May News 2015

Dear Parents,

 

Well, it is time for the last newsletter of the school year. We can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. Soon it will be the last day of school and we will be saying goodbye to much of our class as they venture on to Kindergarten. The month will be full of roller coaster emotions for students and teachers alike.

 

April was yet another busy month. We finished our Space Theme and ended with a day of rocket launches. The children made paper rockets and dispatched them off our teacher-made air launcher outside. The students learned about thrust and how rockets need a boost to take off. They then made their own rockets and off they went. We also enjoyed a unit on Bats and began our Arachnid Theme. During these earth science-based themes the children are learning how there is a delicate balance of life and we are all interdependent.

 

Within the Bat Unit, the children learned about these adorable creatures including how they live, what they eat and how beneficial they are to humans. As we entered into the Arachnid Theme, the children have thus far learned the anatomy of a spider, the life cycle of the eight-legged creatures from egg to adult and how they spin webs. Using the themes as vehicles to learn developmental skills, the children utilized small motor muscles to cut out folding bats and to weave webs on plates.

 

In May, we will conclude our study of Arachnids with a viewing of Charlotte’s Web and head into the theme of Biomes. We will learn about different habitats such as the desert, the savanna, the ocean and the tundra.  To support this theme and the two before (Bats and Arachnids) we will head out on a field trip to the Cave of the Winds on May 13th.

 

Language Arts

During April we discussed the terms fact and fiction. We looked for both of these ideas in the stories we read and we emphasized getting information from literature. The children looked for facts within text and even when the story was obviously fiction (i.e. Bats at the Beach: bats wearing swimsuits and roasting bug-mallows) there may be some truth included. The children also practiced writing non-fiction as they wrote facts about bats and drew pictures of the life cycle of the spider. We also worked a lot with fine motor activities to strengthen the writing muscles in the hands by making webs with glue and weaving webs with paper. In April we worked on the alliteration and handwriting for the letters Vv, Yy, Ww and Xx and listened for the rhymes of –ace, -ive, I, and –ine.

 

In May, we will continue strengthening our skills by writing about our feelings. We will listen for the rhymes for–et and –in as well. For handwriting and alliteration, we will be reviewing the alphabet in order from A-Z. The Zaner-Bloser writing program we use teaches handwriting from easiest to hardest and by similar movements. For example, they group Ll, Ii and Tt because they all start from the top down and the lines are easy to make. Now we will pull it all together and start from the beginning of the alphabet in review. On May 8th we will have an End-of-Alphabet Party from 2:30-3:30. All children are invited to attend (please see below for more information).

 

 

Math and Science

We have been especially busy with Math and Science the last few months and May will be no exception. In April, we used math when we observed charts on whether or not we were “afraid of bats” or if we would “let a spider crawl on us.” We also participated in a group dot-to-dot activity in which the students made a bat by following the dots with a small group of friends. The groups then had to color it and name it being able to listen to the ideas of others and exercise the art of compromise. We also counted the number of spiders in an egg sac and found our “baby bat” by matching patterns.   In science we learned about the life cycle of the bat and the spider and discovered echolocation. We also did an experiment to find out if we would make good fruit bats by using our sense of smell to decide which paper bag had the banana and which had a rubber glove.

 

In May, our math program will support drawing conclusions, or alternate conclusions, from information we already know and matching the number of spider babies to the egg sac . For science, we will continue learning about spiders with an activity in ballooning and taking turns being a trapdoor spider making a split second decision if we will be a predator or become prey. We will participate in a venom experiment to find out how spiders eat and then learn about the different categories of the earth’s biomes.

 

PE

The month of April brought a hodge-podge of skills to PE as it was hard to predict “will PE inside or outside?” The kids practiced eye-hand coordination with golf and body awareness with hopscotch. We played Sharks and Minnows; a tag game using flags. One of the most successful activities we participated in was called “ What If….” The students took turns thinking of a cause and effect such as, “What if we were swimming/jumping/hiding/etc” and the children used their body to act out the “What if…”

 

In May we will concentrate on the skills needed to be successful at kicking, catching and throwing. ~Ms. Freeland

 

Music

Our music program was about feeling emotions in music and dance. We applied critical thinking skills regarding the relationship between music and feelings through listening and responding to different musical scores. The children drew self-portraits of how certain music made them feel. We listened to March, Dance of the Flutes (The Nutcracker), The Swan (Saint-Saens) and Hoedown (Copland). We also danced to the Mood Song to portray how we felt in pantomime. We learned that diverse music makes us feel differently and we may feel dissimilar than others do about the same piece of music.

 

This month, we will concentrate on Music from Different Traditions and Cultures. Although we will listen to lots of different kinds of music, we will focus on songs from Asia, Latin America and Australia.

