look like lizards, walk on all fours, and have spikes on their backs.  The teacher informed the students that iguanas have spikes on their backs known as spines!  When asked why iguanas have spines, the students were a bit unsure.  Did iguanas have spines because they wanted to look like dinosaurs?  Did iguanas have spines because they like the mohawk hairstyle?  One of the older students suggested that iguanas have spines on their backs to protect them from animals who try to eat them!  She was absolutely correct!  The spines on an iguanas back help make predators (or hungry animals) think twice about trying to eat them!

 

 

To help remember this fact, the students made the following art project and added special sparkly spines on their iguanas backs!

 

 

Friday morning started with a computer presentation all about the theme of letter I week – Iguanas!  The students learned a lot of iguana facts such as where they live and what they eat, but by far, the most interesting fact that the students learned was what iguanas can do with their tails when they are attacked by a predator.

“Like many lizards, iguanas can “drop” (or autotomize) their tails. Iguanas have muscle bundles with special attachments to the vertebrae in the tail. These are areas where it is easier for the tail to break, should a predator grab hold of the iguana’s tail. In the wild, of course, attack by a predator would be the likely cause of a tail break. The detached piece of tail thrashes and wriggles to distract the predator while the iguana runs to safety.” (taken from greenigsociety.org)

Tail dropping is not just a feature of iguanas.  Many reptiles can drop their tails.  Click here to see this amazing animal act as a young boy tries to pick up a tiny lizard by the tail while on vacation!  Much to the surprise of his father who is videotaping, the lizard scurries away while the little boy is left holding a wiggling tail in his hands!  This smart boy calmly explains to his father what is happening!

 

 

Apparently, what may look a little strange to adults is HYSTERICAL to preschoolers.  The students thought it looked like the tail was dancing! The detached tail helps to distract a predator while the rest of the iguana runs away.  After seeing this clip and others of iguanas up close, the students could hardly wait to get started on their morning work.  Look below to see how the students created their own paper towel roll iguanas with detachable tails!

 

Here is one student demonstrating the way that iguanas can drop their tails!


Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto Printing

During the afternoon, the teachers revisited the conversation from the morning by asking the question, “What happens to an iguana after its tail drops off?”  Does the iguana go to the iguana hospital to have the tail surgically attached by an iguana doctor?  Thankfully the students of PPA are so intelligent they were able to answer the question quite easily – the tail grows back!  The conversation took a completely student-directed (and rather impressive) turn when one of the four year old students raised her hands and mentioned that iguanas can regrow (or regenerate) their tails just like an octopus can regrow an arm if a shark were to bite it off!  Miss Jocelyn’s jaw nearly hit the floor as the students hands flew into the air to suggest OTHER animals who also had the ability to regrow parts of their bodies including starfish and worms!  What impressive learning connections the students made!  Seeing that the students were so amazed by the impressive things that iguanas and other animals can do, the teacher decided to read the following book.  Be sure to look at this exciting and informative book next time you visit PPA!

 

Wow!  What an Incredible and Informative week “Letter I is for Iguana Week” turned out to be.  As always, thank you for reading and have a fun and safe weekend!

-PPA

REMINDERS:

PPA Winter Holiday Party – Friday, December 21st

(2:00-3:00 p.m.)

no aftercare available

Due to space, we kindly request that attendance is limited to PPA students and one or two parent(s)/adult(s).

 January Tuition is due Thursday and Friday of next week.

Winter Recess 12/24– 1/1

School Resumes on Wednesday, January 2, 2012

Theme for Next Week: