I am sorry I have been unable to get this up to date, but right now I am on a roll and am not stopping until I am finished. Be forewarned! There is a lot of important, comprehensive as well as useful information contained within this blog.
First, I cannot believe how rapidly this year is flying by and second, how busy and eager these children are to do the activities, centers, workbooks, and their homework packets! They are doing fantastic!
I will give a quick synopsis of all of the letters we have covered since the beginning of January. We began with the Letter Ll after Christmas break and just finished Rr this week. Next week we will begin Ss.
Looney Lion loved to laugh and collect leaves in Lion Land. One day, after lunch, while walking by a lake he looked up and saw a light high up in the top of a lemon tree. A long ladder of logs was leaning up on the tree. Looney began climbing but scooted down the ladder when he saw a little LIZARD going up the ladder. He began going up again when he saw a large LOBSTER higher up the ladder. Looney hurried down, waited, and went back up the ladder. When he was almost to the top he saw a LEOPARD and he ran back down. A line of ladybugs went past Looney and crawled up the ladder. Looney had to find out what was up in the lemon tree. This time he went back up, made it to the top, and discovered a library with a librarian helping the animals and bugs find books. She helped Looney check out books about lions, lambs, and llamas.
The adventures of Merry Mouse included an illness that is making headlines today. Merry lived with his mother in a mushroom patch on Monster Mountain and delivered mail to each mouse hole on Monster Mountain. They even delivered mail to Mr. Monster at the top of the mountain. On a Monday morning, Merry woke up feeling miserable with red, scratchy marks all over his body. Mama had never seen anything like this before so they went to see Mr. Monster for some medicine. Mr. Monster told Merry that he had the measles and gave Mama some medicine to stop the itching. He also gave Merry some special mittens marked with Mm’s to help him keep from scratching the marks. After a week, Merry looked in the mirror and saw that the marks were missing and he and Mama made muffins to thank Mr. Monster for his help.
Next we listened to the story of Noisy Newt who lived with eight other noisy newts in a nice nest in Nevada. Noisy and the other newts loved the number nine and noisily sang “nine” - nine times. The newts ate nuts and noodles in their nests and would go and hunt for their food. A nosy porcupine went by Noisy’s nest while he was out and left some prickly needles that Noisy discovered when he crawled into his nest that night. The other newts took Noisy to see Nifty Nurse who pulled out all of the nasty needles.
We went from Nevada to the ocean where an octopus named Oh-Oh lived. Oh-Oh liked to find odd objects in the ocean which he kept in a collection in his office. One day, Oh-Oh found a box of orange balls and did not know what these odd objects were. He showed the box of orange objects to his friends - otter, ostrich and ox but none of them had ever seen anything like these objects. As they were looking at the objects an owl flew over so they decided to ask owl what these things were. Owl told them that they had found some very special objects called oranges and that they were a delicious fruit to eat. Oh-Oh then shared the oranges with his friends.
After our ocean adventure, next came sky jumping with pretty pink, purple, and polka-dotted Polka Pig. Polka wore a peace sign, a petunia, and a picture of a pumpkin and she carried a pine cone and a pom-pom with her wherever she went. She liked to jump with her parachute from a plane flown by Pilot Pete. After he and Polka ate pickles, Pete would push Polka out of the plane when he saw a pleasant place. Polka would open her parachute but she ended up landing in a pile of paste, a pile of prickly pine needles, and a pool of purple paint. Polka was not happy and told Pete he was no longer her pilot. She went home, cleaned up, and had a dream about a princess named Penny. Penny gave Polka a magic puffball to take when she parachuted so that she would only land in pleasant places. Polka found Pete and took her puffball and parachute with her. Now she lands on a pile of pillows, in playgrounds, in pansy patches, on pretty paths and only in pleasant places.
From the sky adventure we went to the farm where Quacky Quacker lived with a lot of quacker friends. A football quarterback came to the farm for some quiet time, but Quacky and his friends quacked loudly. One day a queen visited the quarterback and gave him a quiet quilt to put up when he needed quiet time. Quacky and his quacker friends did not quack whenever the quarterback put up the quiet quilt. The quarterback gave the queen a quarter for helping him get some quiet time.
This week we have been on a river adventure with Racing Raccoon and his friends-the rabbits, the rats, and the reindeer. Racing had rings around his eyes, rosy cheeks, and wore the rings he won in river races on a red ribbon around his neck. Racing liked to race down the river on his rectangle raft so he planned a big river raft race with his friends. The rabbits made a “Rainbow Raft”, the rats built the “Rats’ Red Rug Raft, and the reindeer named their rubber raft “Rubber-Runner.” Racing built his raft with ropes and named it “Racing’s Rope Raft.” The robins chirped, ”Ready, Set, Row!” and off went the rafts. Racing’s raft was the fastest and he won another ring for his ribbon.
