September 2015

October 2015 News

Hello Families, October 2015
So many things have happened in the last month. The children are learning quickly and experiencing so much more. It has been fun to watch the kids go from new students to experts and from younger students to leaders.

One of things we have been stressing in September is independence. Young children respond to the reaction of the adults around them as they try to do more and more things independently. As adults, it is our job to foster independence by offering opportunities and support. This newfound freedom takes children into a path of self-confidence. However, it does take some effort on the adult to create success with limited amount of frustration. Such things as offering children easy on and off clothing and jackets, easy to open snack and lunch containers and high expectations of cleaning up after him or herself help children get the “I did it!” feeling.

Psychology Today recently generated a list of ideas to assist parents in creating self-assured and independent children:

1. Don’t do for children what they can do for themselves (While it may be quicker and easier to do it yourself, it won’t help to make your child more self-sufficient.)
2. Expect more (You would be surprised what we expect of the children at school and how well they do!)
3. Don’t redo what the child has done (“It’s natural to want to make everything perfect, but if we do, we cheat kids of the chance to experience success.” (Lamb, N.A.)).
4. Let your children solve simple problems (If you see your child trying to assemble a toy or get a book from a shelf that she can reach if she stands on her tiptoes pause before racing over to help.)
5. Assign Chores (“Putting your preschooler in charge of a regular, simple task will build her confidence and sense of competency,” (Buss, Weekday School, N.A.).
6. Praise your child often for the effort
7. Let your children work out minor squabbles. Instead of swooping in to settle disputes, stand back and let them work it out (unless a child is getting hurt). (Marguerite Lamb, N.A.)

Some adaptive skills preschool children should be able to achieve:

3 Year Olds:
• Undresses and dresses self-may need help with buttons and zippers but needs practice so let them try
• Understands what weather-appropriate clothing means
• Puts clothing away
• Takes off and puts on shoes
• Washes face and hands
• Combs and brushes hair
• Uses paper towel to clean up spills
• Hangs up coat
• Makes own bed
• Uses a napkin
• Removes plate from the table
• Rinses off fruits and vegetables
• Plays alone for one hour
• Wipes nose without being told

4 Year Olds
All of the above plus:
• Washes own hair
• Brushes hair and teeth
• Replaces toilet paper roll when empty
• Explores tying shoes
• Peels vegetables and fruit
• Learns emergency numbers and how to use a phone
• Knows clothing front and back
• Puts shoes on the right feet
• Cuts up own food with a table knife

During the month of September, the children were very busy. We have learned about the five senses: Taste, Smell, Hearing, Touch and Sight. We have discovered how the Senses help us stay aware and keep us safe. We learned how information goes into our sense organs then on to our brain. We have discussed how the brain has a great memory and can tell us when it remembers what something tastes like, the sound of someone’s voice, what our parents look like, how things feel when touched and the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The students had many writing “assignments” including writing about our favorite food and our favorite smell. The children wrote some books such as I Hear a _________, ________ing My Ear, My Black Book of Colors and our classroom feely book. We also participated in several graphs including Our Favorite Taste, Our Favorite Smell and whether or not we would cross a crocodile infested sea for a banana. In science we learned about the sense organs and the anatomy of the tongue, ear, skin, eye and nose. We also went on a listening hike and used a pendulum to make sounds.

In the month of October, we will be finishing up the Five Senses Theme and head into the unit of the Growing Season. We will be learning about the life cycle of the plant and then the life cycle of apple trees. The children will learn about the anatomy of a plant and parts of a seed and the parts of the apple. We will end the month being introduced to Johnny Appleseed and we will culminate the unit with a “Johnny Appleseed Traveling Party.” More about this important day is discussed below.

Here are some teasers about the month ahead.

