Last week, the Coconut Trees participated in a picnic lunch with their very special book buddies! The picnic lunch was filled with laughter and excitement! After lunch, the Coconut Trees spent home quality time together at Asphalt Green Park!!
In science, social studies, and reading class the Coconut Trees have been studying the animals, plants, and nonliving things located within the following three habitats: Jungle, Ocean, and Farm. In order to enhance their understanding of this material, the Coconut Trees have been using nonfiction books, articles, and photographs to learn about each habitat. In addition, the students were given the opportunity to study real animals in their habitats at the Central Park Zoo! "Team Ocean" took creative photographs of the penguins, sea turtles, and sea lions swimming around in the water! "Team Jungle" explored the depths of the hot and humid Tropic Zone, studying birds, reptiles, exotic flowers, and greenery. Lastly, "Team Farm" observed the goats at the Petting Zoo! The students truly enjoyed researching their habitats and learning more information about what animals need to survive. Ask your child which habitat he or she is currently studying!
Last week, the Coconut Trees participated in a week long challenge known as "Screen-Free Week"! "Screen-Free Week" is an annual celebration that encourages families, schools, and communities to detach from the digital world. Throughout the week, the students used their imagination and engaged in an array of screen-free activities (i.e., arts and crafts, outdoor play, beading, drawing, writing, movement and exercise, etc.). On Wednesday and Friday, family members stopped by to promote Screen Free Week! On Friday afternoon, the Coconut Trees were presented with a "Screen-Free Week Certificate"! The certificate was used to honor each child's flexibility, creativity, and innovation throughout the week!
On Thursday, the Coconut Trees spent a warm and sunny afternoon at the Queens County Farm Museum. Over the past few weeks, the Coconut Trees have been studying habitats. On Friday afternoon, the students officially became "farm experts" after visiting and exploring a farm habitat in person! While touring the farm, the students gathered information to determine what chicks need in order to hatch and survive. One important aspect is a chicken coop. The chicken coop contained food, water, straw, eggs, shelter, dirt, and hens. Additionally, our class went on a "BuMpY!" hayride around the farm. On our tour, we saw turkeys, alpacas, cows, goats, horses, pigs, butterflies, and vegetable gardens. Lastly, the students enjoyed a picnic lunch. This trip was definitely a class (and teacher!) favorite.
Throughout the school year, the Coconut Trees have been participating in movement class at Asphalt Green. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the students spend time with Coach Alex and Coach Willie. During Movement Class, the students engage in a variety of activities: obstacle courses, stretches, martial arts, group games, etc. The students are always eager for a trip to Asphalt Green. This week, the students were able to run and exercise outdoors! Needless to say, after the long and cold winter, the students were ready for some fun in the sun!
Over the past few of weeks, the Coconut Trees have been working on "following a group plan" during social group. Last week, Ben and Liz read a story called Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann. The story tells the tale of a mischievous Gorilla who isn't quite ready to go to sleep. He'd rather follow the zookeeper on his late night rounds and let all of the other animals out of their cages! The students enjoyed the humorous story line and silly events that occurred throughout the story. After reading the book, the students created animal masks used to represent the characters from the book. After creating mask and gathering props, the students used the materials to act out the story. The students enjoyed acting out the story and were able to follow the group plan!
Over the past few weeks, the Coconut Trees have been given the opportunity to engage in a variety of art experiences with a very special guest from the Museum of Modern Art. Kirstin, a staff member from the MoMA, came to Gillen Brewer to discuss how nature is depicted in art. In order to supplement the curriculum in the classroom, Kirstin invited the Coconut Trees to the MoMa! The museum tour highlighted the similarities and differences between a handful of carefully selected works of art. The students were excited and curious to tour the MoMa. During the tour, the students actively participated in the group discussion, sharing their observations! Next, the students were given a chance to create their own work of art using an array of materials (e.g., colored pencils, stickers, paper, cupcake holders, etc.)! Lastly, the students used an "old-fashioned" polaroid camera to take photographs of the paintings and sculptures they found interesting. Visiting the MoMa was such a wonderful learning experience!
Over the past few weeks, the Coconut Trees have been participating in an "All About Me" study in Social Studies. Throughout the unit, each student was given an opportunity to celebrate their individuality! The students discussed their likes, dislikes, families, physical characteristics, home experiences, and feelings! At the end of the unit, the students were given a chance to present a box/bag of special items (e.g., pictures, books, toys, movies, jewelry, artwork, menus, etc.) to the class! The Coconut Trees enjoyed learning about one another! "The things that make me DIFFERENT are the things that make ME!"
On Friday, the Coconut Trees spent the day admiring the work of author and illustrator Dr. Seuss in honor of his birthday! The students participated in a variety of fun Dr. Seuss themed activities throughout the day. To our surprise, a guest stopped by our classroom for a read aloud, Put Me in the Zoo! The students got to meet the Cat in the Hat! Did you know that Dr. Seuss is 114 years old?
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss
This week, Gabby brought in a few interesting insects! During her visit, the students were given an opportunity to observe, touch, and hold four different types of bugs: Woody (a walking stick), Blueberry and Grape (blue death feigning beetles), Jumpy (a grasshopper) and a bess beetle. The Coconut Trees were intrigued and excited to meet the small creatures!