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  • Marisa Ramsey

🎄 Smart Start Week 12

Christmas Time is Here!

We have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with our Smart Start kiddos and the time has finally arrived! There are so many wonderful things to celebrate and explore during the Christmas season. For our first Christmasy week, we chose "Elves" as our theme!

Elves are full of wonder and joy. They are a great reminder to be helpful, to be kind, and to think of others before ourselves.

On Monday, we started the day with play. After a week off for Thanksgiving Break, it was fun to see our friends and catch up. We loved hearing their stories about family dinners and Christmas decorating. There were some new dishes and pretend food to be enjoyed in our Smart Start Kitchen. New play things are always a hit! While we played, Mrs. Debbie got the kids started on our first Christmas art project of the season.

During Circle Time, we introduced the letter of the week, Ee. To go along with our elf theme we read "The Elves and the Shoemaker". This classic story was a great way to introduce this week's theme of being helpful, working hard, and being kind. We used our book as a springboard into an art activity that had our students making shoes just like the ones in the story.

In Creative Movement, we listened to the Christmas classic, "Carol of the Bells". We used Christmas lights as the inspiration for our movement. We stretched and moved like lights. We got small and then radiated out. This core-distal movement is a fantastic way to increase strength and balance.

During Atelier, student learned about cranberries. We conducted a "Will it Sink or Float" experiment. After observing how cranberries float, we talked about the fascinating way cranberries are harvested. Our group thought that sounded like a cold, wet job!

Centers are always fun. With Christmas in the air, the play dough table was set up as a Christmas cookie making station. We also spent time at the free art table and playing "Letter Lookers".

The kids really enjoyed coming up with Native American names a couple weeks ago. Knowing how that excited them, this week we chose elf names! Here's our Elf List:

Hayes: Humble Jolly Jingle

Lena: Lively Twinkle Toes

Ella: Energetic Happy Feet

Marian: Mighty Jolly Jingle

Hank: Humble Giggle Pants

Elle: Energetic Sugar Plum

Layla: Lively Silly Giggles

Wednesday, we continued the elf theme. Today, the focus was on the way elves work so diligently. Mrs. Debbie created a special elf workshop. Each of our little elves had a station, a tray of supplies, and a list to check twice (just like St.Nick). It was amazing how they responded! Having jobs and responsibilities made our students feel very grown up and important. They worked hard and were very please with their accomplishments. It was a great day of growing and learning the joy of working together and serving others.

Friday, it was dark and dreary outside, but sparkly and bright inside.

Our question of the day was, "If you were an elf, what kind thing would you do?"

Kids are great for a lot of reasons. One is their ability to think from a place of fun and wonder. We love that some of the things they would do for others include playing with them, climbing trees with them, and performing plays. What creative ways to be kind! Look at these kind faces! Smiling is a simple, yet powerful way to be kind.

We wrapped up our elf-themed week with the "Elf on the Shelf" book. Students told us about their own elves that lived at their houses and how they move around each day and do silly things. The story reminded us that it's important to be good and do what's right, even if we think no one is watching!

In Creative Movement we did something that had us all laughing. We loaded our sweet Smart Start faces into the Elf Yourself App. The kids howled laughing at their amazing dance moves. After watching ourselves on the screen, we choreographed our own hip-hop, elf dance. The kids thought we looked better on the screen, but Mrs. Debbie and I thought their own unique dance was pretty fantastic!

Oh, yeah. We've got some sweet moves.

Painting, painting, and more painting!

All of this painting is a part of a process project that we cannot wait for you to see. For now, we'll leave you in suspense as to what they are creating. 😉

There's a lot of work going on in the building across Treasure Alley. In these photos, Hayes and Hank are watching the workers and wondering out loud "what is going on over there?" We talked about how buildings get old and the materials break down and so you have to rebuild them. They understood decomposition, because we watched our pumpkin, Zigzag, decompose. We talked about what those buildings used to be and what they might be once they are all fixed up. Hank got was really excited when we told him that one of those buildings used to be a candy shop. He told us that he thinks it will be a candy shop again some day and when it is he will go there to buy gum and Skittles.

One of the best parts of this week was listening to these young ones dream for our city. What a joy to think that some day they will be the ones running businesses and building things. It is never too far from our minds that the future of our community is right here in our classroom. We think they'll do amazing things one day.

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