Week of March 2nd

Hello Parents:

We want to thank everyone who joined us on our field trip!  The children thoroughly enjoyed it! 

We are enjoying our Goldilocks and the 3 Bears study.  We have already mapped the various story elements and read several “original” versions.  This coming week we will explore some of the more non- traditional versions. 

We will also begin to have more focused math experiences.  WE will be exploring numeracy, simple addition and subtraction, and measurement.  Please keep an out on our Goldilocks work and our mathematical creations.  We will begin using math journals this week as well.  This journal will be used to house the student’s math representations.  Ms. Maggie and I are excited to start this new journey with the kids!  We will share them at the next Parent and Teacher conferences in April.

We also want to thank Emily (Remy’s mom for making play dough for all 3 preschool classrooms!  We are very appreciative.  We have also started our Mystery Readers and are excited to welcome parents to read to us.  Be sure to ask your child about the special mystery reader Monday after school! 

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 24th

Hello Parents:

We will be moving onto our study of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears this week. If you have a unique copy or version that you would like to share we would really appreciate it. If you would like to be a guest reader please let me know!

Be sure to check out our Winter Exploration display on our bulletin board outside our classroom. The children discovered so many cool things about animals in the winter. We will continue to watch our bird and squirrel feeders. So far it looks as if there is one squirrel who is loving the bagels covered in cream cheese and bird seeds.

We will be going on our very 1st field trip of the year this Friday! Please be sure to turn in all forms and payments ASAP. Please remember to come early to have breakfast with your child in the cafeteria or feed your child before they come to school. We want to be sure to make it to the theater on time!

We need volunteers to sign up to make play dough for March. Thank You!

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 17th

Hello Everyone,

We want to thank Ibn, (Joanna’s dad), Lucy (Cameron’s grandma), Symone (Gabriel’s mom), and Xuefeng (Shinanna’s mom) for donating items for our animal feeders! We really appreciate it!

We are finishing out Animals in the Winter Topic of Study this week. We will be moving onto Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. If you have any unique or favorite versions of this classic tale we would love to borrow it or you can come in and read to the class!

We would like to thank Mrs. Ely (Cora’s mom) for donating ink pads to our beloved writing center. The children love creating masterpieces!

Important Information
The field trip money is due this Friday. We are going to try something new on Friday, February 28th the morning of our field trip. We are asking that students who typically eat breakfast here at school, do so in cafeteria starting at 8:20. We are asking parents to sit with their child to have breakfast and then take your child to the restroom (there are restrooms located across from the cafeteria and also down the hallway towards the auditorium) and then bring them into the classroom ready to board the bus for the field trip. We will load the bus promptly between 9:00-9:15.

Also if your child tends to get car/bus sick please let us know. We will make sure we are prepared and try all the tricks we know to distract your child from getting ill on the bus. Thank You!

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 10th

We will be winding down our animals in the winter topic in the next week or so. One of our final activities will be to make bird/squirrel feeders. We are asking for the following items to be donated and brought to school on Wednesday February 12th. If you are able to donate any of these items please let us know. Thank You!
*3 tubs of whipped cream cheese (whipped is easier to spread for the students
* 1 bag of oranges
*1 bag of mini bagels
* 6 Ears of corn (fresh please)

If you are going to provide a small edible treat (everything will be in sealed bag so that parents can divvy out the treats as they see fit) please remember we are a NUT FREE school. We do have children with nut allegories so please be sure not to include ANY treats with nuts. If you have a valentine that needs to be assembled (like a pencil/eraser attached to a card) please assemble before bringing them to class (please place in a bag with your child’s name on the outside). Also all edible treats need to be in individual wrappers/bags). We have 20 students in our classroom, so please be sure to send enough for all 20 students.

Please remember to check your child’s mailboxes on a daily basis.

We will be going on our very 1st field trip on Friday, February 28th. Permission slips will be given out this week. We will going to the Chicago Children’s Theater (there was a typo on one side of the field trip permission slip) to see “Wake Up Brother Bear!” We are looking to take 6 parents with us. Please let us know if you would like to assist on the field trip!

If you would like to volunteer on this trip, you must go through the mandated CPS volunteer process.
Volunteer Process for
Classroom Visitors and Field Trip Chaperones

As many of our students participate in field trips, it is imperative chaperones have completed the volunteer process. For classroom volunteers and field trip chaperones adults simply need to complete the short online application process at cpsvolunteers.org.
Volunteers must also have a picture ID on file for the school.
If you are interesting in volunteering in the classroom or chaperoning any field trip you MUST complete online application and provide a photo ID. Please complete both of these requirements so that we can ensure that we have enough volunteers for our upcoming field trip.

****If you have already filled out the volunteer paper work (this year or last year) and were approved to be a volunteer please let me know and I will be sure to confirm it with administration.

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 6th

We want to thank Ibn (Joanna’s dad) for sending in Valentine decorations. We also want to thank Lucy (Cameron’s grandma) sending in Valentine decorations and for making us beautiful preschool size scarves for our little ones! They come in handy on cold days when someone has forgotten their scarf!
The children have been enjoying exploring our animals in winter topic. We have been learning how animals adapt, hibernation, and habitats. Be sure to check out our growing winter animal vocabulary list in the room.
If you are going to provide a small edible treat (everything will be in sealed bag so that parents can divvy out the treats as they see fit) please remember we are a NUT FREE school. We do have children with nut allegories so please be sure not to include ANY treats with nuts. If you have a valentine that needs to be assembled (like a pencil/eraser attached to a card) and in a bag with your child’s name on the outside.
Please remember to check your child’s mailboxes on a daily basis.
We will be going on our very 1st fieldtrip on Friday, February 28th. Permission slips will be given out this week. We will going to the Chicago Children’s Theatre to see “Wake Up Brother Bear!” We are looking to take 6 parents with us. Please let us know if you would like to assist on the field trip!

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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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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