Notes from Minori
It all started with one airplane book... the children loved reading it and wanted to learn more. Then we had airplane work in our language area. We learned the names of the parts of the airplane such as engine, rudder, elevator, fuselage, cockpit etc. Then Ms. Diane invited her friend’s daughter who is a real American Airline Pilot to join us for a day! Ms Rebecca Swenson is a captain who operates the aircraft from New York to anywhere within 3-4 hours distance.
The children were so excited to meet her. They asked many questions. Their biggest concern was how she flies her airplane when she sees a big mountain. Captain Rebecca told our children that she always has to go around it. Captain Rebecca also said to us that she was only 13 when she first operated an airplane — even before she drove a car!
It was definitely a precious opportunity. Thank you Captain Rebecca for coming to our school! Thank you Diane for arranging this special visit!
Thank you so much for sending in “stone soup” ingredients. We enjoyed the whole process. We made the soup while the special story teller Mr. Ian Gauthier from Aldrich Public library interpreted the story for the entire school.
Children were intrigued by the heartwarming story. Starting from three smooth round stones( yes, stones!) all ingredients were put into the pot! One by one…, beans, rice, carrots, peas, celery, …..children’s eyes were glued to the traveler and the huge pot.
After a day of storytelling, all elementary students set up the banquet. They prepared beautiful tables for this special occasion. They guided our younger friends to find seats and sat next to them for support. It was a beautiful scene to see such kind acts.
We started a new tradition this year of “Giving ‘Back’ Tuesday” on November 28. In our class, we decided to make something for the local animal shelter. We started to make simple chewy toys for dogs by using soft cloth material. Then children practiced making knots. It was simple and they enjoyed making them. If you have any extra soft fabric material such as fleece, please send it in! We will keep making toys!
We are moving forward to holiday celebration. We started to practice holiday songs and dances. Our theme is snow, love and accepting differences. We can’t wait to show our performance!
I would like to say a big thank you to all of the parents who contributed for small hands order.
-Thank you Gabby’s family for “Energy Stick.”It is so cool to see the lights and the sound it makes when we are connected together in a big circle of friends holding hands!
-Thank you Madeleine’s family for getting us a “Tools at Work” book set. We can’t wait to learn about the tools and use them in our classroom!
-Also thank you, Nami’s family for getting us a whale nail brush and a beautiful music box. We love them!
Last not but the least, thank you Onaleeah’s family for getting us a egg slicer, a stainless Steel Sifter, Stitching block ( Sew and Sew), Stepper, Music Box, Famous painting cards. They are so fun to use and we are so appreciative of your generosity!
Notes From Hailey
The classroom has been very busy the past few weeks.
Many of the children have been working on Sandpaper Letters to learn the sounds that each letter makes. A few have moved on to using our Moveable Alphabet to make words, and some are even starting to practice writing as well!
Our math area has been very busy as well, with many of the children exploring with number recognition and quantities. The Spindle Box work has been very popular because the children can read the numbers 0-9 and place the corresponding number of wooden spindles into the appropriately numbered box.
The cold and wintery weather has also given the children a lot of opportunities to practice their care of self skills. They've discovered that it's quite a lot of work to get ready to go outside now with so much gear to get on. We're working on learning to dress independently as well as the sequencing aspect of getting everything on (snow pants should be put on before boots and it's hard to zip a jacket with mittens on, for example).
We've also been busy learning new songs for our Holiday performance. The children have been very excited it, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've been hearing them at home as well! Additionally, we've been working very hard to make some beautiful Holiday cards. When completed, the cards will be delivered to a local nursing home to spread some Holiday Cheer.
Notes from Emily
I hope that all families had a nice Thanksgiving holiday and that we all continue to stay healthy in the coming weeks. Our annual celebration of Stone Soup included and extra ingredient this year; Aldrich library's children's library, Ian Gauthier, came dressed as a traveler and shared in the story telling and school-wide meal. Many children in the class began whispering about "the wizard" who came to the school! The holiday also stimulated conversation about gratitude and giving. Thank you to the families who have given 'Small Hands' gifts to the classroom. In honor of Giving Tuesday, I asked the children what they may want to do in order to give back to our own community. We have decided to raise a small collection of lightly-used toys to donate to the Good Samaritan Haven in Barre. Thank you to all the families who choose to help us with this campaign! The Crossing Over children will also be visiting the Vermont Food Bank this Thursday to deliver our donations and to get a tour.
The end of November is a time when the children really become settled in their day-to-day life in the classroom, becoming very independent in their daily routine. I often see the children offer to help a peer or stop to neaten something left by another. We have been peeling eggs and serving bananas for snack, grinding coriander and cloves with a small mortar and pestle, learning to bead, stitch, and embroider, and explore the continents of the world. Many of the second and third year children are deepening their knowledge of the decimal system and exploring sounds and word composition at various levels. Some of our readers enjoy playing scavenger hunts in the classroom. We have also been making wintry art and exploring the forms of snowflakes as the children yearned for snow. On our first snow fall, the children rushed to our windows to watch it! The afternoon children went on a woodland walk on the new trail built by the elementary children, looking for animal tracks in the fresh snow. I am impressed by how independent and motivated the children are for dressing for out time outdoors!
This December, we have welcomed a new three year old child into our classroom community. We will also welcome two children from Lana's toddler community in January, bringing our class size up to 17. We are learning some holiday songs and look forward to celebrating the winter holiday with families on Thursday, December 21. Please let us know if your child will not be attending this half day, and best wishes during this holiday season!