Language Arts:
• Class Book: It Looked Like Spilt Milk
• Introducing Oo, Aa, and Dd
• Working on rhymes for -at, -on, and –eed • Gaining facts from literature
• Sequencing the events in a story

Math and Science:
• Learning about the lifecycle of a plant from seed to plant • Observing apple and plant anatomy
• Charting our favorite apples-red, green or yellow
• Sequencing 1-10
• Understanding seed travel

In September, we worked on Body Strength doing activities like Blast Off!, Snake Curls and Wheelbarrow Races. We used the parachute a lot to play games that used our senses and following directions. The kids played Shark Attack, Bean Bag Shuffle and Parachute Tag.
During October our physical education curriculum will emphasize Eye- Hand-Foot coordination. We will work a lot with balls, rolling them to friends, throwing them overhand, tossing them one handed and passing them between legs and trying to self-catch them. We will hit a ball hanging from the ceiling with a pool noodle and also try to kick a ball already in motion. Eye-hand coordination is good for many reasons. Not only will it help in sports one day but supports handwriting (the eyes need to guide the hand in letter formation), reading (eye tracking skills) and life skills (stacking towers, tying shoes and frosting cakes!). ~Ms. Baker

This month the preschoolers have enjoyed singing and acting out the characters in The Little White Duck. They have been learning drama words such as characters, stage, audience, music and lyrics. The children have been exchanging roles and acting out familiar stories for one another such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the Three Little Pigs. Later we will prepare for our performance with props, backdrops and costumes. It’s wonderful to watch their progress in square dancing and singing, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” and “She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain.”

Their Art experience incorporated painting with oil pastel and collage using primary colors, red, blue and yellow and mixing colors to create secondary colors, green, orange and purple.
Next month we will focus on costuming, mask making and performance skills. ~Mrs. Ruth

Sign Language:
This month we have been learning signs for the senses, body parts, clothing and colors. We have also been learning numbers and activity words like: sit, slide, run, spin, eat, wake, and sleep. It has been fun playing games with these signs and incorporating them into songs we sing during the day. The children are getting good at not only signing the alphabet, but recognizing letters being signed to them. Next month we will continue working on signing numbers as we learn food, plant, and animal signs. ~Mrs. Draper

We have enjoyed learning many songs using rhythm and body movement this month. It was fun taking turns leading the song, “Do as I’m Doing” and trying different body movements. Other songs we enjoyed were: “Johnny Works With One Hammer” and “Hinges”. We also got to practice colors with the song,”Monkeys, Monkeys”. Our definite favorite was,”Go Bananas”. Next month we are looking forward to working and playing with following directions in songs. ~Mrs. Draper

Johnny Appleseed Traveling Party
On October 28th we will have a Johnny Appleseed Traveling Party. This culminates our Growing Season Theme and helps the children to enjoy a harvest party atmosphere. The party will center around Johnny Appleseed and his travels. The students will learn about this person and how he basically traveled in four states planting apple seeds. The children will learn about the states and on the day of the party, they will travel from state to state doing different activities. We will be doing our version of “bobbing for apples” (using wooden spoons not our mouths), we will do an art project, throw beanbags through an apple and make an apple snack. We will be asking for four parent volunteers as we get closer to the date. These volunteers will “mind” a state and help the children with the activities. After the party we will all go out and plant some bulbs and apples seeds in honor of Johnny.

Children are encouraged to dress as Johnny Appleseed or a person of that era but they do not have to. Please do not go and buy anything special and we will be making hats for the day on that Monday and Tuesday prior to the party. Overalls, plaid shirts, jeans, etc is all it takes to be Johnny Appleseed for a day!

Grading Day and Parent/Teacher Conferences:
Later in the month of October, we will be providing you with your child’s first assessment. If you want an idea of what these look like, please go onto our website and view a sample. There have been a few changes to the assessment since that was posted, but similar. To prepare for this assessment, we will be closed on October 23rd to produce the Report Cards and we will have Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 30th and 31st. . There is no school on these days as well so that we can meet and spend time going over your child’s progress. We ask that if possible, students DO NOT attend the conferences. Because we discuss a lot about development, we do not want students to feel they cannot do something they have no control over. If you know you have some specific questions you would like answered on this day, please email them ahead of time so that we can have the information available. However, we know questions will arise during the conference so don’t hesitate to ask.

The report cards are developmentally based. The scores we present are from things that are observable here at school. We then write an Individual Educational Narrative under each heading giving you an idea of where your child is both developmentally and academically.

Dates to Remember:
October 12: Explorer’s Day-NO SCHOOL
October 17: Family Field Trip Fountain Creek Nature Center 12:00-1:30PM October 23: Grading Day-NO STUDENTS
October 28: Johnny Appleseed Traveling Party
October 30 and 31: Parent-Teacher Conferences-NO SCHOOL for students
November 10: Field Trip to Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings
November 23-27: Thanksgiving Break-NO SCHOOL

Happy October to all! Jen and Lisa