December 4, 2017

Wrapping It Up

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, by Laura Numeroff, was an excellent way to ring in the holiday season and continue the mouse theme for another week!  Your children LOVED the characters, vocabulary, activities and games we played to help them begin to understand the “magic” of the Holidays!  The mischievous mouse made it fun for us to throw snowballs, make ornaments, listen and learn some seasonal songs, make popcorn 3 different ways (our compare/contrast science activity,) and string popcorn to hang on our tree.  Of all the things we did last week, stringing popcorn was, by far, the favorite!  If you want to try this, or maybe start a new holiday tradition that is fun and easy, here’s what we did:  

  • Air pop plain kernels so they aren’t greasy
  • Use a longer, slightly larger upholstery or needlepoint needle (but you don’t want it too thick, or it will break the popcorn pieces)
  • Thread the needle with festively colored, polyester, sewing thread, pull through to double it, and tie a knot
  • Supervise and show your child how to push the needle through the popcorn, or you push the needle through and have child pull it off needle and down the string (they were actually using the needle themselves with my hands on theirs to direct the needle and prevent finger pricks!)

What’s Next?


Our next two seasonal stories are Llama Llama Holiday Drama, by Anne Dewdney, and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell!, by Lucille Colandro.   The first of these stories brings back the endearing little llama we met at the beginning of the year with Llama Llama Misses Mama, in which young Llama starts school for the first time.  In this holiday adventure, young Llama must tag along with Mama as she busily prepares for the festivity of the holidays, when all he wants is for it to happen NOW.  He is dragged from store to store, must help clean the house, make special treats, wrap presents, etc., while learning patience, waiting, and the true meaning of the occasion.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell is a rhyming text with funny illustrations, much like There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but this time the hungry old lady swallows a bell, bows, gifts, a sack, a sleigh, and some reindeer!  While reinforcing lots of fun vocabulary, this story provides opportunities for sequencing, prediction and re-enactment!  Both stories provide a rich means of supporting seasonal concepts and holiday traditions. We will continue our focus on the color red and the star shape, and we will introduce and practice the letters “p,“ and “d. ”Just A Note

Hopefully by now, you have a good understanding of the importance of the music CDs we send home with each new unit!  The compilation of songs is carefully chosen to support and strengthen the concepts and vocabulary emphasized throughout the unit, and is intended for you to play OFTEN during the unit.  Many times, several children do not seem very familiar with the songs, even after the two/three week period of our units, which indicates that they haven’t been listening at home. You could add the songs to your computer, iPod, iPhone, tablet, etc., and have them playing during down times or in the background during playtime at home. Or, play them in the car while on the go!  Your kids will benefit from the music so much, and I bet they’ll enjoy it almost as much as any “screen time!” This is one very easy way for you to help us help your children with their language, math, motor, reading, and cognitive development.  If you haven’t been including this in your daily routines, please give it a try!  You might even enjoy the music and sing along with them!  If you don’t find that the CDs work into your life, please let me know, and I will no longer send them home (and of course, would return any blank CDs that you donated!)  Thanks!

Upcoming Events and Dates to Remember

  • Monday, December 18:  10:50-11:50 am – Class Holiday Party– Everyone is welcome!  We will be doing a gift exchange between the students this year. The gifts exchanged will be books!  If you want your child to participate, please send in an age-appropriate book, wrapped and labeled with “To My Friend, From Your child’s name.”  Please send these in by Friday, December 15th
  • Tuesday, December 19:  Early Release Day – Students are released 2 hours early at 12:15 pm.  Half-day students will release at 10:30 am.
  • Wednesday, December 20:  Early Release Day – Students are released 2 hours early at 12:15 pm.  Half-day students will release at 10:30 am.; Silent Night Pajama Day ; RFL Hat Day for $1
  • December 21-January 3:  Holiday Break

A very big THANK YOU to all who have sent in items from our wishlist!

Have a Wonderful Week!