From The Director
This month daylights savings time begins, so please remember to set your clocks ahead an hour on March 12. Some teachers may celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the class, if they do the children will learn about Irish culture the entire week before the celebration. In Early Childhood multicultural classes we learn that children need to be exposed to a variety of topics about a culture so that they do not form an opinion based on just one aspect.
Listening is a first language arts skill that children learn before a child speaks. Hearing and listening are quite different. Hearing is a process that involves nerves and muscles. Listening is a learned behavior, a mental process that is concerned with hearing, attending, discriminating, understanding, and remembering. Researchers estimate that people listen to 50 percent of what they hear and comprehend only 25percent of that. At preschool there are many opportunities to plan activities which enhance children’s listening abilities. One of those opportunities that we use is the listening center. We recently had a book fair which gave us funds to purchase new books and CD’s for the listening center. The children are really enjoying listening to the CD’s as they look at the books.
An early childhood program with quality curriculum opens a child’s eyes, ears and minds by offering a variety of experiences. This month in our weekly staff meetings the teachers and I will use some information from a literacy class that I took last year. We will discuss the different types of listening and what role they play in early literacy as well as how we can implement them into our daily activities. I appreciate parents feedback so let me know if you see something new happening in your child’s class.
In God’s Service,
From The Assistant Director
We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring, and hopefully some warmer weather. I would like to encourage all of our parents to order from our monthly Scholastic Book Club. I put flyers in your parent folders every month. There is a wonderful variety of books to choose from. The children love books and they get so excited when they see that their book order has arrived. Parents can also order online, preview flyers, place orders and pay with a credit card. Simply go to www.scholasticbookclubs.com and click on parent orders. Every order earns the preschool bonus points, with which we can purchase books for the children. There has not been many book orders so far this school year, so I hope to promote this wonderful early literacy program for the whole school.
I noticed lately in the classrooms that a lot of the children are practicing their cutting skills. They really like to cut paper. One day I observed some of the children cutting out triangles. The teacher asked them how the triangles could make acircle. A few of the children figured out that placing four triangles together on the table could make a circle. “Like a pizza!” one of the children exclaimed. The teacher replied, “Yes, like a pizza!” Then the teacher explained to the group that four pieces made a whole circle. The children asked if they could place the triangles into a circle. They were learning fractions at the preschool level by participating in the process.
I hope your month goes well.
From The Dolphins
In February the children learned about weather. We discussed clouds, sun, rain, temperature changes, and what makes a rainbow. There were many indoor rainy day activities over the last few weeks. One of our activities was that I turned out the lights and the children had flashlight races. We did a lot of fun music movements such as “The Pirate Song” and “Listen and Move.” The class enjoyed watching the rain coming down from our classroom windows. We observed some worms that came out of the ground during the rain. Some of our songs for the month were “Rain, Rain, Go away”, and “Colors of the Rainbow.” The children painted rainbows on white construction paper and they came out so beautiful. On February 22 we saw a real rainbow! It was just outside the classroom. I had already gone home but I saw it from my house. The next day the children all told me about it. They were so excited and we discussed how the sun shines on the rain and reflects light into colors. It was really a great emergent, educational and fun event for all of us. Some of the children said they like the rain but they wanted it to go away so we could play outside. I explained to them that the rain is helping our drought and that soon spring would be here along with more outside time.
This month, we will be learning letters T, U, V, and W. At circle time, our class has been discussing kindergarten. Some of the children know which school they will be attending. Since March is the month to register your child in public school, it would be a good time to discuss with them the name of their new school. I will help get them prepared by discussing it with them, reading stories about kindergarten and going to a new school. Some children have anxiety about trying something new, so reading about it and talking to them can help assure them that it will be a positive experience.
We will learn about the country of Ireland in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. I visited Ireland a year and a half ago and I have some great photos and books to share with the children. My family is from Irish descent and every year we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating a dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage. We will have a class party on this day at morning snack time. I will post a sign-up sheet. I am asking all of the children to wear green on this day. Legend has it that if you could be seen by a leprechaun they would pinch you, wearing green you are invisible to leprechauns.… Also, we will learn about the real St. Patrick and how he spread Christianity to others.
This month the children will learn their address and will continue to practice writing their names.
Have a Great Month!
From The Seahorses
February flew by! We had a wonderful Valentine’s party. The children and I worked on spreading the joy all month long. One of the projects we worked on was called “Leaving Heart Prints Everywhere We Go” The children and I read a story that suggested every time we show caring and kindness we leave a heart print behind. We tried to implement it throughout the month by working together and helping one another. The class also continued their love of traveling by building cities in the block area and making a “Disneyland tram” out of chairs and pretended to take trip to a Disneyland. I brought some real maps of Disneyland to share with the class. They really enjoyed looking at the maps as they played. In addition, maps are a great literacy tool as they teach letters and recognition of symbols.
One of March’s goals is to bring stories to life. We will read several books and recreate them in dramatic play, art and manipulative toys. Since the children love to go places, we will begin our journey with Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. His birthday is this month. The class will celebrate him and the joy of reading and writing by integrating many of his stories into our learning centers. In Our house area the children may pretend to travel to “All the places we can go.” Furthermore, in the art area the children will find colorful creations inspired by his rhymes.
We have come to the end our alphabet bag journey this week. However, the children will continue working on letter recognition using games like alphabet bingo. Our next course of study, will be color! Each week the class will romp through a color of the rainbow. We will dive into each color through art projects that will become part of our “Little Louvre,” our own museum. The children will also sing songs, discover foods and play games inspired by the color of the week. Another goal for March is to increase the children’s control over speed and direction. The children will ride tricycles, climb the structures and maneuver through obstacle courses to build coordination and intentional movement. They will also work on furthering their fine muscle control by cutting out basic shapes, using lacing, snap and button boards, and constructing with small manipulative toys like Zoobs and pop beads. Giving intentional thought to the coordination of their movements both large and small fosters logical thinking skills and promotes self-control.
