December greetings from Kindergarten! This is a very festive month in room 101 as we build our learning program around the
fine arts and family traditions of this magical season.
We will give particular emphasis to Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker ballet. The children will attend a production of The Nutcracker on Thursday, December 8th. In preparation for this performance, they will be acting out the story, reading books, creating art and dancing to the music!
As part of this fine arts theme, the children will explore many classic holiday stories. These are wonderful tales written and illustrated by some of our most talented children’s authors. In the process of enjoying the stories, the children will continue their formal letter and sound work.
By the December vacation, students will have been exposed to all lower case letters through the use of the Fundations Phonics Program. Students should be able to recognize and identify letter forms, sounds, classification and proper writing of lower case letters by the end of December. Most students come to school knowing their capital letters. Revisiting the capital letters to reinforce proper handwriting techniques will begin in January. The students will be immersed in the alphabet, phonics, grammar, language and writing skills as they enjoy many seasonal poems and stories.
In Math we will be learning Topic 5 of our math program titled: Classify and Count Data. Students will classify objects and pictures according to given attributes, a method appropriate for young children because objects can be easily grouped and because a similar process will be used to decompose numbers.
In social studies, the children will explore celebrations. We will chart the common characteristics of celebrations, and question whether simple or elaborate rituals make the best memories.
Our science unit this month will introduce the children to seasonal plants. They will be learning the characteristics of evergreen and deciduous trees, and they will become aware of plants, which are part of our winter celebrations. We will also try to squeeze in a mini-unit on electricity. Many of the celebrations we will learn about all have a light component, so having the children discover how to light up a lightbulb on their own (create a closed circuit) is a nice culminating project!
Seasonal business item: PLEASE BE SURE JACKETS, HATS, MITTENS, SCARVES, and especially BOOTS AND SHOES are labeled with your child’s name. You might work out a code with him/her to help getting items on the correct feet, i.e. putting a red dot on the right boot and right shoe.
Practice with zippering and buttoning is also time well spent. Zippering is a hard skill to perform on yourself, but easily mastered on a friend. Let your child practice zippering other people’s jackets before he/she tries to master his/her own. We will encourage this in school as well.
We try our best to get everyone buttoned-up when heading outside, but with many layers of clothing in winter weather, ANYTHING they can do themselves is most appreciated.
Finally, many thanks are sent out to our classroom helpers who continue to support us at a time when we know you have a million other things to do. Plans are already underway for our activities in 2016! We recently sent home an availability sheet asking for your continued help after the first of the year.
Best wishes for a frenzy free December.
Melissa Parnell & Kathleen Kearney
Note Dates and Activities:
December 1 - No school
December 2 - Word Quiz
(10 random words from set 1 and 2)
December 8 - Field Trip - Nutcracker
December 16 - Polar Express Day -
Students wear pajamas to school
and bring a small stuffed friend.
December 21 - School-Wide Innovation Day -
Gingerbread day with our 4th
December 23 - Special Event
with 4th Grade Friends!