From The Director
It’s easy to tell the season change because some of the children are contracting colds and the flu. The CDC recommends flu shots for young children and staff. The preschool staff and I have protocols in place for cleaning the preschool and trying to minimize the risk of infections to other children. We also have policies that help in our quest for a clean and healthy school. Thanks to all the parents that help us try and adhere to those polices. Unfortunately, some children do not show symptoms until they are already in school. So just a few reminders to our new families that have joined the school. If your child is sent home, they must be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school. When your child gets a fever, they must be fever free for 24 hours without medication before returning. For absences more than three days we need a doctor’s note stating they are not contagious to return to preschool.
Another subject I would like to highlight for our new parents is the church grounds. Since the preschool is a mission of the church, the grounds are open to the parents. During the spring and summer the rose courtyard is beautiful to sit in and possibly read a book with your child. However, there is one area I would like to ask the parents to refrain from having their child visit. The small rectangular garden on the east side of the church office building is a memorial garden. One of the defining characteristics in it includes small rocks and a statue of Saint Frances. This a quiet area for people to reflect on the loss of a loved one. In addition parents are welcome to use the church grounds during business hours. If parents would like to be on property after hours, Mother Julie should be notified in advance. I have her contact information in my office.
This month will be full of events including a celebration of the Chinese New Year. Parents are welcome to attend. It is always a lot of fun for the children, parents and staff and we hope you can join us. On February 5 the ceremony will start at 11:30 am outside on the bike path with the children signing the songs they have learned with Ms. Kathy and the staff. Then we will have our luncheon. Afterwards the children will proceed outside and march around with the Dolphin classes leading the parade and the other children following with instruments. This will continue for about 15 minutes. Afterwards the children will follow their daily routine of nap time. If you are a new parent, this is quite a celebration to witness. I do caution parents of two year old children to maybe wait a year before joining us unless your child is on a half day schedule. Sometimes they become too emotionally upset when their parents leave after an event. It is a very complex problem for their age group.
Gung Hay Fat Choy and Happy Valentine’s Day!
From The Turtles
In January we had a lot of fun. We welcomed Teddy into our Turtles classroom. The children were interested in observing the change in weather as it went from cool to cold to a full-blown rainstorm. The children noted that when it was about to rain the color of the clouds changed from white to gray. I used their observation as a way to create a curriculum based off of the weather. The children used water colors and finger paints on paper to represent the gloomy weather. Moreover, the children were able to dress up in rain boots, jackets, and scarves to recognize what people would wear in the cold and wet season. Our class also discussed feelings. I showed the children images of people expressing their emotions on posters and picture cards. The children laughed when they saw a picture of a child laughing. Furthermore; I read a book called The Feelings Book by Todd Parr. In the book, there were animals and people who expressed their feelings in different ways. The children are experiencing kindness by giving one another hugs and high fives. I taught the children about kindness by telling the story of Martin Luther King Jr. He was a man who lived in a world where people were judged by the color of their skin. I told the children that Martin Luther King wanted everyone to be treated with kindness even when the color of their skin was different. I explained to the children that even though I look a lot older than they do, I still love to play with toys, eat and laugh.
In February, I will continue to teach the children how to express themselves by using language. For example, when I smile, I will say, “I am happy.” I will teach the children numbers in Mandarin. We will listen to Chinese songs in celebration of Chinese New Year. In addition, on Tuesday, February 5th, the children will be singing three songs in the chapel. The three songs are “The B-I-B-L-E”, “Into My Heart” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” led by Ms. Kathy. Afterwards, we will be having a delicious luncheon. Thanks to the parents and guardians for bringing the yummy food.
May you stay warm and have a wonderful month.
From the Seahorses
Here we are floating into February. Last month was a fun filled as we pretended to romp through farms and markets, and the children learned how we get our food. We learned about how some food is grown and how it travels from the farm to the market. We discussed the different food groups and talked about our favorite foods. There is a colorful art display on this project on the back wall of the classroom. Please look at it next time you come in.
