Sunday, December 6, 2015

The holiday season!

We met our Elf this week!  Before the elf got here, we watched a movie so we could be sure to know why the elf doesn't move (we have to believe in his magic, he can't make us believe), we cant touch him or it takes his magic and he has to go to the elf hospital, and we have to name him.
We came up with some names for the elf and then voted on them.  The morning class came up with a list and voted on it.  The afternoon class added to the list and then voted.  Turns out, we had a tie, so the PM class had to do a tie breaker. They voted again but they could only choose between the tied ones.  We had a good lesson in sometimes our vote doesn't win but that is the way it is and the decision that is made.
We started our winter weeks with a gingerbread walk.  Students had to work on their fine motor skills of coloring a shape in all the way, counting numbers in order, recognizing numbers in print, and following directions.  They did very well and I can tell we are making a lot of growth in our counting, number recognition, and fine motor skills/coloring!
Students are encouraged to use the writing center by writing letters to Santa Claus. Santa the elf takes them back to Santa Claus every night!
New discovery center includes recognizing the number on the snowman's hat, using the pinchers to take that many blue blocks out of the bin and putting them on the Snowman.
We have a fireplace and a tree put up in our dramatic play center for the kids to decorate and play like they are getting ready for the holidays.  Both the AM and PM have been decorating and we have 2 weeks left.  They can make the decorations in art center.
New game in Puzzles and games is rolling a dice and graphing how many times they get the particular winter clothes pictures.
Another new game is building a snow man. The bottom is capital letters, the middle/arms is the lower case letter and the head and hat has a picture that starts with that letter sound.
Wednesday in class we sewed our stockings closed for St. Nick.  The sewing helped us to follow directions and use our fine motor skills.  They wrote their names on them as well.  Names are looking really great!
We have been working on proper writing in general.  Here is a look at our lines. There is the sky line, the plane line, and the ground. (eventually there will be a worm line but we aren't to worm line letters).  We always start at the sky line. ALWAYS.  For an A, it is start at the sky, Slant down, slant down, across the plane line.  For a, it is circle back, close, pull down to the ground.  Encourage this language and proper formation as it will truly help the with their fluency down the road.  We added a worm line now because the lower case g goes down to the worms!

painting with elbows!
The letter of the week was Ee. We learned the sign language for a letter, the literacy link sound symbols, the letter sound, and looking at and writing it in both capital letters and lower case letters.  Click here to view the many ways we learn the letter of the week!

Each week we watch letter videos from "Have Fun Teaching" and the students are really picking up the names of letters, formations, and the sounds of letters.  Check out these videos with you child!  Click HERE.

The Tuesday project of letter of the week is to 
decorate a letter with  something  that  starts with the letter. This week we decorated the letter E with elbows in eggy colored paint.  On Thursday, our letter of the week project was to read a page from our alphabet book, E is for Elephant.

Students also do a maze of the letter helping get from one object to another starting with that letter, find and color all of the letter, color a page of something that starts with that letter, and make a crown at the end of the week to be the Kings and Queens of the letter!

We also do a handwriting sheet.  This is important because writing the letters correctly helps with efficiency as well as learning cursive down the line.  We ALWAYS START AT THE TOP.  Please encourage students to write the letter correctly!

Important Notes:
  • ****PM STUDENTS***** There is no school on Wednesday  December 23 because that is the start of the Christmas break at 12:30.  Those are the only half days that there will be no PM 4k.  All other district half days 4k will be in session.
  • ****AM STUDENTS**** Wed Dec 23, because it is the start of the holiday breaks, there will be no after care offered.  All students must be picked up by 11 (normal pick up time) or 12:30 if they stay all day.
  • There is a half day on the district calendar for Wednesday December 9.  AM and PM will have class.  After school care is an option.  If you usually stay all day, please reply to the email or write a note in their folders indicating if they are leaving at 11 (& with who), 12:30 (& with who), staying for aftercare and being picked up at 3 (1 fee) staying for aftercare and being picked up 3-5:30 (additional fee).  
  • Dress for the weather Please send your child dressed for the weather.  We go outside 2 days a week (We really TRY).  AM goes out Wednesday and Thursday.  PM goes out Tuesday and Thursday.  Extended day (students who stay all day) go out every day.  Unless it is below 0* or raining we do go out.  Please send the clothes that will keep them warm.  Also, please attempt to send in clothes that your child can do themselves.  This may be sending a zip up sweatshirt over a pull over, zipper instead of buttons, mittens instead of gloves, etc.  Thought we will always help to get your child ready, we cannot help all at the same time.  Teaching the children self help and self dress skills is an important goal of the 4k program.  By sending easier clothes, it helps them be more successful.  
  • Layers may be necessary in the school.  Heat does not turn on until later in the fall/early winter so the building can be a little chilly in the morning before the bodies warm it up.  Send your child in layers and maybe have an extra sweatshirt/sweater left in lockers in case they are cold.  It may also be time to switch out the clothes in the top of lockers to warmer options.
  • As a part of our room decorations and to make every one feel at home, we have a "family and friends" board in our room.  Students will feel more at home and have a school family if they have their home family with them.  (The same as you putting a family picture on your desk).    Please feel free to send in a family photo that will be stapled up on our wall for the duration of the school year. Send in those family photos!
  • Background checks. When it comes to these, we assume you are good unless we get a note otherwise, but we are counting on it not being processed (and will not make that assumption that it was run and you are good) until 2 WEEKS AFTER TURNING THE FORMS IN.
  • Homework Some parents have asked about homework and keep home stuff.  Homework would be the only blank stuff sent home.  We have a homework stamp page in the back of you child's every day folder.  When you do homework with your child and send it back, we stamp the homework, stamp the homework page, and then send it back. Anything with a stamp on it or a project that is already done is yours to keep.  The homework page in the back of the folder explains more about homework. Homework TYPICALLY comes home on Thursdays and it is some reinforcing of letters at home (same sheet different letters so they also become independent).
  • Folders. Please be checking your child's daily folder each night.  We put notes on the notebook pages in their folders as well as any notes we may have for you.  Artwork is also sent home this way. As we start letter of the week, we will also start sending home homework to help reinforce the letter concept and identification.  Please work on this with you child to help the students make the connection between home and school. 
  • Also, Please check the student's Wednesday Folders.  Please try to take info out and return the folder and any forms/info/payments in those folders a day or two after receiving. 
  • Literacy Bags come home every three weeks.  Students will have a week to complete the project inside and can then return the bag with completed sheets in it on MONDAY.
  • Library Books come every week.  We go to library on Monday and student have the opportunity to check out a book and keep it for a week. It can be kept in their back packs or at home, but please remember to bring it on Mondays. 
  • Book Order Books will be sent home with your child when they come in unless you send a note that you would like it done differently.  We do encourage books to be gifts so if this is the case, please send a note and we put them in brown paper bags and tell the student it is mom/dad's homework.  The next book order is due November 25th.  Please click on the link for scholastic at the top of this page.  When you buy books for your child, it helps buy books and supplies for our classrooms. 
  • Snack reminder. Please remember healthy, nut free choices.   A list can be found on the blog at the bottom.  If you send an item that needs spoons/forks, please also send in those items. Thank You!
Next Week:
Theme: Turkeys
Letter of the Week: Ss
AM Snack: Bonnet

PM Snack: Stapp

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