This month's newsletter topicsWinter Holidays – Circle Time News – Help Us Collect Canned Food! – Outside Play- Snow Days
This month's newsletter topics
December/January – Winter Holidays
Throughout December we are talking and learning about holidays. We will share stories about how each of us celebrates with our family, and we’ll learn about holidays around the world. We are helping the children learn that there are many people in our world and many different beliefs and holiday celebrations. Even though holidays have different names and meanings, most are celebrated with a gathering of friends and family, special foods, and gift giving.
We will learn the names of several winter holidays and then play games, sing songs and do cooking projects to learn more about them. If you have a tradition, song, or cooking project you would like to share with our students, we would love to hear from you.
Hands On will be closed from December 19-January 2. Our first day back to school will be January 3th. We hope you all have a wonderful winter vacation.
Circle Time News
Each day our class meets as one big group to sing songs, introduce ourselves and talk about what we will be doing in class that day. Then we break up into smaller groups to do our circle time work. Each child has a job; sometimes 2 children share a job. Our jobs are: bell ringer, calendar pal, alphabet pal, number pal, weather pal, line leader, snack helper and teacher’s helper. Ask your child what their job was each day and see if they can tell you about it.
The bell ringer rings the morning bell to let everyone know it is clean up time. Then the calendar pal sings the days of the week song and tells us the month and date. After that, the alphabet pal tells us the letter of the week. Then the teacher shows them how to write the letter and they practice on the chalkboard and invite friends up to give it a try. Next the number pal will do a math or counting project. For example, how many kids in our circle have on shoes? How many don’t? So many kids do we have in circle all together? Then the weather pal gets to hang up the weather charts and read them to the class. The line leaders lead us outside to the playground and back in. The snack helpers get to set out the plates and cups for snack and pour the water. A teacher’s helper may be assigned a special task, like watering plants or sweeping, or using the spray bottle to clean the tables. All the children get a chance to try different jobs each day, except snack helpers are only in the older group, 4 and 5 year olds.
This month our number pals are enjoying something special. We are learning about money and coins and how to count them. The complexities of the problems depend on the age group of the children. For example, the youngest children may count the coins and begin learning to identify them. The older children are learning the value of each coin. Our math problems could be something like, “You have how many coins on your tray? What kind of coins are they? So how much money do you have? I have candy canes for sale for 5 cents each, how many will you be able to buy? “ This project is no doubt very exciting, and on the last day of class the children will be able to actually “buy” their mini candy cane!
Help Us Collect Canned Food!
Each November and December our school community works together with St. David’s, and other building partners, to collect cans of nonperishable food to donate. Please bring in your cans of food during the last week of November and first week of December. It will be really nice for the students to see that even a small contribution, added to other small contributions, can turn into a great big contribution. It is also a great way for our students to help our local community.
We love to play outside every day and we do so even when it is cold. It is nice to go outside to play. Please send a coat to school with your child each day and remember that you should bring hats and mittens to leave for your child at school too. Please add your children’s names so we can help them find their things. It is also a great idea to leave extra clothes in your child’s cubby in case they need to change clothes during the day.
We always follow Portland Public Schools’ decisions regarding snow days so if PPS is closed or opening late, Hands On is closed. You will be offered make up days for each day Hands On is closed due to weather.