Weeks of March 11th & March 18th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank all parents who assisted on our field trip!  We really appreciated it!.

We are continuing our Winter Garden Study! The afternoon class has started an experiment mimicking what the children did in the book How a Seed Grows by Helen J. Jordan. Be sure to ask them what they are discovering. We have also begun our own plant experiments. Children used soil, sand, or cotton balls as a base to grow either beans, lettuce, or seeds that we found in our fruit exploration last week. The children then choose either the window seal, grow light, or darkness to see if their plants will grow. Be sure to take a peak at what the children predicted.
We will continue to explore and investigate as spring slowly but surely appears! We are excited about our experiments and learning new vocabulary and information daily! This week we are learning about germination, botanists, and the 8 groups of vegetables.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
We are need of paper towels and baby wipes. If you would like to donate a roll or two and a package of wipes we would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!
Friday, April 5th- No School for Students
April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.
Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of March 4th

Hello Parents:

Our visit with Mr. Sean from Big Green was awesome! We are well into the 2nd Phase of Project based learning. In phase 2 the children:

*Collect Information about the topic (the children surveyed Ms. Anna’s room about their favorite root vegetable, berry, and lettuce).

*We took a trip a to place where they can do fieldwork and helped them find people to interview who can answer their questions. We went to Kohl’s and made seed bombs and juice fruits and veggies.

• With adult help, the children use books and computers to find information. We viewed a short video explaining the difference between and fruit and vegetable. Be sure to ask your child what the difference is between the two. We have also been highlighting the book A Beans Life by Nancy Dickmann. We planted our Lima and green beans in wet paper towels. We have them taped to the window so that we can watch them sprout and begin to grow.

• During class meetings, children have been reporting what they have discovered in their fieldwork. The teacher encourages them to ask questions and make comments about each other’s findings. • The children have made drawings, labeled pictures, and created graphs of things they measured and counted. As they learn more, they can revise what they have made. We recorded the answers that Mr. Sean answered about our garden and the Red Wigglers. We have been doing weekly observational drawings and collecting data as we go. Please check out the Winter Garden Project work in our science center (near the windows).

Upcoming Events:

Friday, March 15th- Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum
Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!
Friday, April 5th- No School for Students
April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.
Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 25th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank Nikki (Aaron’s mom), Maggie (Winston’s mom), Li (Benjamin’s mom), Jenny (Spencer’s mom), and Justine (Jim’s mom) for volunteering in the My Very Own Library (MVOL) Scholastic Book fair! We really appreciate the help, I could not have done it without the help of our dedicated parents!

We want to thank everyone for joining us on our field trip to Kohl Children’s Museum! The kids loved all of the cool hands-on exhibits! If you were not able to join us on the trip, please try to join us for our celebration at Kohl Children’s Museum highlighting our project work on Winter Gardens! Please make sure you sign up with either Ms. Bethanie or Ms. Maggie. We have to let the museum know how many people to expect so that can order the appropriate amount of food. We will leave from the front of Ray at 4:45 pm. We will arrive back in front of the school at 9:00 pm.

We have begun our indoor garden. We have planted herbs (for our pizza garden!), berries, tomatoes, unique veggies, and flowers. Be sure to take a peek at the plants near the windows.

Next week we will have a visit from Mr. Sean from Big Green. He will answer our questions about our Red Wigglers and our garden questions. Please be sure to ask your child about Sean’s visit after school on Thursday.

Upcoming Events:
Friday, March 15th- Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum– Money is due Friday, March 1st
Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 18th

Fieldtrip Reminders!

On the February 22nd fieldtrip all children will attend from 8:45-1:00.  Children will need to bring a nut free sack lunch.  We will not have access to a fridge or microwave, so all food must edible at room temperature.  Lunches should also be completely disposable (we will not have time or room to bring back any Tupperware dishes… everything will be thrown in the garbage after lunch).

