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Dear Upstairs Families,

‘Tis the season for giving thanks and remembering those we are grateful for in our lives. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for our amazing parent community. Because of your help and support, it is possible to continue with our daily routines and work cycle. Weekly laundry, animal care taking, arts and craft projects, and special event volunteers are some of the many ways our parents support our classroom and school. We truly appreciate all that you do!

Our upcoming December studies will include studying seeds, aquatic biomes, tertiary colors, and Antarctica. We are also looking forward to our Winter Solstice Tea Party and Gift exchange. Please watch for details regarding this special event. As we transition into winter and the rainy season this month, we ask that each child bring waterproof shoes and coats. We hope to enjoy the outdoor environment even with a little bit of rain. Please bring additional shoes for inside to help keep our carpets as dry and clean possible.

As we continue to address the needs of the whole child, we will dive deeper into the emotional nurturing of each child. Along with academics, we teach our children to value life with positive regard towards care of the earth, the animal kingdom, and the care of self and others. We demonstrate this emotional care through individual and group silence, as well as a seasonal, quiet corner. This quiet corner is a way to encourage time and space to calm and refocus the mind and body. We hope to add some stretching/yoga cards to this area which can be especially helpful to incorporate large, gross body movement inside of the classroom.

In addition to our social and emotional growth emphasis, we will continue with our peace studies curriculum. Practice with conflict-resolution and understanding our own needs and emotions are part of our daily routine. We will be adding activities and crafts based upon the book Honoring the Light of the Child by Sonnie McFarland. One activity to create peace starts by lighting a candle and creating silence. We then say together, “ I cross my legs, I place my hands on my knees, I make my back very straight, I tell my body to be still, I tell my mouth to be quiet, I take a deep breath, I close my eyes, I make silence and feel my love.” This helps us ground ourselves and create silence which is very helpful when we transition from our morning work cycle into circle time and lunch. It is a beautiful process when we come together as a class, while simultaneously focusing on our own breath.

We wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Ms. Kristine, Ms. Cyndi, Ms. Souikana, and Ms. Abigail

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