The children are thoroughly enjoying our last unit of the year!  Last week we began our ocean unit by examining the characteristics and inhabitants of the open ocean.  This week we moved on to tide pool creatures and next week we will study the coral reef.  Our experiment this week, the Tide Pool Hold-On, illustrated how various creatures attach to rocks in order to protect themselves from predators or from being washed out to the open ocean.  Suction cups were used to simulate the tube feet of octopi and sea stars, tweezers for crab claws, tape for sea snails and sea anemones, and shells and glue for barnacles.  Next week, the children will witness different ways the animals eat through an experiment called Ocean Mouths.  The students will take a piece of lettuce and rub it against sandpaper to imitate nudibranchs and turban snails eating plants.   Tentacles that jellyfish and sea anemones use to catch food will be simulated by putting glue on the children’s fingers to catch goldfish crackers.  Black pepper will be sprinkled in a bowl of water to represent plankton and krill.  Then, a fine-toothed comb will be drawn across the water to catch the food like a blue whale’s baleen.  The children are also learning about the anatomy of a fish and will depict its parts in a push pinning project.  Work cycle time includes shell counting, shell and ocean animal matching, and sequencing the life cycle of jelly fish, hermit crabs, seahorses, and sea lions.  Students made sea urchins this week and will “sponge” paint next week.      

Spirit Week Reminder

Spirit Week begins this Monday, May 19th – Friday, May 23rd.  This gives the students an opportunity to show their school spirit by sporting attire centered around a particular theme.

Monday, May 19thCrazy Hat Day – wear a crazy hat.

Tuesday, May 20thGator Day – wear anything orange and blue or anything with a gator on it.

Wednesday, May 21stPajama Day – wear pajamas.

Thursday, May 22ndPirate Day – dress up like a pirate. 

Friday, May 23rdSplash Day – have your child wear his/her swimsuit and sunscreen; bring a towel and change of clothes in a plastic bag with his/her name on it.  Your child may wear flip flops, sandals or crocs to school on Splash Day.  Please be sure to also send in appropriate tennis shoes so that your child can play on the playground.  Thank you.

Report Cards

Report Cards will be sent home on Monday, May 19th.  Please feel free to email me at ceckstein@millhopper.com, if you would like to set up a conference to discuss your child’s report card.