ST.

GEORGE’S PRESCHOOL NEWSLETTER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
January
27 F Four & Five-year-olds visit with Miss Cherie in the Library
26-28 Th-S Clean out your Closet Sale! 9:00 – 12:00, LSH
30 M Lead Teacher meeting, 12:30, Library
February
3 F MWF & PREK PARENTS COME TO MUSIC CLASS & PARTICIPATE
6 M Dragon Faire Co-Chairs meeting, LSH, 9:15
7 T T/TH PARENTS COME TO MUSIC CLASS & PARTICIPATE
7 T Staff meeting, 12:30, library, NO EXTENDED DAY
13 M Parent Board meeting, 9:15, LSH
17&20 F/M President’s Day Holiday,NO SCHOOL
27 M Lead teacher meeting, 12:30, Library

Valentine’s Day
For Valentine’s Day, the children will be engaged in a variety of age appropriate activities focused on
loving relationships with family and friends. They will be making all kinds of hearts, making special
snacks for another classroom and Valentine’s for one another in CLASS.

We ask that you DO NOT send VALENTINE CARDS or FAVORS for cubbies to Preschool. This
is a fun and age appropriate activity for Elementary School children. If you are interested in
providing a special snack speak with your lead teacher.

LIBRARY CART
Volunteer Librarian, Joyce Davison

During the holiday break I spent some time in the library shelving the many Christmas books you all
enjoyed before the break. I found one checkout card without a name on it, so I am asking you to
please look around the house, car, grandma’s house or anyplace else for the book titled NIGHT IS
COMING by Lisa W. Nikola. You will know it is a library book by the label on the spine that has the
call letters J, FIC, N58n, 1991 on it. I hope that it is found because it is a wonderful book.

You will find on the book cart, “New to You Books.” Some are brand new and some we have had
for a while but the stories will be new to your children. Check them out two at a time by printing
your child’s name, the date you are taking it home and the door color your child is in. Then place the
card in the wooden box on the book cart. When you return the books place them in the library
RETURN BOX on the outside counter. Thank You.
Katie Valdes MS, RD, CSSD
Registered Dietitian
“Acknowledge all of your small victories. They will eventually add up to something great!”
I love this quote, as so many of us want instant gratification now. We become impatient with life and feel like we are not
getting anywhere. We do something well but still think that it is not enough. I think especially as moms we feel this way.
We are often left wondering what have we accomplished and where has all the time gone. Day to day life raising kids
can be very grueling and tiring. Something that I have been trying to work on is giving myself more credit in everything
I do and not selling myself short.
This approach can be applied to how we nourish ourselves and our families with food. Let’s say you made a resolution to
eat better and to lose weight or exercise more in 2017. Can this be done in one day? No way. Scrolling through Instagram
the other day I came across a funny meme that read:
“I’ve been dieting for three hours and I’m still not skinny”
I laughed as I read it because many times I have felt this way. One slip up or one missed workout can lead many of us to
think - What is the purpose? We fall into the trap of negative thinking: this can never be done, I will never be healthy,
what’s the use, etc.”
When I sit down and talk with my clients, we talk about their goals and things they want to accomplish. We then look at
the goals and I have them pick one that they think they can stick with. It can be as simple as “I will reduce the amount of
soda I drink a week from 10 cans to 7 cans”.
It’s all about the “small victories”. Once you realize that you have the power to accomplish one goal you can set out on
accomplishing another one. Slowly but surely these small things will add up to something great.
Go home and take a piece of paper out and write down something that you would like to accomplish in terms of making
your life healthier. Pen to paper is very powerful. Tape your goal to a mirror, a cabinet or somewhere that you will see it
every day. Each day on an additional piece of paper right down how you got closer/or further away from the goal. By
doing this it will hold you accountable.
Be realistic though. Let’s says you have been thinking about doing the Whole 30 diet but your birthday is coming up in
two weeks. Starting the Whole 30 plan 14 days before your birthday knowing that you will not be able to indulge in
certain things that you love sounds depressing to me. A more realistic approach would be to say I am going to increase
the amount of days I am going to exercise leading up to my birthday, so I don’t feel guilty when I indulge and will start
the Whole 30 after all my friends and loved ones are done celebrating me.
So, go back and look at those goals and resolutions that were made a few weeks ago and tweak them if necessary.
Remember it’s all about the small victories.