On the Saturday, March 23rd fieldtrip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

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

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Week of February 11th



Hello Parents:

We have put out our first round of bird/squirrel feeders!  Thank you for all that donated materials.  The afternoon class has already witnessed the squirrels feasting on the feeders!

We have our Valentine’s Day exchange and celebration on Thursday, February 14th.  Please remember that we are NUT FREE school.  We will have a fun filled day with making friendship bracelets and friendship paintings.   We will need parents to assist especially with the exchange.  Please be sure to let me know if you are willing to assist. 

We will be decorating our Valentine’s Treat Bags the week of February 11th, so please bring in donations for the bag decorations early in the week.  Thank you!  We are looking for donations of stickers, glitter, cool tape, unique stencils, and other “love inspired” decorations.  We have our celebration Thursday, February 14th.  We are asking that if your child wishes to give out valentines to their classmates we are asking that you DO NOT ADDRESS the valentines to individual children.  It is too hectic and time consuming to assist 20 children in searching for 20 different names and placing the correct cards in the correct bags.  You can simply have your child sign (with your assistance if necessary) his or her name to the cards.  If the cards need to be assembled (for example if the card needs to have an eraser attached- please attach before you bring them in). If you would like to send a sweet or savory treat we require that all items are individually wrapped and store bought (no homemade items are allowed).  We are also a nut, egg, and fish/shellfish free classroom.  Please DO NOT bring any treats containing any of the above mentioned items.  We also highly recommend small non-edible valentine gifts (erasers, stickers, and pencils are all great0!

The weather has been a roller coaster of cold and warm!  We will go outdoors as much as possible please remember to dress your children accordingly.  I have included an excerpt from the Chicago Public Schools weather guidelines.  Hopefully this will assist you in knowing which days we will be going outdoors. 

Cold Weather Guidelines

Cold air does not make us sick. Germs make us sick. Make sure students are getting outside for recess/ gross motor time at your school! Outdoor recess time allows children to get fresh air, provides an opportunity for children to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity, and gives students more activity options than most indoor spaces. Please see the following CPS cold weather guidelines for outdoor recess.

Cold Weather Guidelines:

»     Above 32 degrees F with or without wind chill: Recess should be held outdoors.

»     Between 31 degrees F and 15 degrees F with or without wind chill: Principal discretion.

»     Below 15 degrees F with or without wind chill: Recess should be held indoors.

CHANGE OF DATE-Our family field trip planned for Kohl Children’s museum has changed to Saturday, March 23rd (it was originally scheduled for March 30th). For this field trip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

Monday, February 18th– No School

Friday, February 22nd– Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum

Friday, March 15th– Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum-More information forthcoming

Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm.  2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 4th

Updated Bog Information!

Welcome back from the Polar Vortex! We have changed our bird feeder plans to end of this week! We have also begun our Winter Garden project!

We are in need of:  Tubs of Whipped cream cheese, mini bagels, citrus fruit (clementine’s, oranges, cuties…).  If you would like to donate any item please bring them in by this Friday morning.

Our 2nd My Very Own Library free scholastic book fair will be Wednesday, February 20th to Friday, February 22nd. We are in need for volunteers for Wednesday and Thursday. If you are willing to help out for a 2 hour shift or so please let me know. Thank You!

CHANGE OF DATE-Our family field trip planned for Kohl Children’s museum has changed to Saturday, March 23rd (it was originally scheduled for March 30th). For this field trip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

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

For the next couple weeks the weather in Chicago is predicted to be very cold and snowy.  Please refer to the local news for any school closures.  The Chicago Public School website will also have up to date information.

Monday, February 18th– No School

Friday, February 22nd– Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum

Friday, March 15th– Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum-More information forthcoming

Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm.  2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 28th

Hello Parents:

Happy Winter!  We want to thank Cortez (Alfredo’s mom) for bringing in new and gently used clothes! 

We have started our Vermicomposting Study.  We have also received our Winter Garden Project Based Study materials and will begin our indoor garden next week.   We will also make environmentally friendly bird (squirrels enjoy the feeders as well) next week.  We are in need of:  Tubs of Whipped cream cheese, mini bagels, citrus fruit (clementine’s, oranges, cuties…).  If you would like to donate any item please bring them in by next Monday morning. 

