January 2017 Newsletter

JANUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER
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THANK YOU SO MUCH DEAR RAINBOW PARENTS for your consideration and accommodation with regard to the sudden passing of my sister, Diane. I deeply appreciate your help.
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OUR LAST NEWSLETTER was written in early December so we didn’t refer to all the cool Christmas crafts the children enjoyed. There were several projects including the handprint of each child made into a cardinal on a branch with stenciled snowflakes. Heidi Dorsey organized and helped in the classroom for this keepsake. Annie Young helped the children make ornaments from different lengths of twigs glued onto a popsicle stick in order from longest to shortest in the shape of a Christmas tree and then sequined onto the sticks. Isis Kirby-O’Connell led the afternoon children with the glittered birds and Kit helped all the children with sculpey ornaments.
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ASIA IS OUR NEW STUDY in class. We have Asian art on the bulletin boards as well as photos from National Geographic showing people in their daily lives. We have introduced Chinese and Japanese characters which the children have traced and practiced writing some of the characters on large pieces of paper (calligraphy). Informative books as well as fiction from various countries are read, Russian and Japanese songs are being practiced, paper dragon masks have been colored and cut out, Japanese woodblock prints are available for dictated stories or to be used as decorated art.
We are also practicing different yoga poses and have introduced the idea of mindfulness with specific breathing while practicing silence. Flags from several Asian countries are on display and are very intriguing to the children; and we have a large jigsaw puzzle map of Asia so the children have the opportunity to learn the names as well as the geography of the countries. A piece of antique Chinese embroidery is hung on one of our walls and we have a small Zen garden with white sand, small rakes and river rocks which the children can design.
Finally, Andrew Nance (Anya’s father) was able to visit the morning class and give a lovely presentation on Japan. He included a flag from Children’s Day and explained how the different fish represented different members of a family. We were also shown Japanese alphabet books which showed the character and Andrew gave us the sound. Additionally, the children were given the opportunity to make origami Samurai helmets.
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MOST PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES have been completed. They have been, as usual, very special in giving us plenty of time to discuss the children’s interests and behavior.
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LETTERS WITH BONNIE have taken us from J through N. The children really really enjoy Bonnie’s visits which are truly lively as well as informative. She is able to bring in so many materials to reinforce the letter/sound association. There is also a craft to bring everything alive. For “J” we made jingle bells, “K’ was for a Hershey Kiss, “L” was for lantern and was part of a Chinese New Year presentation, “M” was for mitten which was based on a book called The Mitten and involved lots of animals in the story which the children also acted out, N was for narwhal as well as nose for which the children smelled various scents from perfume to vinegar.
*****************************************************************************APPLE PUMPKIN BUTTER was made in the morning class thanks to Annie. The children peeled and chopped apples, cleaned and cut up a small pumpkin, and then added various spices. Annie cooked this at home in her crockpot and then all the children were able to taste this delicious butter on either sweet or salty crackers. We were also able to send home small amounts in little jars for the children to share with their families. We plan to continue to do various cooking projects with the children. If anyone is interested in sharing any easy cooking recipes, come on in!
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BRINGING MONTESSORI HOME: HELP CHILDREN TO BE HELPFUL! Giving children opportunities to help out at home is just as essential as it is at school. Children can do all kinds of things around the house, including setting and clearing the table; loading the dishwasher; sorting and folding laundry; watering plants in the house and in the garden and bringing in the mail. These activities teach children valuable organization and motor skills, but they are also wonderful at developing empathy and help the child develop the built-in emotional response toward caring for other people. – From M: the folios, Number One.
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TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER BRAIN: We don’t pay attention to things that aren’t interesting to us. If something is boring or holds no meaning for us, we tune out. Also, the brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth. We waste a lot of time and brain effort switching back and forth between multiple activities. We are better off if we focus consistently on one thing at a time. So, yep, turn off the television when you study or need to concentrate. And instant messaging and….
*****************************************************************************REMINDER: We will email you with regard to any closings or delays if we have inclement weather. We usually follow the lead of the public school system but not always check in!