Well, we’re on the countdown and there’s certainly no one more excited than us as we start to get ready for Christmas. Not one to stand on ceremony and wait for December, we’ve decided to get into the swing of everything Christmas this week.
First…time to start decorating. We hung up the Christmas lights and brought out the Christmas storybooks. And the children got busy making their angel tree hangers to hang from the ceiling. We love this project, and so do the children as they arrange their Christmas foamie and shiny stickers on their paper tree as carefully as they might decorate a real tree. Next, angels beautifully coloured with sweet faces and golden halos. Then we tie it all together with glitter pipe cleaners and shiny tinsel. The sun shines beautifully through our windows so we see lots of little diamond flashes of colour and sparkle as the light bounces around our classrooms. Pure magic.
In the midst of our candy cane glow, we are winding down a few units of instruction. Our last Bear story was the classic Corduroy by Don Freeman. Besides discussing the story structure, we had quite a few digressions talking about first experiences on the escalator, furniture shopping with our families and what it means to save money for something special that you want. The children made the cutest little bears – everyone loved using a paper crimper to make Corduroy’s overalls and selecting buttons so the straps “stayed on.”
We decided to integrate our Math this week with Corduroy and brought out our button collections and read The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid and Sarah Chamberlain. Oh my, the children had so much fun sorting through the buttons, finding their favourite, those that look alike and those that look different. We discovered buttons with shanks cannot be glued on to Corduroy’s overalls and that flat buttons work best.
In the midst of all this activity we had two exciting events happen. The first was the Scholastic Book Fair, a pop-up book shop right in our own school! We saw many children from our class shopping with their parents and hope everybody found books they love. We know we did and look forward to reading our new treasure aloud to our classes.
The second exciting event was we sang together with the Grade 1 classes for the first time! We’re into full rehearsals right now for the Christmas Concert and the children sound awesome. Our staging arrives next week so rehearsals will continue in the gym. We sent home a Christmas information letter along with the December Homework calendar today about costumes for the concert.
To the children’s delight, they saw their beloved Buddies TWICE on Friday. The first Buddy time was to make these cute hibernating bears, an integrated Art project for our story Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming. This cleverly written pattern story talks about autumn changes in nature and for the animals. The children were quick to pick up the pattern and everyone made their own cute version of the story.
In the afternoon, we held our annual Christmas Cracker Event, and made the crackers with all of your generously donated Hallowe’en candy. We’ll be donating these sweet treats to the Harvest Project, Covenant House and our sister school, Grandview Elementary in Vancouver. For many, these little candy crackers will be the only sweet they will have during the holiday. Our children are learning the importance of giving and sharing with others. As they grow older we hope they remember these charitable acts fondly and be inspired to continue giving, always.
Don’t forget, it’s Christmas Sharing now, so we ask if your child can bring in just one Christmas item from home to talk about. We’re happy to read aloud favourite Christmas stories, look at Christmas family photos or hear about a special Christmas tree ornament. We apologise to all the families whose children are at the beginning of the alphabet, and had to unpack their Christmas boxes early.
Upcoming Events and Reminders
Yes, we will have a true Book Exchange on Monday. We believe most of the Library Books are back right now but one more quick check around your house is appreciated.
November Homework Calendars can be returned anytime this week for a sticker.