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Room 13

An older child is working on division using the “Division Board”. This child in particular, has already received a lesson and is capable of continuing the work on his own. Some younger children, although not at this level, took interest in watching him work. He gladly explained the steps to them as he worked through the problems. The children working together and looking up to each other is heartwarming to witness.

Dear Room 13 Families,

As we finish the year, we have a lot of great memories of 2016 and a fresh new 2017 to look forward to. The children have made such great progress and many new connections and friendships. We are learning from each other and growing daily. The children spent time working and learning in the garden, in Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Science, Cultural, and Art areas of the classroom, as well as on the playground. They also helped prepare and serve yummy snacks and enjoyed each other's company throughout it all.

The themes of "winter" and "winter animals" have kept the children interested in learning and encouraged them to reflect on how the season changes, what they see, and feel around them. They also learned about different winter animals, including which ones hibernate and which ones do not.

Thank you to all who participated in the "Second Harvest Food Drive" and the "Toys for Tots Holiday Drive." In the classroom, we continued to reinforce the character trait of generosity, talking about giving to others and being grateful for what we have. Sharing with others is one way we can help others. Participating in these charitable activities shows the children what it means to be generous. We encourage you to continue this dialogue at home and incorporate activities that might inspire them to continue giving to others all year round, and not just during the holiday season. For example, the website www.parents.com has a list of ten ways that children can volunteer. To find the article, type “volunteer with your kids” into your favorite search engine and it will show the article and the list. We hope this helps as a starting point for your children to develop a habit of generosity.

It is always a fun time for the children when they come together as a school. They enjoy having presentations or singing as a group. Being able to support each other and work together helps strengthen the sense of family and community at Casa dei Bambini.

The "Hot Cocoa Party" was a huge success. It is always fun for the children to spend time with their friends and have a special snack with them.

We are grateful for our supportive families and team and we are looking forward to continuing our school year with more joy, laughter, and opportunities to create great connections. We hope that you enjoy your time together as a family this holiday season. Here is a website, www.todaysparents.com, that has a list of activities that you can do as a family. Type the phrase “50 essential winter activities” into the search engine to find some fun ideas for family activities. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!
Ms. Elizabeth & Mrs. Roshan

Gratitude Corner

The year of 2016-2017 in Casa dei Bambini is a multi-cultural academic year. We were very fortunate to have had an opportunity to explore a variety of international customs and cultures. The children participated in five wonderful presentations and we would like to say a big “Thank You” to the ten presenters.

Ms. Jenny gave a presentation on the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Emma (Thomas and Eva’s mother from Room 13) gave a wonderful presentation on Mexican culture--the Day of the Dead.

Mukti (Amey and Anay’s mother from the Casa and Pre-Primary Classrooms), Mahi (Room 13: Ria’s mother), Roshni (Room 13: Sohum’s mother), Mona (Casa Class: Jai’s mother), Satyashree (Pre-Primary Class: Meera’s mother) gave a fascinating presentation on aspects of Indian culture, the Diwali Celebration.

And Miho (Room 13: Fiona’s mother) gave a unique presentation on Japanese culture. The children had a great time trying and learning about new foods from different cultures. We were very happy that they had the opportunity to taste many different yummy cultural snacks this month. Thank you all presenters for your generous contributions to our Casa dei Bambini children and staff.

Thank you Keren's Mom, Adriana, and Shylie's Mom, Ortal, for the Hanukkah Presentation.(both families in Room 13). They presented beautifully for the Hanukah celebration. The children loved making dreidels and the goodies.

Birthday Corner

Happy Birthday to:

Casa Classroom
October: Danilo and Amey
November: Ella, Stefan and Isabelle
December: Jaifrom

Bilingual Class
Devin and Leroy

Room 13
Marcus and Keren

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Current and
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Info. Corner


Casa Classroom


As children become increasingly independent, they become more aware of how their actions impact each other. This awareness and social motivation drives them to join activities that involve more communication, cohesiveness, and social skills. In this picture, two children were doing face painting for each other. To achieve a desired pattern of face painting, it requires lots of communication, cooperation, and trust.

Dear Casa Parent

We are thrilled to be in the middle of the beautiful Holiday season! 2016 has been another exciting year, filled with babies, new students, changing environments and a joy for the work we do!!! We appreciate everyone participating in the Toys for Tots and Second Harvest collections. We know that charitable giving, when started at a young age, carries into adult life. As your children begin to earn allowances and participate in chores, we suggest you consider donating a portion to a charity of your/their choice. Planting the seed now will encourage a lifelong habit of charitable giving. Your children are extremely generous in spirit, which is why the character trait of Generosity was chosen for November. Continuing with this humanitarian theme, Tolerance has been the December character trait. We feel blessed to work in an environment with so many different nationalities and to truly be an International school.

In December, the children discussed winter activities, clothing and the changing seasons. In the Math area, we introduced measuring items in centimeters. The children first learned how to read a ruler and document their own observations about length. From here, many of the children will move on to the concepts of greater than and less than. By using measured ribbons they can learn to visually discern which piece is longer and then we will introduce the <, > and = symbols.