The children also learned about different types of doctors and played “pet vet” in the dramatic area, taking care of paw patrol pet stuffed animals. We also began discussing friendship and kindness as the class learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
February is a month of friendship, so we will continue exploring it with books like Heartprints by P.K. Hallinan and Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett. One of our goals this month is to understand our differences and still be able to stand up for ourselves. The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright is a heartfelt story of two very different animals finding common ground and becoming friends. Along with stories, we will play games that promote confidence such as: music and movement activities and board games that foster accomplishment. Story time will also help us with another goal this month. The children will learn about the sequence of events and time concepts. The class will discuss things they did yesterday, what they will do today and what they might do tomorrow. We will also explore the different times of day with science experiments involving the sun. The children will work with sequencing puzzles learning first, second and third. These and other puzzles, as well as, games like positions bingo will foster an understanding of the relationships of objects in their environment.
I have observed a growing interest in fishing with some of the students. Some are drawing pictures and identifying them as themselves fishing with a friend. So this month, we’re going fishing! Only for pretend of course! The class will embark on various make-believe fishing trips with water play activities and magnetic fishing games. We will discuss different types of sea life and learn about the world swimming in our oceans. We will participate in water play games at our science tables as well as tray tasking activities that will give the children a chance to hone their pouring skills, furthering their fine muscle control. It’s sure to be great fun!
Also this month, the class will have our annual Valentine Party and card exchange on the 14th. There are 10 children in our class. When addressing the cards, where it says To: Write “my friend.” Where it says From: Write your child’s name. This helps the children pass the cards out with greater ease. There will also be a party sign up on the parent board if you would like to send something. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.
With love and friendship,
From The Starfish
Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who celebrates! We will have a Lunar New Year celebration at school on February 5. Families are welcome to join us for a luncheon and parade. This month the children will be learning about some traditional ways that Asian people celebrate their New Year. If you have some traditional clothing, item, or music to share, please let me know about it. We would love to see the different traditional props from different countries. We can learn about the similarities and differences of our cultures.
Our Valentine’s Day class party and card exchange will be on February 14. Your child may bring in nine Valentine cards to share with their classmates. Please address them “To: My Friend.” The party sign-up will be posted on Parent Board as it gets closer to the event. The children will continue working on their social skills such as learning how to be a kind friend and helping each other. I will encourage children to do activities together with a partner such as painting, completing a jigsaw puzzle, dancing, and holding hands.
January was a great month and we are happy to have additional new friends in the Starfish class. The children have some more friends with now to interact with and play with in class. The Starfish are learning how to adjust better when we move into new activities. I use familiar songs and sounds as cues to aid in the transitions more smoothly. Every Wednesday, the children have enjoyed going to chapel in the morning. They have learned how to walk together and sit attentively for the story and songs.
Last month we worked a lot on building fine motor skills. The children used scissors to cut fringes on paper, strung beads, and used pencils to trace around a stencil. Some of the children showed interest in writing on an alphabet tracing board. When children play board games and listening games it invites them to join in the fun and interact socially. Some of our favorite games to play are: “Simple Objects Bingo,” “Colors and Shapes Bingo,” “Circus, Circus,” and “Simon Says.”
Recently the children had a blast making and playing with pink playdough. I taught them how to mix the flour, water, oil, then knead it and watch it turn into dough. It is a great gross motor activity well as a lesson in science and math. We measured the ingredients and watched the dough change textures. The class loved playing with and squeezing the dough. We traded some of our pink playdough with Ms. Tiffany’s light blue playdough. The children mixed the colors together and saw the playdough change into purple. It was a fun experiment for them.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
From The Dolphin 2 Class
Gung Hay Fat Choy! We are excited about the upcoming Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Pig. I will read some stories on this topic. One of them is called Bringing in the New Year. This book shows pictures of Chinese cultural objects such as lanterns, rice bowls, and dim sum and explains the cultural significance of cleaning the house for the New Year. We will clean our classroom to get ready for the celebration. The children will decorate a paper dragon which we will attach to a box for the parade. We will listen to Chinese music and dance with scarves. I hope that you can come on February 5th and have lunch and celebrate with us.
Our Valentine party will be on Thursday February 14th.. Please bring in 6 valentine cards with your child’s name on them on this day. We will have a card exchange. Please do not send any candy. I will post a sign-up sheet for the party on the parent board on Friday February 8th. Since this month is Valentine’s Day we will learn about friendship. We will discuss what it means to be a friend and how to treat them. I will also read some books about friendship. On February 18th we will be closed to celebrate Presidents Day. February is going to be a very busy month.
