Happy New Year! Welcome, 2017!

Hi Families,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and were able to celebrate with family and friends. We had a good time with my folks and my sister when they visited. We managed to get some good ski days in during the break and we were having trouble getting Sawyer off the ski hill each afternoon! Luckily, we had some snow then!

CIRQUE MOTHER AFRICA WAS AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC! What a way to start out our new year at school! The children were absolutely mesmerized – as was I. The performers were so skilled and talented. I hope you heard a little about the show. We are so lucky to have the Flynn to bring these companies to our doorstep. We are so appreciative of their support of our school and of the arts in our area. At the same time, our transportation cost was funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council and we are very grateful for their support as well. Here’s the link to their website: http://www.vermontartscouncil.org

It really was a jaw-dropping experience on our first day back in 2017. Here’s a link to information about the troupe and show in case you are curious! It includes a video!

http://www.flynntix.org/flynn-mainstage/cirque-mother-africa/Details?perfNo=13867&perfCodePrefix=

 

 

Since I was out a bit last week on our trip to Oregon, Miss James filled me in on some highlights. We had our 4 Winds session about squirrels and the children explored the forest as if they were squirrels – hiding nuts, building nests, etc. Miss James even taught us a song called “Gray Squirrel” – so cute! Also, we finally dissected the owl pellets we got when we had the visit from Craig back in November! There were mixed reviews about finding out what an owl had eaten and not digested – as you might imagine.

Here are a few photos from those events:

 

This week, we began working on a few new topics in reading and writing. We will be practicing the skill of re-telling familiar stories. We focused on the familiar Goldilocks and the Three Bears these past few weeks. We are learning about the elements of a fiction story – characters, setting, events, details – by reading different variations on the timeless classic. Our favorites were Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs and Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears. We made our own character puppets for this story and are in the process of making our own backdrop/setting, too. We practiced telling the story to one another on Friday. As you will see, a chair makes a good puppet show kiosk!

 

We are learning about a new kind of writing – How-To or Writing to Inform – these days. We have done a lot of practicing together about the parts needed in this type of writing. Independently, we have brainstormed some ideas about what we are “experts” about so that our writing topic will have lots of details. We also wrote and drew about what we wanted to do during Forest Friday. There is a strong Ghostbusters theme going around the classroom right now. So, you may note a few plans that include making a Ghostbusters office. Interesting! Since our last two Forest Fridays were really teacher-directed (Party and then 4 Winds) this week was totally about free play and work in the woods. Although the work didn’t include using shovels because we found the ground had frozen and there was no white, fluffy snow! So, we didn’t want to break all of our shovels. We did find some soft ground and some good sticks became tools for clearing leaves and digging. The children had a BLAST. It was SO FUN to hear them acting things out, building, exploring, cooperating, solving challenges on their own and in groups, talking, planning, creating, and laughing. It was cold this week – even with our little campfire going – and all kids were dressed for the weather! YAY!

 

Our school has rented a HUGE – REALLY BIG – map of Asia from The National Geographic Society. It takes up almost the whole gym floor. On Wednesday, our class joined Miss Myriah’s in the gym to explore the resource. It was neat to see the sheer size of the Asian continent. We noticed the difference between land and water (some children laid on their bellies and started the crawl stroke!) and we even stood on top of Mt. Everest! What a neat resource to have for a few weeks!

img_0092

I wonder where she will travel in this world!!?? Looks like she is planning a trip!

Finally, we talked a lot about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in advance of the holiday. The children really heard the message of choosing love over hate and using words and not fists to solve problems. We drew about how we can continue Dr. King’s work in our own lives. The pieces are on our bulletin board. Come by to take a look!

A few important reminders:

We have a short snack time each day – usually 15 minutes or so – please send a healthy snack along with your child EACH DAY. I totally understand if kids forget sometimes as I have some extra snacks on hand, but, it is important to our learning to have a full belly. We get a little hungry in the mid-morning. At the same time, we don’t have time to eat 3 different snacks. So, please just try to send something small but hearty. Lately, I have had to tell some of us to put some snack back for tomorrow. It is just easier for everyone if there is something small and not three things. Thanks!

Our specials schedule is the same going forward in 2017:

Mon – Wellness/Music

Tues – Library

Wed – Art

Thurs – Wellness

Please make sure your child has sneakers and his/her Library book to exchange on the proper days.

Important Dates to Remember:

NO SCHOOL – Monday 1/17 – MLK Day

NO SCHOOL – Monday 1/23 – District In-Service Day

Grandparent/Grandfriend Day at school – Wed 2/15 – Look for more information to follow

1/18 – MARS guest: Natalie Kinsey Warnock – Vermont Author

1/25 – I will be administering the Winter Math Assessments with the children. So, I will be at school but Miss James will be our sub while I work with students individually.

Book Order return Date: 1/27

All School Concert at Mt. Abe – Monday February 13th. A flyer was sent home yesterday with more info.

2/16 – Flynn Theater Field Trip – Frog and Toad Show – 9:30 – K-2

2/18 – 26 – February Vacation

Have a super long weekend and again, Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

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