Hello Parents:

We want to thank Ibn (Joanna’s dad) and Lucy (Cameron’s grandma) for bringing cotton balls for our sensory table. We appreciate all donations! We also want to thank all of the families who have been bringing extra clothes to share with families and for us to use for winter play. We appreciate all of the great clothes!

We have changed library day. Check out is now on Fridays and the return day is still on Tuesdays. If you have a library book or math bag please remember to return them so that your child can check a new book or bag.

We enjoyed our day out in the snow. Please be sure to check class dojo to see the awesome photos of our exploration. We will continue to study animals in the winter for the next few weeks. We will be making bird/squirrel feeders soon and will need some items. Please keep an eye out for the list of items in the next few blogs.

We will have a small Valentine’s Day celebration on Friday, February 14th. If your child would like to bring valentines for their classmates we ask that you assist your child with signing their name on their valentine. We also ask that all edible treats are store bought and nut free. The children also love treats like pencils and stickers.

We are looking for Valentine decorations for our Valentine bags. We would need stickers of all kind-especially hearts and love inspired stickers, foam shapes, glitter glue or other art/craft decorations. Any donations will be greatly appreciated.

Upcoming Events:
Thursday, January 3oth- Raise Your Glass- fundraiser for Ray at The Promontory from 6-8 pm. There is discounted childcare at Hyde Park Neighborhood Center for this event.
Friday, January 31st- Teacher In-Service-No Class.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 20th

Hello Parents:

We are need of cotton balls for our sensory table. We appreciate all donations. We are in need of new play dough for the month of February and beyond. Please sign up if you are willing to make us a big batch! Thank you!

Please remember that we will most likely go outdoors if the weather is appropriate. Please remember to send appropriate winter gear, so that the children can warmly explore outdoors during the long winter months. If anyone has any gently used winter gear (hats, mittens, snow pants, and boots) and they would like to donate them we would really appreciate it.
We would also appreciate any gently used clothing for girl’s sizes four and five.

We are still observing the students and thinking of worthy project topics. We are leaning towards some sort of construction or water project. The children are always excited about the sensory and light table experiences. We also have the majority of the students using some sort of building manipulatives, especially after nap time. If these are topics that continue to be of interest of the students we will plan to begin the study in the spring. If we do a construction project we will most likely go on several neighborhood walks exploring the various construction happening in the neighborhood. During water exploration the children tend to often get clothes wet. We want to make sure it is warm enough outside to do some water exploration and warm enough to assist with drying damp clothes quickly.

We will have a small Valentine’s Day celebration on Friday, February 14th. If your child would like to bring valentines for their classmates we ask that you assist your child with signing their name on their valentine. We also ask that all edible treats are store bought and nut free. The children also love treats like pencils and stickers.

Upcoming Events:

Monday, January 20th- No Class –Dr. King Day
Tuesday, January 21st- PTO Sponsored Fitness Night- Our Very own Ms. Anna & Ms. Heather will be leading and awesome Yoga session. Please come out, join our PTO and meet other Ray families. Pizza and childcare are provided.
Thursday, January 3oth- Raise Your Glass- fundraiser for Ray at The Promontory from 6-8 pm. There is discounted childcare at Hyde Park Neighborhood Center for this event.
Friday, January 31st- Teacher In-Service-No Class.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 13th

Hello Parents:

We are in need of new play dough for the month of January and beyond. Please sign up if you are willing to make us a big batch! Thank you!

Please remember that we will most likely go outdoors if the weather is appropriate. Please remember to send appropriate winter gear, so that the children can warmly explore outdoors during the long winter months. If anyone has any gently used winter gear (hats, mittens, snow pants, and boots) and they would like to donate them we would really appreciate it. We want to thank Kate (Sasha’s mom for donating several winter items).

We have enjoyed learning about animals in the winter and having a great time doing fun snow inspired artwork!
If you have not brought in school supplies this year, please consider donating soon!

Thanks

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Hello Parents:

Happy New Year!

Welcome back. We hope everyone had an awesome Winter Break. We want to thank everyone who gave us such thoughtful gifts. We really appreciate it.