THE PARENT BOARD
Stacy Armillei, Parent Board President

Happy 2017 from the Parent Board! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break filled with special holiday
memories. For my family, the change in weather certainly made it feel a bit more like Christmas and I loved
that we could actually dust off our warm coats and cozy up by our fireplace. Now that January at St. George’s
is in full swing, Arianna thoroughly enjoyed “Snow Day,” which is a personal favorite in the Armillei
household, and I am looking forward to the many upcoming great events being put on by the Parent Board.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET SALE:
Spread the word! January 26th, 27th AND SATURDAY the 28th is the annual St.
George’s Clean Out Your Closet Sale! It will be held in LSH from 9-12:30. We
are seeking gently used children’s clothing, shoes, toys, books, costumes and
maternity clothing. You can leave the items in a box outside of the office and, if
you include a sealed envelope with your name/donation item, the committee
will provide you with a tax-deductible letter. As a rule of thumb, please only
donate items that are in a condition you would be willing to purchase yourself
or that a gently-used children’s boutique might purchase from you. Please make sure donated toys are in
working condition and have all original parts. All proceeds go directly to the St. George’s scholarship fund.
Help make this sale the best ever by inviting non-St. George’s friends, neighbors, and family to come shop at
the sale. And be on the lookout for volunteer signups in the classrooms and please consider signing up. We
need volunteers from each classroom to make the event run smoothly. If you have any questions or would
like to volunteer for sale set-up, please contact Emily Street (emilyrstreet@yahoo.com), Holly Inaba
(fijiwayhj@yahoo.com), Geneva Youel (genevayouel@gmail.com), or Miss Brenda. Thank you all in
advance for making this a wonderful sale and boosting the scholarship fund for next year’s children.
PARENT SOCIAL AND ART AUCTION:
Save the date! March 10th is our Fourth Annual Parent Social and Art Auction! It is
a truly fun tradition, where parents enjoy an evening of fun, an adult-only dinner, and
the opportunity to bid on beautiful works of art created by each class. The
committee is seeking new items to include in raffle baskets, including new kids and
baby items, gift cards/certificates, women/men entertainment items, and home décor. A donation box is
stationed outside of the office or you can contact Natalie Cerpa (Natalie@realtornatalie.com), Tran Ly
(blurology@gmail.com), or Sarah Lyding (lyding.megale@gmail.com) with any questions about donations.
More details about the event to arrive in cubbies soon. Looking forward to seeing you there!

COFFEES AND TOY FAIRE:
A special thank you to the Hospitality Committee – Megan Abel, Lauren Delphey, Lisa Eich, Sophia Kim
Choi, Susie Park, and Lyttle Sullivan for putting on the fantastic December 1 st-2nd parent coffees! I hope you
all had a chance to stop by and grab a cup of coffee or a small bite and check out the amazing selection of
toys brought to us by Playopolis.

CLASSROOM NEWS

RED DOOR
MWF
Going into the New Year we will be exploring the season of Winter! We will make handprint
snowflakes, work hard on assembling a snowman, and soon we will go “ice skating”! This month
also marks the beginning of “Yard-Sharing”. This is always a favorite event in our class. Every
Wednesday, we will be using both the upper and lower yards during our outside play time. The Blue
Door class and their teachers (Miss Janice and Miss Bonnie) will also be out there at the same time as
us. The children can move freely between both yards. It is a great way to make new friends and
build new relationships. In February we will be making the Blue Door a special Valentine snack and
having a Pajama party with them! The children will really enjoy coming to school in their pajamas.
Next, we will be talking about our 5 senses. We are working a lot on our small motor skills such as
cutting, stapling, tracing, and hole punching. Writing the first letter of our name and pencil grip are
other skills that we are consistently trying to improve, so any practice at home is encouraged!
Everyone is progressing nicely. Soon we will be making some festive Valentine crafts to celebrate
LOVE!

