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GEORGE’S PRESCHOOL 201 MARCH/APRIL, 2013 NEWSLETTER
CALENDAR OF EVENTS: March 143 Wednesday Parent Board meeting, 9:15 a.m., Lower Softley Hall 22 Friday Preschool Library visits with Miss Cherie 25-28 Mon./Thurs. Dragon Faire Sign-ups 25 Monday Lead Teacher meeting, 12:45 p.m., Library 29 Friday GOOD FRIDAY, NO SCHOOL April 1-5 Mon-Mon. Spring Break, NO SCHOOL 9 TUES. Staff Meeting, NO LUNCH 10 Wed. Parent Board meeting, 9:15 a.m., LSH 17 Wednesday Dragon Faire Committee meeting, 10:30 a.m., LSH 19 Friday Preschool Library visits with Miss Cherie 26 Friday Dragon Faire Set-Up: Lunch Bunch only by Special Sign-up 27 Saturday Dragon Faire, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 29 Monday Lead Teacher meeting, 12:45 p.m., Library
29/May1Mon.& Wed. Eye Screening by LCF Juniors for MWF & Pre-K
Last year Summer School focused on The World of Art. The children were introduced to different Master Artists and their style and techniques. This program was so popular we are going to continue with the same approach this year. Children will have the opportunity to create their own art using mediums and techniques they will learn about in class. In addition there will still be plenty of water play and fun filled activities for them to engage in. Children will finish each day by having lunch together which they bring from home. Because school will be starting sooner this fall we have decided to shorten our Summer School program this year to be the last two weeks of June only. This will allow the teachers times to relax and re-energize before starting to prepare for the coming school year. Session One will be Monday - Friday: June 17th - June 21st Session Two will be Monday - Friday: June 24th - June 28th Hours are from 9am - 1 pm Cost will be $125.00 per week & DUE at SIGN-UP in order to arrange staffing. Non-refundable unless space can be filled from waiting list. Enrollment will begin on April 8 ON CLIPBOARDS OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE and will continue until full.
Maximum enrollment each week 25.
New TWO-YEAR-OLD PROGRAM At St. George’s Preschool
Spread the News… Children in this program are required per our license to be two by September 1st and would come on Tuesday/Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. We would have approximately 16 - 18 children with one lead teacher and two assistant teachers. The classroom will be appropriately supplied for two & three-year-old needs including a changing table. These children will have use of the upper yard which is designed with their abilities in mind. They will attend the music program and begin chapel when they appear ready. They will be able to attend lunch bunch once they are toilet trained.
PARENT ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
By Sarah Atin The Parenting Enrichment class continues to meet and explore various parenting topics on Thursday afternoons. The class provides a supervised playtime for children and a facilitated discussion time for parents. As well as discussing daily parenting dilemmas and challenges, we also examine the many influences on our parenting such as parenting styles, age/developmental stages of children and our personal beliefs. Discussions have been lively and thoughtful. Through sharing our ideas we provide support and guidance to one another. Miss Charlotte, Miss M.J. and helper Sophia have lots of fun with the children while the parents talk. We welcome new parents into our class anytime... more viewpoints enrich the discussion for us all. Personally, I would like to say how much I have been enjoying the class. I believe that parenting is the most wonderful, hardest, most rewarding, most exhausting task we take on in our lifetime and I think having a place to learn and share about that experience is quite valuable. I look forward to the program continuing and growing.
Miss Cherie, Director Chapel continues to be a special time for me to connect with the children as we sing, talk and pray for our families together. Larry and Sally our brother and sister puppet team share about loving one another and re-enforcing how much we are all loved by God. The flannel board has been used to learn the song, The Wise Man and The Foolish Man and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. I also used the flannel board to tell a story about Chrissy the Tortoise who was not feeling very special at all. Throughout Chrissy’s morning walk she visited her friends the caterpillar, the fox, and the hedgehog along with others, they tried to help her feel better and special. It wasn’t until Chrissy looked in the pond she realized God did make her special as well because she carries her home on her back. We then talked about how God makes us all special! Easter and Spring time will give us the opportunity to talk about new life as flowers start to bloom and baby animals start to be born.
