As winter approaches we learned about the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the whole year, when the reduced amount of sunlight brings colder temperatures and corresponding snowy precipitation. We introduced several winter celebrations where light is an important aspect, including Diwalli, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. We briefly touched on some traditions around these holidays that use candles or lights. All of the Sunnybrook students this year celebrate Christmas, and they shared that one of their traditions is to bring a tree into the house and hang ornaments for decoration and light it with strands of little lights.
The children had the opportunity to draw a design on a wood cookie or wooden ornament shape, then paint it with acrylic paints. Some had so much fun with the process, creating colorful swirls and blends, while others created miniature detailed pictures of a winter or holiday scene.
Pastels on black paper were introduced and the children created some nighttime winter scenes, including deer in the forest, or other dark/nighttime pictures, such as the planets in the solar system.
During sign rose reviewed the alphabet and each child was given some letter sign plates. We put them in order, stapled them together, and taped our alphabet caterpillar to the wall. Rose reviewed the reptile signs for alligator and crocodile, and showed us how to distinguish between the two – the alligator has a rounded snout and the crocodile’s is more pointy, and she read us a story about an alligator and a crocodile.
Rose also brought some fun coloring pages the children enjoyed coloring, cutting, and pasting. She shared a build your own Santa page and a decorate, cut, and paste presents under the tree activity. The children worked so carefully to color, cut, and assemble their Santas just the way they wanted.
We read the story of the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. The Gingerbread baby was visiting our classroom. We had to follow the clues to discover where he was. The children divided into groups then took turns following the clues to find the next note telling us where the Gingerbread baby went next in our classroom. He was finally discovered asleep in the rest room on a mat. The children took Gingerbread baby outside and took turns hiding him then finding him. It was awfully hard not to peek while he found his next hiding spot, and he was discovered every time before hiding again!
We celebrated a fifth birthday with our resident bibliophile and cat artist. She told us she was born in the fall in the month of December five years ago, then proceeded to race around the sun with the earth clutched tightly in her hands as we attempted to keep up listing the seasons and counting the years since her birth.
Everyone was so excited for pajama day! The children had so much fun playing with their stuffed animals and doing activities, including Twister, train tracks, and stories under the tent. They created some marble and ping pong tunnel courses with cardboard tubes. They made fabulous glitter jars. They built paper snowmen. And they had fun with pop-beads and playing games. They enjoyed some popcorn and hot chocolate with heart shaped birthday muffins from the birthday girl. After lunch we all gathered under the tent to sing some Christmas carols (and upon request, the favorite song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight/aka Wimoweh).
Kindergarten students worked on letters to Santa. They began with the date, then the address “Dear Santa.” They wrote something kind they had done this year then asked for a particular gift they are hoping to receive.
Friday students had a quiet day playing trains, coloring, washing the chalkboard, enjoying donuts brought by the Green family, playing house, and making snowglobes with Makenna. For lunch they each got a special cupcake treat that Makenna made for everyone with pink frosting covered in candy canes.
Have a wonderful vacation and happy holiday! We will see everyone in two weeks.