April Newsletter 2013

From the Director

Last month was full of surprises! One day a former student, now in enrolled in Arcadia High School, called and asked me for a project to work on to earn his Eagle Scout status. I was thinking about getting the garden ready for the children to plant, so I told him he and his troop could work on that project. In the meantime, I had a discussion with other preschool directors in the area and we discussed earthquake safety, drills, supplies and compared notes. It has always concerned me that our earthquake shed was located in the back where large trees and telephone lines are present. After conferring with Mother Julie and the vestry, we decided to build a new shed in the garden. This became a part of the Eagle Scout project. Four children who had attended AEP were present. It was wonderful to see them, much older, working together and keeping that relationship alive after twelve years. The earthquake shed is now centrally located in the garden which is now easily accessible in case of an emergency.  My heartfelt thanks go out to the former parents and students who helped and arranged the garden and shed.

Last month, we cleaned out our closets and shelves in the preschool.   We are preparing for our Rummage Sale, which is on Saturday, April 13 between 8 am- 2 pm. There are many ways for parents to contribute to the rummage sale. First, parents may contribute items such as clothing, shoes, socks, dishes, cookware, small appliances, books, CD’s, toys, DVD’s, and linen. Second, there are two sign up sheets at the sign-in sheet station. Parents may help by sorting goods and pricing items a few days before, or help on Saturday with sales.  I really need a couple of dads to help just by being around for security purposes. If I could get two dads to serve for three hours each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon I would really appreciate it.  I also need at least four adults to sign- up for putting away tables and packing up clothes and leftover items after the sale.

Have you noticed that there are plastic pitchers of water in every classroom?  Last month, we added a new Brita filtration system to the lunchroom, so that the children can have filtered water to drink. I am also hoping that the children will drink more water if they see the pitcher in the classroom. Many times a visual cue helps with young children.

Pre- kindergarten parents please remember to turn in withdrawal forms for you children one month in advance of leaving the school. Parents of Dolphin students will need to purchase a kindergarten cap and gown for the graduation.  I will give you more details as we approach that date. Graduation for the Pre kindergarten class will be on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm in the chapel.

The children, teachers, and I will plant in the garden on April 15. A sign up sheet will be posted to bring some plants in for planting. Parents are welcome to help plant with the children between 9:30 am -10:30 am.

I hope everyone had a peaceful and happy Easter!

In a God’s service,

Ms. Marie

 

From The Assistant Director

We are enjoying the mild spring weather and participating in many fun outdoor activities.  Many of the children enjoy easel painting outside.  One day it got a little breezy and the easel paper flew up and splotched a little girl’s face with lime green paint!  She looked surprised at first, then laughed and was a really good sport about it.

Another activity the children really enjoy is looking for insects.  We are discussing with them which bugs are OK to pick up and observe in our plastic insect holders and which are not.  For instance, we discussed that we NEVER pick up spiders.  If the children see one, they are to call a teacher right away.  Another insect that should not be picked up because it is so delicate is called a Crane Fly.  This insect flies very slowly and is usually seen in the spring. The Crane Fly usually hovers near the ceiling or very high on the walls inside and outside of buildings.  The children found one and picked it up and the legs fell off.  This was a good lesson for the children to learn about a how some of God’s creatures are good to look at but not touch.  We all agreed that it is OK to pick up Ladybugs, Roly-Polys, and maybe a Snail or a Praying Mantis.  These will not bite us and they are strong enough to put in the insect holders.  There are many small lizards in our school garden and around the plants on the bike path, but they are fast and hard to catch!

Everyday during the hour of 11:00 a.m. to 12:00noon I co-teach with Ms. Beth in the Seahorse class while Ms. Debbie has her lunch break. We have been spending time together outdoors playing “Duck, Duck, Goose.”

This game involves sitting in a circle.  One child walks around the circle lightly tapping each child’s head.  If you say “Duck” when you tap the child’s head, they remain sitting.  If you say “Goose” that child has to chase you around the circle.  Some of the children did not know how to play the game and it was a great learning experience for them.  The game teaches how to follow directions and how to be patient while waiting for a turn.  The children were laughing when their friends chased each other.  It was even funnier when the person being chased around the circle was Ms. Rita or Ms. Beth!

We have a picture day coming up this month.  Julie Lily photographers will be at the preschool on Tuesday, April 23 starting at 9:15 a.m.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with his or her family and friends.  We are all grateful for the gift of Jesus in our lives and in our Preschool.

Ms. Rita

 

From The Butterflies

In March, the Butterfly class and I started to visit the church garden. I have been teaching the children about flowers and discovering the colors and textures of different flowers and plants. The children really enjoyed the walks. Almost every day they ask to visit the garden.

We learned about different animals and the sounds that they make.  One of the children’s new favorite books is Five Little Ducks.  It is a story about how the mommy duck loses her baby ducks and it makes her sad. The story ends with all the five ducklings coming back and mother duck is very happy.  Two new favorite songs are “Yankee Doodle” and “Hickory Dickory Dock.” The class thinks both of these songs are very silly and laughs every time we sing them.
We worked on using our words to express our emotions instead of yelling. I worked with them by talking and demonstrating different volumes of sound. I continue to help the children use words to express themselves .There has been progress but we still need to keep working in this area of expression..
For the month of April, I will be teaching the children about spring. We will learn about different kinds of weather such as; windy, sunny, cold, warm, cloudy, and rainy.  We will learn how a rainbow is made and what colors are in it. We will learn about plants and planting in the preschool garden later in the month.

The most exciting project of all is the Butterfly project that we do each spring. We are getting caterpillars this month and will be watching them grow, then cocoon, and then turn into butterflies. It is very exciting for the children to experience the science of life and growth and it teaches them how to be careful of fragile things. When the butterflies are fully grown, we will release them.

Our Easter party and egg hunt is on April 1st.It will be a lot of fun.  I look forward to a great month of April with the Butterfly class.  They are all wonderful, special children.

Happy spring,

Ms. Alison

 

From the Dragonflies

Spring is here! It is a beautiful season to enjoy hearing the birds singing, see the flowers blooming, and spending more time playing outside on warm days. The children have enjoyed seeing the lizards come out from the bushes in both play yards. We talked about animals. I explained to them that we are all God’s creatures and we should not hurt animals because they smaller than us.

In the month of March, the Dragonflies had so much fun doing the “Bear Hunt” chant and hand movements. The chant taught prepositions such as; over, under, up, down; rhythm, language, memory, sequence, and imaginary skills. We also had fun singing the “Barnyard” song and making the farm animal noises. The children enjoyed painting a box together to be our play barn. In the drama area, the children played as a group. They expanded their creative skills by pretending to “fly” to Disneyland using chairs as their airplane. They packed their bags with play money, dishes, and food.

One of the motor skills that we will practice this month is throwing and catching a ball. The children will take turns throwing and catching a ball with me.The themes we are learning about this month are plants and insects. In class, we will be observing live caterpillars crawling in a jar and eating their food. We will watch the transition as they turn into a chrysalis and finally transform into beautiful butterflies. After the butterflies are able to pump their wings strongly, we will release them outside. This will be an exciting and fun science experience for all of us to watch!  Every year we try to set them free on Earth Day.  Sometimes they are ready, sometimes not.  Some songs about insects that the children will learn are: “If I Were a Butterfly,” “I’m Bringing Home My Baby Bumblebee,” and “The Ants Go Marching.”

The Dragonfly class will be digging to plant vegetables and flowers in our school garden with Ms. Marie. We will take a turns to water the garden. Each class has a day of the week to water the garden. The children will learn how the sun and water make plants grow.

Finally, I would like to thank all the parents who brought the party food for St. Patrick’s Day.  We enjoyed ourselves very much.

God Bless,

Ms. Frannie

From The Seahorses

Thank you to the parents who brought items for our St. Patrick’s day and Easter parties.  This month the children will learn about  plants.  One of the activities we will be doing is watching lima beans grow in a plastic bag.  We put a lima bean and a cotton ball with some water into a plastic bag and watch everyday as they begin to grow.  It is a fun science lesson.

The month of March is usually associated with wind, and we are hoping for a windy day when we can fly kites that we made and blow bubbles in the wind.  We will watch and discuss which direction the wind blows our bubbles away!

We will read a book called Looks Like Spilt Milk which is about how clouds can be appear to look like different objects.  To further the learning of that concept, we will go outside and watch the clouds and have our own discussion about what we think they look like.  Then, for art, the children will make a cloud picture with white paint and talk about what it looks like.We will make a sundial to learn about light and shadows.  A sundial shows us how shadows can tell what time it is.

Another theme is April is Earth Day.  This is a day to discuss different things we can do to help and appreciate the Earth.  We will learn about recycling through class discussion and reading a book called The World We Want.  We will listen to a CD by Charlotte Diamond that sings about how gardens grow and how not to throw trash on the ground so we can keep the Earth clean.  We will do an art project with reused materials such as egg cartons, paper towel rolls, and recycled plastic bottles.  If you would like to send in some recyclable materials such as empty cereal boxes or food cartons, we would love to make collages out of them or see what else we can create.

As the weather warms up, please bring in some short-sleeved shirts for your child’s classroom emergency clothes box.

Thank you for all of your support!

Ms. Beth, Ms. Debbie, and Ms. Anjali

 

From The Dolphins

I am very happy to announce that the Pre-K class has come a long way in their developmental progress.  The children can use self-control now when they are angry, and may still shout or speak loudly, however, they do not hit each other.  They have really learned to express themselves by using their words.  Many of them have such elaborate vocabularies and really like to converse.  I have the most interesting conversations with them everyday.  We talk about everything from what songs they like on the radio, what books their parents read to them at home, to what are their favorite foods for dinner.  I really enjoy teaching your children and spending time having fun with them.

In the month of March, we learned about St. Patrick and why he is celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day.  He helped bring Christianity to the people of Ireland. We learned about how Jesus is in Heaven watching over us and we celebrate Him on Easter Sunday.  We colored hard -boiled eggs on March 28th and will have an Easter party and egg hunt on April 1.

We have been doing an exciting learning activity in class called Tray Tasking.  These are set up activities, involving 2 to 3 steps, which the child is to complete.  The tasks promote coordinated large and fine motor movement using both sides of the body to reinforce the concepts of left to right and top to bottom directionalities. These are skills needed for reading and writing readiness.  The tasks will range from simple to more challenging as time goes on. Some examples of the task we have done are: transferring water from one bowl to another by squeezing a sponge, snapping snaps on a snapping board, and folding clothes and packing them into a backpack. I have a chart where I document the child’s ability to complete each task.  There is a separate sheet of paper for each child for each task called Observation Charts. I watch as the child does the task then I rate how they do on the chart.  I have all of the information to share with you on our next parent-teacher conferences coming up in May. We have started practicing the songs for our graduation, which is on May 17.

Have a Wonderful Month!

Ms. Kim

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