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Hello all,

“Letter O is for Ocean Week” was certainly one of the most outstanding weeks of the 2014-2015 school year yet!  The students entered school each day with an outrageous amount of Letter O shares!  Everything from Oranges to Orangutans, Octopus to Owls, and of course, all things Ocean were sent in and shared!  Speaking of the ocean, there were numerous ocean-themed books in the sharebox throughout the week.  Well, “Letter O is for Ocean Week” has come and gone.  Read on below to discover the learning that took place and fun that was had throughout the week!

Monday morning began, as it usually does, with a read aloud of a story followed by the students “shares” – i.e. “show and tell” items.  One by one, the students came up as their share  was lifted out of the sharebox until each item was discussed.  Just as the students were about to “Get the Beat” to begin their daily morning meeting, the teachers stopped them and explained that there was one more share to discuss.  Upon seeing nothing remaining in the sharebox, the students wondered what this final share could be?  Miss Taryn then walked over with a large item hidden beneath a colored scarf.  The students quickly realized that this would not be your typical Monday at PPA!  Take a look below to learn what the final share was on Monday!



Wow!  THREE CLASS PET HERMIT CRABS!  The students were so excited, they could hardly contain themselves while trying to get a better look at their new pets!  The teachers explained that the hermit crabs were a bit shy and a little nervous to be in their new home at PPA.  It would be up to students to make sure that the hermit crabs felt welcome.  After a discussion about the importance of being “gentle” with the hermit crabs, each student (who wanted to) had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the new pets!  Some of the students even elected to hold them!  The teachers also mentioned that the hermit crabs would need to be named and who better to do that then the super creative PPA students?!  The students were instructed to brainstorm some great name ideas for their new pets while working in their morning activity stations.  Take a look below to see the clever and adorable names they came up with!




To honor their new class pets, the students created the following Hermit Crab art project after listening to Eric Carle’s amazing tale, A House For Hermit Crab.  From listening to the story, the students learned that Hermit Crabs climb inside shells to make a nice and safe home to live in.  As Hermit Crabs get bigger, they begin to outgrow their shell house and need to find a new and bigger shell to call home.  The Hermit Crab in the story is a bit scared to find a new home and worries that he will not like his new home as much as his old one.  Once he selects his new and bigger shell, the Hermit Crab decides to make it extra special by decorating it just to his liking.  The Hermit Crab quickly learns that new things are not always as scary as they seem!  One student commented that he hoped the new PPA Hermit Crabs were listening to the story so they know that their new home at PPA is a great one!  🙂

Here is what the students made to honor the Hermit Crab’s bravery and explore their own creativity!




Speaking of hermit crabs, be sure to take a look below to see how the students headed over to their activity stations throughout the week…. by CRAB-WALKING!



While all of the activity stations during “Letter O is for Ocean Week” were enjoyable, it was clear one Ocean-themed station was the most exciting.  Filled with assorted ocean items including: shells, sea glass, sand dollars, coral, stingray egg sacks (ick!), and more, the water table was by far, the clear-cut favorite “exploration station” of the week!


water table


After introducing the two day students to the new class pets, the students spent both Tuesday and Wednesday morning working one on one with the teachers to complete their Letter O identification/fine motor activity sheets.  The teachers were so impressed with how easily the new students recognized the letter O and also how well the older students remembered all things “O” during their morning work!  In the afternoon, the students created the fifteenth letter list of the year!  As a whole group, the students took turns brainstorming and contributing words that begin with the letter O.  They also hunted around the classroom for letter O items!


Letter O MW List and Shares

Can YOU name the O shares in the picture above?

Answer:  Ocean Animals, Orange, Owl, Ocean Book, Letter O, Octonauts

 On Thursday, the students moved on from hermit crabs and began exploring something else found in the ocean.  The teachers informed the students that they would investigating something known as “the rainforest of the sea”.  Recalling what they learned about rainforests from “Letter J is for Jungle Week”, the students said that rainforests were places where a lot of different kinds of animals and plants live together.  The teachers then asked the students if they knew any place in the ocean where a lot of animals and plants live together.  Look at the picture below, do you know what this place is called?


If you said, “a Coral Reef” then you are right!  The students then participated in a technology presentation to learn some facts about coral reefs and also see what types of creatures call coral reefs home!  Take a look below and listen to this beautiful compellation with a catchy, mellow beat!

For their morning work, the students used coral-like sponges and paint to add some colorful coral into a blue ocean!  Next, they selected assorted ocean creatures including: stingrays, fish, seahorses, and octopus, to color and add in their ocean scenes!  Here is how the coral reef art projects turned out!

reef craft

In the afternoon on Thursday (and Friday), the students had a blast in Spanish class as they continued to explore their new La Comida (Food) vocabulary by “Grocery Shopping” at the Supermercado PPA (PPA Supermarket).

The students put on their imaginary scuba suits on Friday and dove into the ocean – DEEP into the ocean – all the way to the bottom floor!  The students quickly realized that their exploration of the ocean floor would be quite difficult because it is very dark at the bottom of the ocean!  When asked why the ocean floor was so dark, the students responded that it was because the sunlight cannot all the way down beneath the sea.  They were right!  Thankfully, the teachers explained that the students would be meeting some special “bottom of the ocean living” animal friends to help “light” things up a bit.   Of all the ocean creatures living deep below, the students were most fascinated by one – the anglerfish!

With the help of a few classroom books all about the ocean, the students learned that the anglerfish is one of the top predators at the bottom of the ocean!  Rather than swim around to find their food, anglerfish sit and wait for food to come to them!  When they are hungry, female (girl) anglerfish flash a bright light to lure yummy sea creatures near.  The light dangles at the end of a long piece of the anglerfish’s back (or spine).  Once the prey is close enough, the anglerfish snaps its jaws shut and enjoys a tasty meal!  To help remember this amazing fact, the students created the following art project!


Well, that is all for “Letter O is for Ocean Week”.  What an incredible week of ocean exploration it was!  We hope you enjoyed this week’s  blog entry.  As always, thanks for reading and we will see you next week!




School Closed Monday, February 16th – Observation of President’s Day


p week