December already?!?!?

It  feels as though the month of November flew by.  We spent much of the month reading and talking about gratitude and recognizing all that we have to be thankful  for.  It is a very big concept for our younger minds to wrap around, but we were pleased to see them begin to put things together.  Each day as the children brought in food to share with the West Chester Food Cupboard or pennies for those who suffered losses in the hurricane, we tried to talk about the effort and bring the concept home a little per se.  As a community, we gathered 333 POUNDS of food!  Pretty impressive.  While we were in service mode, we also helped Vicki make handprint turkey napkin holders that were distributed to a few homes for the elderly.  They were very sweet and I am sure cheered up the diners!  The Grasshoppers really loved the hand prints so we decided to make one for home with a message about what it is we are thankful for in our lives.

We are feeling blessed to have a new student in the Tuesday/Thursday Grasshopper class!!  Casey Kennedy joined our class and we are thrilled to have her.  She is a delightful little girl and already a terrific member of our community!  Welcome Casey and family!

The Kindergarten has been learning about ecology and as they began to learn about composting, they were visited by a worm expert who got them started with their composting bin and gave them background and instruction as well.  Our Tuesday/Thursday class was fortunate enough to have a mini lesson and visit with her as well.  We had some very brave worm holders!!

 While we were waiting for the BRIEF dusting of snow the other day, we played with some of the shaving cream variety in the classroom.  TOO much fun!!!

We've also taken advantage of any of the warmer days to enjoy the bike path.  These days are dwindling, I am afraid but we'll keep trying if the weather allows.  The children do enjoy it!

We are getting BATTY in the Ghop room these days.  We began our exploration of bats just before the break and have been really enjoying learning about these interesting creatures.  The first day of our discussion, Amy found a bat clinging to a playground ball (and to life unfortunately) in the taxi yard.  It was really unusual and crazy timing!!  We know MANY bat facts (ask your G-hop).  We learned some new words like ECHOLOCATION and NOCTURNAL.  We've built a bat cave and created many variations of bats.  One of the favorite activities was the Echolocation game where one student who is the bat and blindfolded, sends out a beep.  The rest of the students, acting as insects, are scattered throughout the room standing still with shaky eggs.  They shake their eggs in response to the bat beep.  The bat has to use his/her echolocation skills to find the insects.  The kids LOVED playing and it was great listening practice.

We are also spending some time looking at trees.  Naturally, we've been observing the seasonal changes to the trees around school.  We've taken this a bit further to create different kinds of artistic trees.  Take a look in the hallway and watch as our tree landscape mural comes to life.  We have painted with pine branches and will be using a fir tree for still life drawing and painting.  We hope to create a Giving Tree of sorts for the wildlife near the school with birdseed ornaments and berry garland etc.  We're open  to any suggestions or ideas.  We plan to create the items, "decorate" the tree with them and then take it outside and leave it while we're on break.