Many families have inquired about bringing siblings to the February 22nd fieldtrip to the Kohl Children’s Museum.  Unfortunately, children under 3 are not allowed to ride the bus on this field trip.  On our Saturday, March, 30th fieldtrip families are invited and the museum is responsible for the buses, thus siblings are welcomed to ride the bus on this day to Kohl Children’s Museum.   

On the February 22nd fieldtrip all children will attend from 8:45-1:00.  Children will need to bring a nut free sack lunch.  We will not have access to a fridge or microwave, so all food must edible at room temperature.  Lunches should also be completely disposable (we will not have time or room to bring back any Tupperware dishes… everything will be thrown in the garbage after lunch).

On the Saturday, March 30th fieldtrip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

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

For the next couple weeks the weather in Chicago is predicted to be very cold and snowy.  Please refer to the local news for any school closures.  The Chicago Public School website will also have up to date information.

Friday, February 1st– No School

Monday, February 18th– No School

Friday, February 22nd– Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum

Friday, March 15th– Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum-More information forthcoming

Saturday, March 30th– 6-8 pm.  2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of January 21st

Hello Parents:

I am very happy to be back!  Thank you for all the holiday and well wishes.  We were very thankful that Mrs. Papzcun and Ms. Byas were able to join our classroom.  

We are going to conclude our Little Pigs study this week.  We are excited to delve into our Vermicomposting Study.  In our classroom compost we have Red Wigglers.  We are going to learn all about their anatomy, their diets, and how they help our garden.  We will release the worms and the compost into the garden this spring.  Be sure to ask your child about the Gizzard, and the worms diet….are worms vegetarian?

The vermicomposting will jump start our Winter Garden Project Based Study!  In conjunction, with Kohl Children’s Museum we will do an in depth study on winter gardening.  The museum has provided us with training, materials, and 2 free field trips.  Our first field trip will occur on Friday, February 22nd.  All children will attend from 8:45-1:00.  Children will need to bring a nut free sack lunch.  We will not have access to a fridge or microwave, so all food must edible at room temperature.  Permission slips will be sent home next week.

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. 

Mittens are awesome for preschoolers!  They keep their hands warm and are easier for young children to put on.  If mittens are an option for you please send your child in with them.

Upcoming Events:

Friday, February 1, 2019- No School for Students

Monday, February 18th– No School

Friday, February 22nd– Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum

Saturday, March 30th– 6-8 pm.  2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Welcome back from break!

Welcome back from winter break! This is Ms. Papczun, posting to tell you what we’ve done for the week. I am the sub in here for this week while Ms. Bethanie continues to recover. She expects to return late next week if all keeps going well. It is great to be in this classroom with your children- I was here the three days before break and I love to see their smiles, inquiries, and excitement. (I’m going to have to pop in to say hello when my time here is over!)

Few things up front:
– There is no school on Monday, January 21.
– We are low on paper towels if anyone can donate.
– We received the Donorschoose art supplies– a big thanks to all who supported! Miss Maggie is organizing them all.

This week, we started a unit on The Three Little Pigs. We read the “original” and variations that included a story from the wolf’s point of view (it was only a sneeze!), a fish/shark version, and one that included a construction-heavy approach with a big, bad pig, that ended in everyone getting along and reconciling. It’s been lovely to see their expressions and to hear them compare and contrast the stories. One student suggested we should use a Venn diagram (Bethanie had done that with the gingerbread unit before break!). Really cool.

We are working with letter sounds in small groups, very early addition, and playing a lot. The cold weather has left us with dance parties and the trike room, but we are still getting a lot of activity in. We start every day with the expected routine- welcome song, alphabet song, circle time, and our story.

Our morning group did not have buddies this week due to the school-wide spelling bee. Wednesday both groups did Matt Man- they taught me how it all goes.

