Ms. Bethanie's Classroom

March 3, 2017

Week of March 6th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 1:09 pm

Hello Parents:

 
We have wrapped up our jazz exploration (but we still listen to a lot of jazz)! We are learning lots of new vocabulary while reading various versions of The 3 Little Pigs. A few of those words are: Annoyed, Trotted, Mortar, Chat, Pounced, Trembling, Prowling, Crumble, Fantastic, and Cauldron. Follow up at home will assist in solidifying the new words into your child’s vocabulary. Try to use the words in everyday language or when discussing the stories we have been reading at school.

 

The preschool team has placed a parent information board outside our classrooms (the small bulletin board across from our “Out” door and in between Ms. Heiser & Ms. Weinberg’s classrooms. Be sure to check it out. If you have anything newsworthy about cool happenings in Hyde Park and would like to share it with our families please let me know!

February 27, 2017

Week of February 27th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 1:12 pm

Hello Parents:
We have begun our 3 Little Pigs study. The children are thoroughly enjoying exploring the various versions of the story. We have also been enjoying all of the various jazz music we have been listening to. Be sure to look on the bulletin board to view our “Painting to Jazz” dedication to Mrs. Jane. All 3 preschool classrooms are exploring jazz in a memorial to Mrs. Jane. She loved jazz and art and her dedication and love for the children is still felt throughout Ray school, especially in the Preschool classroom. Be sure to check out the cool jazz paintings on the bulletin board.

We will also have fun reading various Dr. Seuss books this week. His birthday is March 2nd. If anyone would like to come in a read a story this week please let me know. We love guest story tellers!

Please remember to keep your child home is he or she is sick. Many students have been coming to school coughing constantly, with fevers or with stomach ailments. If your child is dealing with any of these issues please give them time to rest and recuperate. Students should not return to school unless they have been fever free, vomit free or diarrhea free for 24 hours! When they come to school sick, teaching is interrupted when we have to nurse them and also it is quickly spread to the other students and they become sick as well. We are working diligently on our end to remind students to use their cough catchers (inside of elbows) and sanitizing our materials.

February 17, 2017

Week of February 20th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 3:31 pm

 

Hello Parents:

I would like to send a special thanks to Joy (Ruby’s mom) for donating the Eric Carle floor puzzle and being our guest reader the children really enjoyed it.

CHANGE IN CURRICULUM

We have however decided to take a detour from our Eric Carle Author/Illustrator study we pick the study up in late March/early April. I decided to change topics to Fairy Tales (mainly because the children are still talking about The Gingerbread Boy/Man/Girl and the Fox and the Winter weather did not produce as much snow as we would have like ;-)) in which we will study the various versions of The 3 Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. We will begin the study with The 3 Little Pigs and then move onto the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. If you have a unique or favorite version that you would like to read to the class or allow us to borrow the book we would really appreciate it.

In honor and memory of Jane Averill who dedicated so much time and energy to our school and especially to our preschool program, we will spend time listening to jazz music and reading about jazz musicians this month Ms. Jane always loved music and spent a great deal of time exposing her students to various jazz musicians. Jane’s ability to tell an awe intriguing story and love of music will live on here at Ray Preschool.

We will pick our Eric Carle Author/illustrator study later this spring and tie it to our gardening/butterfly unit.

Ms. Bethanie

February 10, 2017

Week of February 13th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 1:05 pm

Hello Parents:

The students are counting down the days until our Valentine’s Day exchange and celebration. 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 end the week by beginning our Eric Carle Author/illustrator study. If you would like to come in a read a story during this study please let me know, we would love to have a guest storybook reader. We are also looking for parents with artistic ability to assist us in making our own illustrations during our culminating activities at the end of the study. Please let me know if you are willing assist us.

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.

February 6, 2017

Week of February 6th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 1:04 pm

I want to thank all of the Pre-K families who came out to “Raise a Glass For Ray” fundraiser. Ms. Thole reported that we raised $6000.00 up from $3400 last year. I want to send a “shout out” to Kate (Tess’ mom) for dancing the night away. Also Cynthia & Kirk rocked out ON STAGE with the band! Without parent participation we wouldn’t be the awesome school we are!

 

 
We will be winding down our “Animals in the Winter” study this week. We will end the study with learning all about Adaption (we have learned about hibernation and migration). We will begin our Eric Carle author study next week after we take a couple of days to celebrate the “Things We Love” and have our Valentine Exchange. Please be sure to check your child’s mailbox for the updated version of the letter. Please remember that we are a Nut Free school. If you decide to send a sweet treat make sure that is nut free. Some awesome alternatives to candy treats are: pencils, stickers, and simple cool cards.

 

 
Dates to Remember:
Valentine’s Day Exchange- Tuesday, February 14th.
NO SCHOOL- Monday, February 20th- President’s Day

January 30, 2017

Week of January 30th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 12:57 pm

We are finally able to make the bird feeders. Welcome back winter weather! We want to thank all of the parents who donated items for our feeders!  We had an awesome Lunar New Year celebration! The morning class enjoyed watching the older students perform the Dragon Dance. We want to thank Jo-Lin (Baea’s mom) for reading the Lunar Year books, bringing in the Chinese yo- yo, and making dragon crafts with us. The afternoon children thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities.
We will continue our Animals in the Winter Unit for the next week or so. We will be moving onto our Eric Carle author/illustrator study after we wrap up the animal study.
Correction/Change
The Valentine day celebration letter only had the time for the morning class. The afternoon class will have our Valentine Exchange from 3:00-3:30. In addition, 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.
Please remember to check your child’s mailboxes on a daily basis.

