Friday, December 23, 2016

Celebrating Christmas Around the World!

Many of our classes are learning about how other cultures celebrate Christmas around the world!  The classes are taking about traditions, foods, music in which different countries partake.

One class in particular has spent the past two weeks "travelling" to different countries as part of their Social Studies unit!  Kindergarten have been quite the world travelers.  They have visited the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Sweden!

I was able to join them for their trip to Spain and it was an adventure!  Every time they visit a country, a string gets added to the map to help visualize where they just traveled!

 Each Kindergartner has a "suitcase" complete with boarding passes and a passport!

First, they are tasked with finding their passports so they can glue the country's stamp in their books!

Next, they need to look at the country's flag and recreate it in their journals, so they can remember where they have traveled to!

Lastly they learned about Three Kings Day.  Three Kings Day in Spain is a very important day.  We know it as the day the Wise Men visited Jesus.  Three Kings Day is celebrated on January 6th.  They made a craft to represent this important holiday.



While your students are home on break, here are a few activities from different countries you can do!


-Germany: Pfeffernüsse Cookies. Covered in powdered sugar and full of a mix of warm spices, these cookies are a Christmas tradition must have in Germany.  Click here for the recipe!

-Italy: StruffoliThe lemon zest gives these little hazelnut nuggets of fried dough the perfect kick. And the dash of powdered sugar and sprinkles makes these some of the prettiest bite sized treats to see on Christmas Eve.  Click here for the recipe!

 -Canada: Shortbread Cookies. Everyone has their favorite cookie, but these melt in your mouth shortbreads will skyrocket to the top of any list. And the ease and quickness of these cookies make them a great treat to make with kids.  Click here for the recipe!


- India: Paper Lanterns.  Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row(avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.  Click here for instructions on how to make this paper lantern.

- Netherlands: Wooden Shoe Craft.  In the Netherlands, the most important day during December is 5th December, when Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) brings them their presents! St. Nicholas' day is on the 6th December, but in The Netherlands, the major celebrations are held on the 5th December.  Download this template and you can have your child fill their shoe with what they would want Sinterklass to bring them!

-Mexico: Poinsettia Craft.  The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas, but were always saddened because they had no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing.  One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course they were teased by other children when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.  Click here to find out how to make these paper poinsettias! 

These are just some ideas you can possibly do.  What country is your family from?  What country have you always wanted to visit or learn more about?  Find out how they celebrate Christmas or another important holiday and make a craft or food based on it!  Happy Learning!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Meet the Cast and Crew of Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

This week we caught up with our Fisher's Wife (not pictured), and our Stage Managers.  One of our Stage Managers is also the Bookseller in the first scene and both Stage Managers participate in the bigger dance numbers.  They have all been in musicals before including the Wizard of Oz.  

We asked them a couple of other questions and here's what they had to say.

What is your favorite part or song in Beauty and the Beast, Jr?

-  "Be Our Guest is my favorite."- Abby

-  "Tale as old as time." [Beauty and the Beast]- Kaila

-  "Be Our Guest"- Patrice

What is your favorite thing about doing this musical?

-  "I like a lot about it.  I like having fun with my friends and being part of the theater."- Abby

-  "The energy around the musical; it's very happy."- Kaila

-  "I like being with my friends."- Patrice

We also asked the Stage Managers if they preferred to be on stage or behind the scenes.

-  "On stage."- Patrice

- "This is my first year behind the scenes and it's fun to see and be a part of."- Kaila

Monday, December 19, 2016

5th Grade Learns About Physical Properties!

The fifth graders have been very busy scientists this past week!  The class has been learning about physical properties and how to use descriptive words to describe the properties.  This past Tuesday, the students participated in an activity where they felt different objects in paper bags and had to describe the object's properties without knowing what they were touching.


Some descriptions included whether the object was hard or soft, if it had an odor, how much mass it had, what shape it was, the texture, and size.  Feel free to recreate this activity at home and see what other adjectives can be used to describe different objects! 

The fifth graders have also been chemists!  Last Wednesday the class dipped pipe cleaners they had made into snowflakes into a borax and water solution.  They had to wait 24 hours to see what they had made!