- Thomas shared some squeezie Angry Birds, Alysa showed us a unicorn stuffie with a pink horn, Kaden had a cool car with an exposed engine and Ally was lucky enough to attend Les Miserable with her gramma.
- You can donate nonperishable food items to the Salvation Army Food Drive at the office.
- We had milk and mandarin oranges this week.
- January's Family Tree family project went home this week and is due Jan. 9ish.
- Pizza orders for next Friday must be in the office by Monday Dec. 16. No late orders accepted.
- PAC has extended the classroom basket items to Monday so get your chocolate themed items to me by Monday please.
- Invite your family and friends (grandparents, aunts, uncles etc.) to our quickie little classroom performance Thursday Dec. 19 at 2:45 then peruse the Winter Open House until 4pm.
- Have any uneaten Halloween goodies laying about? Please send a few items (candies, marshmallows, cereal, sprinkles etc.) for your child to decorate an edible Xmas tree next Friday (Dec. 20).
- Library books must be returned but there will be no book sign out next week due to the holiday.
Go forth and Be Awesome!
One more week and then a tired Team Awesome gets a wonderful winter holiday with their families! And me too!
Performance Dec. 19
One of the best things about Kindergarten is the children's first Christmas concert and no matter how poorly the children perform due to stage fright, they are so darned cute up on the stage in their fancy clothes it just doesn't matter. And as excited as Team Awesome is for the Winter Open House next Thursday, I didn't want to take away the opportunity for them to perform for their families. So I mentioned this afternoon that we might like to invite our families into our classroom and sing a song or two for them as a Christmas gift. The excitement and voices ramped up sky-high within a few seconds and ideas began to fly around the room faster than I could respond to them. And each idea presented led to a new one. "Could we stand at the front?" "Could we sing Jingle Bells?" "Yes! Yes! I love Jingle Bells!" "How about I Wish You A Merry Christmas? Could we sing that too?" "Can we sing by a tree? Like a Christmas tree?" "And the adults can't sing- just the kids!"
So Team Awesome would like to formally invite our friends and family to our classroom at 2:45 Thursday Dec. 19 for a quick little presentation, after which you can saunter around the school and enjoy the Open House activities. It's going to be organized, decorated, directed and performed by Team Awesome. If nothing else, it's bound to be gosh-darned cute!
Handwashing and Germs
For children germs are invisible things that cause them to get sick. Remembering to do things like washing their hands or covering a cough may not come easily. With the sneezing and sniffles that seem rampant in our classroom right now, using a visual tool that demonstrates how germs spread and the effectiveness of different hand washing and cleaning methods seemed like a smart idea. Enter the Glo Germ Classroom Kit! We watched a short video on how germs make us sick and then applied the 'fake germ' powder from the kit to our hands. We shook hands, rubbed our faces and handled a few things in the classroom and then used the black light, which causes the powder to glow, to track where the germs had dispersed. We were amazed at how many things we touch in our classroom and how far the germs had spread! Nessaya even had some in her hair. We then washed our hands and looked at them under the black light again. Unfortunately, Team Awesome did not wash their hands well enough to get rid of most of the germs. So we watched a video on how to wash our hands properly and then washed them a second time- just in time for snack.
Bbbbbbbrrrrrrr! That's all I have - I'm shivering too hard to type.
Stereomicroscopes are used for looking at whole objects without the need for slide preparation and are ideal for those with a general interest in the smaller forms of nature or specifically for examining insects, flowers, coins and metal objects, etc. Stereomicroscopes are an ideal introduction to microscopy for children who are able to look at any object instantly, and at a relatively low magnification which allows them to make sense of what they see. All too often children are put off microscopes by being given a toy high powered microscope which requires slide preparation, and often gives a very poor result because of the plastic lenses which they use. This sort of microscope cannot be used to look at whole objects which is exactly what the budding young scientist wants to do.
We are lucky enough to have 2 stereomicroscopes at BEST and Mr. Wielgoz set them up for us to use in our classroom. We spent the afternoon exploring items from the science table through the lenses of the stereomicroscopes and being delighted with what we saw. I'm positive Team Awesome will become very creative with the objects they want to see magnified under the stereomicroscope.
Toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for your child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves. They send messages and communicate values. Most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, but fewer toys will actually benefit children in the long-term:
1. Kids learn to be more creative. Too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination. Two German public health workers (Strick and Schubert) conducted an experiment in which they convinced a kindergarten classroom to remove all of their toys for three months. Although boredom set in during the initial stages of the experiment, the children soon began to use their basic surroundings to invent games and use imagination in their playing.
2. Kids develop longer attention spans. When too many toys are introduced into a child’s life, their attention span will begin to suffer. A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them.
3. Kids establish better social skills. Children with fewer toys learn how to develop interpersonal relationships with other kids and adults. They learn the give and take of a good conversation. And studies have attributed childhood friendships to a greater chance of success academically and in social situations during adulthood.
4. Kids learn to take greater care of things. When children have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand.
5. Kids develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art. Fewer toys allows children to love books, music, colouring, and painting. And a love for art will help them better appreciate beauty, emotion, and communication in their world.
6. Kids become more resourceful. In education, students aren’t just given the answer to a problem; they are given the tools to find the answer. In entertainment and play, the same principle can be applied. Fewer toys causes children to become resourceful by solving problems with only the materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited potential.
7. Kids argue with each other less. This may seem counter-intuitive. Many parents believe that more toys will result in less fighting because there are more options available. However, the opposite is true far too often. Siblings argue about toys. And every time we introduce a new toy into the relationship, we give them another reason to establish their “territory” among the others. On the other hand, siblings with fewer toys are forced to share, collaborate, and work together.
8. Kids learn perseverance. Children who have too many toys give up too quickly. If they have a toy that they can’t figure out, it will quickly be discarded for the sake of a different, easier one. Kids with fewer toys learn perseverance, patience, and determination.
9. Children become less selfish. Kids who get everything they want believe they can have everything they want. This attitude has the potential to lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.
10. Kids experience more of nature. Children who do not have a basement full of toys are more apt to play outside and develop a deep appreciation for nature. They are also more likely to be involved in physical exercise which results in healthier and happier bodies.
11. If you have children, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over an entire house. Fewer toys results in a less-cluttered home.
Mrs. Bowden &