Next week Ms. Baez will continue the routines until Ms. Bethanie is able to return. Thank you all for your support and communication.

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Week of December 10th

Hello Parents:

I want to send an extra special thanks to the following pre-k parents: Sara C & Ms. Mickens (Ms. Anna’s room), Emily F., Maggie S., Nikki B., Justine S., Ashlin K., Regina F., Lixiang L., and Jenny G! These parents made our Scholastic My Very Own Library a success! Every volunteer, but 2 were preschool parents or grandparents. I truly appreciate everyone who helped out! I could not have done it without you.

Next Week is Ray Spirit Week! Each day there will be a special clothing day.
Monday: Ugly/Beautiful Sweater Day
Tuesday- Candy Cane Day- bring one to share with classmates or dress like one!
Wednesday-Best Green and/or Red Gear
Thursday-Pajama Day
Friday-Gingerbread Celebrations

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. 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 are at the half way mark on our Donors Choose art grant. If you know anyone who would like to donate please direct them to: Donorschoose.org./project/spark-of-art/3795616/  We want to thank all of the parents and grandparents who have already donated!

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), small pretzel sticks, sprinkles, Cheerios (plain, NOT HONEY NUT), tubes of icing (squeezable… not the containers of frosting), raisins, and google eyes. .Please sign up on the sheet if you are able to donate the above items! Thank You!

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 ASAP!

Upcoming Events:
December 11th- Gingerbread Literacy Evening- 4-5 in the school cafeteria.
***Lottery Deadline for K-8 is fast approaching! The deadline is Friday, December 14th if you want to apply to a school that is not your “home school” remember to apply before the deadline!
December 19th- Ms. Bethanie will be out on a short medical leave. We are glad to have Mrs. Papczun substituting in our class from December 19-21st and may also be here a few days after the break. Ms. Byas may also be a sub in our room after break.
Friday, December 21st- Gingerbread Celebration
Winter Break- December 24th- January 4th. School resumes January 7th.
Have a great week,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of December 3rd

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 receive 3 free books next week. We are in need of volunteers to assist us in taking the children down to select 3 books. If you are able to assist us please let us know. I am coordinating the volunteers for this 3 day book selection event. I am in need of some parent volunteers to help scan the books, give out backpacks and certificates on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week. If you are able to volunteer an hour or 2 please let me know!

In conjunction with our Gingerbread study, I am excited to invite pre-k through 2nd grade to a very first MVOL Family Literacy Night. This will occur Tuesday, December 11th from 4-5 pm in the school cafeteria. This night will have a Gingerbread Theme to it. I am planning to have Gingerbread themed activities for the students and parents to do together. There will be activities for all 4 grades. There will also be parent literacy tip sheets and a fun, delicious Gingerbread Cookie activity.

Also, Ms. Maggie and I have written a Donors Choose to help us get art materials for our classroom. If you are willing to donate or willing to share the link with friends and family we would really appreciate it. The following link will take you straight to our project!

Donorschoose.org./project/spark-of-art/3795616/
****If donors add the promo code LIFTOFF at checkout their donations will be doubled up to $50 for the next 7 days.

Upcoming Events:

December 11th- Gingerbread Literacy Evening- 4-5 in the school cafeteria.
December 19th- Ms. Bethanie will be out on a short medical leave. We are glad to have Mrs. Papczun substituting in our class from December 19-21st and may also be here a few days after the break. Ms. Byas may also be a sub in our room after break.
December 24th- January 4th- Winter Break- No School

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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week of November 26th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank everyone who attended our very first Parent & Child Activity. We hope everyone had a great break! We are starting our abbreviated author study on Mo Willems this week. We will 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!

Please be sure to check your child’s clothes and shoes in the cubbies. Be sure to switch to winter items. If your child wears snow boots to school you can also add a spare pair of shoes for them to change into.

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
* Stickers
* Envelopes
* Baby Wipes
* 2 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:
December 24th- January 4th- Winter Break
Please mark your calendars!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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