We have started our "All About Me" boards! A reminder note went home about this during the first
week of January. These boards give the children a chance to stand individually in front of the
classroom and share some information about themselves. The other children love to ask questions
about each board and it is just a very special project for the whole class to be involved in. Everyone
will have a turn between now and the end of the school year.

T Th
We are back in the swing of things from the long Christmas break! I was very pleased with the
transition back into the classroom. Three weeks away from school seems so much longer when you
are two years old, so thank you all for having so much patience and understanding with the transition
back to class! The kids were eager to see each other and get back in to our routine.

In class we have started exploring the Winter season! We will be talking about things that are cold
like snow and ice. We will even get a chance to go “ice-skating”! We are still working on getting
familiar with all of the different art mediums and the children love to experiment. This is the reason
for the art project filled with glue or the easel painting with a single stripe down the middle. They are
figuring things out for themselves and seem to be loving it! Soon we will be talking about Valentine’s
Day. We will be decorating hearts and talking about the people that we love. Inside, as well as
outside, we are continually introducing the children to many sensory activities. Children learn
through hands on experiences so we try to give them as many as we can whether it be a new
experience or a repeat of a favorite. Everyone really seems to be enjoying their preschool
environment!
BLUE DOOR
Miss Bonnie, Miss Babs and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and winter break. We have
enjoyed getting back into our normal routine and hope you feel the same.

The M-W-F children will continue to learn name recognition and start to write their own names. In
addition to the Helper chart, where they must find their name in order to learn what their clean up job
is, they will start writing their name on their activities. At first some of them will need assistance and
this is okay. Name recognition is one step closer towards reading. The “reading” of their name is
really the sight recognition of the length and shape of their name. As they become more comfortable
and confident in the sight of what the name looks like and continue to practice writing it and what
letters make up their name, the “reading” becomes a true read.

As the year progresses, we will encourage more self-sufficiency and watch them become more and
more independent. Another way to assist the students with recognition of their name will be name
plates. I prepare laminated paper with each child’s name on it and assign seating at snack each day.
This offers assistance with two areas of development. The first is what I have shared here, being able
to recognize and read their name. The second, just as important reason is to place the kids with a
different group of children. This aides in helping the kids with improving their social skills and
encourages conversation with some of the other kids in the class that they may not have otherwise
spent much time with. The friendships are pretty well established by this time of the year and they
will automatically sit with the same friends each day. By asking them to sit with someone else they
can practice the social skills that we have been working on for the past eighteen months now. Other
readiness activities such as tracing, cutting, sequencing, classifying, and counting will also be
emphasized.

We will be starting the Special Board Person this month. This is a great endeavor for fostering self-
esteem and is a springboard for language development. More information has been sent home about
how the Special Board Person works. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

As we return to our routine, we will do a quick winter unit and talk about how different the weather is
during these cold months. The children will practice tracing, cutting and assembling a snowman and
we will “ice skate” one day soon. We will engage in a more popular unit later in the month,
dinosaurs! Watch the classroom transition into a land of long ago with hatching baby dinosaurs, T-
Rex and much more! As we enter the month of February, we will surround ourselves with hearts and
valentines. We will spend some time doing Valentine activities and talking about friendships and
what it means to be someone’s valentine. We will finish up the month with our numbers unit. This
involves a lot of cutting, tracing and assembling. These skills are best accomplished with practice,
practice, practice.

We will start sharing the yards on Wednesdays with the Red door classroom soon. We introduce the
concept of sharing the yards with another class because it’s a normal part of the elementary school
recess time. This opens up the opportunity to make friends in another class and offers further
development of their social skills and allows the children the freedom to spend time on either the
upper or lower yard. A teacher from each room will be available on both yards to assist the children
when needed. In February, we will take these new friendships a step further and make a special
Valentine snack to share with our new Red Door friends. The children really enjoy planning and
discussing what we can do to surprise them.

Another addition to our school schedule that starts this month is a trip to the school/church library.
Visiting your library at school is a permanent part of the elementary school routine. We feel that the
sooner the children are introduced to this wonderful concept the more we encourage reading and the
wonders of make believe. We will teach them what the author and illustrator do for a book and by the
end of our school year they will become authors and illustrators themselves. In the past we have had
the privilege of an author/illustrator visit who drew and read to the kids! We hope to have this special
event again this year.

There was a note in your child’s cubby about changes we have implemented to the January
conferences. By now, you should have been made aware of whether we will meet to discuss how the
year is going and what your plans are for next year either this month or later in April. Whether we
meet sooner or later, I look forward to sharing wonderful stories with each of you about how far your
children have come in their preschool experience.
I can tell that the T-Th kids were eager to be back in school! Every one of them was excited to see their
friends again. Their self-confidence in returning to school was something to be proud of. We very quickly
returned to our favorite activities such as the play dough, dress-up, the table activities, art table and
painting at the easels. We will begin our special color days very soon. Watch our colorful caterpillar as
he grows with each new color we introduce. The children especially enjoy watching the caterpillar get
longer and longer as we add each color to his body. We start with an introduction of the primary colors
and then show the children the “magic” of making a color by mixing two different colors together. We
will continue to explore the concept of color with many “hands-on” experiences, and have lots of fun! We
wind down our color unit with pink and purple (and of course we bring red back) in celebration of
Valentine’s Day. Once we’ve completed the color caterpillar, we will move onto shapes and have planned
some activities that center around using the shapes. For example, when we introduce squares and cubes,
we will do a glue collage with sugar cubes.
We will continue to offer activities for the children to introduce them to the many different mediums
available and keep these activities as open-ended as possible. The goal for the remainder of the year will
be to continue to offer a safe environment where the children can explore the world around them and
practice their social skills and self-sufficiency.
Just think of how much progress your child has made since the beginning of the school year in August!
They are ready to separate from you much quickly. As the second half of the school year begins, we work
more and more on independence, self-sufficiency and social engagement. The children are more
comfortable with our routines and environment this time of year, so we encourage you to work on having
your child walk to the yard instead of being carried. This gives them the message they are a big boy/girl.
Then give them a hug and kiss good-bye and be on your way. The children engage more quickly with one
another once the parents leave. Of course we want parents to socialize, so walk up to the patio to continue
your adult socialization for as long as you like.
Happy New Year to all of you. It has been a pleasure getting to know our new families and being a part of
your child’s preschool experience. The rest of the school year is going to be exciting!

