Thank you. For your commitment and the kind of human beings that commitment creates, and your trust puts in our lives.
November is one of the most satisfying months of the academic year because, as teachers, we get to spend so much time in the presence of parental love. Again and again this month, between the Family Dinner and Conferences, I was moved by the creativity and dedication present in our parent community. Also, Martha, Karina, Janet, John and myself just had a ton of fun with you. So, again, thanks.
I expect to be finalizing the last of the conference schedule today and tomorrow, so if you haven’t had your conference yet, please expect to hear from me by Tuesday evening.
I found, on Friday, I referred a few times to a handout I have posted (here)with ideas on fostering independence at home and using real life to bring the Practical Life area of the classroom home.
November Classroom Happenings
This time of the year Practical Life is at the center of our curriculum because attentional control and the sense of doing socially useful work are our main classroom objectives.
We clean and decorate for our parties, but we have our parties so we can clean and decorate.
For instance, as a part of our Stone Soup preparation, the children used giant (and thus dull) push pins to perforate the outline of a picture they traced and pop their shape out of the surrounding paper. So while the resulting shape looks like a slightly ragged cut-out, each one is actually a monument to a child’s tenacity, focus, and willingness to work.
December Projects, December Parties
We’ve been talking a bit, through November, about the past. How things used to be done and how differently they are done in our modern lives.
That theme continues in December, beginning with how we’re talking about the winter holidays. This year, we’re looking at the universal experience of winter and “the dark.” The children can relate to peoples, who lived in a world without 24 hour neon signs and light switches at 3 am, and how they might have felt celebrating light and warmth in the coldest months of the year.
Erin Schwartz, Luca Oztriech’s mother, is coming to share her family’s Hannukah traditions with us and we’ll also be talking about Christmas and Kwanzaa. As well as Ramadan, Diwali and Lunar New Year, which are not this month but are celebrations of light. If you would like to join us anytime this winter to share your traditions for a Festival of Light, please let me know. We’d be delighted to have you in the classroom!
We’ll be celebrating light–the children’s mostly–together on Wednesday, December 19th from 6-8 in the Upstairs Social Hall.
I don’t want to blow the surprise, but the children are making you something and could use your help. I would like to request donations of any orange peels and empty glass jars you’d be willing to part with for this month’s projects.
And, in general, if anyone has empty spice jars, please consider sending any of the red, flip-top McCormick’s spice bottles. I’m looking to make a classroom material for olfactory discrimination and these are perfect. Thanks!
Picture Day Pictures Available
Picture day was awesome! Follow this link to see just how awesome and order pictures.
Hint: there is no password, just hit enter.
Dates on the Horizon
Winter Party —Wednesday December 19th, 6-8pm
Winter Break—December 22nd- Jan 2nd, No School
First day of Winter Term— January 3rd, 2012
Martin Luther King Day—January 21st, 2012, No School