December is the fun time of the year and with so many different festivals celebrated around the world the children had fun learning about each festival. We started by putting up our Christmas tree and the lights on it in our classroom. We talked about Hanukkah and its Tradition. Children enjoyed seeing a menorah being lit and had fun playing the dreidel game. We moved on to talk about Kwanza and the principles that are followed during Kwanza. They got to practice setting up a Kwanza setting as work on the shelf.
Mrs. Dykstra talked to children about St. Nicolaus and its tradition and how they celebrate St. Nicolaus in Germany. She talked about the Advent wreath and calendar too. we also got to put up an advent calendar in the class, where the calendar leader got to put a magnet ornament on it to count down the days to Christmas. Children got to taste some yummy Lebkuchen (German Cookies).
The children learned about the traditional story of Christmas and baby Jesus. They got to see the Nativity set. We talked about how Christmas is celebrated around the World.
To go along with the holiday spirit, the children have enjoyed singing carols, especially Rudolf, Frosty, and Twelve Days of Christmas.
With the Christmas tree up the children enjoyed making different ornaments for the tree and they enjoyed making their special gift for their parents.
We had our book exchange and it was fun to be able to take home a new book to enjoy over the holidays.
The most fun part was they enjoyed the small treat we had for the class party, it was a snowman made of bananas and raspberry, Rudolf made of pretzels and some pears.
The children seem very excited for this time of the year for time off with family and to celebrate the festive season.
Happy holidays and Happy New Year.
We hope you all are enjoying this holiday season and getting to spend extra time with your loved ones.
We finished off November learning about our “peace virtues that guide us in maintaining a peaceful classroom environment. These virtues include truth-using truthful words, personal best-practice trying your best, peace– having a calm body, friendship-what makes a friend, kind words– nice words to express feelings, and joy– happiness, the sum of it all!
It was a short and busy December here at school. In class, the children worked hard creating a card and gift for you to be surprised with. They also crafted lots of ornaments and other festive artwork.
December became the month of celebrations! By learning about the festivals of the world, we learn to appreciate and respect other cultures, traditions, and religions.
We began by visiting each of the seven continents around the globe to explore just how each continent celebrates Christmas. We found many similarities in the traditions practiced around the world including music, decorations, special foods, greeting cards, gatherings, and gifts. It was fun to see the differences also. In the Netherlands Sinterklaas arrives on a white horse, while in Australia Santa arrives on a surfboard!
In many European countries children receive a shoe filled with goodies given on Saint Nicholas Day. Each student decorated a shoe and left it out to be filled with a special surprise!
Also recognized in December, is a holiday that celebrates African heritage. Kwanzaa centers around seven principles which are a guide to help support one’s personal strength: unity, self-determination, working together/being responsible, support, purpose, creativity, and faith. Children may come home with a woven mat (“mkeka”) or a paper candle holder (“kihara”).
We discussed the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. This eight-night celebration includes lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating special fried foods, exchanging gifts, and having parties with friends and family. The kids had fun spinning the dreidel for gold coins.
Circle time was filled with a lot of music, singing, poems and stories.
Our annual holiday book exchange was a hit! All got to take home a book of their choice that was new to them.
In school, we prepared for our holiday party by making pumpkin muffins in class. We baked them and ate them with hot cocoa and marshmallows. Watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” while we ate popcorn in our pajamas was a very nice and fun way to end the month.
We have our work cut out for us in January. With the change in season, the cold has crept in inviting topics like hibernation, winter, arctic animals and landscape, and Antarctica.
We are looking forward to having everybody back and hearing about their time away from school. I am sure there will be lots of stories to share!
Happy Holidays and see you next year!