Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

It was wonderful to welcome the Primary A students back from spring break.  Wow, they seemed to have grown so much in just a week! We heard all about their vacations and the fun things they did with you all.  We got to share this information through our greeting, What’s the News, during Morning Meeting and also through journaling.  It is always nice to hear what and where the students spend their time when they are away from school.   

This week started with the excitement of our new unit of study in science, Frogs and Toads. We were lucky to have gorgeous weather for our return to The Schuylkill Center. We found four different ponds and saw lots of exciting signs of spring.  We will revisit some of these ponds during subsequent trips. This week we focused on the Fire Pond, a place we visited last fall. This week we looked for seasonal changes and signs of life. We drew and labeled pictures and wrote some of our observations. We were careful to stay quiet as we worked so as not to scare away wildlife. We are bringing our unit of study into art, as well, drawing frogs and toads in art class. 

In reading workshop, we discussed and learned how to organize our thoughts about similarities and differences. We started the lesson with brainstorming the differences between Philadelphia and another place we have visited. We also learned that when we contrast people, places, or things, we are telling their differences, and when we compare them, we are looking at their similarities. Then, we compared and contrasted two students in our class, Charlie and Amaya. We gathered all their similarities and differences using a Venn diagram to keep our thoughts organized. We were sure to focus on their physical attributes, as well as their personalities.  It was so much fun to think about the two students in this manner. The students were then off to practice the strategy. Their task was to compare and contrast the two main  characters from our read-alouds, Gooney Bird and Pippi Longstocking

We had a mindfulness lesson in which we made settling jars to prepare us for the wonderful observations we will be doing at The Schuylkill Center.  We will use these jars as tools to help us get calm. We thought of various uses for the jars, for both social and academic tasks. Our growing skills of observation will be important in our upcoming unit of study in writing, as well as in our observations in science. Ask your child about how the jars made them feel as they shook it and observed the liquid begin to settle.

Some children were interested in making settling jars at home. Here is the simple recipe: Take a small jar, approximately 6 - 8 oz., and fill it about ¾ of the way with warm water. Fill the rest of the way with liquid glycerin (available at some pharmacies), 2-3 tiny drops of liquid soap, a little food coloring, and and a couple of pinches of glitter. Tightly screw on the lid, shake the jar, and watch until everything settles.

This week, ask me:

…. what I journaled about my spring break

…. what I wrote as an alternate endings to Each KIndness by Jacqueline Woodson

Things to Know:

Primary Unit teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

There will be no school for students on April 21; it is an in-service day for teachers.

Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration. It will be on May 17, with a rain date on May 21, at The Schuylkill Center.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda