November 2016

October in Review
October has come to a close and November and December are two very busy months. Please remember to check the school calendar for special days and holiday closings. Do not forget to provide your children with warm outdoor clothing and check your emails for weather updates when the snow eventually comes our way.
We have finished up our Harvest and Pumpkin Themes. We learned about the six parts of the plant and the life cycle of the pumpkin. The students dissected seeds, plants and pumpkins and wrote stories about this rounded squash. We also learned how animals prepare for Winter with migration, hibernation and adaption. Despite our longing to hibernate for the winter, we have learned that most people just
adapt to the shorter days and colder weather…bummer.

Dates to Remember
November 10-Field Trip to the Ghost Town Museum
November 11-Pioneer Day 10:00 AM-11:30AM
November 18: Thanksgiving

Family Feast 12:00PM

November 21-25: Thanksgiving Break-No School

Looking Ahead to November
In November, we will be doing our one “abstract” unit for the year, Pioneers. It is our philosophy that we teach what we can make “real” for children and discussing people who lived long ago and lived so different from what we do today is a hard concept for children. We will do many activities to support “real” learning and the children will discover how pioneers travelled, went to school, cooked, hunted and what life was like day to day. We will also learn the history of our beautiful state Colorado. We will culminate this unit with Pioneer Day on November 11th. We will be asking for parents to volunteer for this very active day so please be watching for ways you can help.
The week before our Thanksgiving Break, we will learn about pasta. The focus will be from Wheat to Pasta and there will be a lot of cooking during this unit. One day we will also be making our own homemade pasta and charting our favorite toppings. Jealous? You should be!
More specifics about what is coming up in November include:
Language Arts:
 Alliteration Review of Aa, Oo, Dd, Cc and Ee
 Introduce Ff and Gg
 Rhyme -ain, -op and -air
 Writing and illustrating what we would pack for a trip in the 
ol’ west
 Make hornbooks
 Write what we like to do when we are alone
 Gathering facts through literature 
 Practice numbers 7, 8 and 9 and match the quantity
 Work on tangrams
 Pattern pasta necklaces
 Order pasta by size
 Estimate how many pizzas it will take to cross the blue rug
 Make pasta, bake biscuits, make apple butter
 “Disappearing” water experiment \

Music: October has passed quickly as we have practiced listening and following directions given in songs. Some of the songs included: “The Magic Seed”, “Can you do it?” and “I’m a Good Listener”. We have also been reviewing the seasons with “It’s Fall Again” and “The Four Seasons” song. Our favorite direction song this month was “If You’re a Kid, Dance Around”. A fun listening/singing game we played was, “Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone?” Next month we will be learning about tempo and the ways it can change in songs. ~Mrs. Draper
PE: For PE, the month of October was full of eye-hand-foot coordination activities. The children practiced catching balls, beanbags and balloons and throwing these same objects in an intended direction. The students also practiced hitting a ball on a Tee and kicking a stationary and moving ball.
Hopping and jumping will be the focus in November for our motor skills program. We will encourage these two skills through games such as the Jump Bump, Jack Be Nimble, Jump Scotch, the Bubble Wrap Jump and Hoop Jump.
Art/Drama: The children have been developing a drama vocabulary with words such as props, costumes and makeup. We read Backstage with Claudio, a story about a theatre cat who lives behind the stage and assists the stage manager with the play Peter Pan. Students have been acting out familiar stories and performing for one another. Many of the plays were created by the actors themselves and have themes such as “Circus” and ” Rocket Ship!!” So many wonderful imaginations in the class!~Mrs. Ruth
Sign Language: This month we have been learning signs for different foods, animals, and some plants. It was fun talking about our favorite foods in sign language. We have been signing sentences as we talked about what we had for breakfast. The students enjoy trying to figure out what a friend has said with only their signs and no audible clues. We also learned signs for “Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate,” a flannel board poem we have had in one of our learning centers this month. The students also liked signing an animal name and then putting that animal in an appropriate habitat picture. Next month we will be learning family and manners signs while we continue reviewing food and animals. ~Mrs. Draper
Pioneer Day: On Friday, November 11th, we will be celebrating Pioneer Day. After learning about the life style and trials and triumphs of pioneers we will celebrate these brave men and women with a party of sorts. We will have stations set up with activities and we will move the children around in small groups. We will be making butter (to have on Johnny Cakes), bandanas, candles and racing homemade boats. We will need one parent volunteer for each station. If you are willing to help, please let us know.
Pioneer Day is open to ALL Discovery Trails students whether this is a scheduled day or not. The celebration will be from 10:00AM-11:30AM and the children that do not typically attend on Fridays, may attend from during this time.
Family Thanksgiving Feast: Our Family Thanksgiving lunch will be Friday November 18th at 12:00 PM. ALL families are invited to share a very kid-friendly meal at Discovery Trails. We will be creating a potluck lunch sign-up sheet soon. We ask that the food be kid-friendly. By no means do we need traditional Thanksgiving food but items like macaroni and cheese, fruit trays, cheese trays, etc. Discovery Trails will be furnishing the meat…turkey breast possibly… and the place settings. We are still open for school in the afternoon but please think about your child and if saying good-bye to you twice in a day is too hard for him or her. Please feel free to take your child home after the lunch if you think this will be too hard. Although we think everything we do is important, this particular afternoon will be rest and play before school is over at 3:30. No instructional time will be offered. Please stay tuned for more information.
Ghost Town Museum Field Trip: On Thursday, November 10th, we will be going on a field trip to the Ghost Town Museum. This museum is located at Colorado and 8th Street. To support our Pioneer Theme, this trip will give us a good idea of what life was like long ago. Each area of the museum is set up as it looked in the 1800’s with many real artifacts. If the weather is nice, we will be able to “pan for gold” before we return. We will leave school about 9:45 and return before lunch. More information and permission slips will go home shortly. We will need at least two parent helpers to ride along in the van to help. These chaperones will be given paid admission to the museum in exchange for helping provide supervision the children and assisting in getting all the students in their car seats safely. If your child does not attend school on Thursdays, you may choose to attend the field trip with your child and provide transportation and entrance fees. Please let us know if you will be joining us no later than Tuesday November 8th.