December Kapok Newsletter

Dear Kapok Parents,

We hope you had a nice and peaceful Thanksgiving break. During the months of November and December, Cultural Studies are the focus of our classroom. During the month of November, we were busy learning about sharing, being thankful and how to give each other compliments.
“The compliments box” is a beautiful lesson and is also one of my favorite. You only need an empty gift box for the lesson!

First we learned: what is a compliment and how does it makes us feel? Then, we learned: how do we give and take compliments to and from each other? Finally, we give each other a gift from the heart. An invisible gift that makes us feel as good (if not better) than when we go to the store and buy something – a compliment.
Now we have an empty present box in the classroom (full of compliments) to give to each other at any time during the day.
I have to share that I got the best gift ever when a student came to me with the gift box and told me I was the best teacher EVER. Then a student that was observing this interaction brought the gift box back to the student that had just complimented me, and told him he was the best student EVER. The story continues with a beautiful chain of compliments and love. What a great lesson!

Our harvest share event was very sweet and successful! It was a beautiful lesson on the process of food, services skills, table manners and internalizing what we are truly thankful for.

Kapoks loved making the “Stone Soup.” Ask your child about it. Stone Soup is a popular European folktale that has been told and retold for centuries. Everywhere the tale is told, the plot ends with the optimistic realization that when each person makes a small contribution, the collective impact can be huge.
The version of Stone Soup we read in the classroom took place in a village where people learn about the pleasures of sharing. Kapoks worked very hard peeling and cutting to make our delicious and healthy “stone soup” to share with the other classrooms. I am proud to say that most Kapoks tried our Stone Soup.

We would like to welcome Alisa and Alexander to the Kapok Classroom.

December will be a busy month-
In the classroom we will be learning how to wrap, give and receive gifts (a blue cube will work). At times we all have received a gift that we don’t particularly love. It is a skill to be able to find the one thing we might like about that unwanted gift, and be truly thankful for it. If we understand the meaning behind the gift, we can alway appreciate it.
We will also incorporate our Classroom jobs. Kapoks are always very proud of being a productive part of the classroom. When meaningful tasks are assigned to students they feel capable and responsible. Classroom jobs are a fundamental part of our classroom. The process of choosing a job is complex and starts with the Job descriptions, followed by job applications. Here we include skills and past experience, based on that they might get the job or have to re-apply next week. If the job is not performed by the standard set then the agreement is broken and the classroom as a whole has to decide if the student can keep the job or should they be dismissed. Being unemployed is not fun!

December Events-
*Follow the child-Saturday December 2nd- This event is an opportunity for your child to show you what he/she does inside the classroom. The child is the teacher and the parent is the student.
-Your child will choose which activities he/she wants to do. It is possible that he/she chooses activities that they love and are comfortable doing with you. The activity may not necessarily be challenging.  It is his/her option as they are giving YOU the lesson.
– Your child might walk around for awhile choosing a lesson or just observing, please be patient and “follow the child”.
– Please do not interrupt or correct your child during a lesson. The child is the teacher and the parent is the student.
– If your child chooses not to show you any lesson you can say “I am hungry, would you please guide me to the snack table and show me what to do?” or thank him/her for showing you the classroom and ask him/her if they are ready to go.
More guidelines:
-Siblings may remain on the playground if supervised.  Please do not bring siblings into the classroom.
-Although you have signed up for forty-five minutes, follow your child’s cue and leave when he/she is ready.
-Please refrain from talking to other adults or children – This is a special time for you and your child.
-Remember to speak in a quiet voice and walk slowly.
The teacher is there to prepare the environment and set the tone. Should you wish to follow up with your child’s teacher, please email her or speak with her when your child is not present.

*Parent-Teacher conferences-Please don’t forget to sign up for Parent-Teacher conferences. Parent-Teacher conferences will be held on Monday, December 11th on a professional day. Although we have additional days, I encourage you to sign up for our Monday 11th conference day.
Time for conferences has been divided into 20 minute intervals starting at 8:00pm and ending at 5:00pm.

*Below you will find a link to Parent-Teacher Conference sign up sheet.

*School pictures-Don’t forget to bring your best smile. December 6th are Kapok pictures.
Wishing you Peace and Light

Ms.Erin and Ms. Karina