May 2014

Expedition News

Title: Down by the Banks

Guiding Question:

   What makes a pond a pond?

Case Study #1: At the Pond

Learning Targets:

  • I can describe the characteristics of a pond.
  • I can explain the similarities and differences of plants and animals at a pond.

Case Study #2: Hop to It!

Learning Targets:

  • I can describe the physical features of a frog.
  • I can observe the metamorphic changes in the life cycle of a frog.


We are mid-way through our pond study, and the kindergartners have learned a great deal! They are now experts in the differences between ponds and lakes and can explain the meaning of a photic zone—the key trait of a pond. They have learned about several other zones of the pond as well—the littoral zone (near the pond’s edge), the limnetic zone (central part) and the profundal zone (muddy bottom). Additionally, the kindergartners have made extensive scientific observations of the plants and animals that live at the pond. Much of this work has taken place on our two fieldwork outings to the Glenshire Pond; other observations have taken place at our classroom “pond” (aquarium).

Your children have had endless opportunities throughout the spring to use their reading and writing skills, and the changes in their work since the fall are impressive. Each child has grown tremendously in his/her ability to independently sequence and record sounds in words. Their weekly sight word work at home and at school has made a wonderful difference. It is exciting to see their growth in reading, too. We have used our pond/frog poems to practice new reading strategies (skip it/read on) and decoding skills.

Most recently, we have begun exploring the complex and beautiful world of poetry. The kindergartners have learned to use a “poet’s eyes” to see the world in a “fresh, new way.” We have read poems, listened to poems and tried our hand at writing poems. In conjunction with our poetry mini-study, we have conducted a study on author/illustrator, Eric Carle. Each student will be choosing a plant or animal from the pond. They will be making an Eric Carle-like collage and a poem of their organism. Our final product will be a Poetry Reading at Celebration of Learning on June 5th (time TBA). That evening, you will be invited to witness the presentation of the original works of poetry and art as well as to  listen to several of the poems that provided them inspiration. It will be an exciting night to showcase the kindergartners’ achievement! We look forward to seeing each of you there to celebrate a wonderful year of learning and growth.



Crew News

  • Eric Carle Paper-Making: Monday, May 19– PLEASE WEAR CLOTHES THAT CAN GET MESSY!
  • Sand Pond Fieldwork: Friday, May 23– THIS WILL BE A FULL DAY–9:30-3:25pm
  • Poetry Reading: Thursday, June 5, Celebration of Learning– presentation time TBA




  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 26–NO SCHOOL
  • Celebration of Learning: Thursday, June 5, 6-7:30pm
  • The Great Skate/Rolling into Summer: June 6, Northstar, 4-8pm
  • 8th Grade Graduation: June 12, Regional Park, 5:30-7pm
  • Last Day of School: June 13

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