Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kindergarten Holiday Performance

The Kindergarten Holiday Performance will be held on Tuesday, December 23rd at 9:15am.
See you all there!
Happy Holidays,

(In the last newsletter I sent home, it read Friday instead of Tuesday--please note this correction...thank you!)

K-1 December 12, 2014 Newsletter

Dear Families,                                                       December 12, 2014
          Hej! God dag! Happy St. Lucia Day! Today, I dressed as St. Lucia and visited each kindergarten classroom. I wore my long white gown with a red sash and a crown of lighted candles on my head. I offered everyone a white candle and explained the meaning behind the Swedish celebration. Please find the candle in your child’s folder and be sure when burning, not to leave it unattended. Thank you!
This week we have read different books involving the Swedish culture. The children also learned about the Dala hast. The Dala hast is a horse carved of wood and painted in a variety of vibrant colors, most commonly red. They are found in most Swedish and Swedish-American households. (I shared several of mine with the children today). Jan Brett has them in many of her Christmas stories.  
 Next Tuesday, the children should wear their pajamas to school to help celebrate The Polar Express during library. Please be sure that their pajamas are appropriate for school and are warm enough to wear outside for recess. You may send in a set of clothing if you think your child would be more comfortable later in the day. We will read the story and pretend we are on the train during our library special. Please no slippers.  Next week, we will also take our pretend passports and go on a trip ‘around the world’. Each kindergarten teacher will share a story and activity to represent a different culture. I will teach about Sweden and the other two teachers will do Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Winter Solstice will be on the 21st next week. We can look forward to increasing daylight. Yeah!
          Please remember that the holiday performance will be Tuesday, December 23rd at 9:15 and ends around 10:00. During the performance the children in K-1 will be standing on the far left of the stage. Please arrive promptly. Festive (preferably red) yet, comfortable clothing is best for the children. If you plan to take your child with you after the performance, you must inform me that you are taking him/her with you. Thank you!  In the afternoon, all grades will gather for a “sing along” in the multi-purpose room.
          Centers this week:
          Math: The children practiced writing 6-10 and played a game adding with dice. 
          Listening: The children listened to and drew about their favorite part of Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett.
          Art: The children made a gift for parents. Surprise!
          Writing: The children cards for their fourth grade buddies and families.
          Computer:  The children played rhyming games using the Lexia program
          When the children return in 2014, we will learn about the winter season, owls, winter animals, and activities enjoyed during that time of year.
Wishing all of you a safe, joyful and wonderful, winter holiday season!
  God Jul!  Ms. Mitchell

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

K-1 Weekly Newsletter December 5th

Dear Families,                                                                 December 5, 2014
          Hej! God dag! (hello and good day in Swedish)

     It has been an exciting and busy few weeks completing our Native American unit and getting ready for our powwow. Next week, we will set up our classroom teepee and dress in our handmade costumes. We will sing, use our instruments and share interesting information that we learned during this unit.  At the end of this unit, we will be discussing how important the stars and constellations were to the N.A. culture. This is the introduction to our next unit about the constellations and the Winter Solstice.  We will explore how different cultures celebrate the coming of winter and the increasing darkness that occurs at this time of year.  In Sweden, they celebrate this with St. Lucia Day. On the December 13th, I will dress as St. Lucia wearing my traditional Swedish costume, (a white dress and a crown with lights on it) and deliver a white candle to all the children in each kindergarten. For the rest of this month we will be exploring the Swedish culture because it is our language of the month. 

