Friday, August 1, 2014

Beginning of 2014-15 Letter

Dear Families,

            I hope your summer is moving along safely and happily.  I am very excited to start a new school year and look forward to seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new ones. 
            We know many of you are looking ahead to the new school year and we will be here every step of the way to make sure that it is a smooth transition for both you and your child.
            If your child is new to preschool and you haven't registered at the district office please do so as soon as possible.  All paperwork must be in before he or she can start preschool. 
            The first day of preschool is September 3rd  but we hope to have contact with you prior to then.   We will be offering home visits during from August 20-September 2nd as well as evaluating new students etc... 

            Times for preschool are: Tuesday through Friday
                                                      AM Session: 8:20-11:15
                                                      PM Session: 12:05-3:00 v



-         Open House Wednesday August 27th from 10-11 a.m. or 1-2 p.m.   You are invited to stop in anytime during the 2 hours. This will be a good opportunity to ask questions, see the classroom, return paperwork, pay first tuition payment etc…  Preschool does not participate in the school wide open house.  If these times do not work out we can make arrangements for another time. 

-         Please do your best to attend a transportation meeting with Mr. Thacker.   You will get tags for you car and child's backpack.  Even if your child is riding a bus he needs a tag for his backpack.  During open house, home visit etc... we can chat about the logistics of drop off and pick up if you still have questions.

-         Transportation Meetings and Tag Pick-Up
-         August 13th 6-7:15 p.m. for families with last names a-m
-         August 14th 6-7:15 p.m. for families with last names n-z


-         Please make sure you send in an extra change of clothes (including socks).We will store the clothes at school and return at the end of the year.
-         Please send diapers, wipes, pull-ups. (if needed) Please send enough for at least a week of school. We will notify you when our supply is getting low.
-         Please send in a family photo to post in our room.  You can also email me a photo and I can print.
-         Clothing: Preschool can be messy at times because we participate in all types         of hands-on activities such as painting, coloring, water play, play dough etc…  Please make sure that the clothes your child comes to preschool in are play clothes.  We wear smocks during our messy activities and cannot promise stainless clothing. 
-         Shoes:  We run, jump, climb, etc… Please make sure your child wears comfortable shoes that do not slip off. 
-         Please make sure your child has a backpack large enough to transport a full size folder and artwork.

-         Communication Folder: Your child will have a communication folder provided by preschool for any important paperwork and notes to and from school.

-         Snack: We will provide snack daily and a snack menu will come home monthly. 

-         Birthdays-you are welcome to send in a birthday snack for your child. Please let us know so we can plan accordingly. We are a peanut and tree nut free room so please plan accordingly.  If you  need ideas please let Ms. Janie or I know. 

-         School Supplies: There isn’t a mandatory school supply list but donations are always welcome anytime throughout the year (i.e. disinfecting wipes, tissues, paper towels.)

Please never hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Found this article/video on NPR about preschool in the public school setting.  Many aspects of this video are similar to what we do in our preschool class such as play based learning and project led teaching as well as natural and authentic assessment.

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/22/304563233/what-exactly-is-high-quality-preschool

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photos!

Welcome Hannah!

Welcome Brayden!

Happy Birthday to Dylan!


Happy Birthday to Bree!

New Theme Coming Up- All About Sports

One of the many reasons I love preschool is because I get the opportunity to design lessons around the student's interests while still meeting the early learning content standards.  I polled the students and by popular demand we will be transitioning to a sport theme.  This is one theme I haven't done yet in my several years of teaching.   I've planned to have our dramatic play center full of sport clothing and shoes (jerseys, ball caps, helmets, cleats, etc..) and possibly be made into a sporting goods store.  I made it to the local St. Vincent DePaul store near my house and was able to pick up a few things but would be open to donations.  This weekend I will be running around looking for as many balls as I can find.  We will be able to sort balls by kind, size, color etc...  I have plans for many outdoor activities.  I'm looking for portable soccer goals.  In our block center I plan on using incline planes (ramps) as part of a science activity.  We will explore texture through painting with different types of balls.   I have many ideas but if you have anything sport related that you are willing to part  with, donate or even have a connection with please let me know. 
-sport banners
-equipment besides bats and clubs
-balls
-posters
-clothing


News and Updates

News and Updates
April 16, 2014
·     Remember no school Friday the 18th.

·     We have been so busy these last weeks.  Our class is all about dinosaurs right now.  Check out the blog soon for photos.  We have a dinosaur dig in our dramatic play.  We have made fossil dough and eggs with dinosaurs inside.  We have read many books and learned a new song.  Many of the students are able to define carnivore and herbivore as well as the names of many dinosaurs.


·     End of the year picnic.  We like to celebrate our school year with a picnic.  Preschool’s official last day will be June 4th and 5th.  Our picnics will be on June 3rd and June 4th starting at 11.  You are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, outside toys (bubbles, balls, kites etc…) and of course a picnic lunch for your family.  We will eat and then celebrate our successes. 

·     FIELD TRIP!  I have been able to secure another field trip for our class.   We are planning on taking the bus to Sunrock Farm on May 27th and May 28th.  We will leave at 9:30 and return to school around 1.  We will have an opportunity to milk a goat, handle baby farm animals, collect eggs, meet farmers, take a tour and enjoy a picnic lunch.   More details and permission forms will be coming soon.  In order for our field trip to be a success we need to have parent/ guardian volunteers join us.  In order to be a volunteer you must have fingerprints completed and on file at the district office.  Please contact me if you think you will be able to join us.  We have a limited amount of funding for adults to join us so it will be first come first serve. 

·     Program on Wheels- I’m in the process of securing the Cincinnati Museum Center’s program on wheels about insects and gardening. 

·     Walk-a-thon is May 22nd.  This is a normal school day for our Tuesday/Thursday class.  Wednesday/Friday students are welcome to come but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

·     Next school year- by now you have heard that preschool and Kindergarten will have school half days Tuesday-Thursday.  I’m waiting on confirmation of times but I believe they are roughly 8:30-11:15 and 12:15-3.   If your child is returning to preschool I have polled you and found out whether you’d prefer morning or afternoon.   I will do my best to honor your requests.  Our class this year and in years past has had 8 students on IEP’s and 4 students who are not on IEP’s and pay tuition.  Next year this is changing to an 8 and 8 model (8 with IEP’s and 8 without).  If you know someone interested in a tuition spot for our program please have them contact me.

·     Remember to enroll your child in Kindergarten if he or she is transitioning. 

·     We welcome Brayden and Hannah to our Wednesday/ Friday class.  Both classes are full with 12 students each.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We welcome Hannah to our Wednesday/Friday class!

Our new class theme is Castle.  We are reading the book, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub.  Our dramatic play center has transformed into a castle with dress up clothes!  Look for photos soon. 

Picture Day is coming up on March 26th and March 27th. 

Do you cook with your preschooler?  I know for myself I am always rushing to get dinner on the table for my family but on the weekends I try to incorporate the help of my 4 year old.  Below you will see some info on cooking with preschoolers.  It's a great way to build upon math and language skills.

KidsHealth.org

The most-visited site
devoted to children's
health and development
Cooking With Preschoolers
Cooking can help young kids learn and practice some basic math concepts and build language skills. And the experience of creating meals with you can help build their self-confidence and lay the foundation for healthy eating habits.
It may take a little flexibility and some simple prep work, but with the right expectations, your time in the kitchen with your preschooler can be a culinary adventure you'll both enjoy.


How Cooking Can Help Preschoolers


Bringing kids into the kitchen can benefit them in a number of ways.
 Cooking can help:


Build basic skills. You can help your child hone basic math skills by
 doing something as simple as counting eggs or pouring water into a measuring cup.
You can ask what comes first, second, and third or count together as you spoon
 dough onto a cookie sheet. When you read a recipe together, you're introducing
 new words to your child's vocabulary and promoting literacy. Following steps
 in the recipe can work on listening skills.


Encourage an adventurous palate. Preschoolers are notoriously
picky eaters, and bringing them into the kitchen to cook can help get
 them to open up to new tastes. When your 3-year-old daughter plays
chef she might sample dishes she wouldn't try if you just served them
 to her. So encourage kids to taste new ingredients you're working
with and talk about what they like and how healthy foods make a body grow.


Help young kids explore with their senses. Kids learn by exploring
 with their senses and the kitchen is an ideal place to do that. Invite them
 to listen to the whir of the mixer, pound dough and watch it rise, smell
it baking in the oven, and finally taste the warm bread fresh from the
oven. If it smells good, looks appealing, and is easy to eat they may
 just be willing to try it!


Boost confidence. Preschoolers love to show what they can do
 and working in the kitchen provides opportunities to gain a sense
of accomplishment. If they helped assemble the pizza, let them know
 that their help was important. You could name the pizza or another
dish after your child. Serve "Will's Pizza" or "Ella's Salad" for dinner
tonight. Even if the end results are not exactly what you expected,
praise their efforts.
Ideal Jobs for Preschoolers in the Kitchen
A few tasks in the kitchen are particularly well-suited to kids ages 3 to 5.
The key is to give them "jobs" that meet their skill level and are something
they enjoy. So if your child loves to pound, bring out the bread dough and
let your preschooler pound away.
Here are some other ways kids can help:
*       stirring pancake batter
*       tearing lettuce for salad
*       adding ingredients
*       assembling a pizza
*       helping you "read" a cookbook by turning the pages
Getting Started
From riding a tricycle to getting dressed, preschoolers are learning how
 much they can do all by themselves.
So look for a few cooking-related activities that your child can successfully  
complete independently or with a minimum of involvement from you. Simple
tasks like pouring liquid into the bowl, sprinkling cheese on top of the casserole,
or using cookie cutters are a good fit for most preschoolers.
Don't plan an elaborate project — 5 to 10 minutes might be all your child
wants to spend on an activity. Start small and keep it fun.
As kids grow, they will develop the skills, attention span, and interest to
do bigger cooking jobs, like squeezing the juice out of a lemon, measuring
 ingredients into cups and spoons, and beating eggs or mashing potatoes.
Preschoolers will also enjoy learning with you. For safety reasons,
you should be in the kitchen with them at all times, supervising and
monitoring progress.
Spending time in the kitchen with your kids can foster an interest in food
and cooking that will last for life.Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2011
Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- 2014 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Through art we explored the science of movement. The students partner painted using marbles, paint, an old box lid and movement.  They had to work together to roll the marbles from side to side to create a colorful piece of art.  It was a huge success.