December 11, 2015 Dear Parents,

December 11, 2015
Dear Parents,
This week, we began our “Holidays Around the World” unit to learn how different
countries celebrate the holiday season. On Monday, the students prepared for our flights
around the world by decorating their luggage with stickers from each of the countries we
will be visiting during the next two weeks. On Tuesday, we took our first flight on the
“Happy Holidays” Airline traveling to Italy. While we were in Italy, the students learned to
say “Buon Natale!” which means Merry Christmas in Italian. They also learned about the
tasty “panettone” cake they eat during the holidays, and La Befana (the Italian version of
Santa), who fills the children’s stockings on January 6th. On Wednesday, our class
traveled to Mexico. The students learned to say “Feliz Navidad!” which means Merry
Christmas in Spanish. We also learned about legend of the Poinsettia flower, the tradition
of piñatas, and the tradition of children in Mexico putting out their shoes to be filled with
presents on January 6th. On Thursday, our class traveled to England. The students
learned that the tradition of sending Christmas cards to family and friends began in
England and was carried over into the United States. The students also learned that Santa
is called Father Christmas in England, and children open Christmas crackers on Christmas
Eve to find a paper crown and small gifts. Today, our class traveled to France. The
students learned that Santa is known as Pere Noel to the children, and he fills their shoes
with candies and nuts on Christmas Eve. The students also learned about the Yule log
that the families eat for dessert on Christmas Eve. It is shaped like a real log, but is made
out of cake.
We will continue our “Holidays around the World” unit next week. The countries we
will be visiting include Germany, Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands, and Japan. If your
family has special holiday traditions that your child would like to share, please send in a
note/pictures about your tradition and we will share them with the class during our holiday
As part of our writing activities during Center Time, the students have been visiting
the classroom “Post Office”. The children are having a great time writing holiday cards to
their friends and teachers in our class. If you have any extra cards that you are not using
this holiday season, please send them to school for our “Post Office”. This activity is
teaching the students how to read and write their friends’ names, and how to “stamp” and
“address” an envelope so it is ready to be mailed. If you are writing out cards this
weekend, please ask your child to help you by writing his/her own first and last name.
Thank you to all of the families that created their own family ornament for our classroom
tree! It was fun to see all the creative ornaments, and hear about the students’ favorite holiday
traditions that they celebrate with their families.
December 14 – Emerson Holiday Program at Wheaton North High School – 6:45pm
December 18 – Blue Ribbon Assembly - 1:30
Class Holiday Party – 2:15pm
December 21 – January 1 – Winter Break
Have a wonderful weekend!
Miss Jen Hottendorf