GREEN DOOR
MWF
Welcome back and Happy New Year. I hope you are all returned relaxed and rejuvenated. The children
have been full of energy and enthusiastic to be back at school. They all look a little taller and a little older
to Babs and me.
We are studying Winter in the Green Door. The weather has been cooperating too, at least as much as it
can in Los Angeles. The children are enjoying telling us about their experiences with cold weather and
snow. Some of them even visited the snow over the break. For the last few weeks, we have read winter
themed books and sang sledding songs. The sensory tables have been filled with different kinds of fake
snow and arctic animals. We also experimented with ice and made ice cream. The children have been
making snowmen and snowflakes out of paper to decorate our room and add to the winter feel. The
snowmen are one of my favorite projects. First, the children traced three different size snowballs out of
paper and cut them out. This takes skill and precision as the child must hold the paper while maneuvering
the pencil in a circle. Then they cut while guiding the paper in a circle as well. The second step was to
form the snowman by stacking and gluing their snowballs in size order. The third step was to add details
like eyes, hats, arms etc using a variety of collage materials and their imagination. It is always fun to see
each snowman develop a personality that reflects the person who made it. Toward the end of the unit, the
children will had fun “ice skating” on a flour covered tarp on the grass outside the office.
We are continuing our weekly Special Board presentations. Both the teachers and children enjoy these
presentations. They are fun to watch and also build important skills. The presenting child learns how to
talk and describe their board in front of an audience. They also see what it is like to sit in the teacher chair
and be in charge of the discussion. The children who are listening learn what it means to be a good
audience. We also discuss the difference between a question and a comment as well as how our discussion
needs to be relevant to the presentation.
Since the beginning of the year, we have explored the Zoo-phonic alphabet. The children have been
exposed to the letters, signs and sounds as we recite the alphabet together. In January, we will narrow our
focus to one letter at a time. We will discuss what each letter looks and sounds like. We will have fun
practicing letter formation using dry erase boards, shaving cream, rice, clay and other mediums. We will
also incorporate some letter sound yoga.
In January, we will begin yard sharing with Yellow Door on Fridays. The gate between the upper and
lower yard will be left open and the children can decide where they would like to play. Many of the
children already have friends in the Yellow Door. It is fun for the children to see these friends as well as
make new ones.
At the end of January, we will begin our monthly visits to the library. Miss Cherie and Miss Joyce, the
librarian, will read the children stories and talk to them about different library related topics such as caring
for books and checking them out. They will discuss the terms author and illustrator and highlight some of
their favorites. Toward the end of the year, each child will have a chance to dictate and illustrate a small
story to put it in a class book.

I will be conferencing with all families once more this year. There will be two conference sessions one in
January and another in April. I will begin with the younger half of the class starting in mid-January. If you
received a conference request for the first conference session, please sign up for a time slot. The sign up
will be on a clipboard next to the sign in sheet. I look forward to meeting with all of you and sharing your
child’s progress.

Thank you to all of the people who have been our Guest Readers this year. It is such a treat to have you
come and share books with our class. Due to the fact that our schedule becomes much busier starting in
January, I will not have a formal guest reader sign-up sheet. However, if you would like to come to read to
our class, email me through our Share Site and we will make arrangements for this to happen.

Hello Tuesday/Thursday Green Door Parents from Heidi

I am very excited to be teaching your children. I met many of the children previously and have enjoyed
getting to know the rest. It was a change for the children with Nita leaving and having me as their new
teacher but I am confident that we have all adjusted quickly and are having fun getting to know one
another. I know the children adore Miss Amy and I am happy to have a chance to work with her.

Amy and I have had a lot of fun and engaging activities so far. We started the year out with a Winter
theme. Our sensory tables were filled with various types of fake snow. We made glittery snowflakes and a
class snowman as well as ice cream and our own homemade puffy paint. We had arctic animals to play
with and a snowy mountain train set. Our bookshelves included many snow stories and our discussions
and songs were centered on wintery themes. It was a fun topic and the children had a lot of ideas and
experiences to contribute to our discussions and explorations.

T/Th

I hope that you enjoyed the holidays with your family. Before our Christmas break, the children were
busily preparing for the season. They decorated and re-decorated the classroom Christmas tree with
ornaments. They made and wrapped gifts, sang Christmas songs and jingled bells. They cooked and
tasted holiday goodies and experienced the fun and magic of the season, sometimes up to their elbows in
glitter, glue and paint. They cooperated to take turns dressing up as Santa or his reindeer and the elves and
played “Christmas Eve.” They hammered tiny holes in oranges and carefully filled the holes with cloves
to make a sweet-smelling treat. In the process, this project also developed small motor skills, eye-hand
coordination and strengthened small finger muscles and big arm muscles, too. Thanks to the Eckhert and
Trumbo families for supplying the oranges.