Joyce Davison, Volunteer Librarian Here are some reading tips I want to share with all of you. Hope they help when spending that precious time with your child. Read together every day: Make this a warm and loving time when the 2 of you can cuddle close and tell your child how much you enjoy reading to him or her. Talk about story time as the favorite time of your day. voice: Read with fun in your voice: Using different voices brings humor and expression to stories. Recite rhymes, sing songs, and make mistakes: Pause to let your child finish a phrase or chant a refrain. Once he or she is familiar with the rhyme or pattern, make mistakes on purpose and get caught. interactive: Be interactive: Encourage play that involves naming, describing and communicating. Maybe set up a zoo with all the stuffed animals. Stage a race with toy cars, put your child in charge and ask lots of questions. Take time to listen to your child’s answers. Encourage your child to tell you what he or she thinks. books: Choose engaging books: Ones featuring animals or machines invite movement and making sounds. Choosing ones about everyday experiences and feelings helps your child identify with the characters as they dress, eat, visit, nap and play. stop: Know when to stop: If your child loses interest, put the book down for a while. Return it to the library and choose another one. Take at least one book with you when waiting for an appointment. Keep books in the car—especially picture books. Make a special time during the day for reading time. Could be when that sleepy head crawls into bed just before drifting off for a good night sleep. Most of all enjoy story time daily with your child!
NUTRITION & A WELL BALANCED LIFE
Katie Valdes, MS RD CSSD She Believed She Could So She Did For all you moms out there who have lost yourself in your family and need help finding yourself again… It was March of 2003 and I just completed my second marathon. I had run a personal best of 3:09:04 and won my age group. I finished 3rd woman overall. I was very happy. I was also finishing up my course work towards my master’s degree in nutrition and was getting ready to start my dietetic internship. Then in late May I found out I was pregnant. I was happy because I wanted to have my first child before I was 30 and I was 28 at the time. But I was also scared because I did not know if I was going to be able to finish my schooling. Turns out I was very lucky. My pregnancy was very easy which allowed me to run, be in school, and do my dietetic internship up until the day I delivered. When my baby was 5 weeks old I went back and finished the last part of my schooling/internship and graduated on time. I started running again but this time with my baby in tow. I wanted to train for races, but was afraid of not being able to run as fast as I did before. So I stuck to small hometown races here and there. I had my second child in the beginning of 2007 and started running again, this time with a double jogger! I started to train with a running club and began to find success once again in local races. But the big races still eluded me. I still had too many excuses why I did not want to do them. In late 2008 I became pregnant with my third child. My pregnancy and the aftermath were horrible. I suffered physically and emotionally the whole time. Now I no longer had the choice whether or not I could run because it had been taken away from me. When my third child was 5 days old, my husband started the doctorate program at USC. For the next 3 years I was basically a single parent while my husband went to school and worked. It was a really hard time for me. I basically lost who I was because I had no time to care for myself. I had been running again
and attempted a racing comeback but the conditions were not right. So when my husband graduated in May of 2012 I decided no more excuses. He was done and now it was my turn. When I realized that it had been almost 10 years since I had run my last marathon, and I felt like my life was passing me by, I decided now was the time. I was going to run a marathon, whether or not I could achieve my previous best. Another big bonus was that my youngest was starting at St. George’s so I now had three days to run by myself, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For those of you that have watched me pull my red jogging stroller out of the back of my car at drop off for so long, you know how happy this made me! As I started training last November for my March 2013 marathon there were many days that I had doubts. But as my training progressed, my spirit grew. As my spirit grew, I began to feel more empowered. My spirit, which had been lost for so long, was coming back. I was feeling like my old self again and it was great. I began to ask myself why I had waited so long. As the race grew near I had many sleepless nights and really wondered if I could pull this off. Race day came and I am proud to say that it was very successful. I ran a 3:10:24 (my second fastest marathon time and only 1 minute slower than my best marathon time that was 10 years and 3 kids ago) and I won my age group. I have never been more motivated as I am now to continue on. If you have lost yourself, go back to what used to make you happy. I guarantee you will find yourself again.
