December 18th Newsletter

Ana and Mary’s Newsletter – December 18th, 2015

Classroom Celebrations

Zzzzzzz!  Friday concluded 4 ½ months of busy learning with a well-deserved, winding- down- for-winter-break hibernation day. Our class was this month’s host of the ELC community circle. The “Suns” had prepared hibernation poems, songs, and facts to share with all students. In keeping with the theme we spent much time reading, snacking, story-telling, and reading some more. We hope that you will continue “hibernating” with your children over winter break – reading a lot, playing games, going sledding, baking cookies, and savoring each other’s company.

The days leading up to our hibernation day this week were filled with a plethora of authentic and engaging learning. Ana’s math class tackled the enormous amount of pennies (and other change) that had come in for our Pennies for Prairie Dogs project. Counting this money was an excellent opportunity to learn identifying coins (especially recognizing nickels and dimes) and becoming fluent in counting by 5’s and 10’s. Piling pennies in stacks of ten pennies each and working in teams to establish 10 stacks together (equaling 100 pennies=$1) reinforced the concept that a dollar equals 100 pennies or cent – a cornerstone of our decimal system. After four days of sorting, grouping, counting, and re-counting, we are pretty confident and excited to report that we collected $151.77 dollars!!! We will donate this money towards prairie dog education that will address the needs of prairie dogs for stable habitat while considering the needs of farmers as well.

During reading time we explored a book new to our class: Oscar and the Eight Blessings. The story inspired us to mind the words with which the father sends his young son Oscar into an unknown world: “Look for the blessings.” Oscar’s blessings are small kindnesses he receives from strangers: a piece of bread, a helping hand, a friendly whistle-tune, a pair of mittens, and so forth. Once we began to pay attention to the small acts of kindness happening in our own classroom community, we noticed an increasing awareness and willingness to engage in small, intentionally friendly interactions. The biggest blessings, though, we were able to give as a community this week, were our voices. Ten of our students had been practicing carols with parent Toni and then shared their beautiful singing, accompanied by Toni and Mary, with the elderly at the Granville Senior home. In the meantime, the other students honored our retiring custodians Joe and John with a special song as well. Both audiences were delighted and deeply touched.

Looking Ahead

Dec. 19 – Jan. 5 – Winter Break

Wednesday, Jan. 6 – Students return to school

Original Works report

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Original Works Fundraiser. As you know this money earned in this fundraiser goes directly towards supplies and arts opportunities for your children. One example is this year’s IA play. The grand total that we made for the Elementary Arts program this year is $986.00. Wow! Thanks for supporting your child by purchasing their artwork. It means a lot to them that you are interested in what they make. JCOS is such an amazing and artistic community. I am so grateful that we have such a supportive community.

Sincerely,

Melody

Wishing you a peaceful winter break and many blessings,

Ana and Mary

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