Kindergarten Jungle Cats: Adventures with Rocks, Hearts and Addition

Rock Discoveries

Kindergarten students have been learning about the different types of rocks. 

Ms. Sarah’s Jungle Cats joined with their middle school House to collect, investigate and record data on the rocks they chose. 

The kids have been learning about U.S. Presidents and Mount Rushmore. Ms. Sarah connected those lessons to the kids’ rock explorations. They used magnifying glasses and eye droppers as they went outside to explore the differences in rocks.



Addition with Heart Candies

The Jungle Cats celebrated Valentine’s Day with some lovely math!

The kindergarten kids worked on addition problems by using heart-shaped candies as manipulatives. Ms. Sarah says the kids are loving addition!


That Sure is a Hands-On Science Project!

Second grade students sure know what it means to be involved in a hands-on science lesson!

All of the second grade students have been studying the respiratory and digestive systems. They recently took part in an experiment showing what happens when we digest our food.



Next up, the kids got to see – and they could also touch if they wanted – an actual heart and intestines of a lamb.

Wow – that sure is a hands-on science project!


Researching Biomes Leads to Third Grade “Biome-in-a-Bag” Project

Before school let out for the summer, third grade students investigated a variety of biomes.

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines biome as “a major ecological community type (such as tropical rain forest, grassland, or desert)”.

As an introduction to biomes, and a review of habitats, the students saw the movie “Born in China” at the theater in Park Place Mall.

“Our students studied where each biome was located and both the plants and animals that lived in each. When we were familiar with each biome, our classes created a Biome-in-a-Bag using their favorite biome,” says third grade teacher Mrs. Ahrendt.

Students included plants and animals and decorated the bag like their biome.

Some students engaged in a biome scavenger hunt. Since we live in the desert, students hunted for plants and animals that, of course, live in the desert. With thanks from the Garden Club, the kids found succulents; they also found lizards, many birds, a coyote (thankfully, it was on the mural!), and even saw a hawk soaring overhead!

Students then compared our desert plants and animals with those found in other biomes such as the ocean, Arctic, rainforest and grasslands.

Way to go, students and teachers!


WIGS and Weather Tools

Growing our WIGS!

Last month, Ms. Adrienne’s second grade Coyotes participated in a grade-wide WIG, recording their at-home reading minutes. Reporting in as a class, the Coyotes read 7,674 minutes! The class earned an extra recess for their hard work and were very proud of themselves.

Currently, the Coyotes are working on WIGs that they created for themselves. The class decided to continue their in-class reading WIG and create a new one recording their behavior in Specials classes.

When Ms. Adrienne offered to help students track any goals they set for themselves, many students brought in a variety of WIGs, which is hanging up on the Coyote WIGs Board – you can check them out below.

Way to be proactive Coyotes! Goal-setting is a skill that will help to always be leaders!


Weather Tools

Second grade students are learning about weather! They have studied meteorologists and the tools they use to measure and predict weather. Students have discussed weather balloons, weather satellites, thermometers, barometers, rain gauges, wind vanes and anemometers.
Now, they are putting what they learned into practice and creating two of those tools – an anemometer and a barometer.
An anemometer measures the speed of the wind. Students worked in groups of four to use tacks, paper plates, straws, cups, pencils, tape and their understanding of the tool to construct anemometers. Afterward, they tested them out when they took the anemometers outside to see if they would spin. The kids are excited for a really windy day on which to test them out again!
A barometer measures air pressure. Students used a jar, a straw, food coloring, chewing gum, tape and sharpies to create a barometer that will be used to measure air pressure. On a low pressure day, the water will rise!

We Know How to Eat – But Do We Know What Happens to our Food After We Eat It?

We all know food is an important source of energy – and we know HOW to eat,  but do we really know what happens to our food AFTER we eat it?
All second grade students took time to do a great hands-on project that walked them through how their bodies digest food.
It’s part of the second graders weekly experiments to practice the Scientific Inquiry Process. This experiment explored one of the human body systems – the digestive system.
Students were assigned “digestive system roles” – to mimic a meal traveling through a person’s organs.
Take a look at this exciting – and very visual – hands-on approach to learning about our digestive systems!
Students had a plastic bag which represented a stomach, cheese cloth to represent the small intestine, a paper plate to catch the “nutrients” and two cups used to collect the “waste”.
Students assigned to “saliva” got to add water.
Students assigned to “stomach acid” added orange juice to break down the food.
Two students in each group added bananas and crackers to represent a “meal”.
Students enjoyed “chewing the food” as they crumbled ingredients into the bag. They then made the stomach’s “churn” by twisting and squeezing the bag, followed by ringing out the “intestine” to catch the “nutrients” and finally, pushing the “waste” out of the bottom of their cups.

These Champions learned a lot while they also had a ton of fun!