Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Throughout the month of December, students were busy studying some special holidays and how they are celebrated around the world. 

3rd grade students playing dreidel. 
We started by talking about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Students listened to stories and learned about different Chanukah traditions. A third grade student shared his knowledge and even taught students to play the dreidel game.

2nd grade student explaining Kwanzaa display
Next we learned about Kwanzaa, a winter holiday that was started in the United States to honor African American heritage.  We colored kinaras and read Seven Candles for Kwanzaa. We also had a small Kwanzaa display to represent the harvest and the richness of African traditions. 

Fourth grade students with their molded clay lamps
Then we studied Diwali, which is one of India's biggest and most important holidays of the year.  Parents sent in great pictures, links to websites, and articles to help us learn more about this special fall festival. We also made our own clay lamps (sometimes called diyas) which the students molded and painted to take home.
3rd grade students showing their finished Diwali diyas and Christmas Babushka dolls

Finally, we talked about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries, including Russia where one of our students is from. We watched a video and read parts of Merry Christmas Everywhere before coloring in Babushka dolls from Russia. Some older students read The Smallest Gift of Christmas to remind us to be grateful for what we already have, including our families and our homes.
First grade students coloring their "Babushka" dolls
We loved having students share their holiday traditions and learning from one another. Students also realized how much the diverse the holidays have in common, like being with family, giving to charity, and using light as an important symbol. 
We look forward to working with students after the break when we will be learning about New Year's around the world and especially in parts of Asia.
We wish you a safe, happy and relaxing winter break.
*School begins again on Monday, January 4th, 2016!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Giving Thanks at Memorial

Next Thursday, November 26th, many Memorial students and families will be celebrating the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day to gather with family and friends and give thanks.
In preparation for this day, students have been talking about what they are grateful for and the many ways to show their appreciation.

This year, we are glad to be a part of the Memorial community and we are thankful for our students who are so hard working, respectful and kind to one another. It is a pleasure for us to come to work each day and see them grow.

For this blog, we have a "guest blogger" from the 5th grade who shared his thoughts on what he is grateful for this year.

"I am thankful for my parents and my family because I love them.  I am also grateful for the festival of Eid because we all gathered together and prayed.  It was a special time for Muslims and it made me feel happy.   In addition, I appreciated all the food we ate. This year I'd like to express my gratitude for my family, friends and my religion."    ~ Omar Room 232

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hello from the ELL Classroom!


Thank you for visiting our blog. This will be a place where you can find monthly postings about the English Language Learning Program at Memorial School. We will include

  •  photos
  •  examples of student work
  • updates on what we are learning
  •  information about some school events. 
For more frequent updates about the happenings at Memorial School, please visit Principal Dressler's blog at (You can also find the link on the right side of this page.)

We hope that this blog is one of the many ways that you will feel connected to Memorial School. If you have any suggestions for information you would like us to include for future blog posts,  please email us and we will appreciate your ideas. Also, please enter your email in the box in the right-hand column and press the "submit" button to receive a notification every time a new blog is posted. Also, if you would like this blog or Principal Dressler's blog translated, you can select another language under the word "translate"  in the right-hand column.
Happy Reading!