As many of you know, we have a large number of children who are beginning to read this year. Yay!!! They are constantly encouraging, challenging, and inspiring each other in developing this amazing skill. We recently read, How to Read a Story by Kate Messner. The children were in awe of this interesting book that listed the steps for successful public reading. In the spirit of storytelling, our holiday project is a creating a winter scene. Your children painted with watercolors and described a winter scene. We hope you and your child look back on this art in the future and have a good giggle about what they were thinking about.

In January, Casa Class will be studying space and the planets. We will be physically re-creating how the Earth rotates around the Sun and the order of the planets. We will also look closely at astronauts and space equipment. We feel lucky to be very near NASA. Please explore the website and consider a family field trip to the NASA Ames Research Center,

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/exploration.html.

In the Montessori classroom, children by age of 3 are developmentally ready and eager to begin direct and indirect preparation for reading. Montessori reading is based on the strong foundation of phonics. Montessori activities allow children to build their understanding of how sounds are represented by symbols, and how these symbols are joined together to form words. In this picture, this child is sounding out each sound of the phonics. Then he will put the three sounds together to sound out the words. It is a great joy to see a child discover that he/she can read!

Lastly, we want to wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday season. We wish you a peaceful end to 2016 and a bright beginning to 2017!

Sincerely!
Casa Class Teachers

Pre-Primary Classroom

Thanksgiving time was a perfect opportunity for students to present to their teachers and classmates the family posters that they prepared and worked on at home with their parents. The children talked about their family members with pride. The family posters were on display throughout the month, so the children had multiple opportunities to discuss who and what was presented in each family photo, how they prepared for this project, and how it makes them feel. This family project helps children build their language skills and since this topic was very meaningful to the children, it was very successful and every child was eager to participate.

Dear Families,

As we enter the holiday season, it is a good time to remember to approach it with the spirit of generosity and kindness toward others. The Second Harvest and Toys for Tots Drive that Casa dei Bambini is proudly sponsoring and conducting again this year is concluding. Thank you for showing your generosity and donating as much as you could. The need is always there, so please continue supporting the cause throughout this holiday season and beyond. We will talk to the children at school about why donating matters and how many children and adults will be happy to receive a gift of food and toys for their loved ones that will be collected and given.

December is also a month when you will likely have more time to spend with your child/children. The most meaningful present that you could give them is the gift of your time. The memories and experiences that they will build will be long lasting. The trips that you will make, and the places and people you will visit, will also help your child develop as sense of the world around them.

Literacy in classroom is growing word-by-word, book-by-book. The child enjoys looking at the pictures in the book of animals and naming the animals. At this stage of learning and building their language skills, the Pre-primary children make the connection between a written word below the picture and the picture above the word. This child is also developing the ability to better concentrate. Please read to your child daily as we teachers do every day in the classroom. Please wait until he/she finishes looking at the pictures before turning the page. The children are very much aware of every single detail that they see on each page. To raise each child’s awareness of phonetic sounds that make up words, the teachers play a sound game called “I Spy” with familiar objects and pictures, and later introduce the Montessori Sandpaper Letters.

The holiday season actually started last month when we celebrated Diwali, the Indian festival of light. Our parent community organized a wonderful presentation that included yummy food and decorating dias, candle holders with shimmering glitter. The Pre-primary classroom celebrated the other holidays through school-wide presentations and classroom discussions. The children learned about different holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, as well as the Mexican Posada celebration. We will also do caroling to celebrate the holiday season.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

We hope that you continue enjoying reading our classroom newsletters and seeing the numerous photos that we took during the student’s work period and playtime. This gives you a starter line for discussing with your child how he/she spends her day at school and what kind of lessons and activities the children do throughout the day.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and great time off from school! Happy New Year!.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Adriana and Mrs. Iva

Giving a lesson to a friend is one of the common in-class activities practiced in a Montessori classroom. The child on the left was very patiently showing his new friend where and how to get some water for a water-coloring job. The child on the right practiced his cooperation philosophy by patiently having a lesson: getting water from his friend. This activity helped the children to improve their hand-eye coordination as well.

Bilingual Mandarin - English


Dear Parents,

We can’t believe that we have come to the end of 2016! December…the holiday season is here!

Our Bilingual Class has good news to share. We would like to introduce a new friend, James Qi, to you all. James joined our Bilingual Class last month, November. He came from the Pre-primary class and we are so glad to have him. Welcome James! 欢迎你来到我们双语班! (Huan ying ni lai dao wo men shuang yu ban!). Recently we celebrated Devin and Leroy’s birthdays. Happy 4th Birthday Devin and Leroy!

December’s theme of the month is Chinese literature. We will focus on the Tang Dynasty’s famous poems. We will also study how animals hibernate and plants go dormant in the winter.