We will begin our snow and animals in the winter topic this week. We will also begin to explore topics that we can delve deeper into.  We are looking for topics that allow the children to investigate and learn new information. This type of learning is called Project Approach. This approach is one of my favorite ways to teach young children. I partner with Kohl Children’s Museum and train other early childhood teachers on how to incorporate this type of teaching with their students. Ms. Maggie and I have been observing the students and we have noticed that the students are interested in “building” structures, cause and effect (making ramps, tunnels, obstacles, and motion/transporting). We will “mess around” with some topics and see what the students are most interested in and then decide which topic we’d like to investigate. I have included some information about projects that I found on the Illinoisearlylearning.org website.

The Project Approach for Preschoolers
Preschoolers like to investigate! They enjoy learning about the world around them. The Project Approach involves children in studies of things nearby that interest them and are worth knowing more about. Teachers can use the Project Approach to meet most of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Benchmarks. Projects are like good stories. They have three parts: a beginning, middle, and end. Here’s a summary of the three phases of project work.

Phase 1—Getting Started • Children choose what to investigate, with some guidance from the teacher. • The children discuss what they already know about the topic. The teacher helps children record their ideas. • With help from the teacher, the children list questions that they want to answer during their study. • Children talk about what answers they might find to their questions. The teacher lists their predictions.

Phase 2—Collecting Information about the Topic • The teacher helps the children plan trips to places where they can do fieldwork and helps them find people to interview who can answer their questions. • With adult help, the children use books and computers to find information. • During class meetings, children report what they find in their fieldwork. The teacher encourages them to ask questions and make comments about each other’s findings. • The children might make drawings, take pictures, write words and labels, create graphs of things they measured and counted, and construct models. As they learn more, they can revise what they have made.

Phase 3-Concluding the Project • Children discuss the evidence they have found that helps them answer their questions. The teacher helps them compare what they have learned with what they knew before the project began. • Children decide how to show what they did and what they found out to parents and peers who were not there. • Children create displays to share the story of the project with others. Displays might include their drawings, notes, stories, taped conversations, photographs, models, graphs, and videotapes. Children can also act out what they have learned. • The children might invite parents and other guests to a presentation about their project. The teacher can help the young investigators decide how to tell the story of what they did and what they found out.

For related Web resources, see “The Project Approach for Preschoolers” at http://illinoisearlylearning.org/tips.htm.

Happy 2020

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 16th

The children are super excited for our Gingerbread Celebration. We are counting down the days. If you have signed up to bring some of the decorations please bring them in this week. We need everything by Wednesday, December 18th. Thank You for donating items! We really appreciate it.

We have a fun filled week next week:

Monday- Ugly, Beautiful Sweater Day
Tuesday- Crazy Mix Match/backward clothes day
Wednesday-Yellow Clothes Day
Thursday-Pajama & Movie Day
Friday- Gingerbread Celebration

Wednesday Evening-Our Winter Family Night from 4-6 pm. There will be cookie decorating, snacks, story time, winter wonderland, and choir performances. Please join us!

We still need a couple of parents to assist us in our Gingerbread Celebration. If you are able to help out starting at 2:30 on Friday please let us know! Thank You.

Please remember to help your child learn to independently put on their hat, coat, scarf, boots, snow pants at home. We want our students to be able to dress themselves as much as possible. If you can purchase mittens rather than gloves, we would much appreciate it.
Mittens are much easier for kids to put on independently. We have been practicing putting on our winter gear in the following order: 1st snow pants (if you have on shoes you must take them off first), 2nd. Snow boots 3rd. Sweaters & Coats 4th. Hats & scarves 5th Mittens or Gloves. It would be really helpful if you practiced the same order at home as well.

As we are getting more into winter weather (and our first accumulative snow is predicted for next week), I want to remind families that snow is an important part of our curriculum, so if there’s snow on the ground, assume we’ll go out in it unless the temperature is below 25 degrees. We also go out in the winter on a regular basis. As it gets colder, your child will need everyday: SNOW PANTS, BOOTS, EXTRA SOCKS, HAT, and WARM MITTENS OR GLOVES (cotton gloves are not warm). If your child has a health problem that is aggravated by being outside in cooler weather, such as asthma, please let us know and bring a doctors notice about the precautions needed to be taken at school.

