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“Letter K is for Kicks Week” is next!

Hello all,

“Letter J is for Jungle Week” was by far the most Joyful week of the 2014-2015 school year yet!  Speaking of 2015, a new year means new activity stations at PPA!  Take a look below to see just a few of the new additions to the classroom, including:  Kinetic Sand, Pet Vet Station, Crystal Climbers, and Alpha-bots and Number-bots!


b1 New Stations


The students returned to school after an enjoyable winter recess eager to catch up with their friends and teachers and dive right in to the letter J and Jungle exploration!  They also brought along what seemed like a Jillion Letter J shares! Everything from Joke books to Jaguars to Jackets and of course, all things Jungle were sent in and shared!  There were tons of Letter J books that came in as well!

The students spent both Monday and Tuesday morning working one on one with the teachers to complete their Letter J identification/fine motor activity sheets.  The teachers were so impressed with how easily the new students recognized the letter J and also how well the older students remembered all things “J” during their morning work!  In the afternoon on Monday and Tuesday, the students created the tenth letter list of the year!  As a whole group, the students took turns brainstorming and contributing words that begin with the letter J and also hunted around the classroom for letter J items!  Naturally, the letter J list was full of Jazzy answers!  Much to the surprise of the students and teachers, nearly a third of the list was completed with just PPA student and teachers’ names!


A1 Letter J MW List Shares


By Wednesday, the students were ready to begin their study of the theme of the week – Jungle!  After morning meeting, the students headed over to the computer section of the classroom to participate in a Jungle-riffic technology presentation.  The presentation began with the question, “What is a jungle?” to which the students, after viewing several high definition photographs of jungles, replied that a jungle was a place that had a lot of trees and plants.  The teachers expounded on that idea and explained that jungles are home to many different creatures.  The students began listing various creatures from insects to animals that can be found in the jungle.  One creature in particular stood out to the students – The Poision Dart Frog.  Take a look below to see why this tiny little jungle creature is so fascinating!



After viewing photographs of several different brilliantly colored Poision Dart Frogs, the students could hardly wait to get started on their art project where they would be designing their very own frog!  Whether they chose blue, red, black, yellow, orange or all the colors, one thing was for sure, the frogs looked amazing!  Thankfully no PPA students or frogs were harmed in the making of this project!


C1 Frogs


In Spanish class on Wednesday (and Thursday) afternoon, the students began a new unit – Los Animales (Animals).  Seeing that it was “Letter J is for Jungle Week”, the timing could not have been more perfect!  Take a look below to see the long list of vocabulary the students will be learning and practicing throughout the next few weeks!

el cerdo – pig

el caballo – horse

el pájaro -bird

el oso – bear

el perro – dog

el gato – cat

la vaca – cow

la jirafa – giraffe

el león – lion

la cebra – zebra

el caiman – alligator

el cocodrilo – crocodile

el hipopótamo – hippopotamus

el rinoceronte – rhinoceros

el tigre – tiger

el elefante – elephant

el mono – monkey

la rana – frog

la tortuga – turtle

el serpiente – snake


Like Wednesday, Thursday morning also began with a technology presentation about jungle animals.  Instead of amphibians, the students focused on a certain slithery type of reptile – the snake!  The students observed various types of snakes known to call jungles their home including – the Amazon Whip Snake, Emerald Tree Boa, Coral Snake, and the very popular at PPA Anaconda!  After seeing photographs and learning about each of these jungle-dwellers, the students were amazed at how different each one was from the other!  It was clear from the reaction of the students that the anaconda was the class favorite.

Shouts of “I’m going to make a Emerald Tree Boa” and “I want the Coral Snake” or “I LOVVVVE the Anaconda” could be heard throughout the classroom as the students headed to their morning activity stations.  The students rushed over to the art table as each name was called.  Paintbrush in hand, the students began the masterful work of decorating their snake’s body.  Take a look at how AWESOME these snakes turned out!  Once again, no PPA students or jungle snakes were harmed in the making of this project – thankfully!  🙂


D1 Snakes


In the afternoon on Thursday, the students were visited by a PPA Mommy who came in to read a winter story, The Mitten by Jan Brett, to the class!   This Mommy not only treated the students to a wonderfully entertaining story about a lost mitten in the snow, she also gifted the class a special felt storyboard!  Complete with assorted pieces cut into the shapes of characters from the story, the students can use this felt board to help retell the story in their own words!  The students could hardly wait to have a turn with the newest addition to the classroom.  A special PPA Thank You to this Mommy for spending the afternoon with us!  We hope you had as much fun with us as we did with you!




Friday morning marked the final day of the week and the final jungle art activity!  The students took a break from learning about jungle amphibians and reptiles as they moved on to a bit friendlier jungle bird called a toucan!   Take a look at this photograph below.  What would you say is the most noticeable part of a toucan?




If you said, “the bill” (i.e. beak) then you are correct!  Toucans are tiny jungle birds known for having large and colorful bills!  Different types of toucans have different colored bills ranging from black, blue, brown, green, red, white, yellow or a combination of colors. The bright colors on a toucan’s bill make the toucan very pretty or handsome to other toucans.  Through their investigation of toucans the students learned that the bills also play an important role in keeping a toucan warm and of course, helping it eat delicious fruit and seeds!

For their morning work, the students used an exciting new art material called Silky Sticks!  Silky Sticks can be held just like crayons to add color to something.  Like Oil Pastels, Silky Sticks can be rubbed and smeared together to make the colors blend into one another!  Silky Sticks were just perfect for decorating the students’ colorful toucan bills!  Take a look below to see how lovely the Jungle Toucans turned out!


e toucan


Friday afternoon wrapped up with a final technology presentation to help revisit what the students had investigated throughout the entire “Letter J is for Jungle Week”.  Of course the Storybots made an appearance!  What a sensational day it was!



Well, that is all for Letter J Week.  We hope you enjoyed this week’s  blog entry.  As always, thanks for reading and we will see you next week!



School Closed Monday, Jan 19th

Observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day