2 Corinthians 5:17
WELCOME BACK! WE HOPE THAT YOU ENJOYED A BLESSED HOLIDAY!
Kindergarten Preview Day: Any student who will be eligible for Kindergarten next September (i.e. five years old by September 1st) is invited to join us for the morning of Friday, January 23rd, to get an idea of what Little Lambs Kindergarten is like. Students may bring a lunch with them to school that day and enjoy some Kindergarten-ready activities. The schedule is 8:30am-11:50am. The preview day will be offered Friday, February 20th as well; students may attend one or both days. Please tell Mrs. Ratten if your child will be joining us.
Aloha Community Library Fundraiser: We are tentatively scheduled to enjoy a brief field trip to the Aloha Community Library’s story time on Wednesday, January 28th, in order to present our donation to their matching grant fundraiser. The children read 122 books leading up to Christmas Break, so with parent donations, we are able to give $150 to the library! Way to go! If you would like to drive for the library field trip, please let me know as soon as possible. Due to space constraints, we have to limit the number of parents for this trip.
Valentine Party: Your children already may be asking about Valentines for their classmates. We always encourage the children to make homemade Valentines, if possible, so it can be a good idea to start early. And remember, it’s the thought and effort that count, not a “perfect” result! Some simple heart shapes, traced and cut out of construction paper, make great Valentines. We currently have 17 children enrolled. More information about the party will come in February.
2015/2016 Enrollment: We will begin enrollment for the 2015/2016 school year by February 13th. Registration forms will be available then. If you know any other families who may be interested in enrollment, please feel free to give them my phone number (503.706.1161) or email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that they may be added to our waiting list. Thank you!
Receipts: If you need a year-end receipt from us, please let us know as soon as possible.
We appreciate you: We extend a sincere “thank you” to parents and students for thinking of us at Christmas. The kind words, gift cards, and many other remembrances were greatly appreciated and enjoyed. We look forward to sharing the rest of the school year with you and are anticipating God’s blessings in 2015.
Classroom Notes: As we begin the new year, the children will again be very busy in class. We anticipate a slight “readjustment” period as we re-establish routines and expectations for all of the students, but here is a look at what types of activities are on the horizon:
Literacy: We will continue our study of the fairy tale genre, finishing with Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Below you will find an article we wrote for the Aloha Community Library's newsletter regarding the benefits of fairy tales. We will also begin a study of prepositions (e.g. behind, next to, under, etc.) as we continue to build up vocabulary and conversation skills for the children. This can be a tricky concept for students in this age group, particularly when English is a second language, so we will take some time with it.
Social Studies: Moving on with our continent study, we will wrap up our look at South America and spend some time in Antarctica. This study allows us time to learn about many various aspects of our world: people, cultures, foods, stories, plants and animals. The Kindergarten children will begin their continent maps soon! This is always an exciting rite of passage for this age group…it’s one of those “big kid” activities they look forward to accomplishing.
Science: We will begin learning about the water cycle, including looking at ways we can be good stewards of God’s creation.
Math: After a review of the plane geometric shapes, we will introduce the solid forms this month. We will also continue our look at the concept of odd/even; the children have done quite well with this and keep asking for more activities in this area! Many of our students are now ready to work with concepts of addition and subtraction, so you may start seeing some of these activities coming home. This is purely an introduction to the concepts, without any expectation at this point of memorization.
Music and Art: We finished meeting the instruments of the orchestra right before Christmas, but we will spend some time reviewing them again this month. We will also begin learning about quarter notes and rests as we continue rhythm work during our music times. We will start learning about individual artists in the coming months, and the Kindergarten group will enjoy a fun project about Michelangelo.
More Than A “Grimm” Story: A Look At What Children Can Learn From Fairy Tales
Once upon a time there were stories to be told. Stories that may have involved royalty, talking animals and magic. Stories that pitted good against evil. Stories designed to teach a lesson. Stories that were...fairy tales.
Fairy tales have been around in written form at least since the seventeenth century, and in oral tradition for thousands of years before that. They have evolved into well-loved stories, immortalized in word, in illustration and even in films. On their surface they are fantastical tales that have entertained children for centuries, but if we dig a little deeper, we find that fairy tales can provide a wealth of learning opportunities to support a wide range of ages, across multiple academic areas. With just a few simple stories, you can find ways to incorporate concepts related to math, science, art, social studies and, of course, literacy. The fairy tale genre is a wonderful vehicle for entertaining and teaching the young and the old, boys and girls, readers and not-yet-readers.
So what can a child learn from these time-honored stories? Consider the following ideas and concepts the next time you enjoy a fairy tale with your child.
*Using the story of The Three Little Pigs, introduce the concept of ordinal numbers. Which house was built first, second, third? How do these correspond to the numerals 1, 2, 3?
*Introduce story problems using a couple of fairy tales. If the three pigs and the three bears had dinner together, how many animals would there be? If Goldilocks and The Big Bad Wolf join them, how many characters would there be?
*Looking at castles in the fairy tales, talk about basic geometric shapes. Can your child find squares, rectangles, circles or triangles? As a creative extension, encourage your child to cut out shapes and build his or her own castle.
*Allow your child to build houses out of straw, sticks and stones. Can any of the houses withstand your child blowing on them? Fanning them? Blowing them with a hair dryer? How can you make the houses stronger?
*In the story of Little Red Riding Hood, what type of path would be the shortest way to get to Grandma’s house? Let your child use toothpicks or blocks to construct different paths and measure them: zigzag, curvy, straight?
*How could the three bears have cooled their porridge more quickly? How do we change the temperature of things? Encourage your child to design an experiment to determine the fastest way to cool off something that is too hot.
*Research fairy tales from other cultures and communities. The story of Cinderella, for example, has many different variations from around the globe, including African, Appalachian and Korean versions.
*Discuss the various emotions we see in fairy tales. How are the characters feeling? Are they happy, sad, anxious, angry, excited? What do they do or say that shows us how they are feeling?
*Use fairy tales to demonstrate and allow simple retelling and summarizing. What happens first, next, last? Is there an overall lesson the story is teaching?
*Encourage your child to predict what will happen in a story, perhaps in a different version your child has not yet heard. Can he or she use prior knowledge from other fairy tales to make a prediction?
*Discuss the concepts of characters, setting, plot and theme as you read different fairy tales.
*Use fairy tales to introduce the idea of a literary genre. Look for common elements among the fairy tales that link them as a literary family. Check out ACL’s bulletin board display for some information on this genre!
*Can your child reenact Goldilocks And The Three Bears with dolls and stuffed animals?
*Can your child sculpt a castle out of clay?
*Can your child write a story detailing what would happen if Jack (Jack And The Beanstalk) had met Little Red Riding Hood on the path to the market? How would that change each character’s story?
*Enjoy fractured fairy tales, stories in which the traditional characters, plot or setting are altered in some way.
The fairy tale genre is full of unexpected learning opportunities, so the next time you are at the library, stock up on some great stories and see where they lead you and your children! (Reprinted from Aloha Community Library's newsletter.)