Friday, December 19, 2014

Buckaroo News for December 15-19

Hello Families,

I can't believe that it is the last day before our long winter break!  Where did the time go?!  Well, we've had another busy week here at Camp Buckaroo.  In word study, we have continued to learn those high-frequency words that pop up in about 80% of all of our reading and writing.  We've been practicing them with a fun game called SPARKLE.  Ask your child to share about this game.  Our class elf, Flash, told us that Santa is always taking applications for new elves and we each filled out an application in hopes that someday we'll be called upon to walk through the portal that leads to Santa's Workshop.  Many of the children have already decided what elf job they would be best suited for:).  We also practiced our visualization skills with activities that centered around the Polar Express story.  In math, we are continuing to work with larger numbers to 120 and finding ways to solve problems beyond counting on our fingers:).  This week, we used hundreds charts and ten-frames.  I've noticed that the children can really use some extra help skip-counting by 2's and 5's.  We all have skip-counting by 10's down.  An easy way to practice is in the car traveling to your destination.  Once they have counting by 2's and 5's starting at the beginning, give them a number and have them practice counting up and/or back from that number.
Even though we are still in December, I will be sending January's reading log home since the children won't be returning until January 5th.  The kiddos challenge each other by talking about how many minutes they read the night before or that weekend.  Please remember to record the minutes read each night on the log and to total it before returning it to me.  Saves me from having to total 23 logs:).

This is our schedule when we return:  Monday, January 5th - Art   Tuesday - Music  Wednesday - Library   Thursday - P.E.   Friday - Art

Finally, I can't thank you enough for the gift of your children.  I want you to know that I fully understand and take very seriously the fact that they are your hearts running around on two legs and I value and appreciate each and every one of them.  They each bring something special to my life and I'm enriched because of them!  I also want to thank you for all of your support, kind words, encouragement that you give to your child and to me!  I am truly blessed!  I hope that all of you have a joyous break filled with memories that will last a lifetime!
Our classroom elf left Tuesday night with all of our mission folders so that Santa could see how children celebrate in other countries.  Santa accidentally spilled hot chocolate on his laptop and lost all of his files.  We had to learn about different countries and how they celebrate this time of year so Santa knows what kids celebrate.  We can't touch Flash so we had to use a glove to touch him.  Santa sent this glove so we could pick up Flash.
The Chick-Fil-A Santa cow came to lunch this week.  He was here to celebrate the great job we did on the Spell-a-Thon.  
He got his face painted.
We learned about different countries.  You guys looking at this blog right now are probably wondering what is that fireplace and what country is it from?  It is from England.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Buckaroo News for December 8th-12th

Wow!  It has been one crazy, busy week!  Our elf, Flash, has been traveling the world to bring back information about holidays in other countries and we've been working hard to take good notes for our mission from Santa.  We can't tell you about it yet because it's Top Secret but we will share it with you next week once the mission is complete.  Below you will see the "craftivities" that we had to complete for each country as part of our mission.  In word study, we have taken a little break from our word study teams to play a game that we love called SPARKLE.  Ask your child about this fun way to learn to use the word wall more effectively.  In math, we are working on counting with numbers to 120.  We have learned about the terms "more than" and "fewer than" to describe numbers as well as counting by tens using ten-frames.  In reader's workshop, we have been learning about reindeer and how to read and gather information from nonfiction texts.  Ask your child to share what he or she has learned so far about these fascinating creatures.
Next Friday, the children have earned a special treat.  They will be able to wear their pajamas to school (again:) and we will be enjoying hot chocolate, cookies and the Polar Express movie.

