Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Traditions!

Our school has many unique traditions that the students, teachers, and parents look forward to each year. One special tradition that has evolved over the past several years is our Silent Wreath Auction. Years ago, each classroom decorated a wreath and they were displayed in the front lobby. Parents would bid on the wreaths as a silent auction. The money generated went back to the classroom to purchase needed materials, books, etc. This tradition has transpired into something new and great! Classes can still make a holiday wreath, or they can decorate other holiday items, such as aprons, pots, cards, potholders, and so much more! The money generated from these auction items are then donated to a charity of the classes choice. Some classes, instead of decorating an item, are actively collecting items or participating with a charity. Our class has chosen to partner with a charity called, "Miracle Toys," in which small,used (happy meal) toys are collected and sent to various places around the world to boys and girls who may have never received a gift or toy before. The students are doing a great job going through their toys and deciding to donate these little toys! The lesson is monumental: a small little toy can bring big, big joy to someone who has never had one before! In addition to our school traditions, I'm asking you to share a family/cultural tradition with our class as part of this week's homework. I think it is so important to learn from one another, and who knows you may adopt a new tradition along the way. Below is a few pictures of a family tradition that I do each year with my own kids and also with yours at school.

Parents helped me with my school holiday tradition this year by wrapping up many of my December holiday books. Each day, I select one student to unwrap the book for our read aloud. The kids get so excited to see what book it is! Can you think of a better way to highlight the point that books are gifts waiting to be opened??

We wrap all of our holiday books that we have at home and each night my kids take turns choosing one of the wrapped books. They get to open it up and we read the book as our "bedtime" story altogether by our Christmas tree.

Pow Wow Day

I took so many pictures the day of Pow Wow! After the Native American Pow Wow ceremony outside, students rotated through many different centers. Here are just a few group pictures. (Slideshow of the rest of the centers---soon to come!) We had such a great day! I'm sure that they were ready for a nap by the time they got home!

Make and Take Night

I love any opportunity in which students get to come to school at night! It's so much fun for them, me, and their families. Students participated in a make and take night for Pow Wow in which they made Inuit dwellings, which were igloos. They also decorated our lunch table paper with Native American symbols and drawings! What fun!

Pow Wow Preparations and Home Project

Our Native American Pow Wow was AMAZING!! We couldn't have done all of the preparations without our awesome parent volunteers! Thank you! We hope you enjoyed spending some time with your child researching the Inuit tribe and decorating their "people" cut out as their own Inuit.

Pattern Books!

Our students have taken off (in a BIG way) with writing their own pattern books. So far, students have learned about back and forth pattern books, question and answer pattern books, repeating line pattern books, and they just learned about how to include a surprise ending. Take a look at two different examples of student pattern books. This is an example of a repeating line pattern book.

Shh! Shh! My mom is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My dad is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My dog is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My sister is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My brother is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! I am sleeping.

Shh! Shh! Everybody is sleeping.

This next pattern book is a question and answer pattern book:

All about my Grandma

Does my Grandma do good things?

Yes she does do good things.

Does my Grandma play with me?

Yes she does play with me.

Does my Grandma go to my baseball game?

Yes she does do that.

Does my Grandma help me?

Yes she does do that.

Happy Turkey Day!

I am so thankful to be able to have each student and their families as a part of my Kindergarten class this year! Gobble! Gobble!

1st Nine Weeks Awards Ceremony

Although it is more than half way through the Second Nine Weeks,(please forgive me,I guess I tend to get a little behind in posting when I'm busy planning, teaching, and having way too much fun!)here are a few pictures from our First Nine Weeks Awards Ceremony. The students were so excited to put their seats in rows in the front of the classroom. Each of them have worked so hard and grown so much in such a short period of time. I am SO incredibly proud of them!