Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wonderful Winter Solstice, 2011!

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the coldest season of the year. 
It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator - marking the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. 
Some animals hibernate. The only plants that grow and remain green are evergreens. 
People protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor winter sports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 


We started off our winter break with a wonderful party where we decorated delicious cookies, crafted genuine gingerbread men, tried our luck at the dreidel game,
and even dressed each other up as snowmen!

A Little Holiday Magic! on PhotoPeach


What do you enjoy most about winter?

How will you be celebrating the holidays?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?


  1. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I like winter because the ball falls in New York, and it turns a new year. I celebrate Hanukah with my family, and we light the candles every night. So far for Hanukah, I got a 49ers shirt, an Xbox game, and a new Basketball.



  2. Dear Mrs.Ranney and Class,

    I like the winter season because, I get presents for Hannukah and Christmas. One of the expensive presents I got for Hannukah is an iPad 2! All of my relatives contributed money towards it. I need to share it with my family.

    Hope you all are have a great winter break,


  3. Dear Mrs.Ranney and Class,

    I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hannukah. Enjoy your winter break and I can't wait to see you soon in school.



  4. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    I celebrate Christmas and Reyes Magos Day.
    I am so happy because on the 25th I am going to see what my family got me.

    Merry Christmas,

  5. Dear Class,

    What I like about the winter is the cold. I really want to go play in the snow again. I celebrate Hanukkah with my cousins who come from San Jose. I go there and they come here. For Hanukkah I got so many fabulous gifts like: the Xbox360 kinect, a couple of Xbox games, a sportcenter shirt, and many other things, too.

    I hope you have a good rest of the winter break.

    Your classmate,
    P.S. I was born in Chicago.

  6. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I enjoy spending a lot of time with my fabulous family during winter. As I recall it is a tradition to go on a ski trip at Mammoth. Almost always I go up to my grandparent's house for the holidays, but this year my aunt is in Europe and my cousins are on the Disney Cruise to Mexico. My uncle came up to celabrate with us and my grandparents came to! I think this year's gifts were the best ever. I got a mp5 which is like an iTouch, an ipod shuffle, a cotton candy machine (which I have to share with my brother),some clothes, and other things. Even though I didn't get to see my whole family I still think this was a great Christmas. I plan to make a super dinner with my mom as a late Christmas dinner.


  7. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Over winter break we got a new dog, his name is Charlie. He is a very nice dog. He loves to eat food off the table, and he loves ripping up his chew toys. He is a very big chocolate labrador, we adopted him from a labrador shelter. I am so happy that we gave him a new home, we love him so much.

    Warm Regards,


  8. Dear Mrs, Ranney and class,

    I love winter break because it means that Christmas is right around the corner. This year we stayed in Calabasas and my uncle visited us from Las Vegas. My mom's childhood friend Abbe and her husband, Jason also spent Christmas with us.

    Christmas Eve we went to the Grove and had dinner. We watched it snow! Before we went to bed my sister and I left cookies for Santa and little notes for him. On Christmas Day we ran downstairs and saw all the presents that Santa left for us. It was so much fun.

    See you all soon.

    Your friend,

  9. Dear Mrs.Ranney and Class,

    I had a really fun time in Colorado. I have been working very hard to get to level 5 in ski school. Ski school is a school that helps kids learn how to ski like their parents. Then this year I finally made it to mountain 5. I was so happy, and I did perfect. My cousin,my grandma and grandpa came also. On the last day we were going to ski, but there was a big snow storm, so they shut down the mountains for a long time. After that long time they opened the mountains, but we missed it because we were in town. We had a lot of fun in town because we went to the candy store.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


  10. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    I love winter because of our break. Over the break I went to Mammoth and had a great time. Today I went to the Rose Bowl game and watched Oregon beat Wisconsin.

    See you tomorrow.



  11. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    During the winter I enjoy playing in the snow and spending time with my family. For the holidays, I went on a cruise. The cruise had rock climbing, ice skating, and in-line roller skating. I did all those things! The last thing I did was in- line skating. A boy behind me pushed me down, and I broke my wrist.

    I hope everyone had a nice winter break.

    See you later,

  12. Dear Mrs. Ranney, & Class,

    I had a great winter break. The first week we went to Palm Desert, and did some cool things like sledding in the snow, making new friends at the pool, and hanging out with my family. The second week I spent time in the neighborhood with friends. We took my black lab Savannah on walks in the neighborhood and the Commons. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at school tomorrow.

    P.S. I don't want the vacation to be over!

  13. Dear Mrs. Ranney and students,
    I see that you guys are learning fun things, just like I did. My favorite part about my winter break is being able to spend time with my family. I stayed home for winter break, and had my cousins over. I hope that you and your students had a wonderful winter break, and see you guys at school!

    Best Wishes,
    Natalie (former 3rd grade student)

  14. Dear Class,
    Happy New Year to all of you!
    It was so wonderful to hear from so many of you during the past two weeks. It sounds as if you have had a terrific winter break spending time with family and friends!

    My favorite part of winter is celebrating Christmas with my family. This year we had a delicious holiday dinner at our house. Everyone who came participated by bringing a special dish to share. Exchanging gifts was enjoyable, of course, but even better than that was having both my daughters there, one live and one via Skype!

    I'm looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow morning!

    Mrs. Ranney

  15. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Happy New Year! I had a fun winter break because I went to Las Vegas and Palm Springs. In Las Vegas, I went ice skating, visited the wax museum, and saw the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. It was a fun trip! In Palm Springs, I visited my grandparents. We went miniature golfing. I was able to celebrate Hanukkah with my grandparents in the desert and also with my grandparents in Los Angeles.


  16. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    During winter break I went to Big Bear with my family. My sister wanted to go too, but she said she couldn't go because she had to work. While my family was at Big Bear my parents and I went to ski school and both of our classes were 2 hours. I got the hang of it in 1 hour, but my parents did not. I also went to Snow Summit. Did you know that Snow Summit is powered snow? I slept in a cabin called Bear and Moose. It was an amazing cabin. It has a pool table, a frozen back yard, and an indoor trampoline.

    Best regards,

  17. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I had a good Christmas. I got clothes and a lot of toys. I also went ice skating with my friends. I had a wonderful Christmas.

    Best wishes,

    Francesca ♥

  18. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I like winter because I get to celebrate it with my family and decorate my Christmas tree.

    From your old student,


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