Welcome back, Friends! We are so excited to be back and ready for more fun and learning! If possible, please send in pictures of your little guys celebrating the holidays with your family and friends. We will use these as conversation starters in some of our small group and large group discussions. Children tend to open up and talk about concrete representations of their experiences much easier than trying to rely on their memories of such busy, exciting times. We will spend the next week engaging in relevant conversations about their holiday fun. Also, thank you so much to our room mom, Michele Hynes, and to all of the parents who came to help with our holiday party! I think the kids had a great time, and we made some memories, to be sure! Michele Hynes has shared some photos of that day, and Michelle McKenzie and I will be emailing some other special pictures in the next couple of weeks.
As a side note, I really mixed things up in the last blog as far as our introduction and practice of the letters “Gg” and “Xx.” I had indicated that we would spend December reviewing several letters, when we really spent our last two weeks engaged in activities to learn the letters “Gg” and “Xx.” This was due, in part, to a scheduling error I made at the beginning of the school year when I laid out my plans for the year. So, we are back on track, and will spend these next two weeks in review of the letters I have indicated below! Let me know if you have questions or concerns about my blunder!
The Jacket I Wear In the Snow, by Shirley Neitzel, centers around a little girl who wants to go outside and play in the snow. We follow her as she must don layers and layers of clothing, until she is outside and, to her relief, can come in and take them all off! The scaffolding text (much like The House That Jack Built) is presented in a rebus-like fashion and helps our pre-readers follow along with the story more easily. The rich, sequential and rhyming vocabulary adds some colorful descriptive terms the kids will enjoy using!
Sneezy the Snowman, by Maureen Wright, is the story of a very cold snowman and his many attempts to get warm. Each attempt causes him to melt, and his helpful friends must rebuild him each time. As the children happily donate items of Winter clothing to Sneezy, much like our main character in the previous story, he eventually becomes too hot. His friends solve Sneezy’s problem with a yummy surprise (ice cream,) until he feels just right!
Both stories are wonderful for introducing and practicing the related vocabulary for our Winter weather and clothing concepts, as well as for supporting various sequencing and rhyming activities. One way to reinforce the stories at home would be to talk about the appropriate clothing for the season. If possible, send your children with various mittens, scarves, earmuffs, hats, etc., that we can share and talk about. Just be sure to label everything with their names!
Along with the concepts of focus through our stories, the next month we will emphasize the color white, the shape diamond, and review the letters “Jj,” “Pp,” “Aa,” “Tt,” “Hh,” “Gg,” and “Xx.” Continue to point out words that begin with or contain these letters and the sounds they make. Discuss things that are white or diamond-shaped as you encounter them this winter. Although we aren’t wishing for a blizzard, some Winter snow would be a nice way for our kids to continue learning and living these concepts, as they develop a greater understanding about the world they live in!
Dates to Remember
- Friday, January 11th, 2019 – progress reports go home
- Monday, January 21st, 2019 – Martin Luther King, Jr. day observation – school closed