The child on the right was concentrating on practicing his third booklet for writing Chinese characters. He said, “I am very happy to work at school everyday.” He chose a booklet with the title “At school”. He says, “I like to learn the school materials and I am glad I met my teacher and my friends here.” The child on the left observed his friend’s character writing exercise. Being patient and calmly observing, his friend traced the Chinese characters helping him to learn Mandarin Chinese. This activity helped the child on the left to understand how to respect his friend work, without interrupting. Our learning strategy for acquiring Chinese is: 1) to observe more 2) to listen more 3) to speak more 4) to read more and 5) to write more. (Duo kan, duo ting, duo shuo, duo du, duo xie 多看,多听,多说,多读,多写)

The photo above tells us how to be a team player. All the young “professional chefs” are happily concentrating at their cooking stations, making yummy sandwiches. This activity helped all the young chefs to learn on how to take turns to make sandwiches and how to patiently wait for one’s turn. The four children who are sitting and working new jobs on the rugs have just finished their delicious sandwiches. The children on the left are busy cheerfully making sandwiches. What a proficient and cooperative team it is! Within 30 minutes, our small group of young chefs made the entire school’s yummy and healthy sandwiches for Casa’s Thanksgiving Feast.

As you continue to celebrate the holidays and spend more time with your children, we hope that your family will also have the opportunity to learn and connect with different cultural traditions around the world by attending plays, concerts, and art exhibits. We would like to let you know about a wonderful historical exhibition called “Rama, Epic Legend,” at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, from 10/21/2016 to 1/15/2017. If you are interested, please check it out.
See the following web pages for more information:
asianart.org
ktsf.com

The child in the photo is illustrating our current charter education curriculum: Generosity. Over the weekend, he worked hard and helped his mommy to make very special delicious homemade chocolate muffins, and created beautiful “snow man” cheese treats for all his friends and the teachers. This is a wonderful way to conclude our month’s theme of Generosity. All his friends and the teachers appreciated his kindness and thoughtful ideas. Some of his friends kept his and his parents’ creative decorations for the yummy “snow man” cheese. Some of them said, “I don’t want to open, or to eat the beautiful string cheese. It’s so cute and beautiful, I would rather bring it home.”

The Second Harvest barrels have been collected by now. Thank you for being generous and for helping us fill them to the top. The Toys for Tots donation containers are ready to go as well. We would like to encourage you to educate our young children about participating in these two wonderful events, so that more and more children and families will receive and feel your love and warmth.

On a lighter note for December, our Casa children were so excited about our year’s big event, the Hot Cocoa Party. We had a wonderful time together at this fun party. The children had a good opportunity to taste Mrs. Leonor’s popular Hot Cocoa recipe.

Last, but not least, I would like to send every parent a friendly reminder: if you have any questions or would like to leave a message for our Bilingual Class or me, Ms. Jenny, please call our faculty hotline at (650) 473-9595 and leave a message there. Thank you!

We hope that you and your families will have a wonderful winter break. Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Ms. Jenny (Liang laoshi 梁老师)
Bilingual Class

Spanish Class


Hola Queridos Padres,

We began the year in the Spanish class remembering the songs we sang at graduation class. The children always enjoy doing this, because it gives them a feeling of connection and continuation with the last year. For the new students is a great way to expose them to Spanish vocabulary. Ask them if they remember the songs, not all of them do. In September, we also learned the parts of the body and the face.

October was fun learning all the Halloween vocabulary in Spanish, talking and planning our costumes, and learning how to say it in Spanish. We have been counting to 10 in the pre-primary room, and up to 20 with the older children, as well as backwards from 10. This is not a very easy math concept for most of them, but it truly shows if they know their numbers.

Throughout November, we learned about vegetables, played many games, and talked about our favorites vegetables. Papas (potatoes) and zanahorias (carrots) were the winners! Brócoli, because it sounds the same in Spanish and English, was a big favorite too. Great, our bambinos like broccoli ;)

During the classes in December, we'll be learning about colors and how they are tied to different celebrations; red and green with Xmas, white and blue with Hanukah, red, white and blue with independence day, orange and black with Halloween, and green with Saint Patrick 's day. We surely have a rainbow of celebrations.

Wishing you all a peaceful, happy, and full of love holidays. I hope to see you around Casa dei Bambini.

Señora Marta

Gymsport Academy


Hello Families,

Let me introduce myself, I am the Gymsport Academy instructor, Michelle Keith. I've had a wonderful couple of months getting to know your children. Let me say, it will be a fun year!

Gymsport Academy is held on every Monday for 30 fun filled minutes. The class starts with a warm-up consisting of sign language, yoga and/or a dance routine. Then we do 1-2 gross and fine motor activities, followed by a cool-down with bubbles! Returning students have assisted me in leading the new students with the sequencing and the movement of the Gymsport class. This class is a perfect setting to teach and reinforce teamwork, personal space, and respect for one another.

The upcoming months bring fun sign language words for the holidays as well as the alphabet A-F, with corresponding animals. Don't forget to ask them what animal they remembered from class! In the coming months, children will be encouraged to lead the class during the yoga warm-up. They have always enjoyed helping teach the class, which gives me time to walk around and check correct positioning. Gross motor activities will entail holiday themes such as ‘a sleigh ride’ for core strengthening and 'batting snow' for hand-eye coordination, as well as other engaging activities.

I am looking forward to creating a progressive program of skills to assist the children in their developmental path, as well as establishing a love of movement!

Keep moving!
Michelle