We are trying our best to keep the students healthy by washing hands, disinfecting the room and using our cough catchers. However, we understand that students will still get sick. Please make sure that you are sending a note when your child returns so that they are not receiving unexcused absences. Please remember, that children must be free from fever, vomiting, and/or diarrhea a full 24 hours before returning to school. If you child presents with red, crusty and itchy eyes they must have a doctor’s release to come back to school. If you have any questions please ask!

Upcoming Events
Wednesday Evening-Our Winter Family Night from 4-6 pm
Monday December 23rd-January 1st- Winter Break- No School
January 2nd- Class resumes

Have a fantastic week,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 9th

Hello Parents:

We have a couple of exciting and busy weeks ahead!  The children are all excited with the start of our Gingerbread Study!  We are also participating in an awesome program (My Very Own Library…MVOL) where all the students at Ray School will receive 10 free books from Scholastic Book Fair.  The children will received 5 free books this week and will receive the rest later this school year!

We want to thank Symone (Gabriel’s mom) and Ibn (Joanna’s dad) for helping out at the book fair!  We really appreciate it.

In conjunction, with our Gingerbread study we will have a Winter Wonderland Celebration from 4-6 on Wednesday, December 18th, from 4-6 pm.  It will be a fun filled evening with cookie decorating, story tellers and more!  Please be sure to mark your calendars!   

We will have our Preschool Gingerbread Celebration on Friday, December 20th.  We need donations for this celebration. There will be a sign-up sheet located near the sign-in/out sheet.  If you’d like to donate please sign up!  Thank You!

Upcoming Events:

December 18thWinter Wonderland 4-6 pm

December 20th– Preschool Gingerbread Celebration (we are looking for volunteers from 2:30-3:45) 

December 23rd– January 1st – Winter Break- No School

January 2nd-School Resumes

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 2nd

Hello Parents:

We hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving Break.
We have a couple of exciting and busy weeks ahead! The children are all excited with the start of our Gingerbread Study!

We are also participating in an awesome program (My Very Own Library…MVOL) where all the students at Ray School will receive 10 free books from Scholastic Book Fair. The children will receive 5 free books this week. We (I am coordinating this event for Ray School are in need of volunteers to assist us in taking the children down to select 5 books. If you are able to assist us please let us know. I am coordinating the volunteers for this 2 day book selection event. I am in need of some parent volunteers to help scan the books, give out backpacks and certificates on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. If you are able to volunteer an hour or 2 please let me know!

Kindergarten Lottery Information-

*******The application process ends DECEMBER 13TH.

As many of you know Chicago Public Schools uses a lottery system for parents to apply to schools outside of their “attendance or neighborhood school” (your “neighborhood” school is zoned by your address. To find out what your neighborhood school is visit: http://go.cps.edu/how-to-apply/elementary-school and scroll down to How it Works and click the search button). If you would like for your child to attend Ray Elementary for kindergarten but you live outside the “neighborhood boundaries” you MUST apply through the lottery application process.

Also if you would like to apply for any other school “neighborhood school or a Magnet School (math/science, Montessori or Humanities), Magnet Cluster School (technology, world language, fine performing arts) or Selective Enrollment School (Academic Centers, Gifted Centers, or Classical) you MUST apply as well.

Go to https://go.cps.edu/ to learn all about the process. To begin the process you must create an account. Please go to: https://cps.schoolmint.net/signup in order to create an account and start the process. Log on to the new application site go.cps.edu to get started. We are highly suggesting you start the process now. Chances to get your selected school are higher if you apply early.

Upcoming Events:

December 23rd- January 1st – Winter Break- No School

January 2nd- School Resumes

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 25th

Hello Parents:

We had a very successful Jane Averill Community Reading day on Friday. We had community members along with our Alderman as guest readers. We read a wonderful story and each child received a hard cover copy of Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwell.

