Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Greetings from chilly Ohio! I hope that if you're traveling it goes more smoothly than my trip! We hit some blizzard conditions in West Virginia and had to turn a seven hour trip into a 21 hour overnight trip. But we made it, and without being towed. Phew! :) I am spending Christmas this year with my boyfriend, David, and his family. Eight whole days before our next goodbye! What a nice present for me. But look - I meant it when I said I would miss each and every one of my kiddos and am blogging away to stay connected! Where are you all this holiday season? And are your children wildly excited for Santa's visit? They are all on his nice list, I know!

Unfortunately the last day before break was extremely busy between gingerbread houses and the holiday dance and as a result I forgot to (a) send home the adorable Rudolph cards we made (you'll get those late!) (b) add pictures to the ornament frames that came home and (c)send the second level of sight word flash cards to those I wrote a note to saying I would! Ugh. Please accept my apologies for this! I hope that you can remedy one of these by gluing your own photo in the frame so that in twenty years you can look at your Christmas tree with your child's kindergarten face smiling back at you. As for the others, I'll send them the day we return.

I did not forget to send homefun, in case you were wondering. The feedback I received from parents indicated that homefun during the holiday break may be stressful instead of helpful... so instead I will post optional nightly activities for the week on here. Only Monday and Tuesday this week have written work that should be done in homefun journals. Wednesday-Friday are to be done orally.

Optional Homefun for the week:

Monday: Draw a picture and write a sentence about the treats you are going to leave for Santa (and maybe a treat that you can leave outside in the yard for the Reindeer, too).

Tuesday (Christmas!): Find your favorite present. Who is it from? Write them a thank you! "Dear __________, Thank you for my ___________. I am happy I got it because now I can ________________. Love, ____________"

Wednesday: Practice adding two different groups of things together. This is easily done with two types of cereal. Pick a couple of each and say the problem out loud. (Example: using Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios, I could say "I have four pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and three Cheerios. I have seven pieces of cereal total. Four plus three equals seven." We haven't formally gone over this yet in class but will be working on addition a lot the week we return, so a head start is nice. :)

Thursday: Practice tying your shoes! Count by 1s, 5s and 10s to 100. Tell everything you know about a penny, nickel, dime and quarter. (The name of it, how much it's worth, who's on the front, what's on the back, what coins of equal value can be traded.)

Friday: Rhyme Time! Say a word out loud that rhymes with the following words: (1) pat (2) will (3) door (4) close (5) den (6) art (7) night

This past week we did a lot of creative writing that connected to the holiday season. On Monday, we read Santa's Stuck and wrote about what we would do if Santa got stuck climbing out of our chimney! This work turned out so cute it's on display in our room.

On Tuesday, we read two different gingerbread stories: The Gingerbread Man and The Gingerbread Girl and then made our own gingerbread creation.

Spider-Man by Dougie and Fairy Princess by Sarah

To continue our Gingerbread theme in math, we ate some gingerbread cookies and graphed which part of the cookie we ate first: head, arms, feet or body. The first graph shows the breakdown before the kiddos knew I was graphing how they ate their cookie. The second graph shows the breakdown when they knew what I was graphing and made a conscientious decision about what part of the cookie to eat first. Yahaya was the only one to eat the whole cookie in one bite! Haha, that gingerbread man wasn't going to run away from him! Love it.

On Wednesday, we read Laura Numeroff's If You Take a Mouse to the Movies and wrote our own story in Laura's style, If You Give a Reindeer a Root Beer!

On Thursday, we listened to How Santa Got His Job and applied to be Santa's helpers! It turns out Santa needs help at the North Pole and handed out some Elf applications. We'll find out if anyone got hired after break. ;)

And of course, on Friday, we made our gingerbread houses...

...and went to the holiday dance!

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

I am amazed by Gabriel and Ethan's dance-off. Haha, hilariously adorable.

In the afternoons, we worked on our Christmas Counting books in Math and introduced the concept of needs and wants in Social Studies. Students learned that humans primarily need food, air and water to live, just like other plants and animals. To live for an extended period of time and stay safe, we also need clothing and shelter. A want is anything that falls out of those five categories or is an excessive version (i.e., a mansion vs a tent or brand name clothing vs some sweats). We related the concept of needs and wants to Christmas, and I let students know that Santa can bring presents that you want OR presents that you need. (I told them how much I love when Santa brings me socks! They didn't seem to share the sentiment.) We'll pick back up with this unit when we return in January. Until then...

Owl be teaching you more tomorrow!

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