 

Art/Drama

The kids have been busy in Art and Drama in April. The children used the color wheel to paint rainbows. They used the printing method outside as they directly painted on the table, drew pictures with their fingers, then printed using different types of paper. The children also used oil pastels on black paper and then on white paper using a watercolor wash. The students learned about shapes by creating neighborhoods drawing squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. They learned about 3D shapes understanding that one can see the shape all the way around while creating spheres, columns, cones and cubes with playdough. For Drama, the children played theatre games and pantomime with Mirror and Wax Museum.

In May we will be learning hula dances to be performed at our annual luau the last day of school. ~Mrs. Ruth

 

Lego Club

This month each of the students made Lego measurement predictions about objects in the classroom, wrote them down, and then measured them with Duplo Legos to see how close their predictions were. Many of the students had close guesses. We talked more about symmetry and made bats and spiders to go along with our themes. They had cool symmetry! Making mazes was also fun and we got to take turns trying each others’ mazes by rolling a marble through them. Now we are spending time using our imagination as we make Lego creations and write stories about them. Next month we will spend time working on what comes next in a series and being able to independently make creations from examples our friends design for us. ~ Mrs. Draper

 

Sign Language

We have been learning signs for manners and food. It was fun using our play money and cash register to practice our food and manners signs while we went “shopping”. We also reviewed our clothing and color signs as we played “Who has _____ ______?” (It’s like “I Spy”) The new song we learned this month was It’s Raining, It’s Pouring. We are now working on family signs and will start learning weather signs next week. ~ Mrs. Draper

 

 

 End-of-the-Alphabet Party

We will have a curricular-base party on the 8th of May from 2:30-3:30.   The kids will play alphabet games and they will have to match a letter they pull from a “hat” to a letter on a cookie. All children who attend DT are invited and those who do not attend on Fridays, may come at 2:30.

 

 

 End of the Year Luau

At Discovery Trails, we have an annual tradition of ending our year with a luau. On the last day of school, May 22nd, school will end at noon. Parents will come and set up outside at the tables and chairs.   The students will entertain us all with hula and Hawaiian dances.   Then we all eat a potluck lunch with DT providing pizza and the table setting and families volunteering for sides, drinks and desserts. Families are invited. If more than just Mom and Dad are going to join us, please let us know so we know how much food to provide. The students are then free to go at any time after they give their teachers a hug and receive their end-of-the-year gifts. Report cards and personal items will be available to take home as well.   More information about this incredible day will be presented as it nears.

 

 

 

Letters of Intent to Enroll/Deposits

Please remember that Letters of Intent to Enroll for the 2015-2016 school year are now due. Your child’s space is not guaranteed until we receive a deposit. The deposit is equal to one-month tuition. Contracts are written after the deposit has been made. If you choose a 12-month payment, your next tuition payment after the deposit is due July 1st. If you choose the 10-month plan, the next payment after the deposit is due September 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preschool Conferences

Just as we held prekindergarten conferences in April 17th, we will have preschool conferences on Tuesday, May 26th. We will send out more information about this day as the year comes to a close.

 

Conference Schedule

 

M. Brayley 8:00-8:25
Evans 8:30-8:55
Hood 9:00-9:25
Krakar-Crepeau 9:30-9:55
Laptera 10:00-10:25
Priebe 10:30-10:55
Santhosh 11:00-11:25
Tong 11:30-11:55

 

 

 

Dates to Remember

 

May 4: May Day Break-No School

May 13: Field Trip to Cave of the Winds

May 22: Last Day of School and Luau (School ends at noon. We have Hula dances and entertainment by the students that starts promptly at 12:00PM and then lunch. Families are invited. If more than just Mom and Dad are going to join us, please let us know so we know ho much food to prepare).

May 25: Memorial Day: School Closed

May 26: Preschool Conferences

 

Reminders:

Jackets: Please send your child with a jacket or sweater EVERYDAY. It is often still chilly when we go outside at 10AM. Recently the high was scheduled to be 68 degrees but when we went out at ten, it was 38 degrees…too cold for children in shorts and no jackets.

 

Sunscreen: Sunscreen must be applied to your child everyday before school. The Colorado Department of Human Services requires children to have sunscreen applied and we must comply. If your child cannot wear sunscreen or you prefer to have your child not wear it, we must have a written permission form signed by a doctor and a liability waiver will need to be signed by the parents that releases Discovery Trails form any liability of your child gets sunburned or any other sun-related reaction. We will apply extra sunscreen if we spend extended time outdoors for curricular activities so please have some available here at school.

 

2015-2016 school calendars are now available. Please let us know if you would like one before Back to School Night in August.

 

 

 

Hoping for a sunshiny May!

 

Jen and Lisa