We want to thank Kathy Soto (Sophia’s mom) for coming in and teaching us about the importance of good hand washing techniques. The children learned all about “scrubbing” their hands for 20 seconds to kill the germs on their hands. We discussed times when it is important to wash hands and that we also have good bacteria and bad bacteria.

We started our abbreviated author study on Mo Willems last week and will be concluding it this week. This week we will also focus on things we are thankful for and focus on being kind to each other.  Wednesday is pajama day and we will end our Mo Willems study by watching several of his books on video!

Our school is participating in a Thanksgiving Food Drive. Our team is charged with bringing canned WHITE food (i.e. canned potatoes, hominy corn, and navy/white northern beans). If you are able to donate please bring in the cans next week.

When we return from Thanksgiving Break we will transition into a month long Gingerbread Man study. We will explore the various versions of the story and end our study with a Gingerbread decorating party!

Reminders:

Wednesday, November 27th- Pajama & Movie Day!

November 28th-29th- No School Thanksgiving Break

The Lottery for KINDERGARTEN will be ending mid- December. If you have not applied to schools (any school other than the school that is deemed your neighborhood school requires that families apply through the lottery system) please do so before the window closes.

Please remember to assist your child in returning their library books into the red bin labeled “Return Library Books Here” located near the exit door. Please do not reshelf the books! Library books are due on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays. If you forget to turn in the book on Tuesday simply keep it another week until the next Tuesday.

We hope everyone has an enjoyable break!

Ms. Behanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 18th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank everyone who came to Parent/Teacher conferences! We enjoyed meeting with everyone.

We are going to do an abbreviated author study of Mo Willems. He has a fun collection of books that children will learn and laugh with. We will then transition into a month long Gingerbread Man study in conjunction with our Kindness Unit. We will explore the various versions of the story and end our study with a Gingerbread decorating party!

Thanksgiving Break will be Thursday, November 28th – Friday, November 29th. Regular class will resume on Monday, December 2nd.

Many parents expressed interest in learning our Morning Meeting songs. Here are links and titles to all of songs:

“Start This Day” Good Morning Song by Jack Hartman- (a movement song to begin our day)- https://youtu.be/LjmA2cBonZk

“ABC Song”- Alphabet Song Phonics- by The LearningStation: https://youtu.be/dyJTnG6UNFw

“Alphabet Forwards and Backwards” by Dr. Jean Feldman: https://youtu.be/VC_DhG3bTxA

The Goodbye Song- Brain Break Action Songs for Children by The LearningStation : https://youtu.be/pP9AujV8N1A

Jane Averill Reading Day- Friday, November 22nd– This is a day that the community schools read a special book in memorial to Ms. Jane who was a beloved preschool teacher here at Ray. Ms. Jane passed away a few years ago and she was an awesome story teller and she exposed her students to a plethora of books and I am sure she instilled the love of books in her students. We are looking forward to celebrate with this new Ray tradition.

Reminders:
Please remember to assist your child in returning their library books into the blue bin labeled “Return Library Books Here” located near the exit door. Please do not re-shelve the books! Library books are due on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays. If you forget to turn in the book on Tuesday simply keep it another week until the next Tuesday.

Upcoming Events:
Picture Retake Day– Tuesday, November 19th                                                    Jane Averill Reading Day– November 22nd                                                      November 28th-29th- NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Break
Please mark your calendars!

Have a great week

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 11th

Hello Parents:

I hope everyone has gotten back into the swing of things! We have picked back up with our Fall study. The children have enjoyed exploring the pumpkins, gourds, and leaves. Please be sure to check out our new bulletin board outside our classroom! We have been busy investigating the properties of apples, pumpkins, and gourds. Please be sure to sign up for parent teacher conferences if you have not already done so. We are looking forward to meeting with all of the parents!
Upcoming Events:
Monday, November 11, 2019- No School
Wednesday, November 13th- Parent & Teacher Conference
November 20-22nd – NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Break

Thanks,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 4th

Hello Parents:

Welcome back! We are so happy to be back in the classroom with all of our awesome students! We missed everyone!

