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Happy December!

The children have been having fun creating snow-themed creations to get our bulletin boards ready for winter--hopefully we won’t see the white stuff too soon! They strengthened their fine motor skills with coloring, painting, and cutting snowflakes from coffee filters. In addition, we have many unique snow people to don our bulletin board. The fall leaves that were on our bulletin board will be coming home soon!

Some of the fun activities and toys that the kids have been enjoying during free play include: making collages, creating and sculpting with playdoh, threading beads on pipe cleaners, spinning tops, stamping, painting, and more! So many of them LOVE to build—with Duplo’s, wooden blocks, waffle blocks, bristle blocks, or large cardboard bricks. Matchbox vehicles are a staple in our class, as are the train tracks. We even filled our sensory table with colorful pompoms, which were a hit! The kids loved pouring, scooping, and filling with those. Right before Thanksgiving, they even found cranberries floating in the water table! That was a big hit as well. Our book corner also had a month-long visit from a gigantic stuffed frog, which many friends loved to hug or cuddle with while reading a book. The frog was even bigger than some of the kids!

At circle time, we have been learning more Zoo Phonics motions—now we are up to the letter J, for Jerry Jellyfish. These sounds and motions will prepare them for reading in the future. We also work on letter recognition through “letter hunts” throughout the room. The kids enjoy forming the upper case letters with our Handwriting without Tears wooden lines and curves. Whenever we learn a letter, we trace it in the proper formation—always starting at the top! We have also learned a song about holding our crayons properly, and we are working on ensuring that each child practices using the proper crayon hold. Our magical puppet, P. Mooney, continues to visit us weekly and reinforces skills such rhyming and listening to and retelling stories. The kids have met a few of his friends: Mr. Nobody and Zoey. 

During Work/Play, the kids continue to refine their fine motor skills while quietly working individually or sitting quietly with other friends.   They have digging in a sensory leaf bin for magnetic letters; sorting and counting bears, muffins, or erasers with tongs to internalize number sense; rolling and cutting play dough snakes, painting, lacing wooden/foam beads, drawing/writing on the SMART Board or chalkboard, and creating our snow creations, as mentioned earlier, and more!   Mrs. Chien also gets a chance to work one-on-one with each child throughout the week on math, counting, letter sounds, shapes, writing, etc., depending on what each child is working on individually. Many of the kids love this special time—some try to hover while waiting for their turn; others even just have a seat in front of her when they see the chair is open!

As the morning comes to a close, the kids settle down for their closing story read by Mrs. Reynolds, and occasionally some of their favorite songs, such as the Coconut Soap Song or Colors Song.

Thank you again to all those who have donated items from our Fall Festival Wish Tree or the wish list from our snack calendar! Each of these items have enriched our classroom! And thank you to our Room Parents for organizing our holiday parent crafts and the special holiday snack on the last day of school.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and hope that you all have some special, quality time together as a family during the winter vacation.

*Also, a friendly reminder to have your child bring in a wrapped and tagged book for our class book exchange! You can send them in any time BEFORE Friday, December 15th!

Sue Tyrie added the following to her website update for Kindergarten about the holidays and we would like to share it with you:

Holidays and vacation time are right ahead of us. While most of us love the excitement and fun that we all experience during this time of the year, it does come with the inevitable holiday stress. It, in the most part, is good stress but stress nonetheless. With this excitement comes the opportunity to practice focusing, self-control, listening and following directions. These are words that now are part of your Kindergarten child’s vocabulary. They know how to refocus their energy so when the energy level gets too high or when your child’s cup is full, take this time to “stay on the same side of the table” with him/her and watch the second hand on the clock for a minute. Have your child tighten different parts of his/her body and then let go so they will remember what it feels like to be relaxed. “Smell the flowers and blow out the candles”. Close your eyes and think of something happy while you breathe in and out.

Keep the following guidelines in your mind as much as you possibly can when working with your tired, stressed child during this holiday season:

1. The most important way your child can learn to stay calm is by keeping things relaxed as much as possible. The way you deal with a situation has a tremendous impact on the way your child handles situations.

2. Avoid taking your child to places such as family celebrations, shopping centers, noisy places when he/she is tired or hungry or just plain DONE. You are asking too much from your child.

3. Get plenty of exercises and fresh air. Children need to go outside and run around and play and enjoy being five or six.

4. Remember the importance of a schedule. When activities prevent you from sticking to a schedule, make your next day a calm day without a lot of activities. Try to stick closely to your child’s bedtime schedule. It can wreak havoc if you don’t!

5. Try not to overschedule your child’s days and nights. Parties are great; too many parties can throw off a child’s behavior. When his/her cup is too full, it has nowhere to go but over…look out, a temper tantrum or meltdown is on its way! Quiet times with peace and quiet, a good story or a walk away from all the noise can work wonders.

6. Lastly remind your child and those around you what the holidays are really all about. Shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, bringing cookies to a friend, etc., etc., will do wonders to keep things in perspective. Ask yourself (often) “Are we having fun yet?”

Enjoy December, enjoy your holidays and please remember that children of this age can be just as over programmed as their parents. Keep it simple, slow down the pace and Enjoy the Holidays!!


Zoo Phonics Motions:

h = Honey Horse (pat sides of thighs with hands for galloping sound)

i = Inny Inchworm (put up pointer finger and bend and lengthen like an inchworm)

j = Jerry Jellyfish (put arms in front of you and wiggle up and down)


Alphabet Songs:

Hungry Hippos (tune of Twinkle, Twinkle)


Hungry hippos having lunch

Hear them eating—crunch, crunch, crunch

Heaping helpings of hot stew

Hamburgers, hot dogs, hash browns, too


Hungry hippos having lunch

Hear them eating—crunch, crunch, crunch


Ice Cream (tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain)


If I could have some ice cream

I’d eat it in an instant

If I could have some ice cream

It would be ideal!

It would be ideal!


But if I eat too much ice cream

Instead of eating dinner

If I eat too much ice cream,

I imagine I’ll be ill


John J. Johnson (tune of Baa, Baa Black Sheep)


John J. Johnson dreamed he left in June

On a jumbo jet to the moon


Jupiter came next then he turned around

He jumped for joy when he touched the ground


John J. Johnson dreamed he left in June

On a jumbo jet to the moon


Handwriting without Tears Crayon Song

Pick up a crayon,

Pick up a crayon

This is easy to do

Pick up a crayon,

Pick up a crayon

I just tell my fingers what to do


My thumb is bent

Pointer points to the tip

Tall man uses its side*

I tuck my last two fingers in

And take it for a ride!

*Some kids use their ring finger to rest their crayon—that is fine as well


Dates to remember:

     - December 8 – Holiday Craft with Parent (coordinated by our room parents)

     -December 18 – 22 – Extended AFA (optional)

     - December 18 – Jan 1st - No School (Holiday recess)







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