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“Letter B is for Birds Week” is next!

Hello all,

PPA’s alphabet curriculum is off to an Amazing, Astonishing, and Awesome start!  Can you guess which letter the students learned about first?  If you said, “the letter A”, then you are correct!  To help explore the letter A, the students also studied all about apples!  Well, “Letter A is for Apple Week” has come and gone.  Read on below to discover the learning that took place and fun that was had throughout the week!

After a weekend of Absolutely gorgeous weather, the students returned to school with an Assortment of Letter A shares! Everything from Animals, Aliens, Astronauts, Anna (from Frozen), and Apples was sent in and shared!  As you will see in the photograph below, there was certainly an Abundance of Awesome letter A shares!

Monday and Tuesday morning marked the introduction of alphabet “morning work” – letter and sound recognition activity coloring pages. Working one on one with the teachers, each student took a break from their morning activity stations to come over, sit down and get to work!  The teachers were so impressed with how easily the new students recognized the letter A and also how well the older students remembered all things “A” during their morning work!  Whether it involved tracing, writing, or sounding out letters, the activity pages were completed beautifully!  The 2014-2015 students of PPA are surely shining stars already.

In the afternoon on both Monday and Tuesday, the students worked together as a group to create the first letter list of the school year!  As a whole group, the students took turns brainstorming and contributing words that begin with the letter A!The list below features all of the words the students came up with!  After the list had been created, it was time to go hunting – Letter A hunting!  In partners, the students took off around the room to find all of the A’s around the classroom!  There were A’s on the bookshelves, A’s on the walls, A’s in the cubbies, even A’s on the students (well, on their clothing).  Who knew there were some many A’s at PPA?


Letter A Morning Work List and Shares

How many A shares do you see?

Answer:  Apples,  Acrobats, letter A Anchor, and Apple Annie Book

 Wednesday began the students art exploration of the letter A as well as the theme of the week – Apples!  Did you know that inside all apples is a star?  The students dissected the apples and began investigating what the inside looked like – sure enough, there was a star!  Some of the apple stars had five points while others had more.  The teachers explained that this was because apples grow on trees and there are seeds inside all apples!  To help remember this exciting fun fact, the students dipped the apples in assorted paints to create an apple print that was both colorful and beautiful!


apple printing


In the afternoon on Wednesday (and Thursday), the students participated in their first Spanish lesson of the school year! For the next few weeks, the students will be learning about Greetings and Numbers. You may hear your child(ren) using some of the following vocabulary at home!


Hola (Hello)

Adiós (Goodbye)

Gracias (Thank You)

De nada (For Nothing/You’re Welcome)

The Park Prep Academy foreign language program takes place two afternoons each week. Please encourage your child(ren) to utilize this vocabulary as often as possible as a way to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom and also increase motivation for Spanish class.

As the weeks progress, the students will be divided into two separate groups – Introduction to Spanish group (comprised of new/younger students) as well as a Beginner Spanish group (comprised of returning/older students). The learning goals for each group are similar- introduce and utilize Spanish vocabulary- but will be approached in different, more individualized and developmentally appropriate ways.

The Introduction to Spanish group will be led by Miss Justine, Miss Taryn, and Miss Jasmin and will be a very interactive approach to help expose and introduce the students to the Spanish language. The Beginning Spanish group will be led by Miss Stephanie and Miss Jocelyn and will utilize a more “immersion” approach to teaching/learning the Spanish language. Students in this group will hear both the Spanish and English translation of stories, conversations, and more! Keep checking your child’s daily note and the blog weekly to stay informed as to the vocabulary the students are studying.

On Thursday, the students began their day with a reading of the classic alphabet story, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. In the story, all of the letters of the alphabet race to the top of a coconut tree.  Since it was “Letter A is for Apple Week” at Park Prep Academy, the students and teachers decided to put our own “Apple Tree” spin on the story!  After hearing the story, the students created their very own letter-filled tree just like the one from the story!  CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM! Will there be enough room?  Take a look below to find out!




On Friday morning, the students participated in an Apple Tasting where they sampled assorted types of apples including: Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Braeburn Apples!  After tasting each apple, the students were asked to describe what they tasted.  After all the apples had been tasted, the students charted their favorite apple type.  Although it was a close race, we found out our class likes Granny Smith Apples the best!


apple tasting


Friday afternoon wrapped up with a technology presentation all about, you guessed it – APPLES!  First, the students learned about where apples come from by watching a time lapse video of the life cycle of an apple tree!  Not only is this process fascinating, the clip below features a really catchy Apple tune!

 Next, the teachers asked the students where we find apple trees.  Do we see apple trees in Jersey City?  Hoboken?  Union City?  Weehawken?  The students explained that apple trees are found on farms or in an orchard.  They were right!  In fact, the students had the chance to view photographs detailing Miss Jocelyn’s trip to an apple orchard and farm recently.  The students giggled as they saw their teacher outside, climbing trees and even using an apple picker pole to grab apples from way high up in the treetop!




Now, Miss Jocelyn explained that she picked 25 apples on her trip to the farm and it took her a long time!  She asked, “How do apple farmers pick so many apples?  Do they pick all of the apples by hand?”  Through their investigation, the students learned that many machines are involved in the process of apple harvesting!  They even “traveled” inside an apple packaging factory to see some of those machines for themselves and learn how do apples make their way from the farm to our grocery store!  What a fun and informative journey it was!

Finally, the students ended their investigation of the letter A and Apples with a classroom favorite – The Storybots!  Watch below to meet these super silly letter-loving robots!  Enjoy!



Well, that is All for Letter A Week.  It sure was Amazing!  As Always, thank you for reading And have A fun And safe weekend!




 PPA Pumpkin Picking and Decorating Party

Friday, October 11th

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

All PPA students and parents are welcome to attend this event.

School ends at 3:00 p.m. today.  Aftercare is not available.


Monday, October 13th

Observation of Columbus Day

School Picture Day

Friday, October 17th

ALL STUDENTS (regardless of enrollment  schedule) should arrive by 8:45 a.m.  Individual portraits and class  photographs will be taken. Students who do not attend school on Fridays (2 dayers) will be picked up before lunch at 11:45 a.m. Students who attend school on Friday will stay for the full school day.

PPA Halloween Party

Friday, October 31st

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

All PPA students and parents are welcome to attend this event.

School ends at 3:00 p.m. today.  Aftercare is not available.

Theme for Next Week: