March News 2018

From The Director

Dear Parents,

This month daylights savings time begins, so please remember to set your clocks ahead an hour on March 12.  Some teachers may celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the class, if they do the children will learn about Irish culture the entire week before the celebration. In Early Childhood multicultural classes we learn that children need to be exposed to a variety of topics about a culture so that they do not form an opinion based on just one aspect.

We had so much fun with our Fat Tuesday and  Chinese New Year Celebrations. We are happy that parents could join us and celebrate!! The children had so much fun making the dragon decoration for the hallway. Thanks to everyone for contributing to the lunch. It was enjoyed by all!

On March 8th the Space dome from Kidspace will be on the North lawn for 45 minutes, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Thank you to all the parents who donated to this project which made it possible for the children to have a new and exciting learning experience!  A special thank you to Nina and Wes for bringing it to my attention and organizing the event.

We will be resurfacing and repairing some of the rubber surfacing on the bike path on March 9th.If weather permits and the children can play outside we will stagger the outside playtimes for using the climbing structure playground. The younger children will play outside early and the older children later. When we return to school the following Monday the surfacing will be ready to use again.

A new event the preschool and church would like to plan is a creation of a library in the “Guild Room”. We are in the process of planning the opening of the library, but will keep you updated on the progress and the actual start date. Any parents wanting to earn parent hours volunteering in the library are invited to contact me.

This month three staff members are on vacation, Ms. Rita, Ms. Beth and Ms. Debbie. During Ms. Rita absence, March 12-16, Ms. Kim will open 7a.m.-4 p.m. and I will work 9 am-6 pm. Ms. Rita will substitute for Beth and Debbie. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Have a great month!

In God’s Service,

Ms. Marie

From The Assistant Director

Hello Everyone!

It seems we are having a late winter.  The temperature was too cold for the children to play outside during the last few weeks of February.  We had a lot of fun doing indoor activities.  Some of the children’s favorites were: Stories and Cd’s at the listening center, music and movement with rhythm sticks and scarves, marching inside and out of the classroom in a group, and role playing in the dramatic play area.

The children also enjoyed holding and petting the guinea pigs, Prince and Sally.  We move the cages from room to room so all of the classes have an opportunity to see both of them during the week.  Some of the children like to put an orange slice into the cage and have the animal take it from them.  The teachers always supervise the children when they interact with animals.  We teach them how to hold them, how to touch them gently, and how they have feelings like we do, so we respect that.  We wash our hands after touching them, since animals have different germs from living in the cage and sleeping in their little haystacks.

We will be closed on Good Friday, which is March 30.  When we return to school on Monday, April 2, we will celebrate Easter Monday with class parties and an egg hunt.  The teachers will post sign-up sheets as the event time gets closer.

Ms. Rita

From The Dolphins

It was a busy month in February.  The children enjoyed all of our celebrations.  The class really enjoyed passing out Valentine’s Day cards to one another.  They also worked really hard on making the cards for their parents.  It took us about a week to finish them. In order to celebrate the Year of the Dog, we painted dogs on construction paper.  In addition, the class painted the dragon head for the parade.  We had a great time.  Thank you for joining us for lunch and the parade.

This month our letters will be S, T, U, and V.  We will learn about Ireland and who St. Patrick was by reading different books on these subjects.  We will have a class party for St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 16th.  Please dress your child in green on this day.  We are going to make Irish Soda Bread for letter “S”.  Please let me know if you would like to help us bake on Tuesday, March 13th.

Spring arrives on March 20th.  We will learn about insects and plants, since these are interests the children have expressed to me.  We will also learn which baby animals are born in the spring.  The Dolphins will create some colorful art projects this month as I will get out our beautiful pastel-colored paints.  Daylight Savings Time begins on March 11th.  Do not forget to set your clocks back an hour.

Have a happy spring everyone!

Have a Great Month!

Ms. Kim

From The Seahorses

February was fun-filled and busy!  We had a month’s worth of celebration in one week with Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year back to back.  Thank you all for your support and generosity.  It really makes our time together blessed and the children love all that you do for them.  The next week we learned about the letter “M.”  The children learned about animals like manta rays, monkeys and mice.  They were visited by the Muppets, Kermit and Miss Piggy, the stuffed animals I brought from home.  And the class listened to the music of Irish minstrels and African folk called Maskandi. The children will continue marching through the alphabet this month.  In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the letter “O,” we will readOh, The Places You’ll Go!” and other “Seussical” masterpieces.  The class will discuss the creativity of Dr. Seuss’s stories and carry imagination into dramatic play, art and writing their own stories.  These activities will foster one of our goals this month of understanding symbolic thinking, the concept of using objects in different ways and thinking outside the box.  This understanding promotes problem solving skills and encourages communication and critical thinking.

Communication is key to our second goal in March.  The children will work on inviting friends to join them in their play.  I will employ puppets and circle time games to aid them in exploring this idea.  Some of the children have begun to ask others for help in furthering their play already.  Toward the end of last month, a student told another “I need your help with this.”  They were using tools to pretend to fix the teacher’s chair.  Both children had climbed under the chair like mini mechanics, which was perfect timing for letter “M.”  We will continue working with puzzles, science exploration and creating our own dramatic stories.

Not to be outdone by the mind, the class will also work on the body.  During letter “P” we will talk about the parts of the body and how they work to help us grow.  The children will build upon their large muscle skills playing with obstacle courses and their small muscle skills using zipper and button boards and other tray tasking activities.

Thank you again for all that you do to help me teach your children, I am ever grateful.

Marching into spring

Ms. Beth

From The Starfish

Springtime is just around the corner!  It is so refreshing to welcome a new season of spring.  The days will get longer and warmer.  The children are more than ready to spend time to play and learn outside.  Spring is a symbol of rebirth and many animals have babies such as cows, birds, and ducks .  The school will be closed for Good Friday on March 30th. In addition the class Easter party and egg hunt is on Monday, April 2nd.  I will post an Easter party sign up on Parent Board in class as it gets closer to the date.

We would like to give a warm welcome to Owen joining the Starfish class.   This month the children will learn to identify many names of animals and their sounds.  To improve our listening skills, we will use a CD Listening Lotto game.  It plays different sounds of animals and then children match them with the picture.  It is a fun guessing game. I also plan on teaching one of my favorite nursery rhymes called “Five Little Ducks.”  This song is a great for counting as we use duck puppets to animate the rhyme.  A physical game children the children will learn how to play is“Duck, Duck, Goose.”

February was a warm and cold month.  The first two weeks of this month we spent time doing outdoor activities and had fun playing chase with Ms. Frannie, who was pretending to be a “dragon.”  The weather for last two weeks was very cold and we did a lot of indoor activities.  One of the children in the class kept asking me, “Why are we not going outside?”  Even though we stayed inside, the children were still developing their gross motor skills by doing many physical activities indoors.  We used our bodies to dance and move with music.  Some of the favorite music and movement activities they enjoyed were “Simon Says,” “Animal Action,” “I Can Work with a Hammer,” and “Teddy Bear.”  All of the children participated and followed my movements. We had so much fun dancing together.

Thank you to all of the parents who contributed food and party items for Valentine’s Day and Asian Lunar New Year.  It was nice to see many families who came to celebrate Lunar New Year with us.  After our class Valentine’s party, the children exchanged their Valentines.  It was a boost to their self-confidence as they handed each other the cards and said “Happy Valentine’s Day!” It shows they are learning that giving is one of the ways we can show kindness to others.

A few days in February we had a wonderful volunteer helper in the classroom.  She is a former parent who is taking Child Development classes to become a preschool teacher.  Her name is Ms. Stacy.  She got to lead in a really fun role playing a game with the children.  The children had the idea to pretend they were “selling” popsicles to one another.  Ms. Stacy modeled for them how to stand in a line while she set up a toy cash register.  We made some paper money with green construction paper.  Each child held their money while waiting their turn.  They chose the color they liked and “paid” with their play money.  It was really cute.

In March, we will extend our imaginary play and have fun traveling to many places.  The children will use their cognitive skills to think of pretend places they want to visit and what transportation they would like to use.  Another skill the children have been practicing is their social skills.  They will work on verbalizing their needs with language when they want a turn with the toy from someone.  I will model and give examples such as, “Can I have a turn please? While waiting for a turn, I offer the child other toys. There is usually a limit of five minutes waiting time.

Happy March Everyone!

Ms. Frannie

From The Turtles

This month has been a whirlwind of excitement. The class welcomed two new students; Cedric and Eric by waving to them and saying, “Hi”.  When a child begins their first day at school without their parents, they experience separation anxiety.  Wendy Sue Swanson (2014), author of Mama Doc Medicine: Finding Calm and Confidence in Parenting, Child Healthand Work-Life Balance, offers advice attained from The American Academy of Pediatrics.  She says:“The trick for surviving separation anxiety demands preparation, brisk transitions, and the evolution of time” (2014). Wendy also gives tips to parents how they can survive separation anxiety. Some of the following tips are:

“Create quick good-bye rituals. Keep the good-bye short and sweet. If you linger, the transition time does too and so will the anxiety.”

“Be consistent. Try to do the same drop-off with the same ritual at the same time each day you separate to avoid unexpected factors whenever you can. A routine can diminish the heartache and will allow your child to simultaneously build trust in their independence and in you.”

“Attention: When separating, give your child full attention, be loving, and provide affection. Then say good-bye quickly despite his/her cries for you to stay.”

“Keep your promise. You’ll build trust and independence as your child becomes confident in her ability to be without you when you stick to your promise of returning.”

“Be specific, child style. When you discuss your return, provide specifics that your child understands. If you know you’ll be back by 3:00 pm, tell it to your child on his terms; for example, say, “I’ll be back after nap time and before afternoon snack.” “

“Practice being apart. Schedule playdates, allow friends and family to provide child care for you (even for an hour) on the weekend. Before starting child care or preschool, practice going to school and your good-bye ritual before you even have to part ways. Give your child a chance to prepare, experience, and thrive in your absence!”

In February, we celebrated Asian New Year at our school eating assorted dishes ranging from chow mein to Japanese rice balls. The children enjoyed each dish. After lunch, the children marched around the bike path with their handmade maracas. I was able to teach social studies concepts such as where the maracas originated from; which is Central and South America. The children made the maraca by placing dried pasta shells into a plastic egg. I was also able to teach mathematical concepts to the children by having them count the pasta shells. After counting them, the pasta shells were placed in the egg, then children and I taped the egg shut. Next, we placed the egg between two plastic spoons. Then we taped the plastic spoons and egg together. We experimented with some fun rhythm and beats as the children shook the maracas. The maracas were used as a transitional tool to keep the children busy while they waited their turn to use the restroom in the hallway.

Next month, the class will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2). As a tribute to the late Theodor Seuss Geisel I will be introducing books like Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and Green Eggs and Ham  The children will be making Dr. Seuss red and white striped hats and we will make some eggs and ham in our classroom.  (Mixed with spinach to give the eggs and ham the green color).  It will be a fun and exciting month.

Ms. Tiffany

From The Seahorse 2 Class

February was a very busy month filled with celebrations.  On Valentine’s Day the children took turns handing out cards and treats to their friends. They waited patiently to have a turn. Thank you to the parents who provided items for our party. For Lunar New Year we read many books on the holiday. One of the children’s favorite was Bring in the New Year by Grace Lin. The story was about the traditions of the New Year. To connect the literacy with some emergent learning, we dusted and cleaned our classroom in preparation for the New Year. The children were persistent in making sure our room was dusted and the toys put back in the appropriate containers. The children made red lanterns to hang in our room which light the way for the New Year.  We celebrated with our families, friends and ate delicious food. Ms. Kim’s class made a lucky dragon for our parade. We had a fun day.

This month we will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and The Cat in the Hat. These books contain a lot of rhyming words that are good for early literacy and language development. The children will learn about St. Patrick’s Day by reading books about St. Patrick and how he taught people about God. We will learn that the three parts of a shamrock represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  St. Patrick’s Day in on Saturday the 17th I will have art activities to go with St. Patrick’s Day.  When we teach about a holiday or a certain culture, we try to leave out certain stereotypes and learn how the people really looked and dressed.  While learning about St. Patrick we will talk about why we wear green and how leprechauns became associated with the holiday as well.

In anticipation of spring, we will discuss some different weather patterns such as sunny, cloudy and windy. I will read stories about spring and discuss what happens such as many animals have babies and bears wake up from hibernating. Another change for the month is Daylight Savings will begin on Sunday March 11th.  As the days get longer and the afternoons are warmer the children will be staying outside later in the afternoon.

The children will continue to work on cooperatively completing a task such as stacking blocks together onto the shelf and throwing and catching a ball or bean bag. We will build on our fine motor skills by tracing with pencils, crayons and markers, cutting with scissors and gluing materials on paper. We also enjoy learning our numbers and letters by playing board games such as Number and Letter BINGO and writing on our tracing boards. Other skills like Listening and following directions through games and music/movement activities is a fun way to learn.  It is so cute to watch the children dance in the classroom! One such activity, Freeze Dance is the music plays then suddenly stops and we all have to “freeze” into place.  These actions can cause a lot of giggling.

Ms. Debbie will be on vacation March 26th through the 30th. She will be babysitting her granddaughter McKinley who is 18 months, so that her mom and big sister Celeste can go visit some of the colleges she has been accepted to attend in September.

Wishing all of you a great month!

Ms. Debbie and Ms. Daisy