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December Newsletter

Message from the Principal

Dear Merryhill Families,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re concluding the exciting year of 2015 and welcoming a new year. What better way to end the year than bringing families together to celebrate the community we share. And my, what an amazing community it is. We’ve had a number of amazing family events throughout this school year that just makes me so honored to be part of Merryhill Davis. Our Friendship Feast & Festival was truly a joy to participate in– I hope you all felt the gratitude that we have here as a team towards you and your family for all that you do! I want to personally thank all of you who came out, as it was an amazing turn out. I also want to give a major THANK YOU to Victoria (Matthew V’s Mommy!) for helping us with her AMAZING face painting skills!

This month, the children will be practicing various Links to Learning Skills as we gear up for the 2nd half of our school year. Our Beginner 2-Pre-K2 students will also be performing at our annual Polar Express Party starting at 3:00 PM on Friday, December 18th. This is surely not something you will want to miss! This is a Pajama Day, so please feel free to send your child in their PJ’s! Also, Santa Claus will be making an appearance during the afternoon event, so he will be available to take pictures at this time!

Furthermore, I wanted to congratulate the school on donating over 180 lbs of food to our local food drive during the Kids Can Food Drive. This massive donation will be celebrated with an All School Pizza Party on Thursday, December 24th. This is also a day we will close at 12:00 PM in addition to being closed on Friday, December 25th. The following week, we will close at 12:00 PM on Thursday, December 31st (New Years Eve) and on News Year Day, Friday, January 1st. We have passed out winter schedules for you to complete and return as soon as possible so we can not only prepare for snack/lunch needs for the two holiday weeks, but with the information, I will also be able to grant teachers time with their families on days that I know we will be low.

We are also excited to offer a Parents DAY Out Event on Saturday, December 12th between 10:00 — 2:00 PM. This event requires you to sign up in advance and has limited availability. If you have further questions about this opportunity, please be sure to see the front desk for details. This is a great chance to get some last minute shopping (or studying) done before the holiday season rushes in!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about anything regarding the program or Merryhill, please feel free to reach me at your convenience via email or phone at 530-753-9210.

Jherica McEndree

Calendar of Events:

  • December 7-18th: All School Coat Drive: Please see the front desk for further details!
  • December 12: Parent’s Day Out (10:00-2:00 PM)
  • December 18: Polar Express Party with Santa Claus (3:00 PM)
    • Students will perform songs, and Santa will be available for pictures.
    • Students are welcome to wear Pajamas this day!
  • December 24: SCHOOL CLOSED @ 12:00 PM
  • December 25: SCHOOL CLOSED
  • December 31: SCHOOL CLOSED @ 12:00 PM
  • January 1: SCHOOL CLOSED

News from Our Classrooms

Infant Classroom

 Hello Infant Parents!

We would like to start off by introducing our three newest friends into our infant class; Bailey, Eva, and Camila. The month of December is going to be awesome!  We will be doing a lot of fun activities! One activity we will be doing is called “Mix-Up!” In this activity, we will put a piece of construction paper on the ground and put different colored paint on the construction paper. Then we will give them brushes to mix the different colors of paint. This will help with their gross motor. Another activity we will be doing is called “Jell-O!” In this activity, we will put a thing of Jell-O in a pan in front of them and let them feel the texture of the Jell-O! This will help with their sensory experiences. And there are many more fun activities where those came from!

Don’t forget! Parent’s Day Out is December 12th from 10AM until 2PM — this is a great opportunity for some shopping without having to maneuver a carseat in the store! Also, Exploring the North Pole Week starts on December 14th and ends on the 18th with the Polar Express Party at 3PM — Santa Claus will be present for pictures! On the 24th and the 31st, the school will close at noon and will be closed all day the 25th and the 1st of January.

Have a great December!

Ms. Nati & Ms. Hayley

Toddler Classroom
Hello Toddler Parents!

We are very excited to bring in the month of December! During the month of December we have a lot of fun activities planned for our toddlers! We will be doing some baking as well as making a Santa, snowman, Christmas trees, and other fun December projects. This colder weather brings wonderful changes in the outdoors which we would love to have our students observe, but in order to do so please make sure they have appropriate clothing and jackets available at the school. We want to bundle them up tight to keep them warm and cozy.