As I read next week’s story about Spotty Snake, I often tell the kids that I like to sing, too, as I teach them new songs. Spotty Snake (spotted, striped and always smiling) slips and slides on the way to Snake Sing School where she teaches snakes how to sing. Spotty stands on a special stool and uses a special stick that she swings and sweeps to direct the singing snakes. Spotty wears a special silver star on a string to let the snakes know that she was a special singer. One day, Spotty stretched too far and did a somersault when she fell off her stool. Spotty was OK but her silver star had broken. Spotty felt sick and sad and slithered away to her submarine home sunk at the seaside. The snakes felt sorry for their special singing teacher and planned a secret surprise. They went shopping at stores looking at stars until they found a silver star for $6 just like her star that had broken. For another dollar, they could get the silk string, too. They needed $7, so the snakes had a sale at school to earn the money. They sold things that they had saved: spools, spoons, stamps, string, socks, seashells, sponges, and stones. They made signs that said: SUPER SCHOOL SALE! They counted their money after the sale and had earned the $7 needed to buy the silver star and the silk string which they wrapped up in a spotted sock. They slithered over to Spotty’s submarine and surprised her with the new special silver star. Spotty was so happy that she sang the snakes a very special song!
I realize that these synopses can be quite lengthy, but each of these stories helps the children become familiar with each capital and lower case letter of the alphabet and its corresponding sound. Each story also emphasizes the need for listening, comprehension skills, vocabulary and language development as well as recall and memory utilization. The preschool students are beginning to be introduced to the letters and sounds while the Pre-K kids are beginning to learn and associate words that begin with that letter and sound.
Besides these weekly stories, we do activities in our workbooks, art and craft activities, and learning centers that reinforce these concepts.
The Pre-K have been practicing printing each of these letters, coloring pictures that begin with each letter, matching upper with its corresponding lower case letter, and learning to listen and identify these sounds at the beginning of words. They are also working on patterns, learning to recognize patterns (AB and AABB), to copy patterns, and to create their own patterns using these sequences. We are continuing to work on number recognition, looking at patterns with numbers, days of the week pattern (7 days) and how each day of the week name repeats every 7days or once a week. They are working on color word recognition and spelling color words, and numbers, counting objects, one to one correspondence and we are beginning to learn number words. The homework packets are reinforcing these concepts that we are working on here at school.
The same is true for the preschool students. They continue to color pictures of each alphabet letter, matching letters that are the same, identifying objects that are the same and different, and we are beginning to learn about opposites and 3-step sequencing. We are continuing to work on our color recognition and shape recognition. Right now we are working on rectangles and tracing shapes in our workbooks.
We are continuing to work on our religion lesson and learning about God and Jesus, our family, our church family, our community and how much God loves us. We are learning about family celebrations and the importance of celebrating Jesus and God at Mass. We are talking about how Jesus showed his love for his family and friends and how some of his friends became his disciples and apostles.
Fr. Bill came over and we talked about St. Blaise. He said a special prayer and blessed each of their throats. Ash Wednesday began the season of Lent. We will be talking about Lent and Jesus life during Lent. Fr. Bill visited once again, talked to them about the ashes and how they are a symbol to remind us to be like Jesus and he gave them a special blessing (“God bless you child and show God your love by listening to your mommy and daddy’”) as he made the sign of the cross with the ashes on each child’s forehead.
With the cold weather, we have not been able to go outside for recess very often. Instead we are doing music and movement activities in the classroom. We even brought the snow into our classroom and played in the snow at our water table. I showed them how Niagara Falls has frozen because the outside temperature is so cold and so much below freezing!
As I stated at the beginning, time is flying by and we have been very, very, busy!
Many activities are planned for the weeks to come. Please help your children save and collect spare pennies and change for our Pasta for Pennies campaign which begins March 2nd and goes through March 20th. We do this as a reminder that cancer can strike people of all ages and that Fr. Bill, himself, has had Leukemia. Each class will collect their pennies and donations and we will have a special day when the children can bring silver coins. They will visit the classrooms of their brothers and sisters or any of the grades and put these coins in each classroom’s collection. The silver coin amount is deducted from each classrooms total. The classroom with the most money collected after the silver coin amount is deducted will win a special lunch from the Olive Garden.
PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of the classroom attending a Pre-Kindergarten Conference from March 4th – 6th in Schaumburg, IL. Ms. Brenda will be here and Ms. Lisa Baldus will be here to help her with the children while I am gone. Lisa helps in the cafeteria and has worked with Brenda and me before. Most of the kids have seen her during lunch time.