Parent Board Update
Christa Evans, President Spring is in the air and all the excitement that goes with it! I hope everyone enjoyed Family Play Day on Saturday, March 9th. It is always such a joy for our little ones to show off their school with their siblings and parents. This special day fills our preschoolers with pride! DRAGON FAIRE... As you know, Dragon Faire is scheduled for Saturday, April 27th. My Juliette was a Dragon Faire baby when I co-chaired the faire three years ago. She is SO excited to finally attend “her” faire! Dragon Faire Registration Week is coming up on March 25 - 28. You will have the opportunity to sign up for all of your volunteer requirements in one quick, easy & efficient morning. By visiting each table, you will be able sign up for your 2 hour volunteer shift, a variety of sponsorship opportunities, your bake sale goods, as well as pre-purchased wristbands and food tickets. If you have any questions about the Faire, please contact Rebecca Murchie (firstname.lastname@example.org), Annalisa Chang-Miller (email@example.com) or Laurie Pebworth (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Dragon Faire Co-Chairs. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET SALE UPDATE… Thank you all so much for all your help with our annual Clean Out Your Closet Sale! The sale was a big success, earning money ($869.00 total) for both the St. George’s preschool scholarship fund and HathawaySycamores. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and energy, donated clothes or purchased items at the sale! Your efforts will make a big difference in the lives of many children. These past few weeks have reminded me just how blessed we all are to live in such a supportive, caring community. I hope you all feel this same love and it fills your heart with joy.
GREEN DOOR In the Green Door, the children have been learning Nursery Rhymes and telling Fairy Tales. Some of their favorites were “Little Miss Muffet”,” Humpty Dumpty”, Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Both classes made darling Humpty Dumpty pictures. The MWF class had to put the pieces of Humpty back together and the T/Th Children added egg shell colored tissue and pants to him. The T/Th children also collaged sheep for the Nursery Rhymes “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Mary Mary Quite Contrary”. One of the MWF projects was a story response to The Princess and the Pea where they piled the princess’ bed with mattresses. Another was a scene from The Three Little Pigs. The children had to
cut out three houses and decorate them with straw, sticks and bricks. A couple children even drew a wolf. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Christensen, also came into the classroom to make Gingerbread men cookies and stick puppets after we read, The Little Gingerbread Man. Both classes thoroughly enjoyed singing and acting out rhymes, playing with the play foam and making castles with the molding sand. Another highlight was cracking eggs and scrambling them. They never tire of the hand mixer! Following this theme, the T/Th class did some fun process art using Spray bottles. We did shadow painting in which the child places objects onto a white paper before spraying it with color so that the shape of the objects shows up when they are removed. They also really enjoyed making contact paper collages as well as spray bottle art with markers and water. Additionally, they painted with flowers, made rainbow necklaces and shamrocks to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We have also been practicing cutting, stencils, and lacing. The T/Th children are enjoying the social aspect of school more now. They really like to play with one another. They seek each other out on the playground and in the classroom. It is fun to see all of the new friendships. They especially love playing family with the kitchen stuff, the babies and other props such as the binoculars, telescopes and cell phones. The floor toys especially the cars and trains and magnet blocks also continue to be popular. We have been doing quite a bit of cooking which all the children love! It was especially thrilling to them when our popcorn popped itself all over the room. The MWF class has completed a study of the senses. We began with talking about the sense of sight. The children walked to the snack tables with their eyes closed one day to emphasize the importance of this sense. They made binoculars with toilet paper tubes, staplers and tape. For hearing we made maracas with paper plates and beans. We also did a fun listening clue game where we listened to different sounds and tried to guess what they were. On tasting day, we tasted different food and decided if they were spicy, sweet, sour, bitter or salty. The children did not like the unsweetened cocoa! We also juiced 20 lemons for lemonade and cooked banana bread. For smell, we created and scented tissue paper flowers and painted with real flowers. Touch was fun because we made a touch box with many different textures. Additionally, the children went out with Miss Erica and made a Jackson Pollock style painting. It is hanging in our room. The children had too much fun dancing around and flicking paint from their brushes while creating this “action art.” The MWF children continue to mature at a rapid pace. They already seem so grown up. They are very independent now and can find their way around the school and classroom without too much guidance. On the yard they have challenged themselves by climbing onto the playhouse roof. They have also begun pushing each other on the tire swing and doing tricks on the bars. Their large motor skills are really developing, which is even more evident when they do movement activities like catching a ball, jumping rope and volleyball. Inside the classroom, they are more interested in letters and writing. They love to tell me which letter comes next on our alphabet chart and what day of the week it is. They spend more time on their projects and at the activities tables focused on the tasks at hand. At circle time, they enjoy discussing the topics and relating them to their personal lives. When we share Special Boards, the children are respectful of one another and offer thoughtful and kind questions and comments. Family Play day was a huge success! The Green Door was full to the brim with excited children and their families. Thank you for coming. It is such a special day. The children are so excited and proud to show their families their school and classroom. It seems like the siblings enjoy the day just as much as the students. I saw both older and younger children delight at being finally able to stay and play at preschool. Danielle, Nita and I also enjoyed seeing and meeting everyone!
