Birthdays and Holidays
Birthdays are special for children and we have a number of traditions that we enjoy in class. We sing, we laugh, we recite poetry (AA Milne's "Now We Are Six"), we put on crowns and stickers, we blow out pretend candles, we pretend to eat cake, and, for the day, the birthday child is pretty much royalty.
We will celebrate everyone's birthday even if it falls during vacation periods. Summer birthdays are celebrated at either the beginning or the end of the school year. Some children choose to bring in a treat (with an ingredient label) which we will pass it out to the kids as they go out to recess after we celebrate in class. NO NUTS! Please check the label carefully. Birthday treats are obviously not required!
Now, while we have a good time with birthdays, we do NOT actually have birthday parties at school. This means no cups, no plates, no napkins, no balloons, etc. Please do NOT send drinks unless they meet state standards and are individual servings - and no drinks with red dye, thanks!
A note about party invitations: It is against school policy for students to pass out birthday invitations unless EVERY child in class is invited. We don't want any hurt feelings. Also, if your child is not inviting everyone in the class to a party, please discuss how to protect the feelings of classmates by not talking about the party in front of them. Tact, like everything else, has to be taught!
Please let me know if you do not celebrate or have restrictions that I should know about so that I can respect your wishes!
Part of kindergarten is learning about holidays and traditions.
We also learn songs and perform "shows" on some of the holidays.
At Halloween the children have their first school performance in the classroom. Each child holds a letter of the alphabet and recites a line of a Halloween poem. We do a number of songs and poems and drink apple cider. Also the students go from kindergarten room to room throughout the day to do various activities - including playing dress-up with costumes I've collected over the years. We do not do anything "scary" and we do not make ghosts and goblins and such. It is, however, a fun time for us to teach about bats and spiders!
At Thanksgiving we do a presentation where each child memorizes a few lines about Pilgrims and Native Americans. They wear costumes I made way back when I was on my first maternity leave :) and sing songs and act out poems. We do our presentation in the classroom and enjoy pumpkin pie and cider when we're done.
Just before the winter break we put on a "Children Around the World" program in the room and sing winter songs and act out winter poems. For this holiday celebration, the kids may choose to represent a country and teach their classmates something new! The kids can sing a song from another land, bring in something to show and explain, wear "native" clothing, or just talk about their chosen country.
The 100th Day of School is a great holiday! A holiday with lots of math and a special visit from Zero the Hero!
We don't put on a show for Valentines' Day but we do art activities and pass out valentines to one another. It's a highly motivating way to get the children to read and write their classmates' names. Many children will be able to independently read the messages on the valentines by this time of year!
Right before the two day Rodeo Vacation we make hobby horses and learn about western traditions and clothing. The children go from kindergarten room to room throughout the day to do a variety of activities. This is not a "show day" but parents are welcome to join in the fun!
Go Wildcats! Is March Madness a holiday? Pretty sure...
At the end of the year we have a promotion ceremony. This is our grand finale and we hold the ceremony in the MPR. The children sing songs and receive diplomas. I cry. I'm such a sap.
Please let me know if you do not celebrate holidays or have restrictions that I should know about so that I can respect your wishes. I will provide alternative educational opportunities for your child as needed. While our activities are directly tied to curriculum standards, there are parts that are definitely "holiday celebrations." I work hard to meet everyone's needs so please come in to chat with me if you have any questions or concerns. I'm happy to make accommodations.