Show-And-Tell: In honor of the Winter Olympics, our theme this month for Show-and-Tell will be sports and exercise. There are many items that can fit into this category, including photos of your children participating in a sporting activity. We look forward to seeing what comes in. For this theme, your child's item does not need to fit into his or her cubby. Sports equipment can be pretty big!
Book Orders: Scholastic book orders are due Thursday, February 6th. Please write one check for all your orders, payable to Little Lambs.
Late Arrivals: We have been having a bit of trouble with late arrivals again. Children should be at school by 8:30am, finished eating and ready to go. If you do not arrive by 8:30, please do not come into the classroom until 9:00am. If you are finding it hard to get your child up and ready for school on time, please consider adjusting his or her bedtime. Children in this age group need a MINIMUM of 10 hours of sleep each night. We understand that everyone has the occasional rough morning, necessitating a later arrival, but please keep in mind that your child misses a lot of instruction time when this happens consistently. We cherish every minute we can spend with your children, and we don’t want to waste any opportunities to help them succeed.
Fred Meyer Rewards Cards: You can now link your Fred Meyer’s rewards card to various non-profits to assist in raising money for them. If you do not have another organization you are supporting, please consider choosing the Aloha Community Library. Little Lambs has been able to support them in the past year through our Jog-A-Thon and Read-A-Thon, and they are now ready to apply for admission to the Washington County Library System. This is a great way to support a local organization!
Valentine Party, February 13th: The children will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 13th with a party, songs, games and a card exchange. If you would like to volunteer for this day, please speak with a teacher.
You may send Valentines to school with your child any time. We have 16 students; if you choose to do Valentines, please allow your child to bring one for each classmate. We LOVE to see homemade Valentines, so this is a great opportunity for the children to use the skills they have worked on in class this year: tracing, cutting, coloring, gluing and, for some, writing their name. If you are looking for simple ideas for your child to make homemade Valentines, just talk to one of the teachers. We are happy to share some ideas. It is usually easiest to have your child sign his or her name to each Valentine without needing to include specific classmates’ names.
Monday, February 17th: The Center will be closed in observance of Presidents’ Day.
Friday, February 21st: Kindergarten preview day. Please let Mrs. Ratten know if your child will attend.
Wednesday, February 26th: Picture Day! Order forms will come home soon.
2014/2015 Registration: Registration forms for the 2014/2015 school year will be sent home on Monday, February 10th.
An Opportunity for Ministry: Pregnancy Resource Center is a local Christian organization that seeks to protect human life by assisting girls and women with unplanned pregnancies. Formerly called Crisis Pregnancy Center, PRC is a ministry near and dear to our hearts, as Mrs. Sallak was one of their founding board members. Over the next few weeks, Little Lambs will be participating in PRC’s “Fill the Bottle” campaign. We will have a baby bottle in the classroom in which parents and students may drop in spare coins to be donated to the Center. We will explain to the children that sometimes mommies and daddies do not have all the help they need to take care of their new babies. This money will be used to help them do a good job of taking care of their children by providing things like diapers, clothes, bottles, etc. At Little Lambs we are blessed enough to minister every day to children who are cherished and who have had all their basic needs met. This is an opportunity to minister to children who are not starting life with the same amount of support but who, through God’s grace, are at least getting a chance to start their lives.
We recognize that many of you already have causes you support financially; please do not feel that there is an obligation to join us in this fundraiser. We count it a great blessing to serve your children every day, and we are thankful that we are able to help PRC bless other children as well.
Classroom Activities: We have been so busy this month! Here are some highlights of what we have been studying:
Literacy: We have been working on positional words, building up the vocabulary to go with the concepts of “over, under, next to, behind”, etc. This has been challenging work for some of the children, but we’re seeing good progress. We also have a whole lot of reading going on. Nine of our students are now reading at least basic phonetic words…it’s so exciting! We also spent a lot of time this past month working on vowels, both long and short. The children did very well with this. Can your child tell you which vowels are in his or her name? Our Kindergarten group is also now working on their dictionary skills; it’s so impressive to see all they are accomplishing!
Math: We continue to work on building the concept of place value and the terminology that goes with it. Many of the children are now ready to work with the equipment in the classroom that reinforces these concepts. The class has also worked on naming and recognizing ordinal numbers (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd) particularly in our calendar work. We have also worked on recognizing and organizing by attributes in our “Kid Sort” game. The teacher sorts the children into two groups based on an attribute she has in mind, and the children try to guess what it is, such as wearing long sleeves, or having something in their hair, etc. Some of your children are really hard to stump! The Kindergarten children have been working on multiple-digit addition, with fabulous success. They are working on understanding the process in preparation for addition with carrying.
Science: Are any of you hearing about life cycles and metamorphosis? We are deep into our amphibian study right now, and the children are loving it! We have learned so many interesting facts about amphibians in general, and frogs in particular. When your children arrive at school tomorrow, they will even see some surprise new friends in the classroom! Tomorrow we will wrap up our hibernation study and let all the little animals head back home. Thank you for helping your children to participate! The Kindergarten children are now studying states of matter, specifically with water and the water cycle. They will even be enjoying a States Of Matter treat this Friday! After a classroom vote, Little Lambs is now the proud sponsor of two birds at the Portland Audubon Society. The children chose Jack Sparrowhawk, an American Kestrel, and Finnegan the Peregrine Falcon. We received photos and information of our birds; please take a moment to take a look next time you are in the classroom.
Social Studies and Geography: We are beginning a study of the continents, looking both at the geography and the people, as we prepare for our “Children Around The World” program this spring. The Kindergarten group will begin making their own maps of the world this week; this is always one of the favorite Kindergarten projects! We are also starting a transportation study, looking at the many ways people and cargo get moved all around the world.
Music: In addition to learning songs for our spring performance, we have been doing a lot of movement and rhythm work, as well as learning how to make beautiful music with our classroom bells.
P.E.: We have enjoyed an unusually dry winter with great opportunities to play outside, both in free play activities, and in organized large motor games. We have also had fun with obstacle courses, balance work and silly games like Hot Potato.