March 5th, Thursday afternoon, the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes have their science fair/carnival in the gym. The Pre-school/Pre-K children get to go down for fun, hands-on science activities that the older students have set-up in the gym. All are invited to return with their families that evening to participate in the activities and for you as parents to see your child interact and gain hands-on learning at these informative booths. Each of the groups presenting have to use the Scientific Method in developing their experiments and complete a report using the results obtained during the afternoon and evening presentations.
On March 9th, the SIU-E Pharmacy students will be visiting and talking to the kids about healthy foods.
On Thursday, March 12th, we will have our Spring Carnival. It is in the afternoon from 12:30-3 p.m. and all of the Preschool/Pre-K students are invited to come. Parents and grandparents are welcome to join us, too, as the kids go to the gym for carnival games and activities, an indoor bouncer with giant slide, the Green stand and the Bag-It stand. Information about tickets and donations of items needed for the carnival will be in the school Friday News Note Packets. If you have any questions about the carnival, activities, cost, etc., please let me know.
You will be seeing notes about the 8th Grade Market Day Project over the next few months. Each of the 8th grade students develop a product, and sell this product to the student body on assigned dates during our lunch period. Each item sells for anywhere from $0.25 to $1.00. Products may be food items, sweet treats, bookmarks, or any product the student makes. This Friday, March 19th is the first sale date. I will purchase one item for each of the kids here during lunch. For future dates, you can send in money with your child (no more than $1, please) and we will make sure they get their tickets for the amount you send to use to purchase these items. All of the money earned by the 8th Grade class from this business venture will go the the Belleville Area Humane Society. Again, if you have any questions, please let me know.
Although we have had a relatively mild winter so far, please remember to watch Channel 5 or Channel 4 for school closings related to inclement weather. This year, you also have the option of receiving alerts by text message. If you have not signed up for this service yet, please contact Ms. Woods in the office for instructions.
Please return your child’s report card if you have not done so already. I will need to complete them once again in a few weeks for the end of the 3rd quarter.
Your child’s folder is sent home at the end of each day that your child is here. Please check this folder daily or as returned for important messages, notes, homework packets, book order forms, and your child’s completed work as well as his/her many artistic and colorful creations and artwork!
Our annual PTO Auction will be on Saturday, April 25th. This a fun evening of food, drinks, music & dance, complete with silent auctions as well as a rip-roaring live auction! Each class, including our Preschool/Pre-K kids, creates a one-of-a kind project that is auctioned off during the live auction. It would be nice to see you there. Get some of your friends together and join us. Mark the date. More information, cost, menu, etc. will be sent home as the date draws nearer. I have attended every year and really have a good time. Let me know if you want or need more information or what to expect.
As the school year’s end quickly approaches, now is the time to make sure that you are in compliance with the Diocesan Child Protection Policy. The Preschool/Pre-K students will go on a field trip near the end of the school year. Parents and grandparents are invited to go along but every adult attending must be up to date and in complete compliance with all of the Child Protection requirements. Please verify your compliance or that of any relative who might participate in the field trip by contacting Ms. Woods in the school office. She sends out many notifications to parents and families letting them know if and what component is missing. These go home in your Friday School News Note Packet or in your child’s folder that Brenda and I send home. It is your responsibility to follow-up now to make sure that everything is in place and current. Some reports take 4-6 weeks to be returned from the state agencies, so now is the time to act.
NO ONE MAY GO ON A FIELD TRIP OR TAKE PART IN A CLASSROOM PARTY OR ACTIVITY UNLESS THEY ARE IN 100% COMPLIANCE!
Mid – Year Reminders
Papa John’s Pizza Day is the 3rd Thursday of each month. Order forms and payment are due by the Tuesday afternoon before Pizza Day.
Also, cot covers are sent home at the end of every month.
Show & Share is every Thursday and Friday. Your child may bring one unbreakable item labeled with his/her name on one of these days.
DATES TO REMEMBER
2015-16 REGISTRATION NOW
March 4-6 – Mrs. Chancy attending Pre-K Conference
March 4 – Early Dismissal 1:30 p.m. Faculty In-Service Lunch is served. BASZ care available. PTO Meeting 7:00 p.m.
March 5th – Science Fair/Carnival 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
March 12 - Spring Carnival 12:30 – 3:00 p.m.
March 14 – Cathedral Auction
March 15th – Early Registration for 2015-16 school year ends. Your child must be registered by March 15th to qualify for the $200 Notre Dame Inaugural Scholarship
April 2 – Holy Thursday (No School)
April 3 – Good Friday (No School)
April 6 – Easter Monday (No School)
April 22 – Earth Day