After all of the excitement of last week’s Parent Night and Valentine’s Day we settled down this week to new work and a new unit study. Students began exploring life cycle cards and matching objects with the life cycle of butterflies, frogs, and sea turtles. There are sequencing cards, butterfly matching, flower color sorting, lady bug size discrimination, butterfly or bee sorting, frog spelling, and a variety of stacking puzzles that illustrate phases of life cycles. The students and I began talking on Wednesday, during line time, about different groupings of animals in nature such as mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds and how each are characterized in part by their life cycles. We discussed how mammals have hair or fur on their bodies and give live birth. We talked about how baby mammals drink milk that the mothers’ bodies create for the babies. We discussed this in relation to humans and also to mammals the children suggested; cats, dogs, elephants, horses, and bears. The students learned some of the names for specific baby animals. The baby (from baby washing) was also used in a demonstration of how humans are babies, then children, then larger children, then adults, and then elderly adults. I will come back to mammals during the month as a contrast point for the other animal groups. On Friday the students began learning about the life cycle of amphibians, specifically frogs, and how amphibians transition from water environments to land habitats. Many of the creatures the class will be learning about and focusing on are beneficial animals and insects that will help our garden once it is planted.
Please mark Monday, March 3, 2014 on your calendar as our garden planting day and come volunteer if you are available. Your child will need to bring in six flowering plants and two herbs that Monday or prior to that Monday for planting. The March calendar will be sent home next week and will list weekly gardening days. Please make sure your child is appropriately dressed on those days as he/ she may get dirty or slightly damp. Sun hats are welcome if appropriately labeled. No gloves are allowed.