November/December 2016 Newsletter

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER
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EARLY REMINDER
OUR CHRISTMAS PROGRAM AND PARTY will be held in the Parish Hall on FRIDAY, December 16th, at 11:00 a.m. (Please take note of the date as we are not usually open on Fridays.) Our program is for both sessions and there will be no school on that day either before or after the program. The children will be presenting a song program and it is important for all the children to be at school no later than 10:45. PLEASE BE ON TIME. Should there be any inclement weather, we will contact each family with regard to the status of our program by emails or by texts. FAMILIES OF THE CHILDREN are invited to our program and party. The party will immediately follow the song program and we ask that you please bring a snack or dessert dish (finger food only) to share. Please let Kit know if you or your child is unable to attend.)
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CHRISTMAS VACATION: December 19th – December 30th
School will re-open Monday, January 2nd, 2017
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THANKSGIVING has been highlighted with the children’s posters of Giving Thanks. We prepped the children during circle times to discuss what they love in their lives: people, places, food, objects, nature, etc. This type of reflection is pertinent not only for Thanksgiving but, of course, throughout our lives. Gratitude enriches our lives and helps opens our eyes.
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OUR NATIONAL PARKS study has come to a close. Some of the children had the opportunity of gluing a cut-out photo of themselves (thanks to Annie Young for the photo and the idea)) onto a black and white photo of Yosemite taken by Ansel Adams. It was so precious as the child seemed to be inside the park! We also introduced a book by Ansel Adams with color photographs of parks entitled In Color. Children also made Junior Park Ranger badges.
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NATIVE AMERICANS have been and will continue to be our classroom study. We have pow wow photographs on the bulletin boards along with photos of Native American artwork from the Denver Museum of Art. We have more pictures for dictated stories, books of legends, pictographs for coloring (including various tribal designs), and flute music by Carlos Nakai.
The tipi has been fascinating to the children and they have been drawing them and reading about them as well as comparing them to other types of homes. We have a large tipi in the classroom made of bark-like material along with fur and feathers with two Navaho dolls in native dress.

The photographer Edward Curtis traveled the length and breadth of North America seeking to record images of the traditional life of its vanishing indigenous inhabitants. These images were published and we have a copy of this monumental work in the classroom.

Another sensorial work has been “making fire” with pieces of wood and different colors of felt cloth with a battery-run little candle. We introduced the work in circle and spoke of tribal councils while each child added to the fire. This has been of great interest to the children. We have also introduced an inukshuk which were rock piles made by Native Americans as a special marking. Leo collected rocks along the river which we will use later for painting pictographs.
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THE LANGUAGE OF STORIES and poems and books gives exposure to different syntactic patterns in oral language and in the process pushes conceptual development as well. – The NAMTA Journal, Winter 2016 Keep reading to your children!
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OUR NEW HALLOWEEN BOOK has been made and the children thoroughly enjoy “reading” it as they look at each child in his or her costumes. The two previous Halloween Books have been available as well. The children received a copy of their own photo for dictation and decoration. Thanks to Aimee Schneble for providing the treats for our treat bags.

Each child was also given a little pumpkin to paint and further decorate by hammering buttons into the pumpkin for their eyes and nose. The three dimensional aspect brought it to life! Leo also carved a large pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern.
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OUTDOOR PLAY has been available for most of our semester and we are so fortunate to have such a great playground for the children. As cold weather approaches, we will be playing more in the social hall (former gym) for which we are equally fortunate. Motion and emotion go hand in hand. It is so important for children (and adults) to be able to actively move their bodies.
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MORE LETTERS FROM BONNIE!
We continued with F for fire safety and had a fire drill which we will continue to do with some regularity. This presentation included pictures of a firefighter so children would know what they look like, the phrase “Don’t Hide Go Outside” was highlighted, we pretended there was smoke and crawled under a gray blanket, and we talked about having to call 911 for an emergency.
D was for dinosaur and the children pretended to be paleontologists by looking for bones (dog bones) throughout the classroom as well as by making their own paper dinos.
E was for elephant and the art work included tissue paper art on a paper elephant.
G was for Gabe (our leader for the day) and Goats. We read the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and each child made a paper bridge, a troll and the goats to reenact the story.
H was for horse, happy, and homes. Bonnie showed the children different types of Native American homes, i.e., tipi, wigwam, long house, and each child was helped in making their own small wigwam. This was a great construction project and lots of fun.
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LEAVES AND PLANTS have been part of our seasonal study with leaf printing, leaf rubbings, the leaf cabinet (three drawers containing numerous types of leaves make out of wood), leaf stencils and books about seeds and what they need to grow into plants.
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BRINGING MONTESSORI HOME: The order of a Montessori classroom can also be echoed at home. Establishing order in the home helps children become more independent. An orderly environment helps children concentrate and focus on the tasks at hand. Contrary to what you may think as you gaze about the house, children (like all human beings) actually have a natural affinity for order. The child only needs to be guided in that direction. – from Maren Schmidt
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TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER BRAIN: #1. Exercise boosts brainpower. Movement helps our brains grow and increases oxygen levels throughout our bodies. Oxygen is critical to effective brain function. Feeling fuzzy-headed and having trouble thinking? Get moving. – M: the folios.
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I am
a hole in a flute
that the Christ’s breath moves through –
listen to this music. – Hafiz
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