They loved painting their paper candy canes with paint-covered golf balls. They had to use their whole
bodies to roll the painted balls around the box. When the paint was dry, we spritzed them with
peppermint spray so they would smell like the real thing.

In our classroom we gave the children an opportunity to practice grown-up holiday decorating, planning,
baking, gifting and imagining without the worry of breaking a precious ornament or getting frosting on
the furniture. As the children gave their carefully wrapped gifts to their parents at our class Christmas
party, it was obvious from their smiles that it may be even more fun to give than to receive. Miss Amy
and I hope your holidays were merry. There are lots more fun activities and experiences planned for the
new year. I’ve heard that winter fun was scheduled to come to the Green Door (California style).
I am off on a new adventure in my life. I will miss you all, but leave you in the very capable hands of
Miss Heidi and Miss Amy.

Happy New Year!

YELLOW DOOR

A Happy New Year to everyone! We have quickly settled back into our regular class routines. This first
week back we talked about wintertime; what is wintertime like? What do you wear in winter? How does
winter feel? What do the plants and trees do in wintertime? We designed snowmen and made mittens. We
practiced our cutting skills on snowflakes.

Starting in January, we will begin sharing the upper and lower yards on Friday mornings with the Green
Door class. The gate between the two yards will be open and the children will be able to play on both
yards and make new friends with the Green Door children. For Valentine’s Day, we will be making a
group Valentine for our new friends in the Green Door and baking cookies for them. We will be doing this
instead of exchanging individual cards, so please do not send Valentine cards or favors to put in the
cubbies.

On Tuesday, January 17th, we will be starting our Alphabet Unit where we focus on one letter per day.
This is our longest and most detailed unit of the year. The children will be bringing in objects for the
Alphabet Box each day, making their own set of Alphabet Collage letters, doing various activities
involving the letter of the day and having alphabet snacks. There will be a letter in your cubby explaining
all the details.

From early in the school year, Yellow Door has been talking about friends (What is a friend? What
characteristics make a good friend?) and practicing short role plays at circle time. We will continue to
incorporate this in to circle time periodically throughout the rest of the year. We have found this is a safe
and effective way to tackle issues that may come up in class or on the playground. Without exception, the
Yellow Door children are growing and changing! It’s an exciting process to watch, and we thank you for
sharing your children with us!

JOIN US FOR ALL THE FUN!!
This is the time of year when the children who haven’t been
ready for a longer day are ready to join the fun. Each day
the children socialize as they eat their lunch, look at books,
listen to music and then enjoy creative activities as well as
outdoor play.

If you are interested in a few hours to yourself for only
$15.00 a day, sign up in the purple notebook on the counter
just outside of the office.

We would LOVE to have new children join us.

KID QUOTES

Child- "It's almost my birthday!"
Teacher- "How old are you going to be?"
Child- "I'm going to be.. um.. older!"

One little boy picked up two dreidels and said, “Oh, look
popsicles!”

“We already have a Christmas tree. We got it at the North
Pole.”

(hic, hic) “I have the hippups!”

“Whenever I give my mommy a painting, she cries."

“When my baby was born we went to the dentist to pick him
up and take him home.”

“I need to tell you some good news. The good news is when
I grow up and go to my brother’s and sister’s school I am
going to lose my tooth. Lots of them!!”
Teacher to a child wearing a USC T-Shirt- “Did your mom or
dad go to USC?” Child- “No, They went to work.”

Child- “Guess what I broke?” Teacher- “What?” Child- “I
broke the record!”

Teacher- “What comes after 29?” Child- 20 10.”

Child #1- “Let’s play hockey!”

Child #2- “Okay!”

Child #3- “Great! I’ll be the referee, the goalie AND the
player!”

“I love the Elsa movie, I watched it yesterday when I was a
baby.”