December 2011

December 2011

I can believe we’re almost at the end of 2011!  Everything is moving right along and we’ve been busy in all of our classes at TCNS.  We’ve enjoyed some really warm weather this past month, but be prepared for it to change at any time.   It’s a good idea to start sending mittens and hats, and even snowpants on those cold days.  We try to get outside for as long as possible, and even unseasonably warm weather can be uncomfortable after 15-20 minutes.

Fun with Santa:  Remember our big fundraiser is the first weekend of December – Saturday the 3rd.  Each family should get their donations in as soon as possible!  We’re also asking each family to bake two items for the cake wheel and sign up for a shift on that Saturday.  Baked goods can be dropped off at TCNS on Thursday or Friday.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jackie is planning to start back slowly after Thanksgiving.  Once she’s back on her regular schedule in the twos class, Deva will join the TTh class downstairs.  We’re hoping Amy Dawson will continue to help us out as a sub – she’s been a great addition to the classroom!  If you haven’t heard, Amy Pruyear has been joining our preschool classes every other week to do a special music program.  The children are really enjoying the songs and are very excited when she comes.   I’m hoping soon to get some of the lyrics to share and we’re looking forward to adding a session for the twos class after the New Year.

Holiday community service:  During the month of December we’ll be collecting new and gently used socks for Catholic Charities.  We’ve collected about 100 pairs each year and the children enjoy counting and sorting the socks.  This is a good chance to go through your children’s socks and bring in those they’ve outgrown – or the ones with the uncomfortable stitching, wrong colors, etc.   Our children will also be making cards and ornaments for the Ulysses Christmas Bureau.  These will be included in the fruit and food baskets that are delivered to shut-ins during the holidays.

Remember, there will be no school from December 23 through January 2 for the holiday break.   I hope everyone enjoys their time together.

December Activities:   the week following Thanksgiving we’ll be reading Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming.  This book about hibernation has great illustrations.  We’ll be talking about how animals prepare for the winter, make a collage and sculpture about hibernation and work with pastels.  We’ll also make birdseed feeders.  Our next book will be We Are All Alike, We Are All Different.  This is a wonderful book by the Cheltenham Elementary School and we will begin to look at our own similarities and differences and make a self-portrait and puppet.  Then we’ll read Something Special by David McPhail and work on a family portrait.  We’ll graph how many people are in our families and work on holiday gifts and cards.  The last week before the holidays, we’ll be reading Light the Lights by Margaret Moorman.  This book describes a family that celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas.  We’ll try making latkes this week and continue to work on holiday gifts and cards. 

 Terrific Twos:  Wow, do the Twos love to sing! We’ve had lots of fun raising our voices in song, especially if it gets us moving. Not only do we sing during circle time, but when we’re cleaning up, coming into the circle, going potty, and getting ready to go outside. Our classroom sometimes feels like the set of a broadway musical! The children really know our routine by now and look forward to what comes next each day, from projects, to snack, to free play. In December, we’ll talk about colors, feelings, caring and sharing, and winter. We’ll read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Wash, Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban, A Snowy Surprise by Amy Hest, and a surprise book about winter during our last week together in 2011. Our projects will include finger painting and paper tearing, as well as making felt mice, popsicle feeling puppets, winter trees, and a special gift for our parents. And, of course, we’ll sing some “old” favorites and learn new songs, too! As the weather gets colder, don’t forget a hat and mittens for the playground. Snow pants also help to keep the children warm, even before the snow falls, so feel free to send those along, too.

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