Mid-December Newsletter

December 12, 2015

Notes from the classroom

Thank you for a wonderful Friday. The Primer and third grade students LOVED showing off their coding projects with family and friends. Many thanks to our game volunteers as well.

Primer students are working hard until the break. The past two weeks flew by but we have managed to compose and almost publish our endangered/threatened animals book in addition to learning time to the half hour, elements of nonfiction, complete coding activities and open the cards we are receiving from the holiday card exchange.

Just a reminder orders for our published book are due before December 18. Order forms can be found in your child's blue folder or you can purchase the book online. If you purchase the book online, please let me know so that I can maintain accurate records.

Homework will not be given the week of December 14. Students will have a Text Talk assessment on their words from "The Gingerbread Man" near the end of the week.

On Tuesday, December 15 students will bring home their paper white bulbs. These plants require little maintenance. Here is a helpful article on the odds and ends of paper whites.

Enjoy every minute of the holidays. I am thrilled to spend time with my family and to visit my mom, my sister and her family in Chicago after Christmas. I look forward to hearing all about your holiday adventures when we return on January 5.

Our academic focus this week will be to put the finishing touches on our book, record our matter fact rap, synthesize our matter unit to make a video with students selecting pictures and recording facts about what they learned.

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The Dallas Zoo

Monday, December 14 is our field trip to The Dallas Zoo. Students will need to wear their uniform. The predicted weather high is in the upper 60s. Wind is expected so a light jacket or sweatshirt might be a good idea. Students will be off campus from 9:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. While at the Zoo, we will participate in a habitat program that aligns with our global big idea and our research. This visit will help students illustrate their book. The Dallas Zoo will provide our lunch. Students will also participate in the Nature Exchange Program along with a few other surprise feedings. You can follow our trip on Photo Circle. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Things to do over the holidays

Our winter holiday break last 18 days. Here are 18 things you can do on your break courtesy of Matt Gomez, a former kindergarten teacher and colleague.

In no particular order…

1. Visit a public library. Find a wordless picture book (the librarian can help) and retell the story. If possible check out the book so everyone in the family can retell the book their own way.

2. Visit a nearby park and play. Try to find a park you have never been to before.

3. Send a letter to a grandparent or other family member via the mail. Learn how to address the envelope. Visit the post office to mail it if possible ( after christmas that is).

4. Ask your Mom or Dad what is their favorite wild animal. Research the animal together and write 5 facts about the animal

5. Write a fictional story about the wild animal you researched.

6. Make a picture sequence of one day. You can draw the pictures or use a camera. Put all the pictures in order and label them First, Second Third etc.

7. Visit a Zoo, an Aquarium, an Arboretum or a Museum. Take pictures to share with the class

8. Bake something with your family. Bonus: share what you make with a neighbor.

9. The answer is 14 cookies. What is the problem. Create several word problems that have an answer of 14 cookies.

10. Pick any fiction book. Write a new ending to the story.

11. Make a word web about yourself.

12. Practice a fire drill at your house. Discuss multiple ways out, your meeting place and the most important rule: Get out, stay out!

13. Insect Hunt: Find as many insects as possible (might need to visit an area with more nature than your house.) Draw and label your favorite insect.

14. Write a note to a firefighter or policeman telling them that you appreciate them keeping us safe. Deliver it to them!

16. Make a map of your neighborhood. Then look at your house on Google Earth and compare it to your map.

17. Collect 120 of something (pennies, toys, leaves, acorns, etc)

18. Measure things in your house. You can use a tape measure or a non-standard unit of measuring such as a shoelace, stick or block. Make a list of the things you measure from shortest to longest.

ESD Auction

The ESD auction is on April 29. Teachers are asked to donate a gift of time. I would appreciate your help to see what your child finds fun to form my donation. Could I please ask you to fill out the Google Form below to collect this data? Please fill the form out by Tuesday, December 15. Thank you.

Important Dates

  • December 14 Dallas Zoo field trip
  • December 15 Matter Rap recording
  • December 16 Christmas Party 1:30-2:20 P.M. Parents are invited to attend
  • December 17 Holiday Service in the Main Church at 1:30 P.M. ( Pick up your child in the Primer classroom following the service.)
  • January 5 Classes Resume