NO School Friday, February 3rd- This is newly added to the calendar- it is now a furlough day for CPS staff members

January 20, 2017

Week of January 23rd

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 5:17 pm

I want to thank Yaun (Zoe’s dad) and Joy (Ruby’s mom) for donating oil, bagels, and raisins for our bird feeders. We will make the feeders as soon as “real Chicago” winter weather returns. We are still learning about animals during the winter months but we are focusing more on Mathematics throughout the room. We are learning new vocabulary words- be sure to ask your child the difference between true and torpor hibernation.
February is fast approaching and Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we participate in a Valentine Exchange. Please check your child’s mailbox for details.

January 17, 2017

Week of January 16th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 9:44 am

Hello Parents:

The children have been thoroughly enjoying discovering new information about various animals and their behavior during the winter months. We have also being busy conducting lots of math activities. Please be sure to take a look at how the children chose a winter animal and created a picture depicting the position of where the animals were. The children used positional words during their dictation of the description of the creations.

We are going to make bird feeders (hopefully the actual weather will become more winter like instead of Spring like) when the weather becomes a bit colder and maybe a few sprinkles of snow are on the ground. We will need the following things donated:

oranges
bird seed
oil
cream cheese
dried fruit (cranberries, raisins)
mini bagels

If you are able to donate any of these items we would really appreciate it. Thank you

I would also like to thank Christy (Charissa’s mom) for donating the much needed snow pants for the class. If anyone has any other slightly used winter gear they would like to donate we would appreciate that as well.

Thanks,

Ms. Bethanie

January 10, 2017

Welcome Back!

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 9:46 am

 

Happy New Year!

I want to thank all of the parents who donated decorations for the Gingerbread Celebration and I also want to thank all the parents who volunteered to assist with the decorating the Gingerbread Men/Women.  It went very smoothly and the children thoroughly enjoyed the celebration.

I want to thank all of the families who gave such thoughtful holiday gifts.  I hope everyone had an awesome break.  We will be diving into the topic of “Mathematics throughout the classroom” and “Animals in the Winter.”

We will be making bird (and other critter) feeders and I will be asking for donations soon.  Please keep an eye out for my request.

We are also in need of new play dough for the New Year.  The sign- up sheet for January and February is beside the sign in sheets.

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.

Thank You,

Ms. Bethanie

December 16, 2016

Week of December 19th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 12:37 pm

Hello Parents:

 
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 21st. Thank You!

 
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.

 
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.

 
Once the weather warms up will resume going outdoors to play. We will go out and explore in the snow. 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.
Thank you again for all your assistance with the new arrival and dismissal procedure. When there is inclement weather the Pre-K staff will open the doors 5 minutes early so that parents and children can sit at the back three tables of the cafeteria instead of waiting in the frigid weather.

 

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 Free Family Treat.

 
Our second Parent and Child Activity will be held Friday, December 23rd in the school cafeteria from 9:15-10:30. All children (accompanied by an adult) are invited to participate at this time. There will be no regular class on December 23rd.

 
Winter Break- December 26th- January 6th. School resumes January 9th.
Ms. Bethanie

December 9, 2016

Week of December 12th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 4:28 pm

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 taking 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 Cowboy and The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School.
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.

Thank you again for all your assistance with the new arrival and dismissal procedure. When there is inclement weather the Pre-k staff will open the doors 5 minutes early so that parents and children can sit at the back three tables of the cafeteria instead of waiting in the frigid weather.

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.

Thank you so much to the parents that have sign up to bring items for our Gingerbread Man decorating and the volunteers that are coming in to assist us.

Our second Parent and Child Activity will be held Friday, December 23rd in the school cafeteria from 9:15-10:30. All children (accompanied by an adult) are invited to participate at this time. There will be no regular class on December 23rd.

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 help find these items to donate to your child.

Winter Break- December 26th- January 6th. School resumes January 9th.
Ms. Bethanie

December 2, 2016

Week of December 5th

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 4:00 pm

Hello Parents:
We want to thank all of the parents who have complied with new entry and exit procedure. Our first priority is ensuring everyone’s safety and well being. Please be sure to only enter the building when Preschool Staff member opens the doors. We realize that others may be trying to be kind or helpful by opening the doors for you, but we need to abide by the new system. If a child, or another parent opens the door before the set time of enter/exit, simply refuse to enter and let the child or other parent know that you are waiting for the preschool staff to open the doors. Thank you for your assistance in making our school safe for everyone.

We will continue our study of the various versions of the Gingerbread Man. Please be sure to check out the vocabulary words we have been discussing. The list is posted on the bulletin board in the room behind the bathroom door. The children will also begin to work on the story summaries and comparing the various stories. . Please be sure to check out all of the charts and diagrams that will posted throughout the room.

The children will end the school year by finishing their study of the Gingerbread Boy and Celebrations.
We will have our Gingerbread Man/Winter celebration on Thursday, December 22nd. I will be supplying the Gingerbread cookies (thanks to Mariano’s Grocer). We will need a variety a decorating materials. If you are able to bring one of the items needed please sign up on the sheet.

We are also asking parents to volunteer to assist in the decorating of the cookies. There will be a sign up sheet placed by the clipboards in the next couple of weeks. We are asking to have at least 2 parents a session to assist us.

We are also in need of 1 more batch of play dough to get through the end of 2016. Please sign up on the play dough calendar if you would like to make the batch.

Our second Parent and Child Activity will be held Friday, December 23rd in the school cafeteria from 9:15-10:30. All children (accompanied by an adult) are invited to participate at this time. There will be no regular class on December 23rd.

Winter Break- December 26th- January 6th. School resumes January 9th.

Ms. Bethanie

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