The song says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Those lyrics rang true in the Ladybug room this week, as we filled our days with Christmas stories, carols, and crafts.
We started off our week making paper reindeer, of course! We fashioned the faces out of the Ladybugs' foot prints and antlers out of their little hand prints. Because we read and sang about Rudolph, we just had to finish off our projects with a special red pom pom nose!
The Ladybugs also decorated cookies and made a variety of ornaments for our classroom's tree. We could tell those Ladybugs have watched someone hang ornaments from tree limbs before! They knew just what to do to make our tree look beautiful. The sensory table was filled with all things needed to wrap gifts, and some of the Ladybugs just loved jumping up and down on bubble wrap. What fun to hear the popping sound under their feet! The children also worked really hard on making lovely gifts for their most favorite people in the world (we hope you like your pine cone trees!).
The story of the nativity was the topic in chapel this week, as the Ladybugs learned that Christmas is actually our way of celebrating Jesus' birthday. The church's beloved Ms. Sally illustrated the story with a wooden nativity scene, and we ended our lesson with the whole school singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.
Mrs. S's music class was a blast, as usual, as we sang and danced to our favorite Christmas carols. The Ladybugs are starting to love, "Jingle Bells".
On Thursday, the Ladybugs learned how to say, "Ho Ho Ho!", as we read and talked about Santa Claus. They learned that Santa gives children presents, just as the three wise men gave presents to baby Jesus. They ended the week with a thrill, as they painted big red paper candy canes with marbles that had been dipped in white paint.
We hope you enjoy every minute of this holiday season, as it is truly wonderful when you can share it with a child. We will miss the Ladybugs like crazy over the next three weeks, but will be ready to see how much taller they are when we head back to school next month. Merry Christmas!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
What a magical week it's been in the Ladybug classroom! We've studied holidays that are celebrated this time of year all around the world. Your little ones' curiosities were in high gear - and it's a good thing, because the cold weather kept us inside!
We talked about the African holiday, Kwanzaa, on Tuesday and read books about this day. We also made a construction paper kinara, which is used to hold the candles that represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Those principles are unity, self-determination, community responsibility, shared work and wealth, purpose, creativity and faith. Although these principles are interesting to you and me, the Ladybugs enjoyed most looking at pictures of families cooking and eating together, and sprinkling glitter on their seven paper candles.
Menorahs and dreidels were the topic of discussion on Wednesday, when the Ladybugs explored the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. They were enamored with a wooden toy menorah we had in the classroom that day, as well as a wooden toy skillet, spatula, and two pretend latkes that they took turns cooking in our "kitchen". You can't keep these Ladybugs out of the kitchen, they love to cook! We sang "The Dreidel Song," as we inspected a dreidel and pretended to play the dreidel game. The Ladybugs colored paper candles with their beloved markers, which we used for our paper menorah in the hall. They also counted and arranged six blue triangles and silver glitter to form the Star of David.
We turned our eyes to Christmas on Thursday and talked about how the holiday is celebrated in Mexico. We toured the halls at Saint John's and looked at the beautiful red poinsettias lining our path, and talked about how these plants are native to Mexico. We decided to make our very own poinsettias out of tissue paper! We also talked about Las Posadas, a celebration re-enacting Mary and Joseph's long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of lodging. We examined a Mexican nativity set, and lastly, the Ladybugs made their version of a Mexican tin ornament. What a great day!
We, and our favorite jolly old elf, hope to see you at Grace Garden's Breakfast with Santa this Saturday from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall. Please bring an unwrapped toy for your child to give to Santa, so that he may deliver that toy to a child in need. There will be photos, cookie decorating, and plenty of milk and coffee to enjoy.
Next week, we will end our first semester with a BANG! as we celebrate Christmas for three days straight! See you on Saturday!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The weather cooperated with our lesson plan this week, as the Ladybugs learned all about our next season, WINTER!
We started off the week painting with cold ice cubes, using powdered tempera paint. As the ice melted, the powder turned a beautiful blue. The children loved this, and they'll be proud to show your their art hanging in the hall. The Ladybugs also practiced their scissor skills on Wednesday when they cut snow flakes out of white construction paper. We hung them from the ceiling and are pretending it's snowing in our room. By Thursday, enough snow had fallen to make snowmen! The Ladybugs glued cotton balls to paper and formed precious little snow people as a result.
Speaking of cotton balls, the sensory table was filled with the fluffy little bits this week. The Ladybugs loved filling measuring cups with them, sorting them into piles, and tossing them into the air!
We worked on matching according to colors this week, when the Ladybugs matched pairs of paper mittens. They did such a great job with this! We also learned a new finger play, called Five Little Snow People. The Ladybugs are quickly learning that they have five fingers on each hand, and how to count them.
We had a camera on hand all week, as we tried to catch the Ladybugs enjoying various aspects of winter. We photographed them wearing their coats and trying on colorful hats, mittens, and scarves in the dramatic play center. We also took pictures as they sipped hot chocolate on the chilly playground on Thursday. We will make another book for our classroom, using all of the photos we printed. Please stop by our book shelf next week and have your Ladybug show it to you!
The children loved our book selections this week, as they were all about snow, something very mysterious to our little friends who grow up in Austin! We read Winter Rabbit by Patrick Yee, A Very Special Snowflake by Don Hoffman, and one of our favorites, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. This book illustrates all the fun snowmen have after everyone goes to sleep!
The Ladybugs were thrilled to welcome our new friend, Edie, to the gang this week. We're so happy you're a Ladybug, Edie! Next week, she will join us in learning different ways the holiday season is celebrated around our world.
We sure were happy to see your children's little faces on Tuesday! It's great to be back. Have a terrific weekend.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy