Week of January 22nd

Hello Parents:

We enjoyed exploring the snow last week and we are ready to begin our baby project. We are still in need of baby stuff that we can borrow, so if you have any please bring them in!

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.

Have a great week!
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 15th

Our first week back in the new year had a few unexpected illnesses with both me and Ms. Maggie. We are both back and feeling much better. Thank you for the well wishes. We are excited to get back to our normal schedule!

 

Please remember our rule of keeping your child home for a full 24 hour recovery period (that means that your child must be fever, vomit, and diarrhea free for a full 24 hours before they return to school) if they are vomiting, have diarrhea, and/or fever. We are continuously sanitizing materials and encouraging the children to wash hands frequently.

 

Here are few quick tricks to make hand washing more desirable and effective:
You can have your child sing the ABC Song or Happy Birthday (2x’s) as they are washing their hands.
Here are two fun instructional chants you can teach your child, be sure to have them say the chants at least 3x’s as the wash their hands.

 

Hand Washing Chant #1

Tops and Bottoms
Tops and Bottoms
In Between
In Between
All Around your Hands
All Around your Hands
Now They’re Getting Clean
Now They’re Getting Clean (During the final verse you can change the words to Now They’re Clean)

 

Hand Washing Chant # 2

(To the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat)

Wash, wash, wash your hands,
Soap will make them clean!
Scrub the germs ‘til they fall off,
Germs do down the drain…

 

We are so excited to begin our baby study!  We are looking for donations of any old baby materials you might have laying around (diapers, bottles, toys, blankets, clothes, etc.)  If you have anything you can let us investigate please bring it in!  We look forward to partnering with all of you during this project.

 

We have also decided to put a hold on our Goldilocks and the 3 Bears study and delve deeply into our baby study alongside discussing winter animals and the cold weather. According to the weather report the next couple of weeks will be full of off and on snow and the preschoolers are always so enthralled with snow. We are going to try to capitalize on their interest and focus some of our energy on winter related topics.

 

In trying to alleviate some of the congestion in the hallways there will be new procedures for where students will enter/exit the building (THERE IS NO CHANGE IN OUR PRESCHOOL ENTRY/EXIT PROCEDURE). I have attached the letter from Ray Administration (in case you have older children who will be affected by the new changes):

Dear Ray Families:
The purpose of this new plan to reduce heavy hallway traffic as students enter and exit the building. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Start Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Arrival
Pre-K students will enter through the glass annex door.
Kindergarten will line up outside the auditorium doors.
First, Second and Fifth Grades will continue to follow the same procedure.
Third & Fourth Grades will enter through the Main Entrance Door.
Dismissal
Pre-K students will exit through the glass annex door.
Kindergarten will be dismissed outside auditorium doors.
First, Second and Fifth Grades will continue to follow the same procedure.
Third Grade will exit through the main entrance door and walk to their numbers on the North playground.
Fourth Grade will be dismissed from the main entrance door.

 

Thank you Ray Families!

 

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 8th

Hello Parents:

Happy New Year!

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

 

In just 3 days our Donor’s Choose grant was fully funded! Many family members donated to the project, we really appreciate your generosity. Many of you also posted the link on social media, thank you as well! Our students are going to thoroughly enjoying using the sensory and art materials!

 

We will begin our Goldilocks and the Three Bears study this week. We will also begin Phase 1 of this years “Baby” project. We will be partnering with Ms. Anna’s and Mr. Phillips’ class when we delve into Project Approach Based learning.

 

Here is a quick description of what Project Based Learning Looks Like (taken from https://illinoisearlylearning.org/. a free website for teachers to share information with families:

 

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 fi nd 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 2018!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 25th

Hello Parents:

In just 3 days our Donor’s Choose grant was fully funded! Many family members donated to the project, we really appreciate your generosity. Many of you also posted the link on social media, thank you as well! Our students are going to thoroughly enjoying using the sensory and art materials!

We want to thank all of the parents who volunteered for both Gingerbread Celebration and the Field Trip. The children truly enjoyed both days!

When we return we will begin our Goldilocks and the Three Bears study.  We will also begin Phase 1 of this years “Baby” project.  We will be partnering with Ms. Anna’s and Mr. Phillips’ class when we delve into Project Approach Based learning.  I will send home detailed information once we begin the Project.

We hope that everyone has an awesome winter break! I have included the Bookflix information below if you would like to have a great tool to use over the break.

How do I Access BookFlix?
Your school has a unique username and password that can be used anywhere! To access your account, follow the steps below:

• STEP 1: Access BookFlix at: http://bookflix.scholastic.com
• STEP 2: Enter username and password. The username and password is the same and is case sensitive
o Username:eceray
o Password: eceray
• STEP 3: Happy Reading!

We look forward to seeing everyone January 8, 2018,

 

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 18th

We want to thank all of the families who assisted their child in participating in Ray Spirit Week!  The preschoolers had great spirited outfits each day!  Be sure to check out the pictures right outside our entry door (on the easel)!

 

The children are super excited for our Gingerbread Celebration. We are counting down the days. We have plenty of decorations for the celebrations, thank you! We still need volunteers to assist in decorating our gingerbread cookies. If you are willing to assist please sign up on the sign in sheet (Morning Class 10:30-11:00, Afternoon Class 2:30-3:00). If you have not turned in your “Act of Kindness Light bulb” please do so ASAP. The children have enjoyed talking about all the various ways we can be kind to others.

 

We are looking forward to our field trip to Navy Pier. If you are volunteering we will strict guidelines for everyone to follow. We must ensure that everyone is safe and enjoying the museum exhibits. We are predicting that Navy Pier will be very busy and we will navigate to and from the museum as a group. More information for volunteers will be forthcoming!

 

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
4thHats & scarves
5th Mittens or Gloves. It would be really helpful if you practiced the same order at home as well.

 

Now that winter weather has finally settled in we need to make sure we are bundled up for our outdoor exploring. We will go out and explore in the snow (when/if we get a good amount). Please be sure to dress your child in snow boots and snow pants. Waterproof gloves/mittens are also helpful. If you have any snow pants or boots that you would like to donate to our classroom (for children who do not have them) we would be very grateful.

 

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.

 

Please be sure to check your child’s mailbox Wednesday for a Winter Break Sweet Treat and a Family Treat (passes).

 

Upcoming Events:

I am putting together another Donor’s Choose grant for art and sensory table supplies.  Please keep an eye out in your child’s mailboxes for information on how to donate and/or pass on the donation info to friends and families.

Lottery Deadline is December 22nd! Please be sure to apply before the deadline if you need to!

 

Gingerbread Celebration: Thursday, December 21st

 

Field trip to Navy Pier-  Friday, December 22nd-  Everyone should arrive at Ray by 9:00 am we arrive back at Ray at 12:30. Please remember to come inside the classroom to sign in and sign out your child. Thank You!

 

Winter Break- December 25th- January 5th. School resumes January 8th.

 

We hope you have an awesome Holiday and Winter Break,

 

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 11th

Hello Parents:

Next Week is Ray Spirit Week! Each day there will be a special clothing day.

Monday: Crazy Colorful Day: Socks, Hair, Clothes
Tuesday- Pajama Day
Wednesday-Education T-Shirt Day: Wear any school t-shirt or hoodie
Thursday-Ugly/Beautiful Winter Sweater Contest Day
Friday-Twin or Jean Day

The children are loving all the different versions of the Gingerbread Man! We have been busy comparing the different versions, acting out the stories and talking about the different characters. Please be sure to check out our work on the bulletin board outside and throughout our classroom. Next week, we will continue our study by reading The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers, The Gingerbread Cowboy and The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School. We had an awesome time putting our own twists on the Gingerbread stories with our 4th grade buddies. Please be sure to take a look at the cool stories the children came up with! I will be putting them on the bulletin board in the next couple of weeks.

We are going to also start to focus on celebrations and how to show kindness to others. The closer we get to our Gingerbread celebration the more we will focus on acts of kindness. Please be sure to turn in your child’s light with “an act of kindness” written on them. We will hang them up in our room. Please take a look at the display of the kindness we’ve shown to others!

We will need a few volunteers to assist with our Gingerbread Celebration. If you are able to assist us please sign up on the sign-up sheet. We will also need sweets to decorate the gingerbread people. We will need: M & M’s, Pull and Peel licorice (by Twizzlers), sprinkles, Cheerios (plain, NOT HONEY NUT), tubes of icing (squeezable… not the containers of frosting), raisins, Skittles (or round candies for buttons). Please sign up on the sheet if you are able to donate the above items! Thank You!

Ray is hosting an awesome S.T.E.M Family Night on Tuesday, December 12th from 5-6:30 p.m. There will be lots activities for the entire family. Please be sure to stop by The ANIMAL CRACKER MATH table! Ms. Maggie, Ms. Anna and I will be manning that activity!

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. If your child has a fever, is vomiting, or has diarrhea they must stay home until 24 hours after the last episode. Please make sure that you are sending a note when your child returns so that they are not receiving unexcused absences.

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. If you are unable to provide a winter coat, boots, gloves or other cold weather clothing, please do not hesitate to talk to me. I can be sure to get these items for your child.

Gingerbread Homework
Please assist your child with creating a unique age collage using the Gingerbread cut out as the base. For example if your child is 4 years old. They can decorate the Gingerbread cut out with sets of 4…. 4 shapes, 4 feathers, 4 polka dots, 4 sticks, 4 buttons, etc. Be creative as you’d like! Please return the completed age collages by Friday, December 15th!

Upcoming Events:
***Lottery Deadline for K-8 is fast approaching! The deadline is Friday, December 22nd if you want to apply to a school that is not your “home school” remember to apply before the deadline!

Tuesday, December 12th- S.T.E.M Family Night
Thursday, December 21st- Gingerbread Celebration
Friday, December 22nd- Fieldtrip to Navy Pier
Winter Break- December 25th- January 5th. School resumes January 8th.

 

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 4th

Hello Parents:
We want to thank all of families (Amelia’s nana Regina brought in cool stickers, and Myracle’s grandma sent in stickers and cool paper and Kaiden’s grandma Sterma brought tissue and lots of paper towels….grandparents are great) who brought in supplies for our classroom! We really appreciate it! We have plenty and this should last us for a long while.

 

We also want to thank Darwin for allowing us to borrow his Piggie and Elephant stuffed toys while we conducted our miniature Mo Willems book exploration. The children thoroughly enjoyed exploring these books! We focused on a few language arts and literacy components commonly referred to as “Elements of a Story” We focused on the characters, the problem, the solution, and how the characters felt in the stories. When reading with your child be sure to use terms such as characters, problem and solutions. We will focus on more elements of the story when we study the various versions of the Gingerbread Boy. We will add the setting and the loved parts of the story components to our study.

 

In addition to our Gingerbread theme we will also focus on family celebrations. We have been discussing how we do various activities at “family celebrations.” Many children mentioned that they have music, decorations, and special foods/treats at their celebrations. We will be focusing on how to be kind to others and highlighting acts of kindness in our classroom interactions. We will culminate our themes with a Gingerbread decorating party in which we will focus on “being kind to others” and festive dance music. We will decorate our room throughout the month of December with the theme of “Lighting Up our Room with Kindness,” so be sure to turn in your lights as soon as you are finished!

 

We are asking each family to write an “Act of Kindness” on the bulb and return them to school (The bulbs and directions are in your child’s mailbox). Please be sure to write your family name and/or your child’s name on the bulb. Hopefully, this activity can help balance out the frenzy of the upcoming winter holidays and extended break.

 

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 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.

 

Upcoming Events:
Field Trip money due: Friday, December 1, 2017 (if you have not turned in the form and money please do so as soon as possible).
Thursday, December 21st- Gingerbread Celebration
Friday, December 22nd- Field Trip to Navy Pier
December 25th- January 5th- Winter Break
Please mark your calendars!

Thank you,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 27th

Hello Parents:

We are starting our abbreviated author study on his book collection. We then 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!

Supplies Needed!
We are busy bees and we go through a lot of supplies, we will shortly be in need of the below products. If you have already brought in your supplies, we thank you and you do not need to do so again unless you would like too! We appreciate even one or two items from the list as well.
* Containers of Clorox Disinfectant Wipes
* Boxes of facial tissue
* Stickers
* Baby Wipes
* Rolls of Paper towel
* White printer paper

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 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.

Upcoming Events:
Field Trip money due: Friday, December 1, 2017
December 22nd- Field Trip to Navy Pier
December 25th- January 5th- Winter Break
Please mark your calendars!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 20th

Hello Parents:

 

We want to thank everyone who came to Parent/Teacher conferences! Thank you to everyone who went on leaf hunts with their child as well! Be sure to check out the cool leaf creations and investigations the children participated in.

 

We have a fun filled parent & child activity on Tuesday, November 21st. All families (morning and afternoon) are invited to attend from 9:15-10:15 in the school cafeteria. We will have cool make it and take it activities for students to participate in. Remember there will be no regular class (morning or afternoon) on this day. All students must have an adult join them for this event. Siblings are welcomed!

 

Thanksgiving Break will be Wednesday, November 22nd- Friday, November 24th. Regular class will resume on Monday, November 27th Please remember if you are looking for something fun and educational for your child to over the break please go to our Ray Bookflix site. Here is the information:

What is BookFlix?
BookFlix supports early literacy development through animated storybooks. This digital platform provides an engaging library of paired fiction and nonfiction ebooks along with supporting literacy activities.

How do I Access BookFlix?
Your school has a unique username and password that can be used anywhere! To access your account, follow the steps below:

• STEP 1: Access BookFlix at: http://bookflix.scholastic.com
• STEP 2: Enter username and password. The username and password is the same and is case sensitive
o Username:eceray
o Password: eceray
• STEP 3: Happy Reading!

 

 

When we return from Thanksgiving break we will have a week full of Mo Willems fun. We are going to do an abbreviated author study on his book collection. We then 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:
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-shelf 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:
November 21st- Parent & Child Activity in school cafeteria from 9:15-10:15.
23rd-25th – Thanksgiving Holiday
December 22nd- Field Trip to Navy Pier
December 25th- January 5th- Winter Break

Please mark your calendars!

Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of November 13th

Hello Parents:

We are excited to meet with all of the parents about their child’s progress.  Please see the following schedule for the conferences on Wednesday, November 15th!

See everyone then.  If you have not signed up we still have open spots please sign up on the sheet onto of the cubbies!  Thank You!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

Time         Child                 Parent
9:00            Lucy                     Cynthia
9:10              Aaron                  Pete & Nikki
9:20            Elodie                  Alayna & Adam
9:30             Ruby                   Zachary & Joy
9:40            George                 Duosheng
9:50            Natalie                Jesus & Bernice
10:00          Yaretzy               Telma
10:10            Baea                    Jo-Lin
10:20          Allen                    Minsun
10:30          Zoe                      Yuan
10:40          Julian                   Casper
10:50          Darwin                Angela
11:00         Shiloh                  Darius & Ivanna
11:10          Leah                     Kristy
11:20          Paige                    Peter
11:30          Judith                  Diane
12:40          Joshua                 Yanan
12:50          Sheela                  Yanan
1:00            Alfredo               Jorge
1:10            Eddie                      David & Casey
1:20           Mina
1:30            Kennedi               Kenyatta
1:40             Zavian                Ashley
2:00            Rose                    Holly
2:10             Simone               Sara
2:30             Amelia              Tom & Erin
3:20             Mika                  Flora
3:30            Marcus              John
3:40             Monica              Esther
3:50           Lawson                Brittany & Joseph

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Week of November 6th

Hello Parents:
We have been thoroughly enjoying investigating gourds, apples, and pumpkins! Be sure to check out our bulletin board to see all of the cool activities the children participated in. We want to thank all of the parents who accompanied us on the field trip! We really appreciate all the help! I also want to thank the parents who have kept our room stocked with play dough. If you would like to volunteer to make play dough for our class, please sign-up on our play dough calendar beside the sign- in sheet. The recipe that works best is behind the calendar, please take one!

