September 2015 News

September 2015


Dear Parents, 


The 2015-2016 school year is off to a very fast start.  The students have come so far in just the last two weeks.  They should be going home very tired as they are learning not only classroom rules and routines, but also social procedures and self-management.  The children all want to do well and are trying their best.  This takes a lot out of anyone!  Young children have been used to mostly their families and their rules at home then they come to school and they learn there are additional, or even different, rules at school. 


One of the most important skills children are learning at this age is self-control.  Self-management is one of the biggest indicators of future school success.   According to the National Mental Health and Education Center “Children who do not make choices for their own behavior, but instead rely on other children, parents, teachers, or adults to make choices for them, do not learn self-control” (Teaching Young Children Self-Control Skills, 2003). 

In an effort to help our students with this skill, we (Discovery Trails):

·      Set age-appropriate goals that the children understand

·      Teach and provide opportunities for children to learn how to pay attention

·      Provide positive feedback for appropriate behavior

·      Enforce natural consequences for not following the rules

·      Provide “breaks” so that the time children need to be positively rewarded is realistic and more successful to encourage an affirmative self-image (“I can do it!”) 

            Our curriculum and activities that are designed for the beginning of the year help introduce “how” we do things.  We talked a lot about how to be a good friend, how to be kind and how to take care of the classroom.  We also introduced science and math activities that we do often throughout the school year to give the children a “glimpse” of what they will see as we move into our first theme of the Five Senses.  In Language Arts we have listened to many stories including Jessica, Silly Sally and My Crayons Talk.  We also participated in some writing answering questions like “My favorite color is….? and “I can ….”  For math, we introduced graphs as a means to gather information and have discussed, more, less and equal.  The children are also being assessed for math skills that include counting, adding, patterning and number recognition.  Science comes in many forms and we utilize this subject in experiments, observations and cooking projects.   The children enjoyed observing colors as they change when combined, noting how brown and white eggs are similar and different and making pizza after reading Pete’s a Pizza. 

In September, the children will be very busy as we begin our theme studies.  We will be including the following activities but please see the weekly curriculum posted in the classroom and the monthly calendar for additional information.

Language Arts:

·      Reading about and gathering information about the five senses

·      Reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? and writing a class book

·      Creating a book based on My Black Book of Colors for sight

·      Writing and listening for the sounds of the letters, Ll, Ii, Tt and Aa

·      Listening for the rhymes to –at, -og, -ow and –ay

Math and Science:

·      Learning about the Five Senses and the anatomy of each correlating part of the body (eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin)

·      Charting our favorite taste (bitter, sweet, salty, sour)

·      Graphing whether or not we would cross a crocodile infested sea for bananas

·      Estimating the number of cups of water that will fill a diaper

·      Playing a “What’s Missing….” game for cognitive experience

·      Making cherry pie after reading Pie in the Sky

Soccer Buddies/PE

Soccer Buddies will continue to support our PE program by coming once a week.  The program alternates Monday and Tuesday to be sure all the kids get the opportunity to have Soccer Buddies at least every other week. 

In PE, we worked on personal space.  We read Personal Space Camp and did several activities that helped us learn where our bodies start and it ends.  We played Bumper Bubbles (using hula hoops like cars) and tried to avoid the other drivers and Space Spin where we held our arms out and spun working hard not touch others.  In September, we will work on Body Strength.  We will do more with parachute play to support upper body strength, play Blast Off!  to enhance lower body control, do Snake Curls to improve core muscles and the participate in the See Saw Pull to work the muscles in rhythm.  ~ Jen Baker

Sign Language

We have had fun in Sign Language practicing the American Sign Language alphabet and playing games with our names and their beginning letters.  We have practiced words we use often in the classroom such as:  friend, help, please, thank you, go, stop and more.  We are learning signs for the days of the week and will learn colors and signs for words representing the five senses in September.  ~ Lisa Draper



In Music this month, we have been learning about rhythm.  We have learned how to count and keep time for different rhythms by clapping, patting, stomping and using rhythm sticks.  Busy Busy Bumblebee was our favorite rhythm song.  Next month we will continue working with rhythm and add in more body movement.  ~ Lisa Draper



In art, the preschoolers began with a Line Design that included three elements of art, line, color and shape. They created a Watercolor Landscape using lines that are straight, curved and broken. They had fun singing, “She’ll be Comin’ Around the Mountain” and learning basic square dancing steps. Beginning with primary colors, students will mix colors to create secondary colors next month.

