Week of February 26th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank Dianna and Caleb (Jaye’s mom and baby brother) Joy-Lin and Kylin (Baea’s mom and sister) and YuChing and Olina (Zoe’s mom and baby sister) for coming in and allowing us to observe the babies! The children learned a lot from the babies! We also watched a video of Ms. Anna’s baby sister as a newborn in the hospital. The children came up with great interview questions for Ms. Anna! The children observed the baby getting “bath”, getting foot prints, and they noticed the umbilical cord!

 

We are still looking for a few “big ticket” items. If anyone has a baby bathtub, walker, bouncy seat or any other cool baby items that we could borrow, that would be great!

We are also in need of hand soap. If you would like to donate a bottle or two we would really appreciate it!

 

We will continue to study babies for the next few weeks. This week we will be experimenting with baby food and making our own baby food flavors! Be sure to ask your child which baby food flavor was their favorite!

 

Spring Break is right around the corner! Our Spring Break will be from Monday, March 26th – Friday, March 30th.

 

We will have our third Parent and Child Activity on Friday, March 23rd from 9:30-10:30 in the school cafeteria. Remember that an adult must stay and cycle through the activities with their child. All students should attend this session.

 

We have a new addition to our Lending Library. We have added “Math Books” and activities (in large Ziploc bags) to our lending library. Please treat them like a regular library book and return the entire bag to the blue book return box. Please encourage your child to try the activity after reading the story!

 

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week February 19, 2018

Hello Parents:

We hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend!

We want to thank Alyana, Elodie, and baby Claire. Claire came to visit our classroom last week and the children observed her: going up and down the stairs to the loft (one of her favorite activities!), looking intently at the book I read to her, imitating her sister’s actions while coloring, and saying a few words.

We are excited to have Caleb come visit on Tuesday! We will compare Caleb & Claire’s activities on Venn Diagrams next week. Be sure to check out our “Baby” bulletin board in the coming weeks to see all the new information the children are discovering about babies!

We would also like to thank Cynthia (Lucy’s mom) for bringing clementine’s in celebration of Chinese New Year. We also want to send a huge thank you to Joy-Lin (Baea’s mother). She came to both classes and shared a Chinese New Year book, a demonstration of how to use a Chinese Yoyo, and for the afternoon class she brought in clementine’s and red envelops with a “gold” coins . Joy-Lin also brought in beautiful Chinese apparel for the children to dress up in during our celebration. Please be sure to ask your child about the cool “Rooster, Ant, and Cow” tricks she demonstrated for us.

Everyone should have received an email containing your child’s progress report. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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February 5, 2018

Hello Parents:

Welcome back!
I hope everyone enjoyed the Snow Day! Remember nest week is a three day weekend too! No school Monday, February 19, 2018.

I have emailed all of the morning class their child’s progress report and the afternoon will be forthcoming.  You will need to create account to open your child’s report.  Thank you

Here’s the list of the vocabulary words that the children will be focusing on this week in the baby study: babble, rattle, newborn, colic, bib, receiving blanket, pacifier, and teething ring/toy. Be sure to ask your child questions referencing these words. We will add to the list as the baby study progresses.

We will also look for new baby worms in our Vermicompost. We will investigate what types of food the worms seem to like. So far we have added apple, oranges and peels, and celery. Be sure ask your child which food the worms liked the most.

Please remember to send your child’s valentines to school with them on Wednesday. Having the valentines in a labeled (your child’s name on the bag) and already assembled. The children will bring home their treat bag on Wednesday. Please remember no type of tree nuts whatsoever! All edible items must be store bought (homemade treats are great, but we cannot feed them to the students).

Have a great week,

 

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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Week of February 5th

DONATIONS ARE NEEDED FOR VALENTINE BAG DECORATIONS! PLEASE BRING THEM IN ASAP!

Hello Parents:

The children thoroughly enjoyed guessing their classmates baby pictures! The children also enjoyed sharing their interviews with their friends. If you have not completed the interview please turn them in as soon as possible.

We are loving the videos as well. We want to thank Joy (Ruby’s mom) for bringing in the umbrella stroller. We are still taking donations!

If you are willing to come in and bring your baby so that we can observe them please let me know.

The afternoon children have been able to observe both a male Cardinal and squirrels enjoying the feeders outside of our windows. The morning children have viewed videos of both the squirrel and bird, but have never witnessed the animals feeding in person. We decided that the squirrels are not hungry until the afternoon time!

We will have a small Valentine celebration on Wednesday, February 14th. Please be sure to read last week’s blog and check your child’s mailbox. Remember, children also enjoy non-food treats (stickers, erasers, etc.) as well. Please remember please do not send any items with nuts!

School Supplies needed:
Bottles of Sanitizer (Advanced Germ X or Purell Preferred)
Disinfecting Wipes (Lysol, Clorox, or Kirkland Preferred)

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

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Week of January 29th

Hello Parents:

 

We have been thoroughly enjoying looking at all of the sweet baby pictures! The children love sharing information about when they were babies! If you have not turned in your child’s Baby Interview sheet please do so ASAP. If you would like to email pictures to print off I would be happy to do so.

 

We are also looking for short videos of our kids as babies. If you have any short videos of them crawling, babbling we would love to share it with our students. Please send the pictures or videos to bsmith4@cps.edu.

 

We would like to thank everyone who bought in baby items. We would love to borrow an umbrella stroller (the ones that fold really quickly and only have a place for a baby/toddler to ride in…something you would take in the mall). We would also like to look at a stroller with all of the bells and whistles (we would only look at this stroller). In a couple of weeks we would also like to invite babies into our classroom so that we can observe them crawling, trying walk, babbling, and being fed. If you are willing to demonstrate how a fancy stroller works or bring in your baby/toddler for our observation we would appreciate it.

 

We also started our classroom Vermicompost (worm compost) for our garden. The kids help tear up the newspaper (bedding) watered the bedding and fed the worms. If you would like to donate one or two pieces of fruit or vegetable (or fruit/veggie peel) please send it in.  We will transfer the compost in the spring.

 

We will be sending home a Progress Report for prekindergarten students on or after Friday, February 9th (depending on how fast the reports print off). These are simply an overview of what your child has been working on this quarter and what the next steps will be. We will meet in April at the Parent & Teacher conference and discuss your child in more detail.

 

 

Valentine Information

We will be decorating our Valentine’s Treat Bags the week of February 5th, so please bring in donations for the bag decorations this week.  Thank you!  We are looking for donations of stickers, glitter, cool tape, unique stencils, and other “love inspired” decorations.  We have our celebration Wednesday, 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 22 (morning class has 22 afternoon has 17 children) children in searching for 22 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.

 

Have a great week,

 

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

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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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