We have been having so much fun in February and the month is just getting started!  This month we are learning about dinosaurs.  With such an interesting subject matter, and an enormous amount of enthusiasm from the children, how could you not be excited to learn about this topic?  This past week, we took a more in-depth look at dinosaur habitats.  This led us to creating our very own dinosaur habitat for our classroom.  We began by using picture books to do a little research on exactly what our dinosaur land should include.  We even learned some new vocabulary like “habitat” and “extinction” in the process.  Next, the children tested out their artistic skills by working with clay, paints, cardboard tubes, paper plates, and tissue paper to create the habitat.  By the end of the week, the habitat was complete with land, water, trees, rocks, plastic dinosaurs, and even a couple of working volcanoes!  Not only did this habitat make an excellent scene for dino play when it was finished, but it also helped us to learn about some important science standards along the way.  We identified common needs of living things as well as recognized the ways that environments support life.  The children really enjoyed this project!

While studying dinosaurs, we have also been talking about measurement.  We’ve begun to compare attributes of dinosaurs (e.g. bigger, smaller, etc.) as well as measure lengths of dinosaurs in both standard and non-standard units of measure.  For example, over several days, we went out in the hallways and measured the length of a T-Rex with a tape measure and the length of a Triceratops with a yard stick.  We also laid down in the hallway to see how many children long a Stegosaurus and a Ankylosaurus would have been.  The children had a great time getting a hands-on look at just how massive dinosaurs really were.  If you’d like to continue some of this measurement work at home, try having your child measure objects with a nonstandard unit of measure.  Can they find out how many paper clips long their favorite toy truck is?  How many Cheez-It’s wide is the box they came in?  How else can they measure and what else can they measure with?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  In the week leading up to the holiday, we will take a brief reprieve from dinosaurs and focus on Valentine’s Day and Friendships.  In addition to art, language arts, science, and math activities, we will be participating in many social studies-rich opportunities this week as well.  We will have our very first Show and Tell where we will learn more about our friends, make and give valentine cards to our classmates, and even celebrate the holiday together by having Valentine’s Day parties.  It promises to be lots of fun for all!  After Valentine’s week, we will return to our Dinosaur unit for another week and then finish up the month with a Grocery Store unit.
Thanks so much for making an effort to come to your child’s conference last month as well as for all of the Valentine’s party donations!  I greatly appreciate it.
Miss Kelly