Our schedule for next week:  Monday is P.E.   Tuesday is Art  Wednesday is Music   Thursday is Library and Friday will be P.E. again

Mrs. Rudd has a sign-up for the holiday party that will be next Friday afternoon.  If you'd like to help out with this fun time with the little ones please sign up.  
F. made a Christmas tree.  We made these Christmas trees because we were learning about Germany and that's the country that started Christmas trees.  There is no Santa.  His name is Kris Kringle.  If you don't behave you get sticks.  They hide pickle ornaments in trees.  Whoever find the pickle gets an extra present.
We learned about Italy.  We made brooms because the witch, La Befana, gave treats if you were good like Santa does.  She is a nice witch.  There were three kings that knocked on her door when she was busy sweeping so she couldn't go see baby Jesus.  When she finally went to see Him He was already gone so she is always looking for Him to give Him a gift.  She gave the gifts because she always thinks you might be Baby Jesus.  
These boys are holding up clogs from Holland and you leave them out on December 5th and Sinter Klaas will come and put treats in your clogs (wooden shoes) just like our stockings.  When we were at our house sleeping, Sinter Klaas came and left us treats.  Sinter Klaas comes on a boat and when he reaches land he comes on a horse.  He has a little guy that comes along with Sinter Klaas and his name is Black Peter.  He will chase you with his stick when you are naughty.
We made ornaments that we drew a picture and wrote about one of our traditions.  That night, Flash stayed in America and went to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.  We drew a picture of what we do each year as our tradition.
The boy is wearing a star hat.  It was Wacky Wednesday that day.  All of the girls are Saint Lucias and all of the boys were star boys.  They celebrate this in Sweden.  Their tradition is to kiss under the mistletoe (giggle, giggle).  The little kids give food to their parents and to older people who have retired.  The oldest girl in the family gets to be in the front of the parade.  They celebrate Saint Lucia day to pray to Saint Lucia.  She gave food to the ones that were hiding in the dark tunnels because they wanted to worship the way they wanted.  Saint Lucia went into an underground tunnel and she wore candles on top of her head to light the way.  The candles on that day are not colored.  They are white. They only use white lights to decorate.   They put candles in the graveyards to remember all their loved ones that have died.  Don't cry.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Buckaroo news for November 24th - December 5th

I hope that all of you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving filled with family and friends.  I know that I ate enough for two Thanksgivings:)  This blog post is a bit early due to the fact that I will be heading to Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Wednesday for my annual trip with my sister.  I will miss my little ones but they are going to be in great hands!  Thank you so much for coming to our Thanksgiving performance last week.  The children worked very hard on the songs and were incredibly proud of themselves.  We learned a lot about what life was like in the near past and the far past with the Pilgrims.  We learned that everything tends to change over time but sometimes it has nothing to do with making something better.  Sometimes it's for looks:)  We took a look at how Mustang cars changed over time as an example of this.  I have some vintage car lovers in this class!  
For the month of December we will be looking at how cultures around the world celebrate this time of year.  The twist is that we will be guided each day by our friendly Elf on the Shelf named Flash. He "appeared" in our room on Monday as soon as his name was said out loud and the children had to search the room to find him!  They went nuts looking for him and it was so fun!  Everyday he has appeared in a different spot along with artifacts to give us clues as to what country we will be talking about.  Today, we learned about Israel on the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.  We learned about the dreidel game and got the chance to play it with friends.  Flash brought us a menorah with candles the color of the flag of Israel.  We learned about the miracle of the oil and the Maccabees.  There is a fun video on YouTube by a group of young men called the Maccabeats.  Take a look.  
Don't forget that we will be going to a play on Friday in the morning.  It will be so much fun for the kiddos but I'm sad that I will miss it.

Here is the schedule of specials for the rest of this week and the beginning of next week:  Today - Library Wednesday - P.E.  Thursday - Art  Friday - Music  Monday - Library
Here we are looking for Flash!  We thought he was in a box shaped like a house.
S. and S. found him in a basket of books!  We knew not to touch him with our bare hands because it might take away his magic and he wouldn't be able to fly back to Santa.
Mrs. McNeal has on the "special glove" that Santa sent her so that she could touch Flash.
B., S. and F. made a beautiful house during indoor recess.
Here we are trying out the dreidel game.

Flash loved hanging out on the Menorah while we made our own out of our handprints.