RED DOOR MWF The MWF class has begun the number unit and we will be incorporating a Spring theme into all of our March and April projects. The children love the number books and we practice counting wherever we can whether at snack, on the yard, or at circle time. Numbers are everywhere! Soon we will be making some fun Easter projects to take home before Spring break. In April we will be talking about our five senses and what each one does. This is always a fun one for the children as we do a lot of sensory activities that include cooking, tasting, smelling and much more! We have been doing a letter of the week since school started and the children are getting so good at making the sound of the letter and thinking of words that start with that letter. We have had some really creative words as you can imagine!
The "All About Me" posters have been so much fun for the children (and the teachers)! It's a great way for the children to learn a little bit more about each other and it really prompts some great questions. My favorite part about these posters has been the pride that the children take in their posters. They are so proud of their families, their drawings, and they love to share what their favorite things are. Once they are up for the week, they are then posted somewhere in the classroom so please feel free to take a look around at them in the morning! If your child has not yet had a turn to take a poster home, I will be putting one in their cubby sometime between now and June. The other activity that I'm sure you have been hearing about is "yard sharing" which we do every Wednesday. The children are getting along so well with the Blue Door and really look forward to playing with them. T-TH March and April will bring Spring to the Red Door classroom! We have been working on some very colorful projects and painting on some fun Spring time shapes such as gadget painting, feather duster painting and many other utensils that the children love to paint with. They are also eager to do whatever project is put on the tables for them. It is so fun to see the excitement when I bring out the materials for a project. The simple pleasures of being a preschooler never ceases to amaze. Please remember to send the children in play clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. It is difficult for a child to do their "job" of exploring all that preschool has to offer if they are worried about their clothes getting dirty! We have also started to bring out the floor puzzles and we have had many requests for these! We have begun to work on the beginning sounds of our names and trying to recognize the first letter of our names. Soon we will start to practice writing our names or the first letter of our names.
BLUE DOOR The Tue.-Thurs. children enjoyed watching our color caterpillar grow with each new color we introduced to them. Some of their favorite activities were car painting with red, stringing an orange necklace and creating a yellow collage. We ended with pink and purple just as Valentine’s Day arrived. We moved right into the basic shapes. We bubble wrap painted with green paint on circle-shaped paper, made sugar cube sculptures for squares and kites made from triangle shapes. The children continue to amaze us with their efforts in selfsufficiency and independence. Some of them have shown the courage of going to the bathroom by themselves or with one friend. They are proud of their accomplishments. They are truly happy each school morning as they see their friends arrive to play. The family pictures I asked for at the beginning of the school year are starting to become popular again. As the children are developing friendships, they are spending time with their friends pointing out themselves and each other. Welcome Spring! We have immersed ourselves in all things spring! We planted a sunflower seed and are watching for the first signs of a sprout. Once the seed has taken root and we have enjoyed the thrill of growing our own flower, the children will take their plant home to transplant in their garden at home. We will talk about the weather and the changes that come with the seasons. With spring in the air, we will start our Easter projects. This will include baby animals, bunnies and Easter egg dyeing. I will send a note home about a week before we dye eggs to ask for the kids to bring two hard-boiled eggs to school in order for everyone to dye their own eggs. On that same day we will be having an Easter egg hunt! The M-W-F children have enjoyed developing new friendships with the Red Door children. They look forward to sharing the yards every Wednesday. We have been learning about the weather, talking about the arrival of spring, and planted a sunflower seed in order to watch it grow. We will soon be working on numbers and number concepts. But first we will be decorating and celebrating the Easter season with egg dyeing and Easter egg hunts and spring projects. The Special Board has been a wonderful addition to circle time on Wednesday mornings. The children love sharing their special pictures and everyone takes the questions and comments very serious. I get a special chuckle from watching the child take on a “teacher” role when choosing the next child to ask a question or share a comment. Thank you to those families that joined us on Saturday for our special Family Play Day! The purpose of this day is the opportunity to see preschool through the eyes of your preschooler. This was a chance to visit and play in the other classrooms as well. We hope you enjoyed the morning as much as we did.