I’m also looking forward to beginning a performance of ” The Three Tales of Three” in September. ~Mrs. Ruth



Dates to Remember:

September 7:  LABOR DAY-no school

September 9:  First Field Trip to Starsmore Discovery Center (see separate information)

September 10:  Picture Day (see separate information)

October 12:  EXPLORER’S Day-no school

October 23:  Grading Day-No Students

October 30:  Johnny Appleseed Traveling Party

October 29 and 30:  Parent-Teacher Conferences-no school

Field Trip September 9:  We will have our first field trip on Wednesday September 9th  to Starsmore Discovery Center.  We will be enjoying the program “Andy’s Animal Senses” to support our Five Senses theme.  Permission forms and detailed information will go home the first week of September.  This trip is available to children who attend school on Wednesdays.   For fairness, we do our best to schedule field trips and special guests so that basically children who come five days, get five, children who come to school three days, get three and those who come two days, get two.  Which trips and activities depend on availability of the destination along with what we feel is the most appropriate for that specific group of children.

The night before the trip, Mrs. Draper and Ms. Baker go to Intermountain Coach and pick up two 12-passenger vans.  They will be parked in front of the school on the day of the field trip with a list of students who will be riding in that particular van posted on the window.  It is the parent’s responsibility to install their child’s car seat according to state regulations and car seat guidelines.  In Colorado, children under four years of age, MUST be in a five point, front facing car seat while older children may ride in a booster seat.  With safety being at the helm of the ship, we are very strict on following laws and we have high behavior expectations for the children.  We take only trips we know are safe and positive for our students to attend and all trips planned for this year are ones we have taken before. 

Please be sure to let us know if you have any questions! As we get closer to the field trip date, we will send home permission forms, a list of what your child needs and ask for two parent volunteers to join us on the trip.  We will pay admission fees for the two chaperones.  Parents are more than welcome to join us but the parent must cover any fees.  Siblings are not allowed to attend so that we can keep our attention on the students.  Field trips are optional, however we do not offer an alternative activity.  Please let us know if you are going to drive your own child to the destination or if your child will not be attending.  This may make a difference if we need to rent one or two vans. 


Picture Day September 10:  On September 10th, LifeTouch photos will be here to take individual and group pictures.  LifeTouch will take pictures of your child and in a few weeks, they will offer you a package of different poses and sizes.  You are under NO OBLIGATION to buy any pictures and you can buy one sheet or all the sheets.  If your child is enrolled for Thursdays, you don’t have to do anything.  Drop your child off as you usually do.  When it is your child’s turn, we will be sure he or she looks his or her best.  If your child DOES NOT attend school on Thursdays, we do ask that you bring your child about 8:15 AM.  We will have these children get their portraits done first.  Then we will get our class picture done so those who are only here for portraits may leave with their parents.  After the class picture then the rest of the students will get their pictures taken.  We do ask that all students please come for the class picture. 


Jen and Lisa


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August News 2015

August News

Dear Parents,
Summer is quickly coming to a close and we will soon be starting school. The days get very busy from here on out. Soon we will be in full swing at Discovery Trails and these times but a memory. We certainly hope your summer was full of nostalgia.

As the new school year begins, Discovery Trails has a few dates to remember for August.

August 10-12: Home Visits for New Students

August 13: Back to School Night for Adults Only 6:30-7:30PM

August 15: Back to School Social (All Children and Families) 10:00-11:30 AM

August 17: First Day of School

When school begins we will be learning about our new classroom and friends. Here is a list of just some activities we will be doing in each subject.

 Language Arts
o Friendship Stories

 Rainbow of Friends
 My Crayons Talk
 Jessica
 Stand Tall Mary Lou Mellon

 Writing
o My favorite color is ______
o I can make a _______ with one dot o I can _________

 Social
o How can I be a good friend?
o What does it mean to be kind?
o Playing partner balloon toss
o Creating a friendship picture with a peer o Making classroom Do’s and Don’t’s
o Cooperative musical hula hoops

 Math and Science
o Creating a 3D chart to represent our favorite colors o Hair color chart
o Egg experiment
o Pepperoni math
o How many seeds are in the slice of watermelon?
o Will the watermelon sink or float?
o Make pizza

 Motor Skills
o Parachute play

o Mood song

o Vertical and horizontal lines o Name writing
o Stop that sound

 Music and PE Themes o Music: Rhythm
o PE: Personal Space

Show and Tell is on Friday at 3:00. Each week we have a requirement and typically the Show and Tell would represent the Letter of the Week to help make the school/home connection and to emphasize sounds of letters. We ask that parents “assist” students with their selection but please do not do it for them. If a child brings something that does not start with the sound we are looking for we merely make it into a learning experience and listen for the sounds.

Since we do not start our Letter of the Week until the third week of school, we have other requirements for the first Show and Tells.

o August 21: We will send home a paper bag with instructions asking the children to put two to three things in the bag that tells us something about them.

o August 28: Bring something that rhymes with “-at.”
It will be a very busy first two weeks of school. We will all, teachers included, go home

very tired, hungry and thirty. This only means we had a great time!

Sincerely, Jen and Lisa