I would like to share with you a few of the activities we did in January. The class enjoyed learning about the Arctic Ocean. I went to the Kidzone website and downloaded facts on the Arctic Ocean, mammals and polar bears. I put blocks of ice, water, polar bears, walruses and other mammals in a sensory table and let the children explore the Arctic Ocean. The enjoyed it very much.
One of the children’s favorite big book stories is Crunchy, Munchy Cookies by V.M. Racanelli. Ms. Rita reads this story when she teaches the class from 11 am to 12 noon during my lunch break. This early literacy experience gave her the idea for us to make chocolate chip cookies with the class. We both thought they would have a wonderful time learning how to bake cookies. They sure did! They measured, poured and mixed the ingredients and enjoyed eating the cookies.
Wishing you all a great month!
From The Dolphin Class
We hope everyone had a nice month of January. Due to all of the rain and the cold weather, we had to stay indoors many days. We did some fun physical activities such as the balancing boards, dancing, music and movement, and jumping jacks. We practiced our letters by writing on the white boards. We wrote our names and drew shapes. We did some difficult puzzles. The topics of interest of the class were Polar Bears, Martin Luther King Jr. and our Weekly Reader.
Groundhog Day is on February 2nd. This is a popular tradition celebrated in the United States and Canada. It is derived from a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition. The story goes that on February 2 a groundhog comes out of hibernation. If it sees its shadow it retreats back into its hole and winter will resume for six more weeks. If it does not see its shadow, it means there will be an early spring. There is no real scientific evidence to this theory, it is all for fun. We have a lot of Children’s books about Groundhog Day that are entertaining to read.
We will be having a Valentine’s Day party of February 14th. It will be at 9:15 during our morning snack time. You may bring a Valentine card for each child in the class. There are 12 children in the Dolphin class. Please do not send candy to school. It will have to be returned back, since our school has a No Candy Policy. You may create a small goodie bag with fruit snacks or small toys such as stamps, bubbles, stickers, or pencils. We will be learning about President’s Day. We will discuss presidents from the past and learn about who our current president is. The two presidents who are celebrated on President’s Day are George Washington and Abraham . We will learn that George Washington is on the one dollar bill and that Abraham Lincoln is on the five dollar bill.
Our letters of the month will be Q, R, S, and T. We will make some special cookies for our Reading Buddies on February 4th and give them on Tuesday, February 5th. Please let us know if you can help us bake the cookies. We would appreciate the help.
Have a great month!
From The Assistant Director
The first month of our new year was a fun one. The children and I got to observe all kinds of different weather in one month. We saw sunshine and rain and saw how the wind blows the leaves on the trees. I am very blessed to be able to spend time in all of the classrooms each day. This gives me a chance to get to know all of the children in the school. When the teachers take a break in the morning and in the afternoon, I spend time in their classrooms. During that time, I observed a lot of the children’s interests. The Turtle class likes to play cars, dot paint, and listen to a story called How Does a Dinosaur Eat His Food? By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.
When I read the book to them the children seemed to know the story and were excited to interact. I told this to Ms. Marie and she shared with me that when she read it to them, she asked them questions and they replied. They remembered this very well.
The Starfish class enjoys pretend cooking in their Dramatic Play area and writing on Alphabet writing boards. They also love music and we have and English/Chinese music CD that I play for them when I am in their room. We sing “Happy Birthday” in English and Mandarin.I have fun with the Seahorse class making paper airplanes and doing role play games. They really enjoy the world of make-believe.
I recently read the story Crunchy, Munchy Cookies by V.M. Racanelli to the Dolphins and Dolphin II classes when Ms. Kim was out sick. They enjoyed the stories very much. I told Ms. Debbie about my idea to make cookies since the children seemed so interested. Especially after reading the book several times. The book lists all the ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Ms. Debbie made the cookies with her class and I made them with Ms. Kim’s class. The children had such a great time helping to measure the ingredients and pour them into the bowl. They all had a chance to stir the batter. I am pretty sure their favorite part was pouring the chocolate chips in from the bag! We walked to Daum Hall and put the cookies in the oven together. On returning to the classroom, some of the children helped wash the bowls and utensils. It was a very fun experience for all of us.
I hope you all have a great month and Happy New Year of the Pig!