 

November will be a very busy month for us. We will move onto to studying leaves. Please keep a look out in your child’s mailbox for a home “collection” activity in the next couple of weeks.
There will be a parent teacher conferences on November 15th. I have times from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you need to schedule a special time or day please let me know, I would be happy to schedule a time that works for you. Please be sure to sign up for the Parent Teacher conferences (on the clipboard beside the sign in sheet).

As the weather gets cooler please be sure to dress your child appropriately. In addition, please check your child’s extra clothes in their cubby to make sure they are weather appropriate for the changing weather.

Being that the days are shorter and the weather is cooler outside time will start to become limited. Chicago Public Schools has a great alternative site for parents and kids and to access. BookFlix is an online animated book library that is free for our school for the rest of the year. Here is the information:

What is BookFlix?
BookFlix supports early literacy development through animated storybooks. This digital platform provides an engaging library of paired fiction and nonfiction ebooks along with supporting literacy activities.

How do I Access BookFlix?
Your school has a unique username and password that can be used anywhere! To access your account, follow the steps below:

• STEP 1: Access BookFlix at: http://bookflix.scholastic.com
• STEP 2: Enter username and password. The username and password is the same and is case sensitive
o Username:eceray
o Password: eceray
• STEP 3: Happy Reading!

Upcoming Events:
November 21st- Parent & Child Activity in school cafeteria from 9:15-10:15.
23rd-25th – Thanksgiving Holiday
Please mark your calendars!

Thanks,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of October 30, 2017

Hello Parents:

We are excited to go on our very first field trip of the year! We will be departing Ray Tuesday, October 31st at 9:15 am and returning at noon (as close to noon as possible). Please do not send your child in a costume. The field trip is occurring in lieu of a traditional Halloween celebration. Please take the flyer next to the mailboxes if you are looking for more traditional Halloween activities. We have plenty of parent volunteers! Thank You! I want to remind everyone of our preschool field trip procedures. Everyone must bring their child into the classroom and sign your child in as you would normally do. Upon arrival back at the school everyone must come into the classroom and sign their child out. We will not dismiss children to parents who wait outside the building or outside the classroom. I have included the updated parent volunteer expectations:

 

FIELD TRIP VOLUNTEERS
Parent participation is essential in ensuring that our preschool children have appropriate field trip experiences. We highly appreciate parents who are able to assist us on our outings! We want to thank all of the parents who will be assisting us on our trips in advance!
On field trips we ask that parents supervise their child along with a small group of other children. Please remember that these experiences are meant for children and parents to experience together please refrain from cell phone use unless taking photos for great memories. We ask that you follow all safety rules and abide by the set schedule especially for departure times. We ask that you assist in buckling all students into and out of their seat belts. We ask that you buddy up with another adult to take children to the bathroom (if needed). We also ask that parents do not take part in any extra activities that are not included in the pre-planned field trip (i.e. going to any show/exhibit/performance that is an extra cost, or purchase treats or toys at souvenir shops). We have children with severe food allergies and it could be potentially dangerous to partake in treats/food made with unknown ingredients.

 

November will be a very busy month for us. We will move onto to studying leaves and our social focus will be “Being Thankful”. Please keep a look out in your child’s mailbox for a home “collection” activity in the next couple of weeks.

 

We would like to send a special heart felt thank you to Angela (Darwin’s mom) for providing a plethora of much needed World Language books!

 

Upcoming events:
Tuesday, October 31st- Field Trip to Eden’s Place
Friday, November 2nd- No School
Wednesday, November 15th- Parent & Teacher Conference- No regular class
Tuesday, November 21st- 2nd Parent & Child Activity 9:15-10:15 all students attend with an adult.

 

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