A friendly reminder for the parents;

Parents Day out will be December 12th from 10-2pm (Sign up at the front desk if interested).

The school will be closed December 24th and 31st at noon and December 25th and January 1st all day.

Other events taking place in the month of December are “Exploring the North Pole Week” as well as our Polar Express Party December 18th at 3:00pm. Santa Claus will be available for photo opportunities at this time!

We can’t wait share this month with our toddlers!

Ms. Kayla K. and Ms. Olga

Beginner 1 Classroom

Hello to all of our Beginner 1 parents.

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. This year is almost over and we are looking forward to another great year at Merryhill. In the month of December we are going to be practicing and reinforcing our Links to Learning skills everyday.

This month your child will continue to use descriptive words, understand the concept of three, and share the family holiday traditions. Also, they will be introduced to newer skills including  using 100-300 words, talking about  characters and events in a story, repeating numbers 1-20.  We will practices our shapes and colors, and will read the book of the week to create a literacy rich environment. We will choose fun and cheery holiday books to share with the children, as well.  We will also do a lot a fun art will use water paint, shaving cream, and pomp poms balls, we will have a  lot a fun art and Christmas specials art for moms and dads. We will sing Christmas songs during circle time with the children. We’ll do some activities outside to like chalk art.

We will have a holiday party in our class on the 18th. This is also a day you are invited to attend our all school Polar Express Party, where Santa will be available for pictures at 3:00 PM.

A quick reminder please sends your child in a warm jacket for outside time as well as two extra changes of clothes for little accidents. December looks to be a fun month just like all of the others.

Happy December

Ms. Li and Ms. Francis

Beginner 2 Classroom

The thankful month of November has come to an end. First we would love nothing more than to share with parents & let you all know how thankful we are for such a great group of children! This month we did so many fun & exciting activities, from making pajamas for  Mr. Bear from the story “Peace at Last”, to matching mittens & making mush and reminding us teachers of our favorite bedtime book as children “Goodnight Moon”, we put our taste buds to the test & tasted “The Wolfs Chicken Stew” because he didn’t get a chance to eat it in the story because he got a change of heart from getting 100 kisses from the cute baby chicks. We also talked about all the things we are thankful for. Our school book fair was a success and we would like to thank all of our families for the donations of our new books to our classroom.

Our friend’s communication skills and listening skills are progressively getting better every day and have been practicing answering multiple questions before & after reading these books during Circle time & also retelling us what a story is about. It was so great seeing all of you at the “Friendship Feast” it was wonderful enjoying delicious food & time to share thanks for all of your children. To end the month of November we celebrated the birthdays of Jackson and Ryann! We ended this thankful Month by celebrating Thanksgiving as a class with pumpkin pie in a cup!.

December is here & we are ready for some Reindeer games, Holiday fun & most importantly bringing Joy to the Beginners II classroom. This Month we will be reading “The Goose Got Loose, Duck, and Pigs Aplenty. We will be having fun activites and pretend to be Santa’s elves and make secret gifts for our mommies, daddies, grandma’s & grandpa’s and we will be having a Pajama Christmas Party. A couple important dates to remember Sat Dec 12th is parents DAY out from 10-2pm our polar express party is Dec 18th at 3pm, Dec 24th and 31st we will be closing at noon and Dec 25th and Jan 1st we are closed. We are so excited for the Jolly month of December and looking forward to see our friends little brains grow bigger.


Ms. Linda, Ms Amanda Ms. Jalisha

Intermediate Classroom

December in the Intermediate class is going to be BUSY! Along with all of the holiday fun going on we will also be doing observations. We are about at the half way mark of our school year this month and we would like to know what we need to practice more with the children so they can master the set of skills for this year. If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to talk to us.

During the month of December we will be introducing new skills including Identifying the beginning and ending in a story, beginning to understand how weather affects our lives, exploring buoyancy, labeling different types of technology, follows a musical pattern using sounds and hand movements and throwing a ball at a target. During this month we will explore how different cultures celebrate the holidays. We will explore everywhere from France to Mexico. The children will learn different holiday symbols, family traditions and food served around this time. The week before Christmas we will have a feast where we will ask each family to bring their favorite dish in from the holidays. If you would not like your child to participate in Holiday activities please let us know so we can plan something for your child. Our books of the week this month will include Goldilocks and the Three Bears,   Bunny Cakes and Christmas around the World. If any families have any holiday stories they love, we would love some new holiday stories to introduce to the children so they can learn as much about different cultures and traditions as possible.