          We continue to practice reading, writing, rhyming and recognizing letters, letter sounds, numbers and sight words. Next week, we will be learning about nocturnal animals and different owls that live in Jamestown. The children will look at a dissected owl pellet and learn the different calls of owls that live here. If you have time this weekend I suggest driving to either Fort Getty or Beavertail to listen or look for owls. They are best heard in early evening when there is little or no wind. They like to sit on the light posts near open fields to look for mice and other rodents. Have fun!
This week in centers:
Writing: The children wrote Native American symbols to create headbands and vests.
          Art: The children made ‘turtle’ rattles for the powwow.
          Math: The children played a shape game called ‘Pop’ and practiced writing numbers 6-10.
          Computer: The children played games involving rhyming, letter and sound recognition using the Lexia program.
          Science: After sorting a variety of shells, the children discussed their assortment (big, little spiky, shiny, etc.) and recorded the outcome in their science notebooks. 
          Listening: The children listened to Mama Do You Love Me? (an Inuit tale) and drew and wrote about their favorite part.
Our holiday performance will be held on Tuesday, December 23rd at 9:15am. Families are invited to hear their children sing many holiday songs. The children can wear a festive outfit, but please be aware it can get very warm under the lights on stage.
          Thanks again for donating items to the food bank and money for our field trip to McQuades Market.  We appreciated it very much.
Please dress your children warmly in the morning so they are able to play outdoors comfortably. Thank you!
 As homework, listen for owl calls and check out the constellations on a clear evening. Have a great weekend!
Ms. Jane Mitchell

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Building Rapunzel and her Castle

Fire Station Field Trip

K-1 Weekly Newsletter

Dear Families,                                                                 November 7, 2014
          O si yo! Our trip to McQuade’s will be the week of the 17th . Because this field trip is weather dependent, I will not make the final decision until I know the weather forecast. I have included a permission slip so please sign and send back by next Friday. This trip is intended to be an educational experience. The children will be able to pick out a food item, place it in our cart and go through the check out. If you can volunteer to join us please let me know in the blue book. In addition to our trip, we also have a basket in the class to collect non-perishable items for the food pantry. You may send them in at any time. As you may imagine, this time of year can be challenging for some families and your contributions help spread kindness and joy to those in need. Thank you!
          We continue to practice our listening skills, reading different sight words, recognizing letter sounds, inventive spelling and numbers. We are now learning about Native Americans through our literature, languages, stories, crafts, local history and artifacts. We will have a celebration (powwow) after the Thanksgiving break.
          Thank you for sending in different 3-dimensional objects for our shape museum. The children have fun finding concrete objects at home and in the classroom to share with their peers. It really helps them recall and retain the names of each shape. We are currently learning cone, sphere, cylinder, cube, rectangular prism and pyramid. The 2-dimensional shapes we have been learning are circle, triangle, rectangle, hexagon, square, rhombus and trapezoid. In the classroom, they learn by using the 2-D magnetic blocks to construct larger 2-D shapes and 3-D objects.
          Centers this week:
Listening: The children listened to The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and drew about their favorite part.
          Math: The children played a game using ten frames.
          Computer: The children played games using the Lexia program, reviewing beginning and ending sounds and rhyming based on their individual skills. (I have included a sheet with your child’s name and password (mitchell) so your children can  access their account on Lexia from their home computers).
          Art: The children created an animal mask to use while acting out Mrs. Wishy-washy.
Please remember that parent/teacher conferences are also scheduled for the week of the 17th. Each conference is scheduled for 20 minutes. Please help me remain on schedule by arriving on time and concluding our meeting within the 20 minute time frame. If you find you need more time to discuss your child’s progress we can schedule another time to do so. Please remember to attend. I am including a confirmation letter that needs to be signed and returned.  Please mark the date on your calendar and return this sheet to me. Thanks! I am looking forward to meeting with you and discussing your child’s progress.
          Kindergarten has a holiday performance which will be held before the Christmas break. We have not confirmed the date with the music department, but I thought it might be helpful to know ahead of time for planning purposes.  I will let you know the date when we confirm it. In the past, it is has been scheduled in the morning of the last day before Christmas break. More information to come.
          Please remember there is no school next Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 to observe Veteran’s Day. Don’t forget to go to Godena Farm this weekend to check out the Melrose School scarecrows. Our scarecrow is Rapunzel in her castle. Have fun!!! I’ve been editing and organizing photos for our kindergarten blog…thanks for your patience. Hopefully I will be adding new posts today.
Have a relaxing weekend!
Ms. Jane Mitchell