There are many thoughts on play dates for preschool children. Sometimes we forget as our lives get busier how important it is to allow our children to play. As they get older the social part of play becomes more important. They develop the ability to learn how to share their things and ideas, take turns, and build their imagination. Children need this time to work on their expressive language skills. It also further develops their ability to empathize with other peoples’ feelings. I always encourage play dates because the time at school is just a start in creating social skills. One-on-one time at home or at a park works to build these skills even more. It also helps those children who might be a little shy to gain the confidence to be more comfortable in social settings. If you haven’t done a lot of play dates yet, I would encourage you to reconsider it. Allow your child to be a part of the planning. For example, ask him/her who they would like to invite over. Being a part of the process and having a say with who they get to play with allows for a more successful time for both of the children. After the play date, there will be a happy memory that both children can build upon the next time they see each other. Having play dates can especially be helpful with the three year old child. At first, their time in the classroom was spent doing parallel play and becoming comfortable being with other children and making friends. Now there is more cooperative play being seen and sometimes this can create conflict as the preschoolers learn to accept what the other child is bringing into the play. This is an excellent opportunity to practice their language skills as they use their words to share their thoughts and ideas and learn to compromise and take turns. So, think about play dates as a time for your children to learn and grow, not just a time for fun. So much of a child’s play and fun is a learning experience, they just don’t know that; and I promise, I won’t tell them! Miss Bonnie and I wish you all a joyous Easter celebration and Spring Break.
YELLOW YELLOW DOOR In recent weeks, the Yellow Door children have been having a lot of fun learning their ABC’s. Throughout the alphabet unit, the children are being exposed to the letters of the alphabet (both upper and lower case) as well as beginning sounds. We’ve been doing many fun projects and activities at circle time to reinforce this introduction to the alphabet. A variety of objects have been brought in each day for the Letter Box. I really look forward to seeing what the children bring each day! I know many of you have been collecting the letters and posting them in a place where your child can see them at home. When a child is absent during the alphabet unit I always have them make up the letter. Please let me know if you are missing any letters. In addition to the letter projects, alphabet snacks have been a big highlight of the morning! We have been enjoying a variety of different foods. I ask all the children to try at least one bite of all the foods, sometimes they might be surprised to discover a new flavor they like! On Tuesdays we have been cooking in class, we made applesauce for “A” day, egg salad sandwiches for “E” day, homemade ice cream for ‘I” day and mash potatoes for “M” day. We started sharing yards with Green Door on Fridays and the children have really enjoyed having access to both yards and making new friends. We also exchanged Valentines with the Green Door classroom. After the Alphabet Unit is over we will be starting Easter projects. Then after spring break, we will be learning about outer space and having Pet Days, when the children can bring in their pets. We will also be starting Work Games which are a special part of the Pre-K program. They reinforce basic skills such as letter and number recognition, counting, sequencing, classifying, puzzles, matching, etc. More detailed information will be sent home before we start Work Games. It is very satisfying to see the progress children are making in different areas. I look forward to sharing details of the children's growth and development in May conferences.
Oh man, who made this mess? I use to eat a lot of pickles when I was three. My mom won’t buy those crackers because they are too cheap! I used to have a boo boo, but it bled away. I know the Golden Rule. When someone does something to you, then the other person gets to do it to the other person. Teacher : I hear the water running (in the bathroom)! Child: Oh, I think someone is having a shower. A child talking about the rain: “Did you see it? The water is coming out!” Disneyland reminds me of Whoville! Child: “I’m back from college.” Teacher: “What did you learn?” Child: “Nothing. College doesn’t mean anything. You just write on a chalkboard and do some scores. It’s boring.” “My mom is still here… you know how parents like to chat!” “Miss Vita, I have pretzel eyes!” “Guys, It’s my wedding today, so I need all the flowers!” “Dude, that’s my magic carpet.” “When I was a kid, I was in second grade.” “We’re in our Jedi fire truck.” “I saw a King Cobra in my Grandma’s backyard!!” “Shoot me a love arrow, please!” “This place used to be a beach.” (The Playground)
Miss Cherie’s Favorite while Two boys talking while digging in the sand: “Sometimes when I come home dirty from school, my mom screams like a little baby girl!” “Well, my mom says being dirty means you’re working hard at having fun!”
Please think of us if you have any of these extra items: Soft wood for hammering Toilet paper/Paper towel rolls Men’s ties & vests Ladies’ night gowns Little girl/boy shoes (the size of an 8-10 year old) Gently used Bed Sheets