A couple dates to remember this month are December 12th we will be having a Parents Day Out, perfect time to finish Holiday shopping. December 18th is our class feast and party day. This is also the day our very fun Polar Express Party for the whole school will be held. Your child will have a performance scheduled, so you will not want to miss it! Party begins at 3:00 PM!

With the weather changing please be sure to provide your children with warm sets of extra clothes in case of accidents and a warm jacket for outside times.

We hope you all have a wonderful December and we are looking forward to a very fun month with our intermediate friends.

Ms. Kayla & Ms. Stacy

Pre-Kindergarten 1

We cannot believe we are in the month of December! The time has definitely flown by. We are almost half way through the school year and we are looking forward to this month upcoming events and activities we will be introducing to the students. We will introduce more songs, poems and nursery rhymes to get in the spirit of the upcoming Holidays in December. We have such a diverse group of students here at Merryhill School we are aware that some of us celebrate other holidays in December. We would like to teach and encourage our students to embrace diversity and help better understand the diverse world around them by putting out books about the different holidays celebrated in December. If you celebrate different holidays other than Christmas or do things differently in your family traditions we would like to know more about it and share with our students.

We would like to address the progress in the students writing has improved little by little each week. Our motto for Pre-K1 class is “The more you practice the better you get,” and the students have shown willingness to practice more on their phonics. We strive on getting better every day with our letters, letter sounds, and connection between them. This will work wonders for our students to be able to feel more confident and motivated to learn. And given that these upcoming holidays usually families travel to visit family in different states and even a different country so we wanted to change our dramatic play area to an airport. The students will get hands on different technologies used at an airport and learn how to work with them properly. For the first two weeks we will teach our students about their world even more by discussing about different countries such as France, Australia, India and Mexico. We will incorporate new skills for this month in our activities. This month Books we will read will be introducing during circle are Grace at Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and Together for Kwanzaa. If you have a special book you would to share please feel free to bring them in and we can read to our class.

Some upcoming events to remember; December 12th is Parents Night out, December 18th Polar Express Party starting at 3:00.  And Dec 2th and 31th the school will be closed at noon. We will provide more information when it gets closer. One more thing, if you would like us to work with your child on something specific such as spelling and writing certain letters, numbers or their name please feel free to let us know and we can definitely work on that with your child.

Sincerely,Ms. Cristina, Ms. Cindy and Ms. Beccah

Pre-Kindergarten 2

Our Links to Learning Spanish curriculum this month will introduce new Deciembre vocabulary: Mini poster was sent home in your child’s Links to Learning folders at the end of November. We will be focusing on learning how to say “mi amiga”, or “my friend” Children will also be reviewing numbers 1-20, and introducing numbers 20-31vocabulary.

As well as counting and identifying numbers in Spanish, we will also be concentrating on reviewing how to count by tens to 100 and introducing counting by fives. This is still a pretty new concept to the children but we are catching on very quickly. We will also continue to add groups together and subtract objects to obtain a total. Something we will begin focusing more of our attention on this month is geometry. Children will be introduced to more complex, three dimensional shapes: cone, cylinder, pyramid, cube and tetrahedron. We will learn to connect each shape with their correct name as well as how many sides and points each shape is made up of.

This month the children will continue to focus on constants with more than one sound: C G S W Y. Our Letter Buddies curriculum we have been working with is a great way for children to practice correct letter formation, along with the above letter sound(s).

We will be celebrating Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanza in a special way on Friday, December 11th. Be prepared to join your child in a fun snack & craft making. We have a special performance planned for you as well. We will also be celebrating in a more relaxed way closer to Christmas, on Friday, December 18th, with a pajama party & a viewing of the “Polar Express”.  You are invited to join us at 3:00 PM for a performance by the children and SANTA CLAUS photo opportunities! Please stay tuned for additions, updates and sign up sheet.  Happy Holidays <3

Ms. Jill

News from the Education Department

Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World

Ed Photo
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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