WHAT I LOVE ABOUT AUTUMN
by Douglas Florian
Cool crisp nights
Trick or treat
(Sweets to eat)
Clear blue skies
Football games --
I love that autumn has two names.
APPLE ORCHARD TOMORROW
Specific details and directions were included in an email sent on Friday. If you plan on driving, please confirm with Ms. Harrison so we can create small groups of students with chaperones. Here is some general information to help you plan and make sure your child is prepared for the orchard:
- Please pack a snack, lunch and water bottle securely in a paper or plastic bag (labeled with your child’s name) so it can be disposed of easily. Also, there are wasps at the orchard so we ask that children only bring water. Wasps are attracted to sweet juices and soda. No plastic storage containers please. All of your child’s lunch should be disposable. We will eat outside in the orchard at a picnic table or on the grass. Children should also bring a snack to eat on the bus. Snacks/lunches must be peanut/tree-nut free.
- Be sure to have your child dress for a day outdoors. Gym shoes are the most appropriate footwear. Sunscreen should be applied before school. Your child should also bring a manageable backpack to carry his/her lunch and belongings. At the end of the day, the backpack will hold all the apples your second grader picks! Backpacks with wheels are not recommended.
- The children may bring books to read, notebooks for drawing, Mad-libs, strings for the cat's cradle game, etc. We ask that toys, Pokemon cards, electronic devices, etc. be left at home. Thank you!
Please let us know if your child is prone to car sickness. Right now the forecast is calling for partly to mostly cloudy skies with temperature in the low 70s while we are at the orchard. Layers are recommended for the cool morning.
As we launched our apple study last week, we read a lovely book called Little Apple: A Book of Thanks by Brigitte Weninger and Anne Moller to introduce our apple study and talked about adjectives. An adjective is a word that describes a noun. The children tried to think of as many adjectives as they could to describe apples. They came up with quite a list including yellow, red, green, sweet, delicious, sour, crisp, and more!
The children also participated in a blind taste test of eight apple varieties. Fuji was a clear favorite and we hope that the children's preferences will help guide their apple picking tomorrow at the orchard. We are taking the data from the taste taste to create a class pictograph.
Thanks to Oliver's mom for brining in lilies for us to examine and explore. Using these large flowers, the children followed a thinking routine called See, Think, Wonder. With magnifying glasses in hand, they looked closely at the parts of the flowers and gently touched the leaves, stems, petals and the mysterious orange/brown powder (pollin). The children recorded their observations using their senses, made statements, and asked wonderful questions. This activity provided a hands-on experience that will help the students better understand the parts of an apple blossom and the importance of pollination. This week we will focus on the stages of an apple life cycle.
3 WAYS TO READ A BOOK
During our Workshop time this week, we talked about three ways to read a book: Read the Pictures, Read the Words and Retell the Story. The old, but well-loved tale of Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf was the perfect book to introduce retelling. Ms. Siddique, Academic Specialist, joined us to read the book and modeled how to retell the story using the pictures and her memory of the text. A couple of children volunteered to give it a try. The children quickly fell in love with Ferdinand and as a treat, we watched the 1938 Disney classic Ferdinand the Bull. This cartoon can be found on youtube if you'd like to watch it at home again.
PICTURE DAY IS WEDNESDAY
Picture Day is Wednesday, September 30th. Our class and individual photos will be taken in the afternoon. We have P.E. first thing on Wednesday morning so make sure your child has appropriate shoes and comfortable clothing. Your child is welcome to change into Picture Day clothing at lunchtime if necessary.
FALL SCIENCE COLLECTION
Now that the season is changing, we will invite children to begin adding to our autumn science collection. Soon, the children will start collecting all sorts of beautiful fall leaves. We’d like to add some pumpkins, gourds or other fall plants to our nature collection. If you are at a farmer’s market, pumpkin patch or even just the grocery store, we invite you to pick up a few things to share with the class and bring a little nature indoors.
SAVE THE DATE: FALL BREAKFAST
Please save the date for our first breakfast of the year, Wednesday, November 4th from 7:30-9:00 a.m. You will receive details soon from our room parents. We hope to see you there!
WHOOPING CRANE UPDATE
The crane migration was delayed both Saturday and Sunday by dense fog. These two days are called down days or days when the birds are grounded. Although the fog cleared enough for the birds to fly, the conditions were just not safe for the ultralight aircraft. They will likely try again tomorrow morning and if we can, we will project the crane cam on the screen in the classroom in the morning. They usually try to depart just after sunrise but if they are delayed, we may be able to catch a glimpse of their flight.
We learned about the decoy crane that helps makes the cranes feel safe in their pen. We also learned about Robo-Crane and why the Operation Migration team needs to remain silent and stay in costume while they are near the cranes. The puppets and costume handlers are the first things the chicks see when they hatch. The scientists want the cranes to imprint properly so they recognize their own species and do not get accustomed to human contact. The hope is that these cranes, who were hatched in captivity, will become wild birds that can migrate on their own in the spring.
SANDHILL CRANE VIEWING
We wanted to let all of you know of a wonderful opportunity to see thousands of sandhill cranes in nearby Indiana. During our migration study, we will compare the sandhill crane to the whooping crane. More than 10,000 sandhill cranes stop at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area during the fall migration. Around sunset and sunrise, these birds take to the air to socialize before flying out to feed in nearby marshes or roosting for the night. Their numbers will peak in late November/early December before they continue to warmer climates during their fall migration. You can find out more at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm This site with a sandhill crane count has not been updated this season yet but keep checking back.
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Enjoy the week!