An Invitation! This past month we also enjoyed a story time led by one of our parents. The children were entranced. They loved the stories she chose and seeing a parent come in to read to them. If you would like to read to the children or lead an art project, you are most welcome! Just pop in and we’ll set a date. I leave you with a Seussism: “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!”
From The Starfish
In February, the children were exposed to some wonderful and fun early literacy as we read many new stories. Reading each book one time is usually not enough for them. They enjoy asking me to read the same book over and over again. Some cognitive skills they have learned are: understanding the contents of the stories, sequence of events, and story recall.
Their two favorite stories last month were Splat the Cat and Lucky Ducklings. In the cat story, the author explains what cats eat and some things that cats do. The book had a picture of a kitten with fur they could touch. They enjoyed feeling the soft texture. The other story, Lucky Ducklings is a true story about five ducklings that fell and got trapped in the storm drain. A man with a truck and a firefighter rescued the trapped ducklings. The children liked the story so much they kept asking to hear it again. It also came with a CD we could read along to. I expanded on their interest in the ducklings by making a pretend grate using a shoe box. The children acted out the story with rubber ducks. They had so much fun dropping the rubber ducks into the holes and calling the five ducklings’ names like in the story: Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin, and last of all Little Joe. Then, they used a toy truck to pull and open the grate (shoe box lid) and firefighter toy people to rescue the ducklings. Imaginary skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction between peers are promoted through this imaginative play.
I am excited to see the children’s progress in their language development and cooperative play with their peers. They are showing more interest in identifying the feelings of others and interacting with one another. For fine and gross motor skills, we practiced tracing with shape stencils, cutting with scissors, lacing with strings, walking on balancing boards, and playing games such as “Duck, Duck, Goose”At the end of February, we enjoyed sitting on the back patio bench to watch the rain. We discussed rain and listened to the sound of it. Then, after watching the rain for a while, we got to see beautiful rainbow in the sky from the patio of the Dolphin classroom. Everyone was very excited to see the real rainbow! I am looking forward to an adventurous month of March!
From The Turtles
The Turtle class is learning about love and being kind to one another. One of the many ways we demonstrated love for one another was by celebrating one of the children’s birthdays. Another way of demonstrating love and kindness was through a card exchange on Valentine’s Day. On that day, each of the children gathered around in a circle and passed out cards to one another. All the children said “Thank You” to one another. We discussed how we love Jesus and we sang a song during chapel time and at our own class circle time called “Jesus Loves Me”. “Jesus Loves Me” goes like this:
“Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong,
Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.”
We also experienced many days of rain. Due to the rain, our class stayed inside the classroom. While inside, the children enjoyed jumping off the riser, rolling and tumbling on the mat. The children also enjoyed watching the rain come down. I used this opportunity to make my lesson plan all about rain and water. The children loved to watercolor and finger paint. The children made three different kinds of hearts. The first was gluing different pieces of paper onto a construction paper heart. The second was painting with water colors on a paper heart. The third was coloring with chalk on a cut out of a black construction paper heart. I was inspired by artists such as Leonardo Di Vinci (famous for using chalk), Paul Klee (famous for using watercolors), and Braque and Picasso (famous for their collages). Our class has been learning how to take turns. An example of taking turns is by rolling a car to one another. All the children would sit in a circle with their legs out in front of them. One child with a car would name another child and roll the car to them. This game would go on until everyone has a turn. I use this game also to teach the children name recognition.
We are excited to see what we will be learning next month.
From The Dolphin 2 Class
February was a fun month The Dolphin 2 class enjoyed the Valentine Day party exchanging Valentines and eating yummy snacks. Thank you to those who provided items for our party. The children were so excited taking turns passing Valentines to their friends. To correlate with the theme of Valentine’s Day we learned about friendship and what it means to be a friend. We practiced kindness by sharing toys, using kind words, and asking friends to play with us. In addition, the children held hands with a partner when walking to chapel. We made a class quilt using fabric, pom-poms and buttons to decorate a foam rectangle. Our quilt is hanging on the wall in the classroom.
This month our letters of the week are U, V, W, and X. The children are enjoying share day. The chairs are arranged in a semi-circle. The teacher chair is where they sit to share what they brought from home and then choose a friend to share. I am proud of how they have been waiting for their turn and listen when friends are talking about what they brought to share.
The children will continue to work on listening and following direction skills during circle time activities, and teacher led games. Class participation in circle time is very important as your child moves up to Kindergarten. I also have the children lead us in a song or a movement activity. This help builds self-esteem and listening skills.I will be reading stories written by Dr. Seuss to celebrate his birthday. Some of the stories will be Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and The Cat in the Hat.These stories contain a lot of rhyming words and are great for early literacy.
The children have made great progress on tray tasking. They have been tracing, cutting, arranging and gluing shapes onto colored paper. They learn problem solving skills when organizing three shapes on one sheet of paper while refining eye/hand coordination when cutting gluing and assembling. The next step in three weeks will be learning how fractions make a whole shape. Example: Trace a large hexagon shape, then cut hexagon into six sections. The next step is to glue the six pieces of the geometric shape onto colored paper. This activity will help children begin to understand the concept of fractions.
I would like to thank June for the amazing fish tank she donated to our school. The rocks in the tank match the colors on our school shirt orange and blue. It has a plastic figure of Olaf standing in the tank. We look forward to watching the fish swimming, and taking turns feeding it.
Ms. Debbie and Ms. Daisy
Calendar of Events
Daylight Savings Time Begins March 12
St. Patrick’s Day March 17
Spring Begins March 20