This week we will move our focus to pumpkins and gourds. We will be learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin and fall changes (hopefully we will have a few days that are more fall like and not winter like)!

Our Donor’s Choose materials have been delivered and the students have been exploring the various building materials and we will explore the new art materials next! We will be displaying our unique creations soon!

Due to the strike our yearly schedule will be changing. As soon as we have confirmation we will send the new information to parents.

As the weather gets colder we want to remind parents to send children to school with enough outerwear to stay warm. We will continue to go outdoors for as long as possible! We will go out in the snow as well. If you need hats, gloves, coats, snow pants or boots please let me know! I will be happy to help you secure these items.

I will be returning field trip money next week. If we get sidetracked during drop off and pick up please remind me or Ms. Maggie to give you your refund! Hopefully we will get to go on a field trip in the near future!

I will be sure to send a Class Dojo update with the new yearly schedule!

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of October 15th

Hello Parents:

Our Donors Choose was fully funded! Yay! Many of the donations came from our families.  We really appreciate all of the donations!  Thank you!

We want to thank everyone who brought in apples and gourds!  The children are enjoying tasting the many varieties of apples! The children thoroughly enjoyed making the applesauce! Be sure to check out all of the photos on Class Dojo. Next week we are planning to make apple crisp, so we are in need of more apples for that recipe as well. We are still accepting cool gourds and pumpkins!

Please be sure to turn in all paper work that is needed for the program. I have deadlines that I must abide by and the deadlines are approaching quickly. Only 8 people turned in the lunch form. Our school receives more funding for EACH one we turn in…even if you write not interested across the top and sign it. If you have not turned one in will be giving you another copy to fill out. Thank You!

We still have a few volunteer spots available for our upcoming field trip. We would like to have 7 to 10 parents assist us. This is a field trip where we walk around outdoors to various areas. We would like to ensure that the children are able to move around with the appropriate supervision.
In conjunction to the field trip we are also having our Fall Literacy Festival on the same day as the field trip. We are asking that if children would like to bring a costume of their favorite literary character (remember super heroes in comic books and most characters that the children are into come in some form of book nowadays) if they would like to dress up. We do ask that children do not bring scary or gory costumes. We also ask that children not wear masks as well. Some children are frightened of masks and young children have a hard time seeing in them. We are asking for parent volunteers to come about 2:30 to help get the children into costumes. We are asking that NO ONE wear their costume on the field trip, we will get our costumes on after rest time.  It is an entirely outdoors field trip with animals and hay stacks, which is not conducive for costumes.

We will continue to learn about apples this week. (We want to thank the parents who brought in apples for us, we really enjoyed them) We have been dissecting apples and learning new vocabulary. Be sure to ask your child to explain what apple “pips” are. We also learned the parts of the apple- focusing on the skin, flesh, core, pips, and stem! We will look at the lifecycle of the apple this week.

Being that the weather will continue to get colder please be sure to dress your child appropriately! Layers are always a good choice. We will go outdoors most of the time. If the weather is severely cold (via Ray Handbook: The CPS cutoff temperature (with wind-chill) is 30 degrees, however principals have discretion for temperatures between 15-30 degrees Fahrenheit. We believe that students benefit from outdoor play, and will monitor the weather to ensure temperatures, precipitation, and grounds are safe. If not safe, students will have indoor gross motor activities). We have been practicing putting on all outer wear. Please also reinforce this independence at home as well. We are happy to assist, but it takes a really long time at assist 20 children in getting dressed! We practice the “preschool flip” and have the children attempt to zip/button/snap as well.

We are also asking that parents please be considerate and patient when entering the double doors. Parents and children are expected to wait outside (unless it is extremely cold or storming). Please do not ask or expect other Ray staff to allow you in the building before time. Preschool staff will always open the doors for our families- no one else.

Upcoming Events:
• Field Trip-Thursday, October 31st.
• Fall Literacy Festival, Thursday, October 31st
• No School- Friday, November 8th- Teacher Professional Development
• No School- Monday, November 11th-Veterans Day
• Parent-Teacher Conferences- Wednesday, November 13th

Have a great week, See you on Tuesday!

Ms.  Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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