“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting.” Psalm 136:1
As a reminder of why we have set aside a special day of thanksgiving, we would like to share the proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln:
The year that is drawing to its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they came, others have been added … They are the gracious gifts of the most high God …
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole of the American people.
I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
October 3, 1863
Can you imagine the blessings our country would reap if the American people would “solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledge” God as the source of all our gifts? The staff extends warm wishes to each family for a very special time of thankfulness!
Classroom Notes: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day last Thursday to join us for the children’s performance. They did such an amazing job! We were just thrilled to see how well they did. Even with the time spent preparing for the performance, however, our Little Lambs have been very busy the past month! Here are some of the highlights:
Literacy and language: The children are all working diligently at their own levels in this area. We have spent time as a group reciting the alphabet and reinforcing the idea that letters make specific phonetic sounds. We are learning the American Sign Language alphabet as well; the children have done great with this! This week we will begin learning a fun alphabet song, “Gilly Gilly Gilly Good Morning,” that incorporates letter names and sounds. You may hear this one a lot! Over the next few weeks we will spend some time with the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book, incorporating puzzles and art projects to further our phonics study. The Kindergarten children have also started working on the “H Family” with the phonograms sh, ch and th.
We are continuing our fairy tale study by moving on to Cinderella stories. We will begin with the traditional version and then spend time with different versions from around the world.
Some of the children are getting ready to begin using our set of classroom books in their reading work. When your child is ready for this step, he or she will follow the routine below:
- Read the book to himself or herself.
- Complete a paper that accompanies the book.
- Read the book to a teacher.
- Bring the book home in a book bag to read to parents at home.
- Parent signs the reading slip; student returns the book within 2 school days.
Little Lambs is excited once again to support the Aloha Community Library with a Read-A-Thon during the next month. ACL has received a matching grant that will match each dollar donated, up to $15,000. We will do our small part by making a donation on behalf of the students, offering $1.00 to the library for each book they read. When you read a book at home with your child, please write down the title and send it in with your student, and we will keep track of all the books the students read, including ones we read together in class.
Math: There are a wide range of activities in the classroom in our math curriculum, and each child is working on skills appropriate for him or her, ranging from size and shape sequencing, to quantity and numeral recognition, to place value work. As a group we have worked on the concept of odd/even, leading up to a later skill of counting by twos and other skip counting. The Kindergarten children have worked extensively with our gold bead math equipment, building numeral and quantity recognition up to 9,999. We have such capable students!
Many of the older students are now being introduced to the concept of equivalencies, in preparation for addition work. As this concept becomes solidified for them, you will see addition papers coming home. Please keep in mind, this is NOT memorization work. Rather, the children are working with beads and other manipulatives to understand the concrete idea of addition.
Science and Social Studies: We are moving into a study of living/nonliving as we begin to discuss plants, animals, people and landforms in our continent study. We will wrap up our look at North America shift to South America.
Our time spent with various Three Little Pigs stories in our literature studies (The Three Little Javelinas and The Three Little Tamales) overflowed into science and social studies as we learned about the saguaro cactus, tasted tamales and talked about life in the desert.
Now as we look at fall changes around us, we will also study the parts of a tree and the parts of a leaf. We will enjoy making leaf rubbings, and the Kindergarten class will learn how and why leaves change colors.
We are finishing our study of the Pilgrims in the New World, discussing ways their lives were both similar to ours, and different from ours. Can your child tell you how Pilgrim children had to eat? They had to stand up at the table, since there wasn’t enough furniture, and they had to be silent unless spoken to by an adult. We tried eating like Pilgrims at snack time one day last week, and the children decided they prefer our ways of eating in modern times!
Music: It is time to begin meeting the instruments of the orchestra, family by family. We will discuss how the size of an instrument helps determine how high or low the notes are. We will learn which instrument plays the highest notes (the piccolo). And the lowest notes (the double bassoon). This is always an enjoyable part of our curriculum.
We continue to work with our classroom bells, training our ears to hear differences in the notes. Some of the children are now able to match the bells by sound, without any help from the teachers! We are also learning how to distinguish between high notes and low notes, and what it sounds like to go up the scale or down the scale.
Outdoor recess: We will go outside as much as possible this fall and winter. It is very important for the children to bring a warm coat EVERY day (please label it with your child’s name) and to wear sturdy tennis shoes for running and climbing at the park.
Inclement weather: In the event of inclement weather, Little Lambs will follow the Beaverton School District in determining closures or late openings. If the Beaverton School District announces a late opening of two hours or more, or if Beaverton schools are closed, Little Lambs will be closed. Please listen to the news should there be any questions as to whether or not school will be in session. Once Beaverton School District makes a determination, I will send an email to confirm.
“This is a real job!” These are the words we overheard one day when a child started raking leaves with his friend. Word spread quickly that there was a real job to do, and soon children were lined up to get a turn with the rakes. This perfectly demonstrates the value of meaningful work for children. This was a job with tangible results, a job that helped clean up the playground, and a job that fostered the children’s sense of pride and ownership in their school. Unfortunately, work has quite a negative connotation in our world today, as it has somehow turned into the thing that stops us from being able to do what we truly love, but this is a dangerous idea to give our children. Good, hard work is valuable and meaningful, in a home, in a business, in a classroom and in the community, and our children need to see that. The age group we serve at Little Lambs is perfectly suited to enjoying meaningful work; 3-6 year olds LOVE to have jobs that are helpful and useful. This is the perfect time, then, to instill a desire to work hard and to enjoy the results of a job well done. This is the perfect time to teach children that, no matter the job, hard work is valuable and worth their effort. This is the perfect time for children to learn that the type of job you do doesn’t define you, but rather the joy and energy you put into doing it well should give you a sense of worthiness and value. Taken further, this plants the seed that a child’s “worthiness” comes from the fact that God created him with a plan…regardless of exactly what that plan is. Whether our children grow up to be teachers, doctors, painters, janitors, truck drivers or farmers, they are worthy just by the nature of their creation, and they can take pride and joy in their hard work and their “real jobs.” Ecclesiastes 5: 18-20 instructs us that “…it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him – for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” It is our prayer that our students would grow to be happy in their work and to be occupied with gladness of heart!